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CRITICAL NOTES.] The third vision. Man] Messiah, who measures and will restore the city.
Zechariah 2:2. Measure] To sketch a plan for its arrangement and rebuilding, denoting exactness of proportions and completeness of number (Revelation 2:1; Revelation 21:15-16).
Zechariah 2:4. Run] Necessity of despatch. Young man] Zechariah young in service or in age, probably between 20 and 30 years old. Jerusalem] to have vast influx of men and cattle, no longer to be confined in narrow walls and fixed limits, but spread out like the open country (Isaiah 49:19-20; Ezekiel 38:11).
Zechariah 2:5. Wall] Protection, in allusion to nightly encampments, when fires were kindled to keep off wild beasts. Glory] Illustrious displays of God’s presence; an allusion to the Divine presence in the Holiest (Romans 9:4).
THE MEASURED CITY.—Zechariah 2:1-5
The third vision continues the subject of the second—the rebuilding of the city and temple of Jerusalem. The one represents the destruction of Israel’s foes, the other the increase and security of the covenant nation. The prophet sees a man with a measuring-line advancing on the scene, and asks the meaning. The answer is given, that Jerusalem is about to be measured, with a view to future glory and extension.
I. The city accurately measured. “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof.” When a house or city is built or enlarged a survey is made. When Constantine resolved to erect a metropolis for his mighty empire, he set out on foot, at the head of a procession, to trace its boundary. His attendants expressed astonishment at the breadth of the circuit he was taking. “I shall still advance, till he, my Invisible Guide, thinks proper to stop,” was the reply. He halted not till wide over seven hills the limits were fixed. Then millions from all parts of his dominions set to work with wonderful success. The Church has an architect,—“whose builder and maker is God.” Before a stone was laid, the dimensions were taken, and the plan formed. If men form plans before they build, shall not God? In creation we have order and measurement, in providence purpose and gradual fulfilment. God knows the number and condition of the Christian Church—the true and the false professors. On earth and in heaven this city is defined in its proportions, and exact in its size (Revelation 2:1; Revelation 21:15-16).
II. The city greatly enlarged. “Jerusalem was to be inhabited as towns without walls.” The former limits of the city would be too narrow. The inhabitants shall become so many that they shall spread out and dwell securely in the open country. Earthly walls may defend, but they limit and straiten a city. Barriers will be removed, and the boundaries of the Church shall extend far and wide. Literally, this was verified. Josephus and others tell us that the citizens “gradually crept out beyond its walls,” and grew “to a number which the city in its ancient dimensions could not supply with dwellings.” Spiritually, the Mosaic walls were thrown down, and the limits of the Church extended to others far beyond the Jewish nation. Now the “line” of the gospel “is gone out through all the earth.” There is yet room for “every kindred and people and nation and tongue.” Of the increase of this city there will be no end. Its inhabitants at length will be “a multitude which no man can number.”
III. The city Divinely protected. “The Lord will be unto her a wall of fire round about,” &c. No danger will happen to the unwalled city. God would encamp round it, a wall of fire, to consume every foe that invades it. Moats may be crossed, massive walls may be assailed, and mighty ramparts be overturned; but a circle of flame is an impassable barrier. The walls of Babylon were levelled to the ground, the hills round Jerusalem were scaled, and proud cities have been destroyed; but God is the defence without and the glory within the Church. It is a strong city, and God has appointed salvation for walls and bulwarks (Isaiah 26:1). “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people, from henceforth even for ever.”
In Zechariah 2:4-5, three things are promised respecting the literal Jerusalem.
