Zechariah 2 Commentary: Today we’ll be finishing the vision that the prophet Zechariah received concerning the man with the measuring line in his hand.
So, let’s read Zechariah 2.
[Read Zec 2…]
So, we’ve studied up through verse 10 previously in this class. And we saw in that verse that God’s Old Testament people were to rejoice at the prospect of the Lord’s dwelling in their midst.
Zechariah 2 Commentary Verse 11
And one reason for that joy is that when God does finally come to reside in the midst of Israel, it won’t just be Israel that wants to be a part of that. Gentile nations – even some of those who plundered Israel as we discussed before – even they will want to – not plunder Israel anymore – but actually join Israel!
and [shall be/will become/they will also be] my people:
[and I/Then I/Indeed, I/I] will [dwell/settle/live] [in the midst of thee/in your midst/in the midst of you all/among you],
[and/Then] [thou shalt/you will] know that the LORD [of hosts/who rules over all/Almighty] [hath/has] sent me [unto thee/to you].
Zechariah 2 Commentary And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day
So, this reality of many nations joining themselves to the Lord is one that is promised by the Lord in other places in the Old Testament.
The Lord in Micah 4:1-4 says:
KJV Micah 4:1 ¶ But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
2 And many nations shall come, and say,
Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths:
for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
So that’s Micah’s testimony to the fact that in the last days many nations will be gathered to the Lord and there will be peace everywhere.
Also, in Isaiah 2, the prophet Isaiah says something very similar to what Micah said about the nations coming and joining themselves to the Lord in the last days.
And even later on in the book of Zechariah we read of this future reality in Zechariah 8:20-23:
KJV Zechariah 8:20 ¶ Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: 21 And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying,
Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also.
22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.
23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts;
In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying,
We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
4 [But/And] they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.
So, whether it’s Zechariah or Micah or Isaiah, the Lord has been promising that many nations will join themselves to him for a while now – and it will happen at a point yet future to us.
Zechariah 2 Commentary and shall be my people
Well, when these nations are joined to the Lord, these Gentiles won’t be treated as second-class citizens. No, they will be God’s people. Just like the Jews are. Distinct, of course, from Israel. And yet, both Jew and Gentile will be numbered as “God’s people.”
Now, there are ten times in the Old Testament where God speaks of making a group of people “his people.”
In Jeremiah 11, The Lord reminds Judah that he commanded Israel to obey his covenant that he made with them when he brought them out of Israel. And if they did, they would be his people and he would be their God. (Jer 11:4)
But unfortunately, Israel broke God’s covenant with them numerous times over several centuries. But God’s mercy and grace continue on so that God speaks of restoring the Jewish exiles to their land after he has to chasten them. And when he brings those exiles back, he will give them a heart to know him. And when that happens, they will be his people and he will be their God. (Jer 24:7)
And those are just two of the ten references to some group of people and how they will become God’s people. And a full nine of those ten references speak of the Jews – and how God will make them his people.
But here in Zechariah 2 is the only place in which it’s not Jews who will be God’s people. It’s Gentiles.
And even though the church is not the fulfillment of this promise – there are some similarities. The majority of people who are in Christ’s Church today are not Jews – they – we – are Gentiles. We know what it’s like to have not been God’s people but to now be the people of God.
We know the joy we feel at the knowledge that God will come and dwell in the midst of Israel. We look forward to the restoration of that nation. I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of grabbing hold of a Jew and with great excitement and anticipation, pleading with him to go up to Jerusalem to the temple and to worship his God and mine – like we just read about in Zechariah 8.
But I can’t find any of those Jews right now. And even if I could – you know, maybe I could find what are referred to as Messianic Jews – well, there’s no physical temple to visit with them in Jerusalem.
But all of that will change. And it will change “in that day” – on the day when the Lord Jesus comes to take up physical residence among his people after he destroys their enemies and saves them.
Zechariah 2 Commentary and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.
And when this happens, that will prove that the Lord of hosts has sent this individual who’s giving this message.
We saw already that this is Jesus Christ who will in that day be vindicated before Israel. He’s going to dwell in their midst and they will finally know that it was the Lord of Hosts who sent Jesus to the Jews.
And the “thou” and the “thee” in this verse are feminine … singular pronouns. And that means that this is addressed to a woman. Who could that be? It’s the daughter of Zion (see verse 10) – to Israel and of course to the individuals in it. All Israel will know in that day when Jesus comes to dwell in their midst that he was sent by the Lord.
And that’s the point that Jesus continually asserted in his earthly ministry. He didn’t come of his own authority. God the Father sent him. The Lord of Hosts sent him. Jesus – being the Lord of Hosts himself – was sent by the Lord of Hosts.
