Home  Library  Donate

Zechariah 2

Sunday Morning Bible Study

September 7, 2014


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words

Baptism / Ice bucket challenge

Have you been baptized since you became a believer?

We are grateful for your parents who might have had you baptized as a baby, but the New Testament teaches that baptism is for those who believe – those who have made a choice to follow Jesus.  That doesn’t quite fit the baby thing…

Baptism doesn’t save you, but baptism is commanded by Jesus.

We believe baptism is a chance to show the world in symbolic terms what God has done for you – Jesus dying and being raised.

Just for fun this year – I’ve been challenged to do the ALS ice bucket thing (thanks Greg Bird!), so I’m going to do it after the baptism.

The background to Zechariah, like that of Haggai, is found in the book of Ezra.

After having been captive in Babylon for seventy years, the Jews are given permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem.

When the Temple construction is stopped, it was Haggai and Zechariah who began to prophesy and encourage the people to finish the Temple. (Ezra 5:1-2)

After the people began to build, opposition arose from their enemies, and for a period of 15 years, the Temple construction was halted.

It was then that God raised up two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, who began to encourage the people to get back to work and make God’s House a priority.

(Ezra 5:1–2 NKJV) —1 Then the prophet Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophets, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. 2 So Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them, helping them.
It was under the ministry of Haggai and Zechariah that the work got stirred up again.
The Temple won’t be complete until March 12, 515 BC (Ezr 6:15-18)

The prophecies of Zechariah are given during the years of 520-618 BC.

One of the key distinctions of the book of Zechariah is the amount of prophecy about the coming Messiah.

Except for the prophet Isaiah, there are more prophecies about the Messiah in this book than any other Old Testament book.
One set of scholars list 41 quotes or allusions to Zechariah in the New Testament.

It seems that Zechariah has dated each of his prophecies, like Haggai did.

The first prophecy is 1:1-6
It was given on 08/??/02
The second prophecy is 1:7 – 6:15
Hag.2:10-19 talks about how “uncleanness” defiles everything it touches.

Haggai’s prophecy was given on 9/24/02

In Zec. 3 God talks about Joshua the high priest being “filthy”, but being cleansed.

Zechariah’s prophecy was given 11/24/02

The third prophecy is 7:1 – 14:21
Some suggest that only 7:1-7 are tied to the last date, and the rest of the book is undated.

Last week we started to look at a series of “night visions” (1:7) that Zechariah received from God. on February 15, 519 BC.

There will be eight of these “night visions” that seem to have been given on a single night.  This is now the third vision.

We’ve seen a vision of horses and riders. (1:7-17)
We’ve seen a vision of horns and craftsmen (1:18-21)

2:1-13 The Surveyor

:1 Then I raised my eyes and looked, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand.

:1 a man with a measuring line

In 1:16 God spoke of stretching a “surveyor’s line” over Jerusalem.

surveyor’s lineqav – cord, line, measuring-line

Here the words are a little different.

measuringmiddah – measure, measurement, stature, size, garment
linechebel – a cord, rope, territory, band, company

Ancient surveyors didn’t have the kinds of tools that modern surveyors use.  They had measuring lines.

In this night vision, Zechariah is watching a surveyor getting ready to map out and divide up the city of Jerusalem into plots, in order to prepare for the city being rebuilt.

Keep in mind that at this point in history, even though the Jews have returned to Jerusalem, much of the city is still in ruins.
The book of Nehemiah tells us that when the people returned from Babylon, they didn’t settle in Jerusalem, they settled in the cities around Jerusalem.  Jerusalem was still a prime target for invading armies.  They wouldn’t settle in Jerusalem until the walls were built around the city.
The walls around the city won’t be rebuilt for another seventy years. (444 BC)

Who is this “man”?

It may be another “angel”.
Some have suggested (Feinberg) that it might actually be the “Angel of Yahweh” (Jesus), though there is not enough evidence to be dogmatic about it.
He is called a “young man” in verse 4.

:2 So I said, “Where are you going?” And he said to me, “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length.”

:2 To measure Jerusalem

There are several other places where Jerusalem (or parts of it) are measured.

Eze. 40 – Ezekiel sees the Millenial Jerusalem measured.
(Ezekiel 40:3 NKJV) He took me there, and behold, there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze. He had a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand, and he stood in the gateway.
Rev. 11 – John is told to measure the Temple Mount during the Tribulation period.
(Revelation 11:1 NKJV) Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.

:3 And there was the angel who talked with me, going out; and another angel was coming out to meet him,

:3 the angel who talked with me

This is the fellow we met in the last chapter.

Zechariah, like some of the other prophets, was given an angelic “tour guide” to help him get through these visions.
Meanwhile, a second angel shows up.  I think this second fellow may be Jesus...

:4 who said to him, “Run, speak to this young man, saying: ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it.

:4 Run, speak to this young man

The second angel gives some instructions to Zechariah’s tour guide angel.

He gives him a message to give to the fellow doing the surveying.

:4 as towns without walls

Jerusalem will be so big that it will outgrow its walls.

A city without walls could also indicate a time of peace where there’s no need for defenses.

This would seem to be a picture of Jerusalem after Jesus returns.

Video:  Jerusalem Walls

It is interesting that if you look at Jerusalem from the air, you might be able to make out the ancient walls that once protected Jerusalem, but the city today has far outgrown its ancient walls.

Zechariah is living in a day when Jerusalem has not yet been built.

And now he’s being pointed to a time in the far future.

We too can get so caught up with the events that are happening right now in our lives that we neglect to pay attention to what’s up ahead.


An eye to the future

We sometimes get very caught up with the things in our current lives.
The truth is, there is value in keeping an eye on the future.
People who neglect the future in order to worry about their current lives can end up spending their lives worrying about things that don’t matter in the long run.
Paul wrote,
(2 Corinthians 5:9–10 NKJV) —9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

:5 For I,’ says the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’ ”

:5 a wall of fire all around her

Again, this too is speaking of the future, when Jesus will rule and reign over the earth from Jerusalem.


God’s protection

When Israel was wandering in the desert,
(Exodus 13:21 NKJV) And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.

But this pillar of fire was to simply give light in the night.

Here God promises to be an entire wall of fire.

Elisha the prophet had an amazing gift from God.  God would tell him where and when the king of Syria would attack next, and Elisha would then warn the king of Israel.  The king of Syria decided to do something about Elisha.
(2 Kings 6:14–17 NKJV) —14 Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. 15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”

Elisha’s servant is freaked out when he sees that their city is surrounded by the Syrian army.  From his perspective, things are pretty hopeless.

16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

I would imagine that the servant might be rubbing his eyes at first to see what he missed.  The truth is, he doesn’t see anyone “with us”.  He probably thinks that Elisha needs glasses.

17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

I wonder sometimes if the reason I’m so afraid is because my eyes are closed to who God is and what He can do.

John G. Paton (1824-1907) was a missionary to the New Hebrides islands in the 1800s. 

He lived an amazing life of faith as he reached out to a pagan, wicked, cannibalistic people.

One night hostile natives surrounded the mission station, intent on burning out the Patons and killing them. Paton and his wife prayed during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see their attackers leave. A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Christ. Remembering what had happened, Paton asked the chief what had kept him from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, “Who were all those men with you there?” Paton knew no men were present—but the chief said he was afraid to attack because he had seen hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords circling the mission station.

Paul wrote,
(Romans 8:31 NKJV) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

This doesn’t mean we won’t experience trouble or persecution in this life.

It does mean that God is on our side.

:6 “Up, up! Flee from the land of the north,” says the Lord; “for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven,” says the Lord.

:7 “Up, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.”

:6 Flee from the land of the north

In Zechariah’s day, though the word had gone out that the Jews were allowed to return home, only 50,000 of the Jews had come back from Babylon.

It was a long and dangerous journey to go back to Jerusalem.
Many had grown to feel “comfortable” living in Babylon, and they hadn’t wanted to make the long dangerous journey to Jerusalem.

Yet there would be a judgment coming on Babylon, and God is warning His people to flee.


Fleeing the world

We need to be careful that we don’t get too “comfortable” in this world.
We can’t escape living in the world, but we need to be careful that this world doesn’t become our “home”.
When John sees a vision of the judgment of the last days Babylon…
(Revelation 18:4–5 NKJV) —4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians…
(2 Corinthians 6:14–18 NKJV) —14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.”

We cannot and should not go up into the mountains and live in a Christians only commune.

God wants us to be lights in this dark world.

Yet we need to be careful about what kinds of relationships we form with people in the world.

If we form relationships where we live the way a pagan person does, we become useless to what God wants to do through us in this world.

Paul wrote to the Ephesians and described what this looks like…
(Ephesians 5:8–21 NKJV) —8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”

Some people fall asleep at the wheel…

Video:  Drowsy Driving

We need to be careful that we don’t become “sleepers” in this world where we just spiritually “snooze” while the world is going to hell.

It’s time to wake up and walk like a believer.

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

We certainly live in evil days.  Most people can no longer tell you definitely what is right and what is wrong.

17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

Walking like a believer involves being filled with the Spirit.

It involves letting God work in your heart in such a way that your life is filled with praise and thankfulness to God.

It is a life that looks like serving others rather than bossing them around.

:8 For thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.

:9 For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me.

:8 He sent Me after glory

The text says that the “the Lord (Yahweh) of hosts” speaks these words.

Yet if it’s Yahweh speaking, then who sends Yahweh?

I believe that this is Jesus speaking here.  We’ve already seen Him present in the night visions as “the Angel of Yahweh” (1:12).
God the Son is being sent by God the Father.

The word “sent” is found 57 times in the book of John, and it usually refers to one person who is the “sent one”, Jesus.

(John 6:29 NKJV) Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

The glory that the Father has sent Jesus after is the glory of God’s victory over those who would hurt God’s people.

:9 you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me

If Jesus is speaking in verse 8, then Jesus is speaking here as well.

When the enemies of Israel have been routed, the Jews will know that God the Father is the one who sent God the Son.

:8 touches the apple of His eye

This is the message for all those who have come against the Jews.

plundershalal – to spoil, plunder, take spoil

touchnaga– to touch, reach, strike

applebabah – the apple (pupil) of the eye

This is the only time in the O.T. that this word is used.
The word babah here is related to a word for “little boy”, meaning something tender and loved. 
Our English word “pupil” not only refers to that central part of your eyeball, but we use that word to describe a young student.
Others see it being related to the word for “gate” or “opening” of the eye.
Though a different word is used in the Hebrew, the same concept is found in:
(Deuteronomy 32:10 NKJV) “He found him in a desert land And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.
When someone touches the Jews, they are “touching” the apple of God’s eye.


Don’t poke God

There are some people you just don’t want to mess with.
Video:  The Princess BrideInigo Montoya Prepare to Die.  Starts at 1:21:42
If you touch God’s people, you are “poking God in the eye”.
You don’t want to mess with God.

:10 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the Lord.

:11 “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.

:11 Many nations shall be joined to the Lord

After Jesus returns the second time, many nations will be joined to God along with the Jews.

:11 I will dwell in your midst

When Jesus came the first time, He dwelt in our midst.

(John 1:14 NKJV) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

When Jesus comes again the second time, God will again be “in our midst”.

(Revelation 21:3 NKJV) And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

:11 know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me

Again, even though many Jews are blinded to the truth of Jesus being their Messiah, there will be a day when they realize that it was all true.

:12 And the Lord will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem.

:12 will again choose Jerusalem

Even though “many nations” (vs. 11) will be joined to the Lord, God is not done with the Jews.

Some churches teach that after the Jews rejected Jesus, that God was finished with the Jews and that now we Gentiles in the church take over the promises that God made to Israel.
Not so.  He will again choose them.

Paul wrote,

(Romans 11:25–26 NLT) —25 I want you to understand this mystery, dear brothers and sisters, so that you will not feel proud about yourselves. Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ. 26 And so all Israel will be saved. As the Scriptures say, “The one who rescues will come from Jerusalem, and he will turn Israel away from ungodliness.

:13 Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!”

:13 Be silent, all flesh

There are some pretty cool promises to the Jews in this chapter.  God has glorious times ahead for them.

Then why is it that they are doing so poorly in the days of Zechariah?  How come the city is still in ruins?  How come the Temple has yet to be built?
The answer to these questions is to “be silent”.  God has been “aroused”, it’s like He’s been awakened.
arouseduwr – to rouse oneself, awake

(Zechariah 2:13 The Message) Quiet, everyone! Shh! Silence before God. Something’s afoot in His holy house. He’s on the move!

This reminds me of the line in “The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe” after the children first arrive in Narnia and find out that their arrival has triggered some events that had been prophesied long before…
Video:  Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe – Aslan’s on the move. Video starts at 46:53.
Just like the story in Narnia, Jesus is “on the move”.

There is hope.



I think the key in this verse to experiencing “hope” is to “be silent”.
be silenthacah – hush, keep silence, be silent, hold peace, hold tongue, still
A different word is used by the Psalmist, but the idea is still the same:
(Psalm 46:10 NKJV) Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
Sometimes we are simply too noisy in our hearts and minds to realize just who God is, that He’s on our side, and that He will help us.
The Jews in Zechariah’s day may have been thinking that God was not paying attention to their difficulties.
They may have been tempted to think that God might even have fallen asleep.
You might have thought that God had fallen asleep, but He’s not.
God’s not dead.  He’s surely alive.
He is coming.  He’s on the way.
Hang in there.