I. Extension. Notice the correspondence between Zechariah 2:4 and the representation in the first vision (chap. Zechariah 1:16-17). The expression, “shall be inhabited without walls” (or as a modern translator gives, “as unwalled villages”), has a meaning sufficiently obvious; viz. that the former limits of the city which “the man with the measuring-line” was about to take, would be too straitened for the number of its inhabitants; so that they would spread themselves out into surrounding localities. This was literally fulfilled. For a time immediately after the return from Babylon, under Nehemiah, the building and extension were rapid. The progress suffered interruption—adverse and prosperous seasons,—opposition and favour; till, in the period of the heroic Maccabees, “Jerusalem, blessed with freedom and prosperity, filled the extent of her walls with citizens, resumed her royal insignia under native princes, overpassed her former boundaries,—and, as the head of a populous and extensive territory, rose to a state of opulence, power, dignity, and splendour which she had not known since the division of Israel and Judah” [Stonard].
II. Security. This is implied, to a certain extent, in the former particular. The very idea of dwelling “without walls” implies confidence or felt safety. But mark the striking promise (Zechariah 2:5). The figure is most vivid and expressive. As a literal “wall of fire,” environing a city, would effectually prevent intrusion by consuming all who should venture to attempt it; so would Jehovah’s avenging jealousy destroy every assailant of the holy city. He himself would be its unseen but sure protection. Had the inhabitants—Israel and Judah generally—in former days exercised faith in God, walked in his fear, maintained the purity of his worship, and the practice of his laws, its walls had never been overthrown, nor its temple demolished; it would have been as safe without walls as with them; it would never have experienced its seventy years’ desolation, nor its people the same period of captivity and oppression. Now he had begun their promised restoration and engages to invest their city anew with his all protecting presence and power. The figure resembles the vision in 2 Kings 6:15-17.
III. Glory. “The glory in the midst of her.” Jehovah’s presence, “dwelling between the cherubim,” was from the beginning and all along the true glory of ancient Jerusalem. Its Shekinah was glorious; but this was only the visible symbol of an infinitely more glorious presence. The Jews counted the fire, and the temple, the ark, the altar, and the pomp of ritual their glory. But these external glories did nothing for them. When by their sins they drove Jehovah from them their true glory departed. When he took up anew his abode with them—that would be their glory. He would also be glorified in delivering them from thraldom, protecting them in danger, receiving their homage, vindicating their rights, and avenging their wrongs [Wardlaw condensed].
HOMILETIC HINTS AND OUTLINES
Zechariah 2:1-5. I believe this passage refers to a happy and glorious future, yet to come, when the city of Jerusalem shall have no walls, except the protection of the Lord, but shall be extended far and wide. The Jewish people and their royal city shall remain the centre of the manifestations of the Divine glory, just as the city of London still remains the centre of the metropolis; but the nations of the earth shall be joined unto the Lord; so that while Jerusalem remains the city of the Great King, the faithful among the people of all nations shall be, as it were, a suburban population to the chosen city, and the kingdom of the Messiah shall extend far and wide. The city will be rebuilt in more than former splendour—the Jews restored to their own land, and Messiah reign as a prince of the house of David. The text will bear an application to the Church and congregation.
1. First, let us see the man with the measuring-line in his hand. It is possible that the man in the text was nothing but a man. I have intense reverence to the angel, but entire dislike to the man, with the measuring-line. Men err in measuring the length and breadth of God’s true Church. 2. Hear the prophecy of a great extension of the kingdom of Christ. Look for it now. Learn that the supply for all the number shall be as great as is required. The cattle are the provisions for the population. God will give whatever provision the Church wants. Divine love shall be very sweetly enjoyed among all the members. The joy of the Divine presence will be common.
3. Observe where this great increase is to come from. From two sources, indicated in Zechariah 2:6-7. Multitudes are to come out of the world. People of God are scattered everywhere, but God knows them and will bring them together. A large number do not believe in Christ, but dwell with the daughter of Babylon. From unconverted men and women we expect the greatest increase through the Spirit’s power. We are looking for it, and praying for it; may God grant it [Spurgeon].
Zechariah 2:1 to Zechariah 4:1. It is our duty to inquire into God’s dealings with his Church, search out his mind, and read his word.
2. Such as would see the true condition of the Church have need of elevated and spiritual minds, enlightened by God. “I lifted up mine eyes,” &c. [cf. Hutcheson].
