The Measuring Line – Zechariah 2

The prophet Zechariah’s series of visions in the night continued, coming to him near the end of the seventy-year exile in Babylon:

I lifted up my eyes—and behold, I saw a man with a measuring line in his hand.  I asked, ‘Where are you going?’

He answered me, ‘To measure Jerusalem to see how wide and how long it is.’

Then behold, the angel speaking with me left and another angel went out to meet him, saying to him, ‘Run, speak to this young man saying: “Jerusalem will be inhabited as a village without walls because of the great number of men and livestock in it. For I”—it is a declaration of Adonai—“will be a wall of fire around it and I will be the glory inside it.  Zechariah 2:5-7 (TLV)

At the time of this vision, Jerusalem and Judah had been lying as a complete wreck for the entire exile period. God disclosed His plans to not only rebuild, establish, and protect Jerusalem, but He has promised to reside there bringing His glory to it.  Although Jesus would first present Himself there as King during His triumphal entry the Sunday before His crucifixion and resurrection, this prophecy will be completely fulfilled at the time of Jesus’ second coming.

Adonai-Tzva’ot, the Lord of Hosts, promises to treat those who punish Jerusalem the same way He treated Pharaoh and the Egyptians after they had enslaved and abused the Israelites.  He freed them after the ten plagues, and with the Israelites taking plunder with them as restitution. Furthermore, God promises Zechariah that when He returns to the land, He will draw people to Himself from all over the globe.

12 “For thus says Adonai-Tzva’ot, He has sent me after glory to the nations that plundered you—because whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye— 13 ‘For behold, I will shake My hand against them and they will be plunder to their servants.’ Then you will know that Adonai-Tzva’ot has sent me.

14 “‘Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will live among you’—it is a declaration of Adonai15 ‘In that day many nations will join themselves to Adonai and they will be My people and I will dwell among you.’ Then you will know that Adonai-Tzva’ot has sent me to you. 16 Adonai will inherit Judah as His portion in the holy land and will once again choose Jerusalem. 17 Be silent before Adonai, all flesh, for He has aroused Himself from His holy dwelling.” Zechariah 2:12-17 (TLV)

God made His choice for a nation called out through Abraham to be holy and held close as the apple of His eye.  But His mission through them was to be a blessing to the entire world.  He loves each and every one of us whatever our heritage, and longs for each of us to turn our hearts towards Him.

Jerusalem holds divine importance to God through history and will into eternity.  He refers to Judah here as “the holy land”, perhaps the only place in the Old Testament that expression is used.  The angelic measuring line is the first step in God’s plan to rebuild the chosen spot for His throne and heavenly footstool on the earth.  It is where He had instructed Abraham to bring His precious son Isaac in Genesis 22, and where His own precious Son Jesus would be crucified as a sacrifice for our sins and resurrected on the third day.

Six centuries after Zechariah’s record, the apostle John would share His own divine vision of Jesus’ return to the holy city in the book of Revelation.

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

I also saw the holy city—the New Jerusalem—coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  I also heard a loud voice from the throne, saying,

“Behold, the dwelling of God is among men,
    and He shall tabernacle among them.
They shall be His people,
    and God Himself shall be among them
    and be their God.
He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes,
    and death shall be no more.
Nor shall there be mourning or crying or pain any longer,
    for the former things have passed away.”

And the One seated upon the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new!” Then He said, “Write, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Then He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will freely give from the spring of the water of life. Revelation 21:1-6 (TLV)

The promises of God are too amazing for us to even visualize with our limited human capacity.  But they are also too wonderful to just walk away from and ignore.  God is so good and full of so many blessings for us to experience and share with others.  May His name be praised in heaven and on earth and may all open their hearts even just a crack with an ounce of willingness to consider Him and His wonderful love for us.  May we all thirst for a spiritual drink from the spring of living water.


God loves to share the end from the beginning all throughout His word.  Many prophecies point to the coming of Christ, first as a divine sacrifice to purify and make us holy, then coming again as our loving King and Shepherd.  May He guide us through eternity into the magnificence of His presence.  May we all seek His grace and mercy to be there with Him!

Lord, bring us into eternity with You through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.  May all of His believers rise from the dead with Him, covered and redeemed by His blood and bathed in His pure holiness and light.  Thank You for all the goodness and blessing You have showered us with.  We thank You and praise You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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