The Book of Zechariah
THE THIRD VISION: THE MAN WITH THE MEASURING LINE
1. The book of Zechariah, like the books of Ezekiel, Daniel, and Revelation, contains much symbolism. Unfortunately, these books are either ignored or “spiritualized.”
2. Spiritualizing simply means that when you come to a reference in the Bible about Israel, rather than interpret it literally, you “spiritualize” it and say that it means “the church.”
3. What exactly these interpreters mean by “the church” is usually not very clear. But it does not matter because they are all wrong anyway.
4. The symbols in Zechariah are really not that hard to figure out. For example, in chapter 1 Zechariah had two visions: in the first vision, “the man that stood among the myrtle trees” is the angel of the Lord, the pre-incarnate Christ (1:10,11).
5. The other riders are angels who are patrolling the earth (1:8-11). You can sleep easy tonight knowing that God is in control and His angels are riding up and down watching out for Him.
6. In his second vision, Zechariah saw four horns (1:18). In the Bible, horns represent power, kings and kingdoms. In this case I pointed out last time that the four horns were the same four world empires that Daniel spoke of in chapters 2 and 7.
7. The four horns were cast out by four carpenters (1:20). This too is not difficult to understand. Babylon was defeated by the first carpenter, Media-Persia; Media-Persia by Greece; Greece by Rome; and the revived Roman Empire will be destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ at His second advent. This is all described for us by the prophet Daniel and by John in the book of Revelation.
8. Which brings us to Zechariah’s third vision – the man with the measuring line. Chapter 2 continues with the same theme as chapter 1 – the second coming of Christ, the restoration of Israel, the rebuilding of Jerusalem during the millennial kingdom, and God’s judgment upon the ungodly.
9. Before moving on, let me reiterate what I have said before – the eight visions all have reference to Zechariah’s day, but extend beyond that day to the second coming of Christ (cf. 2:8, “After the glory…”). If this basic truth is denied, it is impossible to rightly interpret the book of Zechariah.
10. Rather than study the entire vision tonight, we will look at the first three verses, which deal with three persons: the man with the measuring line, the prophet Zechariah, and the angel that talked with Zechariah.
I. THE MAN WITH THE MEASURING LINE
1. The symbol of the measuring line, referred to in 1:16, is now seen again (2:1).
2. Who is this “man”? Apparently he is some sort of surveyor. Zechariah asked him, “Whither goest thou?” The surveyor was getting ready to measure Jerusalem, both the breadth and the length thereof (2:2).
3. It is quite possible that this surveyor is the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus Christ, who appeared as the “man riding upon a red horse” in Zechariah’s first vision (1:8).
4. In the first vision, He is identified as the “angel of the Lord that stood among the myrtle trees” (1:11).
5. The prophet Ezekiel had a similar vision of the Lord as a surveyor measuring the millennial temple (Ezek. 40:3).
6. There was a near fulfillment of this prophecy in the rebuilding work done by Nehemiah. And certainly Zechariah’s preaching was an encouragement to the remnant that returned to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple.
7. But this prophecy will not be completely fulfilled until that future day when the Lord Himself returns to Jerusalem (1:16).
8. When Christ returns, and Israel is restored, Jerusalem will become the capital of the millennial kingdom (Zech. 2:2).
9. Some people do not believe the surveyor is Christ, because he is called “a man.” However Christ is called a “man” in Zech. 6:12. The Lord Jesus Christ is both God and man.
II. THE PROPHET ZECHARIAH (2:1, 2, 3, 4).
1. The prophet Zechariah “lifted up” his eyes again (cf. 1:18), and looked, and beheld the man with a measuring line, who is probably the pre-incarnate Christ (2:1).
2. The prophet Zechariah is the “young man” in 2:4. Zechariah was considerably younger than his fellow prophet Haggai.
3. Believe it or not, the Mormon cult teaches that the “young man” is Joseph Smith, the founder of their cult. They teach that the angel is “Moroni,” the angel who allegedly revealed to Smith the magical “golden plates” of the book of Mormon.
4. Notice the urgency: “Run…” (2:4) – this is an important message and demanded dispatch and diligence in its communication.
III. ANOTHER ANGEL (2:3)
1. “Another angel” now appears (2:3). He is to be distinguished from the interpreting angel (“the angel that talked with me” – 2:3; cf. 1:9, 13, 14, 19).
2. Like the book of Revelation, there are many angels in the visions of Zechariah.
1. Lord willing, next week we will conclude our study in Zechariah chapter 3.
2. It deals with the future restoration of Israel, and the millennial kingdom (cf. 2:12).