3. Those who inquire in the right spirit shall be lightened to discern the safety and glory of the Church.
(1) Enlightened wonderfully. Angels and prophets were commanded to teach.
(2) Enlightened earnestly. “Run, speak,” &c “Not go, but run; yea, fly swiftly, with weariness of flight, as Daniel 9:21. Christ thinks it long ere his praying people hear from him” [Trapp].
Zechariah 2:4. Run, speak. A sermon to young men. Speak to him of his mental, moral, and spiritual interests. Speak in earnestness, and without delay. “Run.” Remember the honour God has conferred upon you in giving you the command to speak. “The angel tells the prophet, but the prophet must tell the people; God using not the ministry of angels, but men, earthen vessels, to bear his name to his people (Acts 8:27; Acts 9:6; Acts 16:9” [Trapp].
Zechariah 2:5. God the beauty and the bulwark of the Church. His presence a pledge of his protection, a provision for outward and inward wants. Zion’s true glory is not in architecture and ritual, in eloquence and music, but in the presence of God’s Spirit, quickening the saint. “When the Lord converting the sinner and shall build up Zion, he will appear in glory.”
ILLUSTRATIONS TO CHAPTER 2
Zechariah 2:1-4. Behold, a man. All Zechariah’s visions are remarkably simple. They are not like Isaiah’s, when he saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; nor like Ezekiel’s, when he beheld living creatures with four faces, and wheels full of eyes. Zechariah had not imagination enough to be capable of beholding with due appreciation visions so complicated and mysterious. He was not the proper instrument of God for the revelation of those more mysterious matters: but the Lord had a place for him, and a vision for him too. How sweet to be a servant of God in any position [Spurgeon].
Zechariah 2:5. Wall. China is said to be protected by a wall of stone; old England is shielded by her wooden walls; but the Church of God has a better wall still, for she has the Divine wall of fire; her enemies cannot break through this to destroy the meanest of her citizens, and her false friends shall say to themselves, “Who among us can dwell with eternal burnings?” and so shall start back from a Church which is visibly sheltered and protected by the presence of the Most High [Spurgeon].
Zechariah 2:6. North] Babylon, north of Jerusalem; an address to such Jews as still remained there, through infirmity, ties of property, &c. The urgency of the call denoted by repetition, Ho, ho! Spread] Scattered in violence.
Zechariah 2:7. Zion] i.e. inhabitants of Zion; God’s people dwelling with the daughter, i.e. the people, of Babylon, personified as a woman (Psalms 9:14; Psalms 138:0).
Zechariah 2:8-9, After] obtaining glory (Zechariah 2:5), the speaker is sent to inflict vengeance upon the enemies. “To get glory upon the heathen, i.e. to display the glory of God upon the heathen through the judgment by which their power is broken, and the heathen world is made to serve the people of God [Keil].
Zechariah 2:9. For] An additional explanation. The angel of the Lord would swing (shake) his hand, as a gesture of menace or symbol of miraculous power (cf. Isaiah 11:15; Isaiah 19:16) over the nations. As a consequence they would be a spoil to the Jews who had been obliged to serve them. Know] here, and in Zechariah 2:11, signifies as frequently, to know by experience [Henderson].
THE CALL TO QUIT THE WORLD.—Zechariah 2:6-9
When God had promised to rebuild and enlarge Jerusalem, dwell in it and glorify it, his people should have been glad to return to it. But all did not obey the proclamation of Cyrus and come back to their own land. Many Jews still remained in Babylon. They are urgently called to leave the devoted city, and avail themselves without delay to return to their own country. Apply this generally, and learn—
I. That God calls men out of the world. “Come forth.” Careless and indifferent to their origin and their destiny, they live in ease and forgetfulness of God. Hardened by sin and overcome by the world, they are deaf to entreaty and disobedient to warning. But at length God rouses and restores them to himself. This call to men is—
II. That men are reluctant to obey the call. Through love of the world they are prejudiced against the work and the ways of God. Unwilling to embark in difficulty, they linger in danger. This reluctance springs from many causes.
