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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible
Zechariah 2

 

 

Verses 1-13

The Third Vision - A Man With a Measuring Line

(vv. 1-5)

Another vision draws the eyes of Zechariah-a man with a measuring line. Zechariah 1:16 told of a line being stretched upon Jerusalem. Now, in answer to Zechariah's question, the Man tells him that he has come to measure the length and breadth of Jerusalem. This Man is the Lord Jesus who alone is capable of discerning the precision of God's counsels in regard to the future blessing of the earthly Jerusalem. Notice that only the length and breadth are measured. In contrast, Revelation 21:15-16 shows the measuring of the heavenly Jerusalem. "Its length, breadth, and height are equal." The height of the earthly city is not considered at all.

Two angels are mentioned in verse 3, the angel who talked with Zechariah and another angel who instructs the first to run to tell "this young man" (Zechariah) that "Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it." This can only be future, for Jerusalem has never yet been so free from danger as to require no "walls," no protection from marauding enemies. It looks forward beyond the day of "Jacob's trouble," the great tribulation, to the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus. The size of Jerusalem will be greatly increased, as "towns" include not only many people, but domestic animals.

Walls will be unnecessary, for the Lord Himself will be a wall of fire encircling the city as well as being "the glory in her midst." This will be true when Israel is finally broken down in repentance and faith to receive the Messiah whom they had before despised and rejected. In simple, unquestioning faith they then will depend on the proven faithfulness of their blessed Redeemer who cannot fail them. Their walls, gates and bars will go (Ezekiel 38:10-11): the Lord alone will defend them. This should be a clear, ringing testimony to the Church of God today, for we have too often resorted to the help of creatures and of organizations for our protection and help in bearing a witness for Christ before the world. Can we not as fully depend on the Lord alone as Israel will do when once they have received Him?

ISRAEL'S FUTURE JOY SHARED BY MANY NATIONS

(vv. 6-13)

Verse 6 is a call to the Jews to flee from the land of the north, and verse 7 indicates this refers to Babylon, where so large a number from Judah settled down in captivity. At this time the Medes and Persians had subdued Babylon, and there was now liberty for the Jews to return to their own land, but many had become wealthy and did not want to be transplanted again. Babylon is east of Israel, but is called the land of the north because in attacking Israel, Nebuchadnezzar had come by way of the north. Since then Israel also has been scattered further north, and therefore the north is specially mentioned in many prophecies concerning Israel's regathering. Yet in verse 6 the Lord also speaks of His spreading Israel abroad as the four winds of heaven-in every direction away from their land. But the larger number have gone northward, great numbers remaining to this day.

Zion is told to deliver herself, for she was dwelling with the daughter of Babylon. This had become a willing, wrong association. When God sent them into captivity, they had no choice but to go (Jeremiah 39:9), but when the way was open for them to return, they should certainly have done so, but only 42,360 responded (Ezra 2:64). Thus, the city (Zion) was considered as still dwelling (settled down) with the daughter of Babylon. The Church too, because of disobedience to God, has been carried into a state of confusion (the meaning of the name Babylon), and we have to bow to the shame of this under God's governmental hand. But should we willingly remain in such confusion when the Lord gives opportunity to be delivered from it and to return to God's center and an honest witness to the truth of the one body of Christ? Many acknowledge the truth of the one body, but few seek grace to put that truth into practice, just as most Jews appreciated Jerusalem (God's center), but remained in Babylon.

Zion has never delivered itself, but God's Word here will have special force to them in a coming day, when they will indeed be delivered. However, God's work with them in this regard will not be completed until "after glory" (v. 8), that is, after the glorious manifestation of the Lord Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords. He will appear in Jerusalem to Judah first (Zechariah 12:9-14), and the Jews will be broken down in deep repentance before Him. Afterward, He will go forth from Zion (Joel 3:16) to fight against the King of the North and his armies, together with other armies also, and then Judah shall indeed be delivered. He will be jealous regarding His people, for those who touch them are touching "the apple of His eye," the pupil, the most sensitive area. He feels deeply everything that affects His beloved people Israel, and certainly no less that which affects His body, the Church.

The Lord would shake His hand upon the nations and they would become a spoil to Israel, who had so long served these nations (v. 9). This great reversal would assure them that the Lord of hosts had sent the Lord Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, who is Himself called "the Lord of hosts" in verse 8. How clear is the truth of the deity of Christ in this declaration from the Lord of hosts that "the Lord of hosts has sent Me."

No wonder the daughter of Zion is told to sing and rejoice. This same Lord of hosts would come and dwell in the midst of her. He would take the place of central importance, which would cause the greatest rejoicing to the long depressed and troubled people.

The nations would not only be defeated in the deliverance of Israel, but in matchless grace many nations would be blessed in being joined to the Lord, and they too would be called God's people (v. 11). This work would be so clearly a divine one that it is again insisted, "You will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you." He is both the Sender and the Sent One! Israel's recognition that Christ is God will be a marvelous joy to their hearts.

The Lord will inherit Judah as His portion in the holy land. Judah is the royal tribe from which Christ came. Appropriately, its name means "praise," the portion that rightly belongs to Him from all His people. He will again choose Jerusalem as His center. It means "the foundation of peace." The city has not been true to its name in the past, and therefore has never ceased to be troubled by wars. Peace must be founded on righteousness, as Isaiah 32:17 tells us, "The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever." Only when Jerusalem recognizes Jesus as the Son of God will righteousness become the character of the city, and the city finally be consistent with its name, "the foundation of peace."

"Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for He is aroused from His holy habitation" (v. 13). After centuries of turmoil, confusion, trouble, anger and sorrow, how wonderful will be the intervention of the Lord of glory when His long silence is broken by His rising up out of His holy habitation to measure the earth. How becoming then is the call to all flesh to be silent before Him, just as Amos expresses God's command at that time in one word, "Silence!" (Amos 8:3 -JND). It is He alone who can calm the turbulent sea of the world's conflicts, troubles and sorrows. Well might the Lord Jesus tell Israel, "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalms 46:10).

 


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Bibliography Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Zechariah 2:4". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lmg/zechariah-2.html. 1897-1910.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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