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Bible Commentaries

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

Zechariah 2

Verse 1

Introduction

This chapter speaks of the glory God will bring over His city.

A Man With a Measuring Line

Zechariah lifts up his eyes again (Zechariah 1:18). The first time he has seen judgment. Now he sees “a man with a measuring line”. It is the same Man as in the previous chapter (Zechariah 1:8), but in a different capacity. Here He is the One Who alone can measure Jerusalem and Who alone can work restoration. With this the Jewish people are encouraged to continue with the rebuilding of the temple.

We have here the explanation and confirmation of the promise made in the previous chapter (Zechariah 1:16). A measuring line is used in building. Using the measuring line is symbolic of God’s claiming the city as His property (cf. Psalms 78:55; Ezekiel 40:3-Ezra :; Revelation 11:1-Exodus :). This has not yet been fulfilled. Again Zechariah takes the questioning position. The Man is the Lord Jesus Who alone is able to comprise the scope of God’s counsel in view of the future blessings of the earthly Jerusalem.

Verse 2

The Sizes of Jerusalem

Zechariah wants to know where the Man is going. He gets an answer. The Man is going to measure the city of Jerusalem, because He wants to see how wide and how long it is. The city is measured with a view to a complete restoration. This restoration did not take place in the days of Zechariah and is still the future. In the future there will be room for many (Isaiah 54:2; Isaiah 60:4; cf. Luke 14:22; John 14:2).

In the application to the church as the city where God dwells, we see that the church is also a city in decay. Yet it must be measured by God’s measure. That measure is the origin of the church, how she is when she comes into being, as described in Acts, and how she will be in the future, when she is with Christ in perfection. How she will be in the future we read in Revelation 21. Of the earthly Jerusalem only width and length are measured; of the heavenly Jerusalem also height is measured (Revelation 21:15-Nehemiah :).

Verses 3-4

A Message for Zechariah

Zechariah asked a question in the previous verse and received an answer. He knows what the Man is going to do. Then suddenly the Angel of the LORD appears. The word “behold” indicates that it is a sudden event. On that initiative another angel approaches Him. That angel receives a commission from the Angel of the LORD, that is the Lord Jesus. He must run to Zechariah and tell him something.

Zechariah is called “that young man” here. The LORD knows the age of His servant. It may be that Zechariah feels the burden of the ministry of prophecy heavy (cf. 1 Timothy 4:12). In any case, he receives a quick encouragement from the LORD, Who commands an angel to do so. The encouragement is that there will come a time when Jerusalem will be a city without walls. Living without walls speaks of peace and security, without fear of enemies. The LORD Himself will protect the city (Ezekiel 38:10-1 Kings :). All this will be fulfilled at the return of the Lord Jesus (Ezekiel 43:1-2 Kings :; Hosea 1:10).

Jerusalem has not yet known what is described here. Only a handful returned from Babylon to Judea in the days of Zechariah. The glory of the LORD has not yet returned and does not yet dwell in the city. It is also not yet possible to be without a protective wall.

This scene also has something to say to us. God will fully realize His plan for the church in the future. It is important for us to trust only in the Lord and not to seek salvation from organizations or the world. What it will be like in the future is an encouragement to build the church now in a way that we build with the right materials (1 Corinthians 3:10-1 Chronicles :).

Verse 5

What the LORD Is to Jerusalem

There is Divine protection and Divine presence in the city of God. The emphasis is on “I”. The safety of the city lies in the protection by God Himself. He is that wall around the city that consumes all the enemies that want to harm the city. He is also the wall around the city in view of what is happening in the city. Also in the city the fire of His judgment does its work when sin happens in the city. He dwells in the midst of the city, so His glory rests on it. Therefore no sin can be tolerated. He and sin do not tolerate each other.

Just like Jerusalem then, the church today also needs a wall to separate it from the world. If this does not happen, a mixture will take place with unbelievers. In heaven that wall is no longer necessary. But God desires now to have a place where He can dwell in the midst of His people. His glory is the center there. The wall is necessary to keep the church free from sin.

The fiery wall recalls the pilar of fire that separated the Israelites from the Egyptians (Exodus 14:24; cf. Isaiah 4:5; Zechariah 9:8; 2 Kings 6:17; Isaiah 26:1). This fiery wall is an inward protection and outwardly an extermination of the enemy.

Verses 6-7

Call to Flee

The call to flee from Babylon (Zechariah 2:6) connects to the third night vision as far as its content is concerned, for it is about the dwelling of God in the midst of His people. After the third night vision there is now direct prophecy again. It is a call from the prophet himself to all the Israelites who are still in “the land of the north”, which is Babylon (Jeremiah 6:22; Jeremiah 16:15). The main group is in Babylon, but the people are scattered to all sides.

Only a small number of Jews has returned from Babylon under Ezra and later some with Nehemiah. Those who stayed in Babylon are at risk of being killed, for the enemies who come will make no distinction between the inhabitants of Babylon and the prisoners of Babylon (Isaiah 48:20; Isaiah 52:11; Jeremiah 50:8-1 Samuel :; Jeremiah 51:6Jeremiah 51:45). Zechariah has the spiritual power to summon them to break their stay in that foreign land. They still live there because of the attractiveness that that country has got for them. They have come to feel at home there.

The prophecy comes to people who have fully equipped their lives for a long stay in Babylon. Unbelief, laziness, the uncertain future of Israel, the desolation of land, city and temple, all these things keep them in Babylon. The seriousness of the situation makes that God gives them a second chance to flee from the certain judgment that will strike Babylon and to go to Jerusalem. Each member of God’s people belongs in Jerusalem.