1. Continuance in sin obliterates remembrance of spiritual good. The Jews forgot their own land, and preferred the wealth of Babylon to Jerusalem their chief joy. Worldly men are concerned for nothing beyond present enjoyments.
2. Present possessions are thought more certain than future good. The present world to them is real. Power, position, and riches are seen and felt. But they disbelieve in future blessings. “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.”
3. Unbelief leads men to disregard all calls to God. The Jews might doubt the power of God, the sincerity of the proclamation, and the benefits of returning to Jerusalem. The commands of God seem unreasonable, the calls to duty prejudicial to selfish interests, to indolent and wicked men. Others may go to the celestial city, but they remain in the city of destruction.
III. That sufficient motives to comply with the call are presented to men. God deals with them as reasonable and intelligent creatures. He does not constrain or force men out of the world. Many reasons are given in the text.
1. Though God has punished yet he loves men. “For I have spread you abroad as the four winds of heaven.” Far and wide had they been dispersed; with violence had they been punished; yet God recalled them, and would have mercy upon them.
2. Though men have disobeyed the call yet they are not forsaken. Call after call is given to the Jews. They had been ungrateful and disobedient, but God invites them again with love and urgency.
3. Though invitations are given to man yet disobedience will endanger their souls. God was about to destroy Babylon and punish the oppressors, to spoil the nations who had persecuted his people. The alarm is given. “Ho, ho, come forth.”
1. In the world is danger. “Flee” like Lot from Sodom. Speed your way and lose no time. “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee.”
2. In the world is captivity. “Deliver thyself.” From sin and sloth, from danger and eternal death. “My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord” (Jeremiah 51:45; Jeremiah 50:8; Jeremiah 51:6).
THE BLESSEDNESS OF ISRAEL, AND THE PERILS OF HER PERSECUTORS.—Zechariah 2:8
That God will avenge his people is a doctrine of the New as of the Old Testament (2 Thessalonians 1:6). For our comfort we shall describe those whom God avenges; in order to excite to adoration, show the intensity of Divine sympathy; for the purpose of warning, refer to the perils of persecutors; and for the fortifying of patience, point out the season of vengeance.
I. The subjects of the Lord’s concern. “He that toucheth you.”
1. A sinful and perverse people. Not a nation of Enochs, Abrahams, nor Johns, but an erring, provoking nation.
2. An afflicted and chastened people. Here is the secret of concern. A father pities his petulant and wayward child if he be wounded and troubled.
3. A chosen people. God could choose no other but a sinful people, for the whole earth was corrupt. He chose them, knowing their future sins—ordained that from them should come the Saviour of the world.
4. A penitent people. God comforts none of his servants until they mourn their sinfulness and perversity. He always loves them, but the beam of his consolation cannot reach them when they wilfully immure themselves in the strongholds of sin.
II. The intensity of Divine sympathy. “He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.” Tears flow at once if the eye be touched. In this figure we see the truth illustrated—
1. That the sufferings of the saints personally affect the Lord. He is far more affected by the malice of our enemies than we are. Our sufferings compared with his are as the striking of the body to the wounding of the eye. When Jesus hung upon the cross they touched the apple of his eye.
2. We learn also that the Lord feels our woes instantly. The idea seems to be that the moment the saints are touched the Lord is. However sudden the attack, he knows and feels.
III. The peril of persecutors. The pronoun his, is understood by some as referring to the subjects of Divine vengeance. Whether it be so or not, this is certain—they stand under condemnation. To touch a king or a king’s son is treason. God accounts indignities offered to Israel as indignities offered to himself. Pharaoh touched them and was destroyed; the Amalekites and Canaanites fought against them and were defeated; Assyrians strove to enslave them and were discomfited. Babylon was laid in the dust; Rome was spoiled, and ultimately ruined.
