Zechariah 2:1
I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand.
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Zechariah 2:1-5. I lifted up mine eyes, &c., and behold a man — An angel in the form of a man, probably representing Nehemiah, under whose direction the wall was rebuilt, according to the ancient line marked out by the ruins. See Nehemiah 3., &c, &c. And the angel that talked with me went forth — Went away from me, as if he had performed his commission in regard to me, and was to commune with me no longer. And another angel went out to meet him — But, as he was going away, I saw another angel meet him. This appears to have been an angel sent with fresh commands, from the superior personage among the myrtle-trees, to the angel who communed with the prophet. And said, Run, speak to this young man — Hasten with all diligence, and communicate to the young and inexperienced prophet what will check his fears, and encourage him to proceed in the execution of his prophetic office. Saying, Jerusalem — Which hath so long lain in ruins, and seemed to be in a hopeless state, shall be inhabited as towns, &c. — Shall overflow with inhabitants, who shall occupy spaces beyond the circuit of the walls: that is, its inhabitants will multiply so fast, that the houses within the walls will not be able to contain them, and they will be obliged to seek habitations in the neighbouring country in villages, which shall be of as great extent as towns, which, although without walls, shall be safe and secure against the attacks of enemies; their own multitude of men being a sufficient defence to them. And their cattle will increase in proportion. That this was a fact with regard to Jerusalem, see Josephus, De Bell. Jud., lib. 5. chap. 4, where we learn that “the city, overflowing with its number of inhabitants, by degrees extended itself beyond its walls;” and that Herod Agrippa fortified the new part called Bezetha. For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire — Which cannot be scaled or undermined, as it would soon consume any that might attempt to do the one or the other. Thus, in regard to her inhabiting without walls, God engages to secure her as effectually as if she were surrounded with a wall of fire. “The image is most sublime, and expresses very strongly the protection of God. It must have reminded the Jews of the pillar of fire by which God directed and defended their ancestors.” — Newcome. He says, Round about, to signify that no part should be left unguarded, or open to the enemy. And will be the glory in the midst of her — My presence and favour shall render her glorious. He alludes to the symbol of the divine presence in the holy of holies. Observe, reader, those that have Jehovah for their God have him for their glory: and they that have him in the midst of them have glory in the midst of them. And all those persons and places that have God in the midst of them, have him for a wall of fire round about them; for upon all that glory, there is, and shall be, a defence, Isaiah 4:5. This prophecy was fulfilled in part in that Jerusalem, which, in process of time, became a very flourishing city, and made a very great figure in those parts of the world, much beyond what could have been expected, considering how low it had been brought, and how long it was before it recovered itself. But it was to have its full accomplishment in the gospel church, which is extended far, like towns without walls, by the admission of the Gentiles into it; and which hath the Son of God, and God himself, for its prince and protector.

2:1-5 The Son of David, even the Man Christ Jesus, whom the prophet sees with a measuring line in his hand, is the Master-Builder of his church. God notices the extent of his church, and will take care that whatever number of guests are brought to the wedding-supper, there shall be room. This vision means well to Jerusalem. The walls of a city, as they defend it, so they straiten its inhabitants; but Jerusalem shall be extended as freely as if it had no walls at all, yet shall be as safe as if it had the strongest walls. In the church of God there yet is room for other multitudes, more than man can number. None shall be refused who trust in Christ; and He never shuts out from heaven one true member of the church on earth. God will be a Wall of fire round them, which can neither be broken through nor undermined, nor can it be assailed without danger to those who attack. This vision was to have its full accomplishment in the gospel church, which is extended by admitting the Gentiles into it; and which has the Son of God for its Prince and Protector; especially in the glorious times yet to come.A man with a measuring line in his hand - Probably the Angel of the Lord, of whom Ezekiel has a like vision. Jerome: "He who before, when he lift up his eyes, had seen in the four horns things mournful, now again lifts up his eves to see a man, of whom it is written, "Behold a man whose name is the Branch" Zechariah 6:12; of whom we read above, "Behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees, which were in the bottom" Zechariah 1:8. Of whom too the Father saith; He builded My city, "whose builder and maker is God" Hebrews 11:10. He too is seen by Ezekiel in a description like this, "a man whose appearance was like the appearance of brass" Ezekiel 40:3, that is, "burnished and shining as fire, with a line of flax in his hand and a measuring reed" Ezekiel 1:7. The office also seems to be one of authority, not to measure the actual length and breadth of Jerusalem, but to lay down what it should be, (Cyril), "to mark it out broad and very long." CHAPTER 2

Zec 2:1-13. Third Vision. The man with the measuring-line.

