Zechariah Chapter 2
Verses 2:1-13: The third vision reveals a man with a measuring line. Like the second vision, it also builds on God’s promise to comfort His people (1:13, 17).
The restoration of Jerusalem after the return from Babylon is only a foretaste of the future messianic kingdom, for the language of the vision cannot be fulfilled historically. Its scope extends beyond the time of Zechariah to the rule of the Messiah on earth.
Zechariah 2:1 “I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand.”
Verses 1-13: The third vision is that of the “Man with” the “measuring line.” The restoration and rebuilding of Jerusalem is symbolized. It is very possible that the surveyor is the Angel of the Lord (1:11; 6:12; Ezek. 40:2-3), who is laying out the future dimensions of the city.
Its message is that the future Jerusalem will overspread its boundaries, and that God will be its Protector.
Jer. 31:39 “And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath.”
Ezekiel 40:3 “And he brought me thither, and, behold, [there was] a man, whose appearance [was] like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate.”
Zechariah 2:2 “Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what [is] the breadth thereof, and what [is] the length thereof.”
“Then said I, Whither goest thou?” As it showed great freedom and boldness in the prophet to put such a question to the man with the measuring reed, it was great condescension in him to return him an answer, as follows:
“And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem”: Not literally understood, which was not yet completely built; but the Gospel church, often so called (see Heb. 12:22). And this measuring of it denotes the conformity of it to the rule of God’s word; a profession of the true doctrines of it, and an observance of the ordinances of it.
As delivered in it; and an agreement of the walk, life, and conversation of its members with it.
“To see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof”: The length of the New Jerusalem is as large as the breadth; its length, breadth, and height, are equal (Rev. 21:16).
This measuring is to see what the dimensions of Jerusalem are. We must remember at this point, that this is a vision, and is not necessarily the Jerusalem at the time of Zechariah.
Zechariah 2:3 “And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him,”
“Angel … that talked with me”: This is the instructing angel (of 1:9).
This last angel seems to be directly from God, and goes to meet the angel which had been explaining Zechariah’s vision for him.
Zechariah 2:4 “And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited [as] towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein:”
The news was so wonderful that it was to be heralded immediately. An angel arrived to explain that Jerusalem will become so large that it will extend beyond any wall (Isa. 49:19-20; Ezek. 38:11).
The conditions here described have at no time been true historically (Neh. 7:4; 11:1-2); full realization must be assigned to a future earthly kingdom (Isa. 49:19-20). A counterfeit of this unwalled safety will exist under Antichrist in the time of tribulation (see notes on Ezek. 38:8-12).
This is a key to when this Jerusalem is speaking of. Even today, there are walls which surround Jerusalem. This is speaking of a future Jerusalem, when there will be no walls. The young man here, is probably the prophet Zechariah. The second angel has brought a message to be delivered to Zechariah.
This is speaking of a time, when there will be so many people and cattle in Jerusalem that they could not fit in the walled city. Possibly, the reason the statement “young man” was used was to show that Zechariah was not old.
Zechariah 2:5 “For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.”
“A wall of fire round about”: Though without walls, Jerusalem will dwell securely because of divine protection. The phrase is reminiscent of the pillar of fire at the Exodus (Exodus 13:21; 2 Kings 6:15-17; Isa. 4:5-6).
“And will be the glory in the midst of her”: More than protection, the glory depicts the Messiah’s blessing and personal presence in His earthly kingdom (Isa. 4:2-6; 40:5; 60:17-18; Ezek. 42:1-7).
What a promise! The presence of God was always seen in a fire or a smoke from that fire. Just as the wall of fire held off the Egyptians, this wall of fire will hold off all enemies of Jerusalem. The “glory in the midst of her” is the presence of God.
Verses 6-9: The prophet turned from the distant future (verses 4-5), to the present. Summoning those Israelites still in Babylon (referred to as the land of the north (verse 7), because of the direction from which it invaded Israel), to flee before God poured out His judgment on it. This also implied a future call to leave a future Babylon (Rev. 17:3-5; 18:1-8).
Zechariah 2:6 “Ho, ho, [come forth], and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD.”
“I have spread you”: According (to 2 Kings 17:6), they were scattered from the Gozan River, 200 miles west of Nineveh, to Media, 300 miles east. Some had even taken refuge in Moab, Ammon, Edom, and Egypt (Jer. 40:11-12; 43:7).
This is calling all of the Israelites to come home. God wants them inside this wall of fire He has placed to protect them. This is like the hedge of fire He builds around each of us who are His followers. When protection is the fire of God, Satan cannot enter in.
Zechariah 2:7 “Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest [with] the daughter of Babylon.”
“Deliver thyself, O Zion”: Or make thy escape, you that belong to Mount Zion, the city of the living God. And ought to have your abode there, and not in Babylon: flee from thence.
“That dwelleth with the daughter of Babylon”: In any of the antichristian states, who are the daughters of Babylon, the mother of harlots (Rev. 17:5).
This has a double meaning. Those left in Babylon from their captivity should come home, and be under the protection of God. There is a spiritual Babylon that symbolizes the sinful world. Zion, as we have said, symbolizes the church. This is saying, you believers, separate yourselves from the sinful world.
Rev. 18:4 “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
Whether physical Jews, or the church coming out of Babylon, they have to make some effort upon their own part to leave Babylon. God does not force His protection on anyone. It must be the person’s will to be saved, before he is saved.
Zechariah 2:8 “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.”
“After the glory hath he sent me”: The Messiah is sent by the “Lord of hosts” (verse 9), to procure His glory and to vindicate Him in the nations who have spoiled Israel.
“The apple of his eye” (see note on Deut. 32:10). Harming God’s chosen people is like striking the pupil of God’s eye.
