The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Zechariah 2

Zec 2:1

Zec 2: The vision of the surveyor: "The third vision that came to the prophet in his night of visions revealed that Jerusalem's downtreading is limited. The busy activity of measuring and building of the literal temple, and the ministrations accounted therein as recorded by Ezra form the basis of this vision. It is of great encouragement to the faithful of the remnant. So Zechariah records: [1] The angelic explanation of the destiny of Jerusalem: vv 1-5. [2] The call to redemption: Flee out of Babylon: vv 6-8. [3] Evidence of the divine hand: v 9. [4] Yahweh the Redeemer of Israel: vv 10-13. It is important to identify the personalities in the first four verses. The man of v 1 is the young man of v 4. The angel of v 3 (and also of Zec 1:19) is the 'him' of v 4. There was a further angel in v 3" (GEM).

V 1: Zechariah saw a man (ie, an angel who looked like a man) with a measuring line in his hand (cp Zec 1:11; 6:12; Eze 40:2,3). What is the purpose of the "measurement" -- to punish or to bless? The remaining vv suggest the second of these.

Zec 2:2

TO MEASURE JERUSALEM, TO FIND OUT HOW WIDE AND HOW LONG IT IS: This surveying would have been preparation for restoring and rebuilding the city. The restoration of Jerusalem in progress in Zechariah's day was only a preview of a much grander future restoration to be described (cp Jer 32:15; Eze 40:3,5; Rev 11:1).

IF the measurement is for the purpose of punishing (eg, 2Sa 8:2; Amos 7:8,17), then a measured width and length suggest that both the duration and the intensity of the punishment will be limited by Almighty God (cp Jer 30:11).

Zec 2:3

Another angel, possibly the angel of the LORD (Zec 1:11,12), came forward to meet Zechariah's guiding angel as he was going out toward the "man" with the measuring line.

Zec 2:4

RUN, TELL THAT YOUNG MAN, JERUSALEM WILL BE A CITY WITHOUT WALLS BECAUSE OF THE GREAT NUMBER OF MEN AND LIVESTOCK IN IT: He instructed him to tell "that young man," Zechariah, that Jerusalem would expand beyond its walls because so many people and cattle would live in it (cp Eze 38:11). During the restoration period, the Jews built walls around the city to make it secure, yet few people wanted to live in it (cp Neh 11:1,2; 7:4). This prophecy must have a future fulfillment, though it doubtless encouraged Zechariah's contemporaries to rebuild the city in their day.

Zec 2:5

I MYSELF WILL BE A WALL OF FIRE AROUND IT: Yahweh promised to be Jerusalem's defense instead of a physical wall and to be the glory in her in contrast to any human glory. Such a promise would have been a great encouragement to the returnees from captivity. Yahweh Himself (emphatic in the Hebrew text) would provide security by His protection and presence (cp Zec 1:16; Psa 24:7-10).

I WILL BE ITS GLORY WITHIN: Though God did protect the returnees, His promise has not yet found fulfillment. The wall of fire that Yahweh would be recalls the Shekinah Glory of the LORD, enshrined in a pillar of cloud and fire by which God visualized His protecting presence at various times throughout her history (Exo 13:21-22; 14:19,20; 40:34; Isa 4:5-6).

"This anticipates the LORD's personal presence through the Messiah in His kingdom on earth (cp Zec 2:11-12; 14:9; Isa 60:19; Ezek 43:1-5; 48:35)" (EBC).

Both the second and third visions guarantee the future safety of Jerusalem. Since Jerusalem has not been safe for millennia, it seems reasonable to expect a fulfillment in messianic times. The glory that had previously inhabited the city and the temple had departed, as Ezekiel saw in vision (Eze 8:4; 9:3; 10:4,18; 11:23), but at some future date it will visibly return (Eze 43:1-5).

Zec 2:6

FLEE FROM THE LAND OF THE NORTH... FOR I HAVE SCATTERED YOU TO THE FOUR WINDS OF HEAVEN: The LORD called His people to flee from the land of the north (cp Jer 3:18; 16:15; 23:8; 31:8) where He had scattered them as the four winds (cp Isa 43:5,6; 49:12). Most of the Israelite exiles had gone into captivity in Assyria, and most of the Judean exiles went into captivity in Babylon. However, there were many other Israelites who had been taken or had fled to Egypt (Jer 43:7), Moab, Ammon, and Edom (Jer 40:11-12), Persia, and many other nations. These were Jews who later constituted the Diaspora, those who did not return to Palestine but remained dispersed throughout the ancient world. In the LD they will not only be brought back to their land -- they will also be converted and transformed (Eze 20:33-38; Rom 11:26).