The city shall be fully restored and enlarged (Zec 2:2-5). Recall of the exiles (Zec 2:6, 7). Jehovah will protect His people and make their foes a spoil unto them (Zec 2:8, 9). The nations shall be converted to Jehovah, as the result of His dwelling manifestly amidst His people (Zec 2:10-13).

1. man with a measuring-line—the same image to represent the same future fact as in Eze 40:3; 47:4. The "man" is Messiah (see on [1175]Zec 1:8), who, by measuring Jerusalem, is denoted as the Author of its coming restoration. Thus the Jews are encouraged in Zechariah's time to proceed with the building. Still more so shall they be hereby encouraged in the future restoration.The vision of an angel sent to measure Jerusalem, and its flourishing state under God’s protection foretold, Zechariah 2:1-5. The people warned to quit Babylon before its fall, Zechariah 2:6-9. The promise of God’s presence, Zechariah 2:10-13.

I, Zechariah,

lifted up mine eyes again: this is the third emblem or vision he had seen. Looked very diligently and intently.

A man; one in form of a man; some say it was Christ, others say a type of Nehemiah; it was an emblem of some master-builder to be sure, and it is probable the prophet took him for no more than a man.

With a measuring line in his hand; he appeared ready and prepared to lay out the platform of Jerusalem for extent, form, and beauty,


The vision of an angel sent to measure Jerusalem, and its flourishing state under God’s protection foretold, Zechariah 2:1-5. The people warned to quit Babylon before its fall, Zechariah 2:6-9. The promise of God’s presence, Zechariah 2:10-13.

I, Zechariah,

lifted up mine eyes again: this is the third emblem or vision he had seen. Looked very diligently and intently.

A man; one in form of a man; some say it was Christ, others say a type of Nehemiah; it was an emblem of some master-builder to be sure, and it is probable the prophet took him for no more than a man.

With a measuring line in his hand; he appeared ready and prepared to lay out the platform of Jerusalem for extent, form, and beauty,

I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked,.... And saw a third vision; which, as Kimchi owns, refers to the times of the Messiah; though it might be of use to the Jews then present, to encourage them to expect the rebuilding of Jerusalem, in a literal sense:

and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand: by whom is meant, not Nehemiah, nor Zerubbabel; see Zechariah 4:10 who were concerned in the building of Jerusalem; nor any mere man, nor even a created angel; for, though he may be the same with the other angel, that did not talk with the prophet, Zechariah 2:3 as Kimchi observes; seeing he seems to be superior to him that did; yet not a ministering spirit, but the Messiah, who in this book is often spoken of as a man; See Gill on Zechariah 1:8 and by "the measuring line in his hand" may be meant eternal predestination, the Lamb's book of life, which is in his keeping; and is the measure and rule by which he proceeds in the calling, justification, and glorification of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven; or the Scriptures of truth, the measure and rule of doctrine, discipline, worship, and conversation; and according to which Christ forms, constitutes, and regulates Gospel churches; see Ezekiel 40:3.

I lifted up my eyes again, and looked, and behold a {a} man with a measuring line in his hand.

(a) This is the angel who was Christ: for in respect of his office he is often called an angel, but in respect of his eternal essence, is God, and so called.

Ch. Zechariah 2:1. a man] Probably an angel in human form, called a “young man,” Zechariah 2:4, where see note

a measuring line] The word is not the same as in Zechariah 1:16; but the promise there is taken up here, and its literal fulfilment, which the action of the man with the line seemed about to secure, is merged in a greater blessing. In Ezekiel 40:3, Revelation 11:1; Revelation 21:15, a reed is used, in addition to, or instead of, a line as here.