The call also applies spiritually to us today. Just as when the majority of Judah remained in Babylon, so today the majority of God’s people are in the slavery of an ecclesiastical, clerical, system. The Babylon of that time also has its meaning in church history. In Revelation we see the true church (Revelation 21:9-1 Kings :) versus the false church (Revelation 17:1-Joshua :). The false church is the roman-catholic church that enslaves her members with her false teachings. The call sounds to flee that slavery (Revelation 18:4; cf. 2 Corinthians 6:17). Whoever does so, gets the opportunity to look for a place where God’s Spirit and God’s Word have the space to give substance to being in the church.

Many know the truth of the one body of Christ, but few want to use grace to put that truth into practice. In this way they resemble the Jews who remain in Babylon, who appreciate living in Jerusalem but prefer to keep the comforts of Babylon.

The call comes to “Zion” (Zechariah 2:7), which is so addressed by God to make clear the contrast between on the one hand what they mean to God and where they therefore belong, in Israel, and on the other hand where they actually live, in Babylon. It is not that they belong to Zion, but they are Zion. That is why the contrast is so great with their living in Babylon and the call comes to flee and save themselves. As said, the call is made in view of the judgment that comes on Babylon (Jeremiah 51:6).

Verse 8

The Apple of God’s Eye

The words “after glory, He has sent me” has to do with the sign of the Son of Man appearing in His glory. If He appears in His glory, He will kill His enemies and those of His people (Matthew 24:30-Obadiah :; Matthew 25:31-Jonah :; cf. Psalms 73:24). His return takes place because He is sent. He is sent as a Man by God from the glory and takes that glory with Him. In the remainder of this section that glory is seen, both in the judgment of the enemies and in the deliverance of His people.

God calls His people “the apple of his eye” (cf. Deuteronomy 32:10; Psalms 17:8; Proverbs 7:2). The apple of the eye is a particularly sensitive spot. He who attacks Israel touches the most sensitive spot of the LORD. The same goes for the church, which is connected with the Lord Jesus in the most intimate way. When Paul persecutes the church, the Lord Jesus says that he persecutes Him (Acts 9:4).

Verse 9

The Tables Will Be Turned

When the LORD waves His hand, it is a movement full of menace (Isaiah 19:16). A simple movement of God’s hand causes all His enemies to fall down before Him. His enemies become the spoils of the servants of His people. That situation gives the believing remnant the certainty that their Messiah is present, as sent by “the LORD of hosts”.

God will ensure that the tables will be turned. Those who have submitted His people will be submitted to His people (Isaiah 14:2; cf. Esther 7:10; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-Judges :). This is the proof that their Messiah will have been sent by the LORD. If what is foretold happens, they will know by experience that God has sent His Messiah (Isaiah 48:16; Isaiah 61:1).

The prophet easily moves back and forth between the present situation and the future, between the immediate fulfilment and the future ultimate fulfilment at the government of the Messiah. All previous events end in that glorious time.

Verses 10-11

The LORD Dwells in Their Midst

This call to the daughter of Zion to rejoice and be glad (Zechariah 2:10) will sound when the Lord Jesus has returned to earth. Those expressions of joy will be heard as the cloud of the glory in which the LORD dwells will dwell again in the temple. Again and again the presence of the Messiah in the midst of His people in the prophets is the reason for rejoicing. That does not refer to His first coming to earth, but to His second.

The source of all blessing lies in the dwelling of God in the midst of His people. From the beginning, this has been the sign that they are His redeemed people (Exodus 15:8). The blessing of the new earth will be that God will dwell with the people in His tabernacle, which is the church (Revelation 21:3). The local church may already know this blessing (Matthew 18:20).

In Zechariah 2:11, for the third time, after Zechariah 2:5; Zechariah 2:10, the dwelling of the LORD in the midst of His people is mentioned. Here speaks a Man Who says that the LORD has sent him. That Man is the LORD Himself. He dwells as the LORD Yahweh in the midst of His people and also says that Yahweh has sent Him. His presence in His people will attract many nations because they also want to enjoy the blessing of His presence.

The Lord Jesus is the Sent One of the Father. His presence in the midst of the church is proof of His mission.

Verse 12

Portion and Choice of the LORD

The coming of the nations (Zechariah 2:11) shall not diminish the place that Judah and Jerusalem then shall have before the LORD. Judah is His possession. Judah is the royal tribe from which Christ as King came forth. Judah means ‘praise’.

The expression “the holy land” appears only here in Scripture as an indication for the land. We also read about the “holy mountain” (Psalms 2:6; Zechariah 8:3), the “holy city” (Isaiah 48:2; Isaiah 52:1) and a “holy people” (Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 2:9). There can be talk of “the holy land” because then the iniquity is removed from the land, by which it is cleansed of all its stain. The land will be set apart – that is the meaning of the word “holy” – for Him.

Verse 13

Be Silent

Respectful silence suits us when the LORD is about to judge and take His place in the midst of His people (Habakkuk 2:20; Zephaniah 1:7). Zechariah herewith points to the second coming of the Lord Jesus.

The message for us is that we have to get to work, realizing that it will only be perfect when the Lord comes to rapture His church. We need to work to build up the church, to ask how the church should come together, where the place of worship is where she is allowed to come together, how she should cleanse herself from ‘Babylonian’ and worldly influences. God calls us to dedicate ourselves to His house in the midst of the ruins of Christianity.

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Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Zechariah 2". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/zechariah-2.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniƫl', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.