The Book of Zechariah - Part 2

This is the continuation of our study of the Book of Zechariah. He has eight visions from God. Those visions pertain mostly on the future of Jerusalem and Israel.

3. The surveyor measuring Jerusalem

Zechariah's third vision is about a man measuring the city of Jerusalem to find out how wide and how long it is. This is to give Zechariah an idea of how the size of Jerusalem of his time shall pale in comparison with the of future city of Jerusalem.

Zech 2:1-13
1 Then I looked up — and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand! 2 I asked, "Where are you going?"
He answered me, "To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is."
3 Then the angel who was speaking to me left, and another angel came to meet him 4 and said to him: "Run, tell that young man, 'Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of men and livestock in it. 5 And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,' declares the LORD, 'and I will be its glory within.'
6 "Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north," declares the LORD, "for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven," declares the LORD.
7 "Come, O Zion! Escape, you who live in the Daughter of Babylon!" 8 For this is what the LORD Almighty says: "After he has honoured me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you — for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye — 9 I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me.
10 "Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you," declares the LORD. 11 "Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you. 12 The LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling."

The ancient walled city of Jerusalem with different boundaries through different eras. Click to zoom in.
Source: www.biblestudy.org

Ancient Jerusalem was a walled city considered to be one of the biggest cities in the ancient world. However, the sizes of cities during those times are small compared to the cities of modern age. Ancient cities were also traditionally surrounded by high and thick walls as a protection or a defensive measure from enemy's attack. As an example, the walls of the city of Jericho crumbled under the shout and blast of trumpets of the marching Hebrews around it for seven days. It was actually through God's power that the renown walls of Jericho crumbled and because of the obedience of His people (Josh 6:1-25). There was no way that the small army of Israel that time can penetrate Jericho's walls by human power. Unless the walls of a city is breached, the city will remain intact and protected. At another time, the army of Assyria led by Sennacherib laid siege against Jerusalem for three years cutting off its food supply and preventing any entry and exit of people. The purpose was to starve the people inside the city to defeat. It was only through God's intervention that the people of Jerusalem was saved from sure annihilation (2 Kings 19:1-37; 2 Chron 32:1-22). Therefore, a high, thick wall for defense can also become a liability.

In Zechariah's prophecy, God is saying that no longer will Jerusalem need walls for protection since God will be its walls. It is a figure of speech that God will be a wall of fire around it. It means no enemy can threaten it anymore. The people will live is safety, there will be no more wars, and there shall be abundance of food, and the number of inhabitants will be great just as promised to Abraham. In today's age, a nation's protection is no longer by high and thick walls but by military defensive weapons. We have radars and satellites, military intelligence and other technologies to warn a nation of impending attack. We also have sophisticated hardware--planes, sea and land equipments to thwart enemy attacks. Nations spend so much of their wealth to invest on these modern "walls" and yet there will be no assurance that these will be hundred percent effective to protect a nation and the citizens from attacks. What God is offering for protection is free and simple method, that is to rely on His own power. No nation today seeks that power anymore. The prophecy of Zechariah is meant to be fulfilled only during the Millennium and beyond. Related topics: The Millennium, and Weapons or God?

Zechariah also prophesied about the scattering of Israel from their invaders to all nations (verses 6, 7) and then God will gather them together in the last days. Read also Who Are the Ten Horns of the Beast? - Part 1 and Part 2. Notice also in the above prophecies that it was actually Jesus Christ speaking to Israel - "I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me [Jesus] to you." Jesus again said, "Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you," declares the LORD. "Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people." Also read Two Questions on Judgment Day about the people to start the Millennium through eternity. Jesus indeed came and live among us. First He came in flesh more than 2,000 years ago but He will come again to judge all nations and destroy His enemies in what the Bible calls The Great Day of the Lord. Finally, God is warning all mankind, not only Israel about His great day of wrath--"Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling." That day is coming very shortly. Related: Where Are We Now? What To Expect?

The future City of Jerusalem shall be made in Heaven and shall descend to Earth with great splendour. Read Beyond the Millennium about this great city and how big it is.

4. Joshua, the high priest

The fourth vision is about the high priest Joshua. Note, he is not the same Joshua, the warrior and the successor of Moses who led the Israelites in conquering the land of Canaan almost a thousand years earlier. So, what is the meaning of this vision?

Zech 3
3:1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. 2 The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?"
3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes."
Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you."
5 Then I said, "Put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by.
6 The angel of the LORD gave this charge to Joshua: 7 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.
8 "'Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. 9 See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,' says the LORD Almighty, 'and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.
10 "'In that day each of you will invite his neighbour to sit under his vine and fig tree,' declares the LORD Almighty."

Joshua represents the people of Israel including believers from Gentile nations who will soon become priests to all nations in the Millennium (Isa 61:6; 66:21; 1Pet 2:5-9; Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6). Joshua is just symbolizing the things to come (verse 8). Satan was standing beside Joshua to accuse him and the Lord rebuke Satan telling him that he is a man snatched from the fire (hell). This pictures Israel snatched from all the nations that persecuted them as well as rescuing them spiritually from the eternal fires of hell. The whole story of Satan attacking Israel relentlessly is also pictured in Revelation 12 wherein the dragon was a pursuing the woman [Israel and the chosen people] with a man-child. Related story: Greenland: The Camp of God's Army - Part 1.

God put a condition on the would-be priests of Israel: "If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here." All the believers will all soon become priests and reign with Jesus Christ if they continue to walk in the ways of God. Although Israel is like a poor man with filthy clothes (covered with sins) they will be forgiven (See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you).

Rev 20:6
6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

God the Father also mentioned sending the Branch who is of course Jesus Christ who will remove the sins of the world (verses 8-9) and who will also be our High Priest (Heb 5:5-10; 6:20; 8:1; 9:11).

In summary for this third vision, God is saying to Zechariah that God had prepared a solution to man's sins and to put and end to Israel's sufferings. He is sending Jesus Christ, the Branch to rescue us from the fires of hell and to reward us with His riches and reign with Him as priests over many nations. And through the victory of Jesus Christ over Satan, man has achieved a wonderful future with Him in the Millennium and beyond through His blood. What a wonderful and peaceful days that would be! "In that day each of you will invite his neighbour to sit under his vine and fig tree,' declares the LORD Almighty." Come, let us enlist to become part of the Millennial family of Jesus Christ.

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