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Encouragement to the builders (1:7-2:13)
In the first vision some mounted patrol officers have just returned from a tour of duty and report to a rider on a red horse who is standing among some trees (7-10). The patrol officers report that throughout the empire all is calm and peaceful (11).
This report may be good news for the Persians but it is not for the Jews, who have now been in bondage to foreign overlords for more than seventy years. They long for freedom and pray for God’s mercy (12-13). God tells them that although he used foreign nations to punish them, those nations went beyond the limits he had set. He loves his people and he knows what their enemies have done to them (14-15). Therefore, he will now turn and help Israel again. The temple will be finished, and the city rebuilt and made prosperous once more (16-17).
The second vision assures the Jews that they need have no fear of foreign overlords. Nations may attack them from all sides, using their power to oppress Israel as wild beasts use their horns to terrify their victims, but their success will not last. As each wild beast is overcome by a workman who smashes it with a hammer, so each nation that attacks Israel will be overthrown (18-21).
In the third vision Zechariah sees a young man going out to measure Jerusalem in preparation for the rebuilding of its walls (2:1-2). But a messenger stops him, for the rebuilt city will extend beyond the walls of the former city. In fact, it will not need walls, because God will be its protector (3-5).
Those Jews still in Babylon may have made living conditions reasonably comfortable for themselves, but they should beware of becoming too settled. They should return to Jerusalem as quickly as possible, both to enjoy its blessings and to avoid the punishment about to fall on their captors (6-9). God gives further encouragement to those working on the temple by assuring them that it will be the means by which he dwells among his people again. Citizens of other nations will renounce their gods and come to join with Israel as the people of God (10-13).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Zechariah 2". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13