Zechariah 2


‘Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, ‘Where are you going?’ He answered me, ‘To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.’ While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him and said to him: ‘Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will be its glory within.’ Zechariah 2:1-5

A Man With A Measuring Line

This chapter begins with Zechariah’s third vision, in which he sees a man with a measuring line. This vision like the last one, Zechariah 1:13 / Zechariah 1:17, is shown in order to show God’s people that He will comfort His people.

This man, possibly the angel of the Lord, Ezekiel 40:2-3 / Zechariah 1:11 / Zechariah 6:12, is basically measuring the new dimensions of the city of Jerusalem, Jeremiah 31:39 / Ezekiel 40:3 / Zechariah 2:2.

As there will be no walls in this new city, God Himself will be ‘a wall of fire’, that is, the One who protects His people and the land, Exodus 13:21 / 2 Kings 6:15-17 / Isaiah 4:5-6.

It’s worth noting that the one with the measuring line was thinking about measuring Jerusalem according to its former state of existence. He was wrong, for the past Jerusalem wouldn’t determine the limits of the new. The new Jerusalem would have no boundaries, Isaiah 49:19-20 / Ezekiel 38:11 / Revelation 21:16.

The young man here is probably the Zechariah himself and God Himself says He will be the city’s glory, that is, He will be with them, Matthew 28:18-20.

This vision goes way beyond physical Jerusalem, this is speaking of a future time, the time of the new Jerusalem of the Messianic age, Galatians 4:26. This is speaking about the church, which would be filled with people from all nations, Revelation 7:9.

Although physical Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Babylonians, this new spiritual Jerusalem would never be destroyed, Daniel 2:44 / Daniel 7:13-14.

‘Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,’ declares the LORD, ‘for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven,’ declares the LORD. ‘Come, Zion! Escape, you who live in Daughter Babylon!’ For this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye—I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me.’ Zechariah 2:6-9

At the end of the vision, there are two appeals made.

1. The first appeal is made to those who were still living in Babylon, Zechariah 2:6-9, and,

2. The second appeal is made to those who lived in Jerusalem and Judah, Zechariah 2:10-13.

The call to ‘Come! Come!’ was made to those Jews who were still living in ‘the north’, that is, Babylon. When the Jews were ‘scattered’, they were taken into captivity by the Assyrians and the Babylonians, 2 Kings 17:6 / Jeremiah 40:11-12 / Jeremiah 43:7, and then scattered through the land from Ethiopia and India, Esther 1:1 / Esther 3:8 / Esther 3:12-14 / Esther 8:5 / Esther 8:9.

The appeal is that they should come away from Babylon and return to the land, Genesis 12:1-3, so that they can be identified as the Israel of God and God can protect them.

Notice the text also says, ‘Come, Zion! Escape, you who live in Daughter Babylon!’ Although this is dealing with those captives who are living in literal Babylon, Babylon became to symbolise the most evil city in the world, it became symbolic of spiritual darkness and rebellion against God, Revelation 18:4-5.

What a blessing to be known as the ‘apple of God’s eye’, Deuteronomy 32:10. God says, He will ‘raise His hand’, which means God is ready to punish and destroy those who hurt His people, Job 31:21 / Isaiah 11:15 / Isaiah 19:16.

Adam Clarke, in his commentary, says the following concerning ‘their slaves will plunder them’.

‘As the Babylonians to the Medes and Persians, and so of the rest in the subversion of empires. Every great world power carries within itself the basis and the certainty of its own eventual destruction’.

Who is the ‘me’, that the Lord will send? As you can imagine a few commentators have different thoughts on this verse. Some believe that this is Zechariah speaking and he’s simply saying that the fulfilment of his words will endorse his authority as a prophet of God, Ezekiel 33:33.

John Gill, in his commentary, says the following.

This is speaking of ‘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’.

‘Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the LORD. ‘Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you. The LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.’ Zechariah 2:10-13

Here we find the second appeal which is to Zion. God says He will come and dwell amongst His people and because the temple was symbolic of God living among them, all the nations around would know that He is there. But there’s more to it than that, this is a reference to the church, God’s people in whom the Holy Spirit would dwell.

We see that ‘many nations will be joined with the Lord’, this again is speaking of the Messianic age, when all nations would come to Christ, Romans 9:22-26 / Ephesians 2:11-22 / 1 Peter 2:9-10.

Zechariah is looking forward to the time when God would choose out of this world those of all nations who would compose the new Jerusalem, the church of our Lord. They would be chosen out of the world through their obedience to the Gospel, 1 Thessalonians 2:13 / 2 Thessalonians 2:14.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The glory of God’s people is ever that of his presence among them. Although typical in the experience of ancient Israel, in whom God’s presence was manifested, it was but a feeble and inadequate type of God’s Holy Spirit indwelling the Lord’s Church. The many sins and rebellions of the people were continual impediments. The promise here overreaches the fate of earthly Jerusalem and applies gloriously to the Church of Jesus Christ. This was fulfilled in the coming of the Holy Spirit to live in the Church.’

Notice the words, ‘holy land’, this is the one and only time this phrase is used in the Scripture. Obviously, this isn’t to be taken literally as some do, Palestine was the ‘holy land’, simply because Christ’s church began there, Christ died and was buried there and it was there that Christ rose again.

We know that literal Palestine was completely rejected by God, Isaiah 2:2-4, so this isn’t to be taken literally. The true ‘holy land’, is wherever God may be found dwelling in the hearts of those who love Him, Hebrews 12:22-24.

God ‘chose Jerusalem again’ because the spiritual Jerusalem was to be the place where Christ would be King over spiritual Zion, Romans 11:26.

All of ‘mankind’ will be filled with fear, awe, and astonishment, at the wonderful work of God, Psalm 104:35 / Habakkuk 2:20. Especially, when the Jews become Christians, along with the Gentiles. God has ‘roused himself from his holy dwelling,’ that is heaven, Isaiah 63:15, but we’ve not to think that God was taking a nap.

The idea is that God appeared to be asleep when He allowed His people to be taken into captivity, but now, He’s wide awake and ready to bring about judgment on all those nations to hurt His people and at the same time He’s ready to bring comfort and support for His own people.

Go To Zechariah 3


"And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."