For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2002 James Melough 

2:1.  “I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand.”

This continues the glad tidings relative to the blessing of Israel in the Millennium, for as the following verses make clear, the measuring of Jerusalem is not for destruction but for enlargement and blessing.

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.”

Clearly the man with the measuring line is an angel, so that the measuring of the city is to mark it as belonging to God.  It is His city.

2:3.  “And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him,”

It seems that the angel who had been speaking with Zechariah now went forward to meet another angel who was bringing a further Divine communication for the prophet.  Why the new information wasn’t given directly to the first angel isn’t explained, nor is  any reason readily apparent.

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 word “run” suggests either the urgency or the importance of the revelation about to be given, and since very obviously the truth being conveyed won’t be fulfilled until the Millennium, the latter seems to be the more likely reason.  That still future day of Israel’s blessing is all-important to God, and should be also to us and to her, for the Church must be raptured to heaven before Israel’s blessing comes.  Sadly, the majority of present-day Christians display little interest in Israel’s affairs, or in prophecy in general; and as for Israel herself, it seems that she, like the Gentile nations, expects to bring in the Millennium by her own efforts.  Both are deluded.  There will be no Millennium until the terrible impending Tribulation judgments will have brought a remnant of Israel and of the nations to repentant faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Messiah and Savior.  Only then will the felicity portrayed in Jerusalem’s being “inhabited as towns without walls....” be a reality.  The picture is of a people multiplied, and blessed with earthly blessings, dwelling in peace and safety, without the need of walls for protection.  So great will be the multiplication of men and cattle that the city within the walls won’t be able to accommodate them.

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.”

Israel’s safety will depend, not upon literal city walls, but on the presence of Jehovah Himself, His power and holiness being portrayed under the figure of a wall of fire, as declared in Dt 4:24, 9:3, and Heb 12:29, “For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire.... The Lord thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them (Israel’s foes).... For our God is a consuming fire.”

It is to be remembered, however, that that consuming fire which is the manifestation of God’s holiness, will destroy everything that is not holy, so that Israel’s safety, and ours, lies in being a holy people, as it is written again, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (living); because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy,” 1 Pe 1:15-16.

“... and will be the glory in the midst of her.”  The glory of millennial Israel will be the presence of a Holy God dwelling in the midst of a holy people.  That same Holy Presence was the glory of the early apostolic Church, but sadly, what was true of Israel at the end of Eli’s life, has been true also of that same Church for almost twenty centuries, and is declared in the twice repeated words of Eli’s dying daughter-in-law, “Ichabod ... the glory is departed,” 1 Sa 4:21-22.

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.”

This is the call to which dispersed Israel will respond after the Tribulation.  Having been scattered in anger, like worthless chaff, to every corner of the earth, by that same holy God Whose Son she had dared to reject and crucify, she is yet to be brought back in repentant contrition, having been brought to repentance by means of the now imminent terrible Tribulation judgments.

It is instructive to note also that she is to be brought back from “the land of the north,” for it is in the lands of the northern hemisphere that the greatest numbers of Jews have found refuge since their scattering in AD 70.  Since, however, they will return, not only from the north, but from the south, east, and west also, it is apparent that God is declaring an additional truth in His mentioning only the north; and that lesson may lie in the fact that in the typological language of Scripture the north is always associated with human wisdom in contrast with faith.  The Tribulation judgments will have taught them, as it will also have taught the believing remnant of the nations, the folly of dependance on the world’s wisdom.  In the Millennium Israel and the nations will walk by faith, having learned by bitter experience the sorrow which results from heeding the dictates of the wisdom so-called which proceeds from man’s corrupt mind.

2:7.  “Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.”

Every false religion on earth can be traced back to Babylon, the idolatrous system which originated there having been centered in Rome for the past twenty centuries, the Christian trappings hiding only from the eye of unbelief the terrible deadly nature of that Satanic system.  Following the rapture of the true Church, that harlot system will gather into her deadly embrace all her harlot daughters scattered over the earth, and will impose spiritual enslavement upon the men of the Tribulation-age earth until the Beast seizes her wealth and power and demands that men worship him as God, until he himself is cast bodily into the lake of fire by the Lord returned in power and glory to inaugurate His millennial kingdom.

It is instructive to note that since the Babylonian captivity the Jews have never again been guilty of idolatry.  They have never been enticed into the idolatrous systems all around them, but have clung tenaciously to the empty form of Judaism; and here God calls upon them, as they dwell in the midst of earth’s false religious systems, to deliver themselves from the bondage of dead Judahistic ritual by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ Who is their Messiah and Savior.

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 (pupil) of his eye.”