Verses 1-13. - § 5. The third vision: the man with the measuring line. Verse 1. - (Hebrews 2:5.) I lifted up mine eyes again (comp. Zechariah 5:1; Zechariah 6:1; Daniel 8:3). This third vision makes a further revelation of God's mercy to Israel. Consequent on the destruction of enemies shall be the growth and development of the chosen people till the time of their final glory (comp. Zechariah 1:16). There is some difficulty in arranging the details of this vision, depending in great measure on the decision we arrive at with regard to the identification of the "young man" of ver. 4. Those who, as Theodoret, Hitzig, Schegg, Trcehon, Wright, Perowne, etc., consider him to be the man with the measuring line of ver. 1, do not explain why the message should be given to him instead of to the prophet who had asked for information. Nor is it at all certain that the measurer is meant to be regarded as having made a mistake in attempting to define the limits of what was practically unlimited - viz. the restored Jerusalem - and was stopped accordingly in his proceedings. It seems preferable, with Jerome, Cornelius a Lapide, Pusey, Keil, Knabenbauer, etc., to regard the "young man" as Zechariah himself. Then the vision is thus presented: The prophet sees a man with a measuring line; he asks whither he is going, and is answered that he was going forth to measure Jerusalem. Upon this the interpreting angel leaves the prophet's side to receive the explanation of the man's proceedings, and is met by a superior angel, who bids him hasten to tell the prophet the meaning of the vision. A man. Probably an angel in human form, as Zechariah 1:8. A measuring line. This is not the same word as that in Zechariah 1:16; but the idea there proposed is taken up here, and its fulfilment is set forth (comp. Ezekiel 11:3; Revelation 11:1; Revelation 21:15, 16). Zechariah 2:1Whilst the second vision sets forth the destruction of the powers that were hostile to Israel, the third (Zechariah 2:1-5) with the prophetic explanation (Zechariah 2:6-13) shows the development of the people and kingdom of God till the time of its final glory. The vision itself appears very simple, only a few of the principal features being indicated; but in this very brevity it presents many difficulties so far as the exposition is concerned. It is as follows: Zechariah 2:1. "And I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold a man, and in his hand a measuring line. Zechariah 2:2. Then I said, Whither goest thou? And he said to me, To measure Jerusalem, to see how great its breadth, and how great its length. Zechariah 2:3. And, behold, the angel that talked with me went out, and another angel went out to meet him. Zechariah 2:4. And he said to him, Run, speak to his young man thus: Jerusalem shall lie as an open land for the multitude of men and cattle in the midst of it. Zechariah 2:5. And I shall be to it, is the saying of Jehovah, a fiery wall round about; and I shall be for glory in the midst of it." The man with the measuring line in his hand is not the interpreting angel (C. B. Mich., Ros., Maurer, etc.); for it was not his duty to place the events upon the stage, but simply to explain to the prophet the things which he saw. Moreover, this angel is clearly distinguished from the man, inasmuch as he does not go out (Zechariah 2:3) till after the latter has gone to measure Jerusalem (Zechariah 2:2). At the same time, we cannot regard the measuring man as merely "a figure in the vision," since all the persons occurring in these visions are significant; but we agree with those who conjecture that he is the angel of Jehovah, although this conjecture cannot be distinctly proved. The task which he is preparing to perform - namely, to measure Jerusalem - leads unquestionably to the conclusion that he is something more than a figure. The measuring of the breadth and length of Jerusalem presupposes that the city is already in existence; and this expression must not be identified with the phrase, to draw the measure over Jerusalem, in Zechariah 1:15. Drawing the measure over a place is done for the purpose of sketching a plan for its general arrangement or the rebuilding of it. But the length and breadth of a city can only be measured when it is already in existence; and the object of the measuring is not to see how long and how broad it is to be, but what the length and breadth actually are. It is true that it by no means follows from this that the city to be measured was the Jerusalem of that time; on the contrary, the vision shows the future Jerusalem, but it exhibits it as a city in actual existence, and visible to the spiritual eye. While the man goes away to measure the city, the interpreting angel goes out: not out of the myrtle thicket, for this only occurs in the first vision; but he goes away from the presence of the prophet, where we have to think of him as his interpreter, in the direction of the man with the measuring line, to find out what he is going to do, and bring back word to the prophet. At the very same time another angel comes out to meet him, viz., the angelus interpres, not the man with the measuring line. For one person can only come to meet another when the latter is going in the direction from which the former comes. Having come to meet him, he (the second angel) says to him (the angelus interpres), "Run, say to this young man," etc. The subject to ויּאמר can only be the second angel; for if, on grammatical grounds, the angelus interpres might be regarded as speaking to the young man, such an assumption is proved to be untenable, by the fact that it was no part of the office of the angelus interpres to give orders or commissions to another angel. On the other hand, there is nothing at all to preclude another angel from revealing a decree of God to the angelus interpres for him to communicate to the prophet; inasmuch as this does not bring the angelus interpres into action any further than his function requires, so that there is no ground for the objection that this is at variance with his standing elsewhere (Kliefoth). But the other angel could not give the instructions mentioned in Zechariah 1:4 to the angelus interpres, unless he were either himself a superior angel, viz., the angel of Jehovah, or had been directed to do so by the man with the measuring line, in which case this "man" would be the angel of Jehovah. Of these two possibilities we prefer the latter on two grounds: (1) because it is impossible to think of any reason why the "other angel" should not be simply called מלאך יהוה, if he really were the angel of the Lord; and (2) because, according to the analogy of Ezekiel 40:3, the man with the measuring line most probably was the angel of Jehovah, with whose dignity it would be quite in keeping that he should explain his purpose to the angelus interpres through the medium of another (inferior) angel. And if this be established, so far as the brevity of the account will allow, we cannot understand by the "young man" the man with the measuring line, as Hitzig, Maurer, and Kliefoth do. The only way in which such an assumption as this could be rendered tenable or in harmony with the rest, would be by supposing that the design of the message was to tell the man with the measuring line that "he might desist from his useless enterprise" (Hitzig), as Jerusalem could not be measured at all, on account of the number of its inhabitants and its vast size (Theod. Mops., Theodoret, Ewald, Umbreit, etc.); but Kliefoth has very justly replied to this, that "if a city be ever so great, inasmuch as it is a city, it can always be measured, and also have walls."