Zec 2:7

ESCAPE, YOU WHO LIVE IN THE DAUGHTER OF BABYLON: The LORD called these people to escape from Babylon among whose daughters they lived. This was a call for the Jews still living in Babylon to return home in Zechariah's day and help rebuild their nation. But it is also, because of the context and lack of fulfillment, a prophetic call to those living in the end times to abandon the "Babylon" of their day (cp Rev 18:4-8).

Zec 2:8

AFTER HE HAS HONORED ME: The KJV has "after the glory" -- prob ref to the apocalypse of glory of Christ and the saints (1Ti 6:15,16; 2Pe 1:4; Rev 3:12). After Christ is glorified in his saints (2Th 1:10), he will turn his attentions to the world at large.

WHOEVER TOUCHES YOU TOUCHES THE APPLE OF HIS EYE: No one can touch Israel with impunity: Jer 12:14; Eze 36:22-24; Isa 54:17; Rom 11:28.

THE APPLE OF HIS EYE: Lit, the "gate", the pupil, which is the most sensitive part) of His eye (cp Deu 32:10; Psa 17:8). "When God looks at the world, He does so through the 'eye' of Israel" (Tes 54:340).

Zec 2:9

I WILL SURELY RAISE MY HAND AGAINST THEM... THEN YOU WILL KNOW THAT THE LORD ALMIGHTY HAS SENT ME: "The person whom the Lord would send as His representative ('Me') could not be Zechariah, in view of what the following verses say He would do. He must be Messiah, the only one with sufficient power and authority to fulfill what God predicted here. He would simply wave His hand over these nations in a menacing gesture and they would become plunder for the Israelites whom they had enslaved (cp Est 7:10; Isa 11:15; 14:2; 19:16; Gal 6:7,8). Then God's people would know that Yahweh of armies had sent this One (cp Isa 61:3; John 17:4). This would be the sovereign LORD's doing, so the Jews should rejoice, return to the land, and prepare" (Const).

Zec 2:10

I AM COMING, AND I WILL LIVE AMONG YOU: The Israelites in Jerusalem and elsewhere were to rejoice because the LORD promised to intervene for them and to dwell among them. This purpose will be fulfilled in the Last Days (Jer 33:9; Rev 21:3).

Zec 2:11

MANY NATIONS WILL BE JOINED WITH THE LORD IN THAT DAY: To be "joined" is to be "converted" (cp Jer 3:17,18; Isa 60:12). His return to Jerusalem would prompt the nations to come there and acknowledge Him as sovereign (cp Psa 47:9; 96:1; 97:1; 98:4). Many nations would turn to the Lord in that day (the end-time day of the Lord: cp Zec 14; Isa 2:12-21; 24 -- 27; Joel 1:15; 2:28 -- 3:21; Amos 5:18-20; 9:11-15; Zeph).

Thus will be fulfilled the promises to Abraham (Gen 12:1-3; 17:4; Rom 4:18).

AND WILL BECOME MY PEOPLE: They will become part of His family of believers (Zec 8:20-23; Gen 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; Isa 2:2-4; 60:3). They would resemble Him as well as acknowledge Him (cp Isa 56:6-8; 60:3,21).

I WILL LIVE AMONG YOU AND YOU WILL KNOW THAT THE LORD ALMIGHTY HAS SENT ME TO YOU: He would dwell in the midst of His people (cp Zec 8:3; John 1:14; 2Co 6:16; Rev 21:3), and they would know that Yahweh had sent this One. This is clearly a reference to Messiah's second advent, not His first advent.

"In fulfillment of the great OT covenants, particularly the Abrahamic covenant, this section anticipates full kingdom blessing in the messianic era... This language is ultimately messianic -- indirectly or by extension from God in general to the Messiah in particular" (EBC).

Zec 2:12

THE LORD WILL INHERIT JUDAH AS HIS PORTION IN THE HOLY LAND: The whole of the land of Canaan will be set apart for God and His people, but esp the land allocated to Judah (the royal tribe) will belong to Yahweh.

AND WILL AGAIN CHOOSE JERUSALEM: For special blessing (cp Isa 19:24,25). Cp also Mat 5:35; 2Ch 12:13; Psa 132:13,14; Isa 49:14-16.

Zec 2:13

BE STILL BEFORE THE LORD, ALL MANKIND: All mankind, or all "flesh", in its many and varied manifestations -- social and religious and political institutions -- will be humbled before the LORD in that day.

HE HAS ROUSED HIMSELF FROM HIS HOLY DWELLING: The temple of His Glory in Jerusalem, the new "center" of the world!

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