“After the glory” is understood by most commentators to refer to the time that will follow the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ in power and glory to end the Tribulation and set up His millennial kingdom; and the sending of Zechariah to those nations who will have afflicted Israel, is to be understood, not literally, but in the sense that the prophet’s words will then be used to pronounce the doom of her foes of the latter days just as effectively as they did that of those who had harmed her in his own day.

The value God sets upon Israel may be estimated by the fact that injury done to her is the equivalent of stabbing one’s finger into His eye.

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.”

The omnipotence of God is declared in that He will merely lift up His hand over those who were the enemies of His people, and therefore also of Him; and immediately their puny power will be broken, and they themselves made the slaves of those they had formerly enslaved.

“... and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me.”  Men might mock, abuse, and kill His servants the prophets, but that coming day of Christ’s glory will vindicate them and all who have been willing to suffer for His sake, for His execution of the foretold judgment will validate their words, and declare His approval of their faithful lives as He resurrects their bodies from earthly graves, and elevates them to positions of eternal glory in heaven.

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.”

There could be no greater cause for rejoicing on the part of God’s people of every age than the expectation of the Lord’s return in power and glory, that revelation being preceded by His coming seven years earlier to rapture His blood-bought Church home to heaven, and then to return with her in power and glory to deliver His earthly people Israel, banish her foes into hell, and bring the believing remnant of Israel and the nations into the enjoyment of His millennial kingdom, and ultimately into eternal blessing in the new heavens and new earth.

How little we understand the privilege that is ours of having Him dwell with us today through His indwelling Holy Spirit!  Of all the people on earth we have most cause to sing and rejoice.

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.”

The “day” mentioned here is the Millennium, and when it begins there will not be an unbeliever on the earth, all of them having been banished into hell following the Lord’s judgment of the nations at the end of the Tribulation.  Israel and the nations of that day will be those who will have emerged alive from the Tribulation, the terrible judgments of which will have brought them to repentant faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  That happy state will be very brief, however, for the children born to those believers will be born as are all others: they will be unbelievers requiring the same new birth as do men in every age,  to save them from the eternal torment of the lake of fire, and fit them to dwell with God eternally in the new heavens and new earth.

“... and shall be my people.”  It is not Jewish birth that makes a man one of God’s people: that relationship is formed only by the new birth.  The Lord Himself, addressing those who claimed to be God’s people because of their descent from Abraham, denounced them and declared them to be children of Satan, see John 8:33-47.

“... and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee.”  Israel doesn’t consist of just one generation.  Even though he and the people he addressed have been dead for twenty-five hundred years, Zechariah spoke as though they would witness the fulfillment of his words in their lifetime; but the truth is that he could speak as he did because they will see that completion: some from the bliss of heaven, and some from the torment of hell; but it will be a generation - very possibly the one now living - that will witness in their earthly bodies the events he foretold.

A further lesson being taught here is that the words of the prophets are as relevant today as when they were spoken and written.

2:12.  “And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.”

“... inherit” is literally to hold or possess, and it is instructive to see that the nation is here referred to as Judah rather than as Israel, for Judah means he shall be praised.  In the Millennium God will be given what is His due: adoration, praise, and worship, that of His redeemed being rendered willingly and joyfully; that of the unconverted being compelled, for in that halcyon age no rebellion will be tolerated.

“... in the holy land” is a further reminder that holiness will be the hallmark of the millennial earth, as it is written in chapter 14:20-21, “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar.  Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite (trafficker) in the house of the Lord of hosts.”

“... shall choose Jerusalem again,” means that God will take pleasure in Jerusalem again, making her the center of administration, not only of Israel, but of the whole world.

2:13.  “Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.”

This command is to every creature on the millennial earth to be in awe of God Whose presence, though invisible, will be more readily apparent than at any other time in the history of the world since the fall of Adam.  (It is to be remembered that when the Lord was here it was as God manifest in flesh, i.e., the outshining of the Divine glory was veiled, except for the occasion when a glimpse of that glory was given the disciples on the mount of transfiguration).  In the Millennium that glory will be displayed, not in the effulgence upon which no man can look and live, but in the transformed earth described in such passages as Isa 2:4 and all of Isa chapter 11.

Relative to the Lord’s millennial reign, it is a mistake to believe that He will be personally on the throne in Jerusalem during that era, for Ezekiel chapter 46 makes it clear that the king who will reign then will be a literal descendant of David, offering sacrifices and worship (something Christ does not do: He is the object of worship as a member of the Godhead).  That prince will also have literal sons and daughters, something that is not true of Christ.

In passing, we should note that prayer and worship are to be addressed to the Father, in the name of the Son, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.  There is no scriptural warrant for addressing prayer or worship directly to the Son or to the Holy Spirit; and to attempt such a presentation is to pervert the Divine order.  Anticipating the objection that there are instances where prayer was addressed directly to Christ, it is pointed out that the few such occasions involved direct address in a face-to-face context.

[Zechariah 3]


     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough