About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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A Man With A Measuring Line (ch. 2:1 - 13)


Verse 1 begins Zechariah’s third vision.  It states that he sees a man with a “measuring line”, much like we saw in chapter 1 verse 16.


In verse 2 Zechariah asks the man with the measuring line where he is going.  You might want to note that this time Zechariah doesn’t ask the explaining angel the question, but the man in the vision.


The man explains that he is on his way to Jerusalem to measure how long and how wide the city is


In verses 3 and 4 the angel that had been explaining the visions to Zechariah actually moves into the vision himself towards the man with the measuring line.  At this point another angel comes and speaks to the angel who has been explaining the visions.  The second angel tells the original angel to run to the man with the measuring line and tell him that Jerusalem will be a city without walls and is prosperous.   This is clearly an end time prophecy concerning Israel.  


In verse 5 God Himself steps into the vision and states that He will at some future point be a wall of fire around Jerusalem and He will be the glory within the holy city. 


We’ll now stop and analyze the vision so far.  Most scholars believe that the man with the measuring line is Jesus, and the vision speaks of His return to earth, and more specifically, His return to Jerusalem.  The prosperity of Jerusalem and its protection will come when Jesus returns to the city. 


In Rev. 11:1 and 2 John was given a measuring rod to measure the altar.  In Rev. 21:15 and angel measures the New Jerusalem.  Many people suggest that such measuring sticks suggest a completion of the construction of something, whether the temple or the New Jerusalem.  The Jerusalem in verse 5 might well be the millennial  Jerusalem.  Some might suggest it’s the New Jerusalem.   


At this point it’s interesting to note what Ezekiel 38:11 says.  It uses similar wording.  It speaks of nations invading Jerusalem and towns around  Jerusalem.  It reads, “I (attacking nations) will invade a land of unwalled villages…”  Before the lasting peace of Jerusalem comes, there will be a temporary man made peace that will not last.  The peace will end with this attack that Ezekiel speaks of.  This is clearly speaking of the anti-Christ’s appearance and the end of this age.    


In verse 6 God says to the Jews, “come,  come!  Flee from the land of the north for I have scattered you…”   The Jews have been scattered more than once in their history  The last time they were scattered was in 70 AD when Rome destroyed Jerusalem.  Futurists interpret this as the gathering together of Jews at the end of the age.


In verse 7 God tells His people to escape the “Daughter of Babylon”.  This is obviously not Babylon itself, but the daughter of Babylon, a descendant of Babylon, possibly the Revised Roman Empire that Futurist believe will be the last great world power. 


Babylon and Jerusalem are the two most mentioned cities in the Bible.  They are and were literal places, yet they have a spiritual significance. Jerusalem represents the people of God and righteousness.  Babylon represents the people of the world and unrighteousness.  

So it’s not necessary to think that the Daughter of Babylon is a revised Babylonian state, although it might be, thus we have a difference between Futurist to what or who this daughter is.


I need to quote from verse 8 because it’s a little confusing.  It says, “after he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you…”  The question needs to be asked, “who is the ‘he’, ‘me’, and ‘you’ in this phrase?”   I believe the word “he” is in reference to God.  The word “me” is in reference to “Jesus”.  Then “you”, is in reference to the Jews.  With this in mind I repeat this verse using the proper names as stated above.  It now reads, “after God has honoured Jesus and has sent Jesus against the nations that have plundered you the Jews…”  This interpretation fits into the scenario seen in Revelation.


Also in verse 8 we see that Israel is the “apple of God’s eye”.  This is figurative language stating that Israel is primary with God.  They are special.  Some Bible teachers say that when these words were written that Israel was special, but now in New Testament times Israel is just another nation and is no longer special.  I won’t defend my position, but I believe that Israel is still special today, even though they are not walking with their God, but that’s nothing new.  They were special in Old Testament times, and most of the time they weren’t walking with God either.  God made certain promises to Abraham that He will keep.


Concerning the phrase “apple of God’s eye”; This has nothing to do with an apple.  It’s an idiom that means the centre of an eye.  Therefore when speaking of Israel as being the “apple of His eye”, that means the centre of God’s eye is on Israel, or, God is very focused on the nation of Israel.   


Verse 9 tells us how God will plunder the enemies of Israel.  He says that He will raise their slaves up and they will defeat them.  The book of  Revelation from a Futurist standpoint speaks of the Revised Roman Empire.  But it also speaks of a revolt among some of the nations under the authority of this last day empire.  This might well be what is spoken of here.


Verse 9 says that , “then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me”.  If we continue to follow the above reasoning that the word “me” refers to Jesus, we can read the verse in this fashion.  “Then you, Israel will know that God has sent me, Jesus.”   This makes perfect sense when seen in light of the book of Revelation.


In verse 10 God tells Israel to shout and be glad because He is coming and will live among them.  What does this mean?  If we continue on the approach that we have been taking, that is, a literal approach that God is speaking to Israel, then this means that at some future point to when these words were spoken God Himself will come to Israel and live among them.  Now some spiritualize this to mean that He will come by His Spirit and live among His people, which took place at Pentecost.  To a degree there is some truth in this.


Yet to take the Bible as literal as possible, I believe God is saying exactly what He is saying.  There will be a day, that has not yet come, when God, and I believe God in Jesus, will return to Israel.  He will set up His thousand year rule from Jerusalem as seen in the book of Revelation.


In verse 11 God says that at that time, or, in the thousand years of Jesus’ rule, many nations will be joined with Him and become His people.  Spiritually speaking, this too has happened, beginning at Pentecost, but in the thousand years of peace, the book of Revelation speaks of Jesus ruling, and His people ruling with Him.  Who will they rule.  They will rule over the rest of the nations that will be joined to God as seen in this verse.


Before I go on I’d like to mention something since I mentioned Pentecost in the last paragraph.  Often times prophecy has a double or even triple fulfillment.  Some prophecies were fulfilled at the cross, or at Pentecost yet have a secondary fulfillment at the end of the age with the appearing of Jesus on earth.  One reason for this is that the Kingdom of God came to earth in a spiritual sense due to the cross and Pentecost, yet at the end of this age, the Kingdom of God will come to earth in a material sense.  So the coming of God’s Kingdom and all that is associated with it, comes in two stages and therefore can be seen in a double fulfillment of prophecy.       


Also in verse 11 we see that at that day, the Jews will finally know and understand that Jesus is their Messiah, that God has sent Him to them.


In verse 12 we see that God will inherit His portion of the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem.  God promised Abraham a certain portion of land.  That promise will come to pass.  That portion of the middle east is set apart from the rest of the world as God’s. Even though the whole world belongs to God, there will be a portion of this earth that is specifically set aside in a special way for Him. 


At that point in time Jerusalem will once again be chosen by God to be His special city.  In 70 AD Jerusalem was destroyed and some say that this is the end of Jerusalem as being something special in God’s site, but I don’t believe that.  Israel is now a nation, and it does possess Jerusalem, even though it is somewhat divided at the moment between Jews and Muslins.  The city as yet is not holy and does not belong to the Lord in the sense that is being spoken of here.


This chapter ends in verse 13.  God says to “be still all of mankind because He has roused Himself from His holy dwelling”.  I believe these words speak of a time when this age is over. The final battle has taken place and Jesus is sitting as ruler of the earth in Jerusalem.  At that point the call will go out from the throne of God for all mankind to be silent in holy respect, fear, and a divine sense of awesomeness.  How long this will last, I don’t know, but this will be the most memorable moment of silence mankind has ever known. 

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