IV. The season of vengeance “After the glory.” After the return to their own land; after their penitence and purification. It was in God’s own time. When the saints have entered the New Jerusalem, their robes being made white, then the Lord will avenge his own elect in a special and final sense.—Stems and Twigs.
HOMILETIC HINTS AND OUTLINES
Zechariah 2:7-8. Two classes addressed.
1. The careless and indifferent. Those in the world, living in ease and sin.
2. Those in Babylon who should be in Zion. Christians are out of their place in the pleasures and pursuits of the world. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you,” &c. (2 Corinthians 6:17-18; Revelation 18:4).
Zechariah 2:8-9. The Messiah, not the prophet nor the angel mentioned (Zechariah 2:4), is here intended. “Observe the evidence of the Divinity of the speaker here, in the terms used by him: ‘I will shake my hand at them.’ This can be the language of no other than Jehovah; and yet it is the language of one who speaks of ‘Jehovah’ as having ‘sent him’ ”—[Wardlaw].
We have here the twofold object of Christ’s mission.
1. To glorify the Church. “After the glory”—in restoring and edifying the Church. Manifesting his glory to his people (John 17:6).
2. To destroy the enemies. He hath “sent me to the nations which spoiled you.” Mark—
(1) The ease with which this is done. “I will shake mine hand upon them.” A mere wave of the hand is sufficient to crush all opposition. What must be the stroke of the hand, if the mere shaking will prostrate the foe!
(2) The power with which this is done. The nations are spoiled of their strength and honour—made slaves to those over whom they tyrannized.
3. To reveal God to men. “And ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me.”
Zechariah 2:8. How admirably adapted to popular instruction and impression is the imagery of Scripture. Who does not in a moment understand and feel the allusion before us? “He that toucheth you,” &c. It reminds us of union: it shows valuation: it bespeaks attention: it expresses sympathy. Let the adversaries of his people learn their danger, Let this encourage us to do anything for the people of God. Let his people also learn to do their duty. If God is so concerned for them, how should they regard and be concerned for his glory [Jay].
ILLUSTRATIONS TO CHAPTER 2
Zechariah 2:7. Deliver thyself.
“How vain and poor, and little worth,
Are all these glittering toys of earth
That lure us here!
Dreams of sleep, that death must break,
Alas! before it bids us wake,
Ye disappear” [Manrique].
Zechariah 2:8. Apple. It is a charming image. The eye is one of the most intricate and delicate structures in the human frame; and the pupil of the eye—the opening by which the light of heaven enters for the purpose of vision,—the most delicate and easily injured, as well as important, part of that structure. Nothing can more finely convey the idea of the sensitively tender care of Jehovah for the objects of his love. There are many figures in the Bible expressive of the same sentiment: there is no one more exquisitely beautiful than this [Wardlaw].
Zechariah 2:9. Shake. God is known by his power; that power is known by his works; and how shall we approach to estimate him, unless we examine those works? [Macculloch].
Zechariah 2:10.] Summons to rejoice over God’s indwelling, and its happy results. Come] at Messiah’s first advent, and more especially in his return in glory (Jeremiah 1:14, and Revelation 21:3).
Zechariah 2:11.] Then many nations will be joined; attach themselves to Jehovah, and become his people (cf. chap. Zechariah 8:20-21; Isaiah 14:1). The restricted kingdom of Israel will be enlarged and glorified.
Zechariah 2:10-11.] (Hebrews 13:15). The Divine residence here predicted must be interpreted of that which took place during the sojourn of the Son of God in the land of Judea. The almost entire identity of the language here employed with that used in chap. Zechariah 9:9, where, in like manner, the daughter of Zion is called to hail the advent of her king, compels to this conclusion (cf. Psalms 40:7; Isaiah 40:9-10). With this appearance and residence of the Messiah are connected, as their consequents, the extensive conversion of the heathen nations, and their being constituted a people devoted to his service and glory. The repetition of the prediction relative to his residence in Zion is designed to express the certainty of the event [Henderson].
