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Bible Commentaries

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments
Zechariah 2

 

 

Verses 1-5

Zechariah 2:1-5. I lifted up mine eyes, &c., and behold a man — An angel in the form of a man, probably representing Nehemiah, under whose direction the wall was rebuilt, according to the ancient line marked out by the ruins. See Nehemiah 3., &c, &c. And the angel that talked with me went forth — Went away from me, as if he had performed his commission in regard to me, and was to commune with me no longer. And another angel went out to meet him — But, as he was going away, I saw another angel meet him. This appears to have been an angel sent with fresh commands, from the superior personage among the myrtle-trees, to the angel who communed with the prophet. And said, Run, speak to this young man — Hasten with all diligence, and communicate to the young and inexperienced prophet what will check his fears, and encourage him to proceed in the execution of his prophetic office. Saying, Jerusalem — Which hath so long lain in ruins, and seemed to be in a hopeless state, shall be inhabited as towns, &c. — Shall overflow with inhabitants, who shall occupy spaces beyond the circuit of the walls: that is, its inhabitants will multiply so fast, that the houses within the walls will not be able to contain them, and they will be obliged to seek habitations in the neighbouring country in villages, which shall be of as great extent as towns, which, although without walls, shall be safe and secure against the attacks of enemies; their own multitude of men being a sufficient defence to them. And their cattle will increase in proportion. That this was a fact with regard to Jerusalem, see Josephus, De Bell. Jud., lib. 5. chap. 4, where we learn that “the city, overflowing with its number of inhabitants, by degrees extended itself beyond its walls;” and that Herod Agrippa fortified the new part called Bezetha. For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire — Which cannot be scaled or undermined, as it would soon consume any that might attempt to do the one or the other. Thus, in regard to her inhabiting without walls, God engages to secure her as effectually as if she were surrounded with a wall of fire. “The image is most sublime, and expresses very strongly the protection of God. It must have reminded the Jews of the pillar of fire by which God directed and defended their ancestors.” — Newcome. He says, Round about, to signify that no part should be left unguarded, or open to the enemy. And will be the glory in the midst of her — My presence and favour shall render her glorious. He alludes to the symbol of the divine presence in the holy of holies. Observe, reader, those that have Jehovah for their God have him for their glory: and they that have him in the midst of them have glory in the midst of them. And all those persons and places that have God in the midst of them, have him for a wall of fire round about them; for upon all that glory, there is, and shall be, a defence, Isaiah 4:5. This prophecy was fulfilled in part in that Jerusalem, which, in process of time, became a very flourishing city, and made a very great figure in those parts of the world, much beyond what could have been expected, considering how low it had been brought, and how long it was before it recovered itself. But it was to have its full accomplishment in the gospel church, which is extended far, like towns without walls, by the admission of the Gentiles into it; and which hath the Son of God, and God himself, for its prince and protector.


Verses 6-9

Zechariah 2:6-9. Ho, Ho! — Ye sleepy Jews, come forth — Come out from your prisons; and flee — Make all the haste you can, from the land of the north — From Chaldea, and Babylon, the chief city of it, which lay northward of Judea. The Jews, who still remained in those parts, are here exhorted to return with all speed from them, for a reason assigned, Zechariah 2:9. For I have spread you abroad — As I executed my threats in scattering you, and your brethren of the ten tribes, all over the world; so, in due time, I will gather you from your several dispersions, of which your present restoration from Babylon shall be an earnest. Deliver thyself, O Zion, &c. — O ye citizens of Zion, that still dwell in Babylon, make haste to come out from thence. For after the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you — After that he is become your glory, saith the angel, I am to avenge you of your enemies. Or, the words may be considered as spoken by the prophet, and then the sense is, (as the Chaldee explains it,) “After I have given you the promise of restoring Jerusalem to such a glorious state, I (the Prophet Zechariah) am sent to execute God’s judgments, that is, to foretel that they shall be executed, upon the Chaldeans, who spoiled you of your wealth and ornaments. For he that toucheth you, &c. — God is very sensible of every injury offered to his people. See Psalms 105:15. It is like hurting the eye, which is the most tender and sensible part of the body: compare Psalms 17:8. And though he made the Babylonians instruments of his vengeance, yet now he will call them to an account for exceeding their commission.” — Lowth. See note on Zechariah 1:15. For behold, I will shake my hand upon, or over them, &c. — Namely, the nation that doth violence to my people, meaning chiefly the Babylonians. And they shall be a spoil to their servants — They shall be spoiled by, or become subject to, those to whom they were superior, and who were their servants. This seems to be a prediction of some new calamity to be brought upon the Babylonians. And accordingly we find from history, that, very soon after this time, the Babylonians revolting from Darius, he marched against Babylon with a great army; and having, after a siege of twenty months, made himself master of it, beat down its walls, put 3,000 of its principal inhabitants to death, and made captives, or slaves, of a great number. Before Cyrus, the Persians were subject to the Babylonians, and therefore are here called their servants. And ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me — These words are a continuation of the prophet’s speech: as if he had said, When this judgment is executed upon the Chaldeans, it will be an undoubted sign and proof of the truth of my mission. Compare Ezekiel 33:33.


Verses 10-12

Zechariah 2:10-12. Sing and rejoice, &c. — Here the prophet calls the daughter of Zion, or the whole Jewish nation, being redeemed and restored, to rejoice in the goodness showed them, and to proclaim the praises of Him who showed it. For lo, I come, &c. — To execute judgments on thine adversaries, and to complete thy deliverance and salvation. And I will dwell in the midst of thee — To defend and bless thee. This was fulfilled in part to the Jews, but more fully to the gospel church. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord — The church shall be greatly enlarged by the accession of the Gentiles to it; and shall receive a still further increase when, upon the conversion of the Jews, the fulness of the Gentiles shall be brought in. And shall be my people — My true worshippers, subjects, and servants. This promise relates chiefly to the latter times. Compare Zechariah 8:21-23. And thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me — The fulfilling of these my words shall be an undeniable evidence that my mission is divine. And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion — Shall claim, recover, possess, and delight in Judah, as a man doth in his paternal inheritance. God will give visible tokens that the land of Judea is, in a peculiar sense, his land; and its inhabitants his peculiar people, according to the tenor of the covenant he made with their fathers. And shall choose Jerusalem again — Will have a regard to Jerusalem, as he formerly had. This prophecy will be more fully accomplished at the general restoration of the Jewish nation.


Verse 13

Zechariah 2:13. Be silent — Reverence and adore God, and expect the accomplishment of his word. O all flesh — Both Jews and Gentiles. He is raised up out of his holy habitation — God is engaged in this work already, and will not rest till he has accomplished his whole work.

 


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Bibliography Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Zechariah 2:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/zechariah-2.html. 1857.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, November 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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