If, then, the symbolical act of measuring, as Kliefoth also admits, expresses the question how large and how broad Jerusalem will eventually be, and if the words of Zechariah 2:4, Zechariah 2:5 contain the answer to this question, viz., Jerusalem will in the first place (Zechariah 2:4) contain such a multitude of men and cattle that it will dwell like perâzōth; this answer, which gives the meaning of the measuring, must be addressed not to the measuring man, but simply to the prophet, that he may announce to the people the future magnitude and glory of the city. The measuring man was able to satisfy himself of this by the measuring itself. We must therefore follow the majority of both the earlier and later expositors, and take the "young man" as being the prophet himself, who is so designated on account of his youthful age, and without any allusion whatever to "human inexperience and dim short-sightedness" (Hengstenberg), since such an allusion would be very remote from the context, and even old men of experience could not possibly know anything concerning the future glory of Jerusalem without a revelation from above. Hallâz, as in Judges 6:20 and 2 Kings 4:25, is a contraction of hallâzeh, and formed from lâzeh, there, thither, and the article hal, in the sense of the (young man) there, or that young man (cf. Ewald, 103, a, and 183, b; Ges. 34, Anm. 1). He is to make haste and bring this message, because it is good news, the realization of which will soon commence. The message contains a double and most joyful promise. (1) Jerusalem will in future dwell, i.e., to be built, as perâzōth. This word means neither "without walls," nor loca aperta, but strictly speaking the plains, and is only used in the plural to denote the open, level ground, as contrasted with the fortified cities surrounded by walls: thus ‛ārē perâzōth, cities of the plain, in Esther 9:19, as distinguished from the capital Susa; and 'erets perâzōth in Ezekiel 38:11, the land where men dwell "without walls, bolts, and gates;" hence perâzı̄, inhabitant of the plain, in contrast with the inhabitants of fortified cities with high walls (Deuteronomy 3:5; 1 Samuel 6:18). The thought is therefore the following: Jerusalem is in future to resemble an open country covered with unwalled cities and villages; it will no longer be a city closely encircled with walls; hence it will be extraordinarily enlarged, on account of the multitude of men and cattle with which it will be blessed (cf. Isaiah 49:19-20; Ezekiel 38:11). Moreover, (2) Jerusalem will then have no protecting wall surrounding it, because it will enjoy a superior protection. Jehovah will be to it a wall of fire round about, that is to say, a defence of fire which will consume every one who ventures to attack it (cf. Isaiah 4:5; Deuteronomy 4:24). Jehovah will also be the glory in the midst of Jerusalem, that is to say, will fill the city with His glory (cf. Isaiah 60:19). This promise is explained in the following prophetic words which are uttered by the angel of Jehovah, as Zechariah 2:8, Zechariah 2:9, and Zechariah 2:11 clearly show. According to these verses, for example, the speaker is sent by Jehovah, and according to Zechariah 2:8 to the nations which have plundered Israel, "after glory," i.e., to smite these nations and make them servants to the Israelites. From this shall Israel learn that Jehovah has sent him. The fact that, according to Zechariah 2:3, Zechariah 2:4, another angel speaks to the prophet, may be easily reconciled with this. For since this angel, as we have seen above, was sent by the angel of Jehovah, he speaks according to his instructions, and that in such a manner that his words pass imperceptibly into the words of the sender, just as we very frequently find the words of a prophet passing suddenly into the words of God, and carried on as such. For the purpose of escaping from this simple conclusion, Koehler has forcibly broken up this continuous address, and has separated the words of Zechariah 2:8, Zechariah 2:9, and Zechariah 2:11, in which the angel says that Jehovah has sent him, from the words of Jehovah proclaimed by the angel, as being interpolations, but without succeeding in explaining them either simply or naturally.

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