Zechariah 2:12. Inherit] Will take possession of Judah, according to Deuteronomy 32:9; they would become the objects of God’s favour and delight.
Zechariah 2:13. Silent] All flesh summoned to wait in reverence and submission to Jehovah coming to work. Already he has risen up] out of heaven his holy habitation (Deuteronomy 26:15; 2 Chronicles 30:27), to avenge his people. “The Divine majesty has seemed to be asleep, but now it is roused up; let men therefore beware” [Lange].
THE GLORY OF THE MESSIAH’S KINGDOM.—Zechariah 2:10-13
These words look beyond the Jewish restoration, to the earlier and remoter times of the Messiah. With his appearance and residence are connected the return of his people to his service and glory, and the extension of his kingdom among the heathen. In prospect of this glory, the people are called to exult with joy. The glorification of this kingdom consists in the following privileges:—
I. In the residence of its King. “Lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.” The greater the resident the more dignified the house. God dwelt with his people in type and shadow, in the glory of the temple and the blessings of his Spirit. Literally, in Christ’s first and future coming; spiritually, in the power of his grace over heart and life. We have not a mere poet, statesman, or prophet, but the great God himself, dwelling with individuals and sections of the Christian community. “God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (2 Corinthians 6:16; Ezekiel 37:27; Zechariah 8:3).
II. In the extension of its dominion. “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day.” Proud exclusiveness shall cease; the walls of partition shall be broken down; and Jew and Gentile shall become subjects of one King. Hence extension.
1. By the restoration of the Jews. “The Lord shall inherit Judah.” “It was to be on the principle, to the Jew first,” says Wardlaw. “Among that people was he to appear and dwell while on earth. The chosen people were not to be utterly and finally cast off. He would again restore them in mercy; gather from their so much wider and longer-continued dispersions; restore them anew to the land of their fathers and the city of their God (Zechariah 2:12).”
2. By the adoption of other nations. “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day.” New converts shall inherit the blessings of the chosen people. An abundant increase is promised to the mere handful of Jews. This is the purpose for which Israel existed and was restored (Jeremiah 24:7; Jeremiah 30:22; Ezekiel 11:20; Ezekiel 14:11). Gentiles shall be grafted in with Jews (Romans 11:23); Jerusalem shall become the centre of glory, the throne of God, and one law shall rule the stranger and the homeborn (Exodus 12:49). “At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all nations shall be gathered unto it.”
III. In the grandeur of its achievements. Earthly kingdoms achieve greatness and create happiness by wealth, power, and war. True glory springs from spiritual birth and God’s presence.
1. Great joy will result to this kingdom. “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion.” Those only cm rejoice who have been restored to God and recovered their purity—those with whom God dwells, and whom he bids rejoice and sing.
(1) This joy is abundant. “It is a great jubilee of joy, to which Zion is invited. Thrice besides is she invited with the same word (Isaiah 54:1; Zephaniah 3:14-15; Isaiah 12:6), and all for the restored and renewed presence of God” [Pusey].
(2) This joy is bestowed in circumstances unlikely. Rejoice in trouble and opposition! Yes, it is not unseasonable then. Do we not seek medicine in sickness, music in mourning? “Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.”
2. Universal submission will result to this kingdom. “Be silent (hush), O all flesh, before the Lord.” Unbelievers among the Jews are not to doubt God’s promise, and enemies in all nations are to fear his power. All opposition will be subdued. Willingly or unwillingly men must submit in the day of God’s power. How foolish to measure wisdom and compare strength with God, to “contend with him that is mightier than they!” Learn to reverence God’s authority, to hear providential warnings, before he is roused for the last act of justice, to pronounce the doom, and fix the eternal condition of millions. “Thou, even thou, art to be feared; and who may stand in thy sight, when once thou art angry?”
HOMILETIC HINTS AND OUTLINES
Zechariah 2:10-12. The joy of the Church springs from three sources.
