Chapter 1 has a basic question of running to or running from as regards those who returned to Judah after being released from Babylon ; primarily to Jerusalem. 50,000 Judeans had just returned from 70 years at the hands and mercy of Chaldean Babylonians; 50,000 out of hundreds of thousands. Only a few returned meaning a very large population of the no longer captives remained in, around, or migrated from Babylon to places other than to their native land of Israel. After 70 years of living in Babylon, most who remained alive were probably born while in Babylon, not Judah. Upon release by Cyrus I, a bible history student (disciple/learner) should note that it is just as likely some, if not thousands moved from Babylon but in any direction other than Jerusalem. Historical migrations records show this to be true.
Zechariah states, just as Jesus states in the New Testament, “return to me then I will return to you.” This is a major discussion in and of itself, but not at this time. It is a simple condition. God/Lord/Jesus made a point. If one does not feel as close to God as s/he once did, guess who moved! Want to reconnect that closeness? Then MOVE CLOSER. God wanted His chosen people to occupy Israel/Jerusalem. God wanted the Judeans to return to him and their home. They did not do so other than a trickle.
Looking back at chapter 1 beginning with verse 7, Zechariah sees horsemen near or under *Myrtle trees. Queen Esther’s name means “myrtle”. Recall our comment in our introduction and chapter 1 of Zechariah that *the name myrtle and the name of Esther have a connection. If there is a connection between Queen Esther and what Zechariah saw under the Myrtle trees, we have not discovered, but it may be there. Pray about it now that you know. Zechariah of the returning band of Judeans and Queen Esther of Persia may have known each other; most likely contemporaries…old Zechariah and a young Esther.
Verse 1:15 could use a bit of illumination. God was a bit angry (with his chosen people in Judah, from which we get the name Jew), but other nations made it worse (for captive Israelis). Who are these other nations? We find that answer a few verses later in the vision of horns and craftsmen. The horns that prodded Israelites from their Promised Lands were Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks and Romans. Some commentaries wish to make Medo-Persia one of the horns. This creates a problem. The Medo-Persians were the ones who eventually released those who were formerly under the thumb of Babylon until Cyrus I released them. The Medo-Persians conquered Babylon. Cyrus I of Persia released those who were already captured and scattered. It was an option to return home. Most did not go home. Some migrated east, and south settling some of the barren lands of that time.
One may wonder about the Greek role in this scattering. This is Alexander the Great. Although he did not attack and conquer Jerusalem, he did attack some of the cities within Judah. One historical fact: when Alexander built Alexandria along the Mediterranean Sea coast in northern Egypt, he moved over 2,000,000 Jews to this city. In a sense it was a reward to these people to live there, but in God’s world, this scattered them even further. Rome also scattered these defeated Judeans to Aleppo (northern Syria and Turkey) and to the (E)Iberian Peninsula of Spain. Since this is not the context of Zechariah, we will discuss it again in later blogs and articles.
A measuring line to measure for something that is already there or will sometime and somehow be rebuilt differently? Here we are with Zechariah having another vision; a vision that follows men riding horses standing under the Myrtle Trees, the four horns (enemies of exiled Kingdom of Israel) and four carpenters.
- Red, white, brownish orange and spotted horse. JIV NOTE: Not one horse is black as in the Book of Revelation and the Apocalypse horsemen. No black horse distinguishes between the two prophetic events of time yet not seen.
- Four horns and four carpenters.
- NOW…a measuring line
“Where are you going”, asks Zechariah (v2). Bluntly…this is End Time prophecy. (ESV) Zechariah 2:4 tells us a couple of things. First one angel says to the one with the measuring line, “Run to that young man.” Since it is Zechariah asking the question in verse 2, it is Zechariah who is the YOUNG MAN. The angel is told to “RUN!” He is told to tell Zechariah that Jerusalem will [someday] have a very large population of people and animals that will overflow the former walls of this infamous city. To us at ahabiblemoments.com this suggests along with other things, that when Israelis from the four corners of the earth return to God, God will return to them with abundance. If we in modern time (C.E.) and as a church body return to Christ as described in the Book of Acts, God will return to us filling our cup to the brim and over the top. There is more but suffice it for this right now. Bottom line: this is the restoration of future Israel when Judah and Israel will once again become one nation. This is symbolic of the man with the measuring line.
Zechariah 2:7 can be taken as symbolical and actuality. “Deliver thyself oh Zion out of Babylon” (those who live amongst the ‘daughters of Babylon’). We already know that MOST of the Jewish Babylonian captives did not return to Judah or Jerusalem when Cyrus I signed a decree for them to be released. Their millions of descendants remain in and around that territory to this very day. Some migrated elsewhere to places God did not wish for them to be. We know per news as of fall 2020, a large number of India Israelis, Bnei Menashe (means “family or sons of Manasseh) are being returned after 2,700 years as a part of one Lost Tribe of Israel.
AHAMOMENT: The practice of an ancient Judaism in India by descendants of the Tribe of Manasseh did NOT KNOW about Purim; time of Esther. Why not? Purim came out of the history of Esther and the survival of the Jews who remained in Babylon after their captivity. Purim is a celebration of Queen Esther saving them from annihilation. The Tribes of Israel dispersed by the Assyrians 200 years before the Babylonian history of King Ahasuerus and Esther did not experience or know of this event…Purim. This 2020 return of “sons of Manasseh will amount to over 10,000 people of Israeli descent returning to Israel from northwestern India. http://thejewishlink.com/722-descendants-of-manasseh-in-india-to-return-to-israel/
Zechariah 2:7 – 9: The “apple of my eye.” Again, this is NOT the church in end times. It is all about God’s covenants with Israel through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Basically God is relaying through Zechariah… those who mess (past and future tense) with my people will be judged most harshly. (V9; ESV) “I will shake my hand [of judgment] over them”
V10 “I will dwell in the midst of them…” [KJV] The word dwell is not only a spiritual dwelling but also meaning an indwelling. The Hebrew word shâkan is used for dwell. It means according to Strong H7931; to lodge with or amongst; have habitation with them or inhabit. Zechariah 8:22-23 elaborates upon this next verse in 2:11. We will get there, eventually.
Zec 2:13 Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.
Rev. Dr. Jstark