And I feel like it might be helpful and edifying to examine a few verses from the New Testament – mostly from Jesus’ lips – where it’s asserted that God the Father has sent God the Son – or the Lord of Hosts has sent the Lord of Hosts.
And a lot of these references come from the Gospel of John in the New Testament. As I could find them, there are at least seven references in John’s gospel where Jesus claims that the Father sent him.
Zechariah 2 Commentary John 5
In John 5, we’re told that the Jews were seeking to kill Jesus for two reasons. First, they believed that he had broken the Sabbath. And of course, that’s their interpretation of how the Sabbath ought to be kept, which was flawed. And second, Jesus was claiming that God was his father, making himself equal to God.
And in that context, among many other things Jesus says this in verse 36:
KJV John 5:36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
Those Jews that were seeking to kill Jesus – they needed the knowledge that Zechariah says will come in the day when Jesus the Lord of Hosts dwells in the midst of his people and Gentiles join in worshipping the Lord with Jews.
And so, Jesus in John 5 is giving them more reason to believe this reality – that the Father has sent him – that the Lord has sent the Lord.
Zechariah 2 Commentary John 6
Then we have what’s referred to as the Bread of Life discourse in John 6 where Jesus tells the Jews that they need to eat his flesh and drink his blood. And in that context in verse 57 of John 6 he says this:
KJV John 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
And the result of this statement and many others that Jesus made in that speech that he gave the Jews was that numerous of them stopped following him.
The Jews heard the reality that Jesus was sent from the Father – that the Lord of Hosts had indeed sent the Lord of Hosts – just like he promised in Zechariah. But they fell away because of some of Jesus’ “hard” statements.
Zechariah 2 Commentary John 8
Then later in the Gospel of John there are some Jews that have believed in Jesus, we’re told. But when Jesus tells them to continue in his word so that they will be free, they get sort of ugly with him. The conversation turns to the identity of their fathers and of Jesus’ father – with Jesus asserting that their father is the devil and that his Father is God. Of course, they disagree with that declaration and so that leads Jesus to respond with the following in John 8:42:
KJV John 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
So, time after time we’re seeing Jesus trying to make this point that God has indeed sent him. It’s the point that Zechariah 2 foretold many hundreds of years before Jesus was actually sent by the Father. And it’s a point that the Jews never learned – but will some day when Jesus Christ dwells in their midst and Gentiles are drawn to the Lord in that day.
Zechariah 2 Commentary John 10
Later on in the Gospel of John, the Jews approach Jesus and demand that he tell them if he is the Christ – the Messiah. And he declares that he is but that they don’t believe that message. It even gets to the point where they attempt to stone him after he declares a truth that we’ve seen in Zechariah. Do you remember where Jesus claims that he and the father are one? Just like we see in Zechariah 2 where the Lord of Hosts sends the Lord of Hosts – there are two persons identified as the same being.
Well, in reaction to that claim that was foretold to them in Zechariah 2 for 500 years, the Jews pick up stones to stone Jesus. And this is his response to them in John 10:36:
KJV John 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
So, the Lord of Hosts has sent the Lord of Hosts into the world. And what do God’s covenant people do with him? They seek to kill him – to send him back out of the world which the Lord of Hosts sent him to.
And I think that through the references we’ve seen so far, we get a pretty good idea of how hardened these people really were. When God sent Jesus, he sent his son into the world and his son dwelt in the midst of Israel! Couldn’t these people see what God was doing? He was starting to bring to pass his promise from Zechariah 2 of the Lord of Hosts sending the Lord of Hosts.
And we see from Jesus’ earthly ministry that even some Gentiles were drawn to him. We see that in John 12. Some Greeks – Gentiles – started to seek out Jesus, we’re told. Just like the prophecy in Zechariah 2 states – that Gentiles would join themselves to the Lord in that day.
Zechariah 2 Commentary John 17
And yet, it becomes clear that God’s own covenant people would not receive the Lord of Hosts who was sent to them by the Lord of Hosts.
And so, we see Jesus later on in John’s Gospel praying for a select group of people who have received him.
KJV John 17:20 ¶ Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
And so, this is an interesting change. The main concern has been that the Jews would know that the Lord of Hosts has sent Jesus – even in Zechariah 2, that’s the emphasis – “that you (the Jews) would know…” And yet, here in John 17 Jesus expresses a desire that the whole world would believe this truth as well.
And Jesus says that the unity of those who believe in him is the intended means to bring the whole world to believe this truth from Zechariah 2 – that the Lord of Hosts has sent the Lord of Hosts.