Israel is spoken of as the “apple of His eye”. The LORD of hosts will destroy the enemy of Israel. Those opposed to Israel are opposed to God. Spiritual Israel is the church, so that means God is opposed to those who are opposed to the church. God loves physical Israel and spiritual Israel. God fights for them.
Zechariah 2:9 “For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me.”
“For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them”: The nations; either the Babylonian, or the antichristian states. Meaning, that he would exert his power, and inflict punishment on them, and utterly destroy them; which would be done by the bare shaking of his hand.
“And they shall be a spoil to their servants”: As the Babylonians were to the Persians. Not through Cyrus, which had been done; but through Darius, who took Babylon, after a siege of twenty months, and put great numbers to death. And all became a spoil to the Persians, who had been their servants.
Or the ten kings, that gave their kingdoms to the beast, and were subject to him; but now shall hate the whore, and eat her flesh. And all her riches and revenues shall be a spoil unto them, and be divided among them (Rev. 17:12).
“And ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me”: Either the Prophet Zechariah, that he was a true prophet, and had his mission from the Lord of hosts, as will appear by the accomplishment of these prophecies.
Or rather Christ, sent by God the Father; and who will be known and owned by the Jews, as well as by the Gentiles, to be the “sent” of God, when they shall be converted, and antichrist shall be destroyed. Kimchi refers this, and the following verse (Zech. 2:10), to the times of the Messiah.
When God stretches out His hand and shakes the nations, it is in wrath. The only time that the worldly will serve God’s people, is when Jesus reigns as King, and we reign as His subordinates.
Verses 10-13: The language is once again messianic, describing the personal presence of the Messiah, dwelling on the throne of David in Jerusalem during the Millennium.
Zechariah 2:10 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.”
“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion”: Or, “congregation of Zion”, as the Targum paraphrases it. The Jewish church, great numbers of that people being converted, and in a church state.
Or the whole Christian church at this time, consisting of Jews and Gentiles, who are called upon to rejoice and sing at the destruction of antichrist (see Rev. 18:20). And because of the presence of God in the midst of them, as follows:
“For, lo, I come”: Not in the flesh: this is not to be understood of the incarnation of Christ; or of his coming in human nature to dwell in the land of Judea. But of his spiritual coming in the latter day, to set up his kingdom in the world, in a more visible and glorious manner.
“And I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord”: The presence of Christ in his churches, and with his people, in attendance on his word and ordinances, will be very manifest and constant in the latter day.
This is speaking to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jerusalem is rebuilt, Jesus will reign, and we will have perfect peace. The Light of Jesus is in His church. It is not just on occasion that He is there, but all the time.
Verses 11-12: Echoing the promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:3), many nations will join themselves to the Lord (6:15; 8:20-23; Isa. 2:2-4; 56:6-7; 60:3). But this will not alter God’s choice of His people, they will still be “His portion in the holy land” (Deut. 32:9).
Zechariah 2:11 “And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.”
“And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day”: The Gospel will be preached in all nations, and multitudes will be converted, and embrace and profess the Christian religion, and join themselves to the churches of Christ. Which, in the New Testament, is expressed by being joined to the Lord (Acts 5:13; see Jer. 50:5).
“And shall be my people”: Shall appear to be so, who before were not the people of God; did not profess themselves, and were not known to be, the people of God. Though they secretly were in the counsel and covenant of God; but now, being called by grace, they become openly and manifestly his people (1 Pet. 2:10).
“And I will dwell in the midst of thee”: In the church, consisting of people of many nations, as well as of Jews.
“And thou shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee”: To the Jews, as well as to the Gentiles (See Zech. 2:9).
This is not speaking of just physical Israel, but all nations whose people come to Christ as their Savior and Lord. This speaks of a time when whole nations will seek out the Lord.
Rev. 21:24 “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.”
God’s people are made up of all nations.
Heb. 2:12 “Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.”
Zechariah 2:12 “And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.”
“Holy land”: Used only here, the expression is made not because it is the Promised Land but because it will be the site of Messiah’s earthly throne when the land has been cleansed. A holy land is appropriate and expected for its holy Lord (Isa. 6:1-5).
This is saying that the headquarters of salvation for the whole world is in Judah. Christianity began in Judah with the Jews, and spread to the whole world. We must remember the two sticks in Ezekiel. They are the physical house of Israel and the spiritual house of Israel. They come together in Jesus.
Zechariah 2:13 “Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.”
“His holy habitation”: God’s dwelling in heaven (Psalms 15:1; 24:3).
I love the following Scripture which is saying the same thing.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Notice, this is for all the earth. The LORD brought salvation to whosoever will of all flesh, when He left heaven and came to earth to save us. He bought us all with His precious shed blood on the cross.
1 Tim. 4:10 “For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.”
Zechariah Chapter 2 Questions
1. When Zechariah looked again, what did he see?
2. Who is the man, probably?
3. What was he going to measure?
4. The second angel seems to be directly from _______.
5. Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without _________.
6. Why will they be like this?
7. What does the statement “young man” mean to Zechariah?
8. What will hold off all the enemies from Jerusalem?
9. What is the “glory in the midst of her”?
10. What is this wall of fire like?
11. What are the 2 meanings in verse 7?
12. What does God call His people in verse 8?
13. Those opposed to Israel are opposed to ______.
14. When God stretches out His hand and shakes the nations it is in __________.
15. Who reigns with Jesus?
16. Sing and rejoice, O __________ of _______.
17. Who is this speaking of?
18. Why are they rejoicing?
19. Who are the many nations in verse 11?
20. Where is the headquarters of salvation?
21. We must remember the __ sticks in Ezekiel.
22. They come together in __________.
23. Who is to be silent before the LORD?