Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand.CHAPTER 2
1. The man with the measuring line (Zechariah 2:1-2)
2. The message of the third night vision (Zechariah 2:3-9)
3. The glorious kingdom (Zechariah 2:10-12)
Zechariah 2:1-2. The third night vision is one of the coming glory. The number three stands in the Word of God for resurrection, life from the dead. Thus in Hosea, concerning Israel, “After two days Thou wilt revive us, and on the third day Thou wilt raise us up” Hosea 6:2. In this third vision Zechariah sees the glorious restoration of Israel, which has been the burden of so many prophecies, and the glory which is connected with that restoration. In this night vision Zechariah hears of a restoration and of a glory which has never yet been fulfilled in the history of God’s people. Those teachers of the Word who see in Zechariah’s night visions nothing but fulfilled prophecy, cannot answer certain questions satisfactorily, and their only refuge must be a spiritualizing of this restoration. Another thought before we take up this third vision. The vision of restoration comes after the enemies of Israel have been cast down. That prophecy might be fulfilled; prophecy about a believing, suffering Jewish remnant; prophecy concerning Jacob’s trouble, etc., a mock restoration, generally termed a restoration in unbelief, is to take place. There can be no doubt whatever that we are privileged to see the beginning of this restoration of part of the Jewish nation to the land of the fathers in unbelief. It is one of the signs of the nearness of that event for which the Church hopes, prays and waits: “our gathering together unto Him.” The world and the lukewarm Christian do not see it, but he who loves the Word and lives in the Word, has eyes to see and a hearing ear, and knows what is soon coming. The true restoration, however, will only come as it is seen so clearly in these night visions after the enemies have been overcome, the horns cast down, the image smashed--in other words, after the Lord has come.
First stands the man with the measuring line. He is to bear witness to the coming enlargement of Jerusalem. Similar visions where measuring takes place are found in Ezekiel 41:1-26, where the future temple is measured, and in Revelation 11:1-19 a reed is given to John to measure the temple of God, which is the temple erected by the Jews in unbelief during the tribulation period. Here it is the measuring of the city.
Zechariah 2:3-9. The angel who had talked with Zechariah was met by another angel. He brings the message to Zechariah, who is addressed as “this young man.” The coming restoration and enlargement of Jerusalem is announced. The city is to be inhabited as villages, which denotes the peace and safety which Jerusalem will enjoy in the day of her true restoration. It will be the temptation for the enemy, Gog and Magog, to invade the land. (See Ezekiel 38:1-23; Ezekiel 39:1-29.) The invasion of Gog and Magog in Revelation 20:1-15 is after the millennium; the one in Ezekiel is in the beginning of the millennium [i.e., end of the tribulation. Ed.]. Then Zechariah hears in the message that the Lord will be Himself a wall of fire unto Jerusalem; He will be the glory in the midst of her. Glory and defence are combined, they always go together Isaiah 4:1-6. This was not the case in the restored Jerusalem after the captivity. It is altogether future. What a glory it will be when every eye sees Him, when His visible glory will be once more established in the land, from which its knowledge spreads over the earth till it covers all, like the waters cover the deep! Habakkuk 2:14. Then they are summoned to return from the land of the North. Millions of Jews are living and suffering in the great land of the north, Russia. In that day they will return to the old homeland. They will escape out of the clutches of Babylon, the final Babylon. He calls the believing remnant the “apple of His eye.” He will guard and keep them.
Zechariah 2:10-12. The singing times have come Zephaniah 3:1-20. Zion rejoices for He dwells in their midst Isaiah 12:1-6. Then the nations are joined to the Lord in that day, not to the Church, for the true Church is in glory, but they will be joined to Israel in the kingdom. The third vision closes with an exhortation similar to the one in Habakkuk 2:1-20. All flesh is to be silent before the Lord. Now is the time when God is silent. The flesh speaks now, for it is man’s day. But our God shall come and not keep silent Psalm 60:1-12. Then all the flesh, with its fruits, will have to be silent before Him in that day.