1. The presence of Christ.
2. The increase of Numbers 3:0. The gathering together and possession of God’s people [cf. Hutcheson].
Zechariah 2:11. (First clause.) The formation of national brotherhood by Christianity.
1. Christianity alone affords a basis for it. Socialism, communism, &c., do not. Society built upon any other foundation will fall, and great will be the fall.
2. Christianity alone can cement it together. Education, science, and philosophy useful, but not sufficient.
3. Christianity alone guarantees it. “Nations shall be joined.” “I will mention Rahab and Babylon as knowing me. Lo, Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia. (To each of which it shall be said), This nation was born there” (in Zion) (Psalms 87:4.)
“Mark ye well Philistia’s legions,
Lo, to seek the Lord they come;
And within the sacred regions
Tyre and Cush have found a home.”
Thou shalt know, &c. The manifestation of the unity of the Church a proof of the Messiah’s commission. When nations know God, the world will know saving truth (John 17:21-23).
1. The inheritance. “Judah.” The joining of nations did not destroy God’s covenant with his ancient people. Hence this assurance that he would “again” be the portion of Israel (Jeremiah 10:16; Jeremiah 51:19; Deuteronomy 32:9). “Pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.”
2. The place. “In the holy land.” The land is again made holy by God, and sanctified by his presence. So he calls the place where he revealed himself to Moses holy ground (Exodus 3:5). “It is not one technical expression, as people now by a sort of effort speak of ‘the holy land.’ Everything which has reference to God is holy. The land is holy, not for any merits of theirs, but because God was worshipped there, was specially present there. It was an anticipation and type of “thy holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge thee” [Pusey].
Zechariah 2:13. Three reasons for silence implied.
1. They are but “flesh,” weak and ignorant.
2. He is Jehovah, all-wise and all-powerful.
3. He is already “raised up out of his place,” and who can stand before him? [A. R. Fausset.]
If God do but awake for us, all is presently well with us. Therefore, when the Church was in her return from Babylon the prophet concludes with an exultation of spirit. Be silent, &c. “All flesh, ye that are wicked of the world, ye that are enemies, be ye silent; leave your boasting, your reproaching, and blaspheming, for the Lord is awaked; now he begins to stir for his people, he will stop your mouths shortly. All flesh takes in the Church and people of God too. O be ye silent, in regard of your fears and doubtings, murmurings and distracted complainings: silence all these, why? The Lord is awaked, he is raised up out of his holy habitation; that is, he that seemed before to confine himself to those higher regions, as atheists speak in Job, to walk in the circle of the heavens, not intermeddling with the earth: this God is now awaked, raised out of his holy habitation, and now ye shall know that he orders all things here below; therefore be silent, all flesh” [Caryl].
ILLUSTRATIONS TO CHAPTER 2
Zechariah 2:10-12. Rejoice. To be happy we must be blessed with the presence of the Holy Spirit. In adversity, in prosperity, in sickness and in health, our joys will be pure, our sorrows will be lightened, with this holy emanation of the Deity in our bosoms. Natural evil we must feel; moral evil and its effects we shall often experience; but there will still remain in our hearts, if regenerated, a cordial drop, a source of sweet enjoyment, of which no external circumstances can utterly deprive us [V. Knox].
Zechariah 2:11. Nations. The Jews’ unbelief was a step whereby the Gentiles arose to the knowledge of the gospel; as the setting of the sun in one place is the rising of it in another [Charnock].
Zechariah 2:13. Silent. The prophet, like a crier in a court, commands or proclaims silence. The Hebrew word means hush, inhibiting speech. Yield all reverence, respect and fear, stand in awe. Let the wicked silence their vain boasts and the godly their vain fears. Let neither the one nor the other utter a word before the Lord [Caryl]. How readily can Jehovah command an audience! It may be that in the latter days he will, by some such miracles of power in the realms of grace, constrain all earth’s inhabitants to attend to the gospel, and submit to the reign of his all-glorious Son [Spurgeon].
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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Zechariah 2". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany