Zechariah Chapter Two

 

Read Zechariah 2:1-5 – God Measures Jerusalem

 

v.1I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand.”

 

            Here we have the third of the eight visions recorded by Zechariah.  He sees a man with a measuring line.  As we should remember from the earlier chapter God said that Jerusalem would be measured.

 

Zechariah 1:16Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.”

 

v.2Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof.”

 

            The angel of God says that he is going to measure Jerusalem.  In order to understand what his purpose was, we first need to determine whether he is measuring physical Jerusalem or if this prophecy applies to spiritual Jerusalem that was to come.  In the commentaries consulted I found agreement that the prophet is referring to spiritual Jerusalem, the church.  It is pointed out that this measuring line is not the line of confusion described by Isaiah:

 

Isaiah 34:11But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.”

 

Or the measuring line of destruction that we find in the writing of Jeremiah:

 

Lamentations 2:8The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together.”

 

But rather we find here the measuring line of a builder.  With that application then, we can see this man as Jesus, the master builder for he said:

 

Matthew 16:18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

 

And the house, the Jerusalem that he is building will be much greater than that of Moses or the physical city of Jerusalem, a much greater house for God than the temple:

 

Hebrews 3:3For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.”

 

            Speaking in physical terms; both the church and the New Jerusalem, the eternal abode of the church will need to be large enough to accommodate all of the people who will be called to live there.  Therefore we have a necessity of properly measuring and planning for this multitude of believers.

 

v.3-4And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him,  4And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein:”

 

            Here we have further evidence supporting the contention that God is speaking of spiritual Jerusalem.  First of all the prophet is assured that this measuring is going to bring about a positive result, not trial and destruction as is more commonly found in prophecy.

            Secondly we find that this Jerusalem will be inhabited as “TOWNS WITHOUT WALLS”, a city whose number of inhabitants and size will not be restricted by walls.  In this we see the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham and to Abraham concerning Sarah:

 

Genesis 12:2And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:”

Genesis 17:16And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.”

 

v.5For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.”

 

            God will protect this city from all dangers as though it had a wall of fire around it.  In his description of this city that was to come in “THAT DAY”, Isaiah writes that it will be a city of salvation, God will build its walls:

 

Isaiah 26:1In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.”

 

            God will be the glory of it and live in the midst of it.  Consequently it will be a glorious place, needing no light other than that given by the presence of God.  We are assured of this by prophecy, first through Isaiah:

 

Isaiah 60:19The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.”

 

And then later by the Apostle John:

 

Revelation 21:23And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”

 

Read Zechariah 2:6-9 – The Redemption of Zion

 

v.6 “Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD.”

 

            As one of the curses that God pronounced upon Israel at the time of the giving of the Mosaic Law was that if she disobeyed him she would be scattered to the four winds:

 

Deuteronomy 28:64And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.”

 

            Israel had been completely destroyed, scattered to the four winds and Judah had been in captivity in Babylon for 70 years.  Isaiah had prophesied that they would be delivered by God from this captivity in Babylon:

 

Isaiah 48:20Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The LORD hath redeemed his servant Jacob.”

 

But as is common with mankind, many of those Jews in Babylon had put down roots and even when given the opportunity to return to the land of their ancestors, didn’t leave.  Some records tell us that of the thousands that had been removed in three waves of captivity, only about 40,000 eventually returned to the land of Judah.  Perhaps we can even draw a parallel between the Jews refusal to leave their land of slavery in Babylon and the reluctance of mankind today to leave the slavery of this world for spiritual Zion the kingdom of Christ.

 

v.7-8Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.  8For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.

 

            So God calls again for those who will to leave their habitation with the daughters of Babylon and return to Jerusalem.  They will not be stopped, they will not be harmed for God will protect them that answer his call just as Paul tells those at Thessalonica.  They had suffered for the cause of Christ but it was right that God bring judgment on those who would trouble them:

 

II Thessalonians 1:5-6Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:  6Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;”

 

The remnant of Israel that exists is still His people, they are still his chosen few from among the rest of the world; they are still the apple of his eye.  He is offering them exactly what David prayed for in:

 

Psalms 17:7-8Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.  8Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,

 

And such are those today who learn and obey the will of God.

 

v.9For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me.”

 

            This applies to nations that would spoil, pillage or war against the house of God, preventing them from carrying out his commandments.  They would suffer Gods’ wrath.  He would “SHAKE MINE HAND UPON THEM”, just as the prophet Isaiah had written so many years before; that when it came time to restore Jerusalem:

 

And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod.” Isaiah 11:15

 

Or as he spoke of the foolishness of the princes of Egypt:

 

Isaiah 19:16In that day shall Egypt be like unto women: and it shall be afraid and fear because of the shaking of the hand of the LORD of hosts, which he shaketh over it.”

 

Read Zechariah 2:10-13 – God Will Be With Them

 

v.10Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.”

 

            What greater joy could we know on this earth than this:

 

“..where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20

 

            As we raise our voices in joyful praise to God in our worship today, Judah should raise her collective voice to God in joy and praise to God because of his care and commitment to them.  Isaiah writes that the day that the wrath of God is turned away from them, the day that the salvation of God is brought to them they should:

 

And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.  5Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.  6Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” Isaiah 12:4-6

 

            But the application that these few verses tell us of a day when God will come and dwell with them at some later time.  He has already assured them that he will be with them, protect and preserve them.  He is preserving them for a time that is described in the verses that follow:

 

v.11And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.”

 

            There is only one time when and where “MANY NATIONS” were “JOINED TO THE LORD”, the day of Pentecost at the preaching of the apostles of Jesus Christ and the coming of God’s kingdom on earth.  That day prophesied by Isaiah:

 

Isaiah 2:2-3And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.  3And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”

 

v.12-13And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.  13Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.”

 

            At that time God will choose Jerusalem again and give Judah “HIS PORTION” of the eternal inheritance.

 

For the LORD's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.” Deuteronomy 32:9

 

In this case spiritual Jacob, spiritual Israel, rather than the tribes of the time of the giving of the law and Moses sermon recorded in Deuteronomy.  “ALL FLESH” is cautioned to be silent because God has entered his house; an admonition we’re very familiar with from:

 

Habakkuk 2:20But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.”

 

            And the short song that we sing sometimes is taken from this Bible reference.

 

William L. Schwegler; Sunset church of Christ, Shreveport, Louisiana; Sunday Morning Adult – August 2, 2009