Zec 2:1-13. THIRD VISION. The man with the measuring-line.
The city shall be fully restored and enlarged (Zec 2:2-5). Recall of the exiles (Zec 2:6, 7). Jehovah will protect His people and make their foes a spoil unto them (Zec 2:8, 9). The nations shall be converted to Jehovah, as the result of His dwelling manifestly amidst His people (Zec 2:10-13).
1. man with a measuring-line--the same image to represent the same future fact as in Eze 40:3; 47:4. The "man" is Messiah (see on Zec 1:8), who, by measuring Jerusalem, is denoted as the Author of its coming restoration. Thus the Jews are encouraged in Zechariah's time to proceed with the building. Still more so shall they be hereby encouraged in the future restoration.
2. To measure Jerusalem--(Compare
Re 11:1; 21:15, 16).
to see what is the breadth . . . what is the length--rather, "what is to be the due breadth and length."
3. angel that talked with me . . . another angel--The
interpreting angel is met by another angel sent by the measuring Divine
Angel to "run" to Zechariah
Those who perform God's will must not merely creep, nor walk, but
run with alacrity.
went forth--namely, from me (Zechariah).
went out--from the measuring angel.
4. this young man--So Zechariah is called as being still a youth when prophetically inspired
[GROTIUS]. Or, he is so called in respect to
his ministry or service (compare
Naturally the "angel that talked with" Zechariah is desired to "speak
to" him the further communications to be made from the Divine Being.
towns without walls for the multitude . . . Cattle--So many shall be its inhabitants that all could not be contained within the walls, but shall spread out in the open country around (Es 9:19); and so secure shall they be as not to need to shelter themselves and their cattle behind walls. So hereafter Judea is to be "the land of unwalled villages" (Eze 38:11). Spiritually, now the Church has extended herself beyond the walls (Eph 2:14, 15) of Mosaic ordinances and has spread from cities to country villages, whose inhabitants gave their Latin name (pagani) to pagans, as being the last in parting with heathenism.
5. I . . . wall of fire round--Compare
Yet as a city needs some wall, I JEHOVAH will act
as one of fire which none durst approach
glory in the midst--not only a defense from foes outside, but a glory within (Isa 60:19; Re 21:23). The same combination of "glory and defense" is found in Isa 4:5, alluding to the pillar of cloud and fire which defended and enlightened Israel in the desert. Compare Elisha in Dothan (2Ki 6:17). As God is to be her "glory," so she shall be His "glory" (Isa 62:3).
6. flee from the land of the north--that is, from Babylon: a type of
the various Gentile lands, from which the Jews are to be recalled
hereafter; hence "the four winds of heaven" are specified, implying that
they are to return from all quarters
The reason why they should flee from Babylon is: (1) because of the
blessings promised to God's people in their own land; (2) because of
the evils about to fall on their foe
Babylon was soon to fall before Darius, and its inhabitants to endure
Jer 50:8; 51:6, 45).
Many of the Jews in Zechariah's time had not yet returned to Judea.
Their tardiness was owing to (1) unbelief; (2) their land had long lain
waste, and was surrounded with bitter foes; (3) they regarded
suspiciously the liberty of return given by Cyrus and Darius, as if
these monarchs designed suddenly to crush them; (4) their long stay in
Babylon had obliterated the remembrance of their own land; (5) the
wealth and security there contrasted with Judea, where their temple and
city were in ruins. All this betrayed foul ingratitude and disregard of
God's extraordinary favor, which is infinitely to be preferred to all
the wealth of the world [CALVIN and PEMBELLUS].
for I have spread you abroad--The reasoning is: I who scattered you from your land to all quarters, can also gather you again to it.
7. O Zion . . . daughter of Babylon--Thou whose only sure dwelling is
"Zion," inseparably connected with the temple, art altogether out of thy
place in "dwelling with the daughter of Babylon" (that is, Babylon and
After the glory--After restoring the "glory" (Zec 2:5; Isa 4:5; Ro 9:4) of Jehovah's presence to Jerusalem, He (God the Father) hath commissioned ME (God the Son, Isa 48:16, the Divine Angel: God thus being at once the Sender and the Sent) to visit in wrath "the nations which spoiled you." Messiah's twofold office from the Father is: (1) to glorify His Church; (2) to punish its foes (2Th 1:7-10). Both offices manifest His glory (Pr 16:4).
toucheth . . . the apple of his eye--namely, of Jehovah's eye (De 32:10; Ps 17:8; Pr 7:2). The pupil, or aperture, through which rays pass to the retina, is the tenderest part of the eye; the member which we most sedulously guard from hurt as being the dearest of our members; the one which feels most acutely the slightest injury, and the loss of which is irreparable.
9. shake . . . hand--A mere wave of God's hand can prostrate all foes
Isa 11:15; 19:16;
a spoil to their servants--to the Jews whom they had once as their slaves (compare Isa 14:2). As the Jews' state between the return from Babylon and Christ's coming was checkered with much adversity, this prophecy can only have its fulfilment under Christ.
sent me-- (Isa 48:16; 61:1; Joh 10:36).
11. many nations . . . joined to the Lord in that
day--The result of the Jews' exile in Babylon was that, at their
subsequent return, through the diffusion of knowledge of their
religion, many Gentiles became proselytes, worshipping in the court of
Cyrus, Darius, Alexander, Ptolemy Philadelphus, Augustus, and Tiberius,
paid respect to the temple by sending offerings
But all this is but a shadow of the future conversion of the Gentiles
which shall result from Jehovah dwelling in Jerusalem
(Ps 102:15, 16;
Php 2:10, 11).
sent me unto thee--"unto thee" is here added to the same formula (Zec 2:9). Zion first shall "know (generally) that Jehovah of hosts hath sent" Messiah, by the judgments inflicted by Him on her foes. Subsequently, she shall know experimentally the particular sending of Messiah unto her. Jehovah here says, "I will dwell," and then that JEHOVAH of hosts sent Him; therefore Jehovah the Sender and Jehovah the Sent must be One.
12. Judah his portion in
the holy land--Lest the joining of the Gentile "nations
should lead the Jews to fear that their peculiar relation to Him
(De 4:20; 9:29; 32:9)
as "His inheritance" should cease, this verse is added to assure them
of His making them so hereafter "again."
choose Jerusalem again--The course of God's grace was interrupted for a time, but His covenant was not set aside (Ro 11:28, 29); the election was once for all, and therefore shall hold good for ever.
13. Be silent, O all flesh--
"Let all in silent awe and reverence await the Lord's coming
interposition in behalf of His people!" The address is both to the
Gentile foes, who prided themselves on their power as if irresistible,
and to the unbelieving Jews, who distrusted God's promises as
incredible. Three reasons why they must be silent are 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? [PEMBELLUS],
(Ps 76:8, 9).
he is raised up out of his holy habitation--that is, out of heaven (De 26:15; 2Ch 30:27; Isa 63:15), to judge and avenge His people (Isa 26:21); or, "out of His holy" temple, contemptible and incomplete as it looked then when Zechariah urged them to rebuild it [CALVIN]. But the call to all to "be silent" is rather when God has come forth from heaven where so long He has dwelt unseen, and is about to inflict vengeance on the foe, before taking up His dwelling in Zion and the temple. However, Ps 50:1, 2 ("Out of Zion"), Ps 50:3 (compare Hab 2:3), Ps 50:4, favors CALVIN'S view. God is now "silent" while the Gentile foe speaks arrogance against His people; but "our God shall come and no longer keep silence"; then in turn must all flesh "be silent" before Him.