Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.
But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they His counsel: for He shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor.
Many nations were also to be gathered against Jerusalem besides those in the days of Nebuchadnezzar. Already there have been over 2,600 years between the two events. This gathering of the nations [v 11] will be in the day of the Lord.
At the 2nd Advent of Christ He will find the many nations of earth already mobilized to make war against Him [Zech. 14: 1-5; Rev. 16:13-16; Rev. 19:11-21]. Though they will seek to destroy the Jews, their primary purpose will be to prevent Him from setting up His kingdom in the world.
The devil, knowing that he has but a short time [Rev. 12:12], will gather the nations at this time; they will be trained and transported to Palestine to be there at the very day Christ Comes from heaven with His armies, which will include all the holy angels [Matt. 16:27; 24:29-31: 31-46; 2 Th. 1:7-10] and resurrected saints of all ages [Dan. 7:18, 22, 27; Zech. 14:1-5; Rev. 17:14; 19:11-21].
Israel will be the only earthly nation that will co-operate with Christ in this war [Zech. 14:14-15]. He will be victorious in the one day battle; these mighty earthly armies will be completely destroyed, except for a sixth part [Ezek. 39:2].
So instead of defiling Israel, as planned, the nations themselves will be defiled.
The rank and file of the vast armies of the nations will be in ignorance of the real purpose of their mobilization, and gathering to Palestine. This says “they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they His counsel: for He shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor” [v 12].
The devil, the Antichrist, the false prophet and perhaps some of the other leaders will know, but the ordinary soldier will not doubjt be ignorant of the reason for such a vast multitude gathered together.
Certainly, it would not require so many to fight against a few Jews in Palestine.
– Dake Annotated Reference Bible: page 906