Zechariah 2 Commentary John 17 Again
And a few verses later in John 17:25, Jesus reiterates the fact that those who believed in him have known the truth of Zechariah 2. As he’s praying to his Father, the Lord of Hosts, Jesus – the Lord of Hosts himself, says…
KJV John 17:25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
And that’s the last we hear about this issue before Jesus’ death. The whole world did not know that the Lord of Hosts had sent Jesus. Not even his covenant people the Jews realized this truth. Only the few people who were his true disciples understood it. And the rest of the Jews with the help of the nations… put to death… the Lord of Hosts.
Zechariah 2 Commentary John 20
But then, Jesus rises from the dead! And he comes to his disciples and reiterates this truth we’ve been studying here in John 20:21.
KJV John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
So, it wasn’t yet the time for the words of Zechariah 2 to be fulfilled. And until that ultimate time comes when the Jews come to realize that the Lord has sent Jesus, … Jesus has sent us – his true disciples. He’s delegated in some way that task to us – that task of being sent to the world.
Zechariah 2 Commentary Acts 3
But that’s not the end of the story. Because the Lord of Hosts still has plans to send Jesus again to this world. And in that day, the words of Zechariah 2 will certainly come to pass. That’s what Peter points to in Acts 3:19. He says to the Jews…
KJV Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was [preached/appointed/designated] [unto/for] you:
So, when was Jesus preached or appointed or designated to or for the Jews? Well, of course, during his earthly life. But I think this is a reference back to realities like are expressed in Zechariah 2. Because as we’ve seen it’s in that passage that we’re told that there’s a certain day in which finally – at long last – the Jews will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent the Lord of Hosts – Jesus Christ.
Zechariah 2 Commentary Verse 12
Alright, now let’s get back to the book of Zechariah. We just finished studying verse 11 where we’ve been told that nations will join themselves to the Lord when his people finally understand that he has sent the Lord Jesus to them. So, there’s been a good emphasis on the nations.
And even though that’s been the focus of verse 11 – the nations and their future relationship to the Lord and to Israel – yet the Lord wants to end this vision with a note concerning Israel.
And so, in verses 12 and 13 we’re told that the Lord will rouse himself to action in order to show his preference for Judah and Jerusalem. And thus, everyone everywhere should take note and be silent.
12 [And the/The] LORD [shall inherit/will posses/will take possession of/will inherit] Judah [his/as his] portion in the holy land,
and [shall/will] choose Jerusalem [again/once again].
Zechariah 2 Commentary and shall choose Jerusalem again
Now, this choosing of Jerusalem is something the Lord promised back in Isaiah 14. Maybe around 200 years before Zechariah’s message here, this is what the Lord spoke through Isaiah.
KJV Isaiah 14:1 ¶ For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and [they/the strangers] shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
Now, in the context of what we’ve heard here in Zechariah, whom could these “strangers” possibly be? Are these strangers Jews or Gentiles? These are the Gentile nations. The same God who foretold that the Gentile nations would join Israel in the last days through Isaiah speaks that same message through Zechariah.
And actually, this choosing of Jerusalem was something that Zechariah had already been commissioned to proclaim in chapter 1 of this book.
In the vision of the horses of different colors and the Angel of the Lord in the ravine, God promised to “yet comfort Zion, and [that he…] shall yet choose Jerusalem.” (Zec 1:17)
Zechariah 2 Commentary Verse 13
And in light of all of this that we’ve heard through this entire vision that’s spanned a few lessons – that the Lord is very angry with the nations who have plundered the Jews and that he’s going to come and dwell in the midst of his people – God advises everyone everywhere to take notice in the last verse of this vision.
13 ¶ Be silent, [O all flesh/all people everywhere], [before the LORD/in the Lord’s presence]:
[for/because] he [is raised up/is aroused/is being moved to action/has roused himself] [out of/from/in] his holy [habitation/dwelling place/dwelling].
Zechariah 2 Commentary Be silent
Now, silence is commanded by the Lord in Habakkuk 2:20. And what that prophet says is the reason for the commanded silence is that the Lord is “in his holy temple.” “Be silent because the Lord is in his holy temple!”
Zechariah 2 Commentary he is raised up out of his holy habitation
But here in Zechariah, it’s like the action is taken a step further and the Lord is not only in his holy place – but now he is raised up or moved to action out of that holy place.
Zechariah 2 Commentary O all flesh
This is a threat – a threat to the nations – to everyone everywhere! The Lord is going to bring this to pass. And if the Lord was saying this 2500 years ago, then how much more is this the case today?
Jesus can return at any moment to dwell in the midst of his people. It could all start today. Are you living a holy life – as the temple that you are – and waiting for him to return?
May the Lord help us to do just that.