Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: While the 2nd vision sets forth the destruction of the powers that were behind those hostile to Israel, the 3rd represents the development of His people & His kingdom till it completely unfolds into its final glory.


GLORY IN HER MIDST (The Third Vision)

[Isaiah 61:4-9]

[Background Study: Gen. 22:17 & 18; Ps. 72:8-11; Isaiah 54:2,3, Chs 60-62; Jer. 31:31-40, 32:36-40; Amos 9:11-15; Mic. 2:12 & 13, 4:1-8, ch 5]

The second and third visions stand in close connection with the first. The consoling and comforting messages that God was angry with the nations who oppressed and scattered His repentant people and that He would rebuild Israel and would destroy any power that stood in His peoples' way, find even greater enhancement here.

While the second vision sets forth the destruction of the powers that were behind those hostile to Israel, the third represents the development of His people and His kingdom till it completely unfolds into its final glory.

When we look at the vision's largest scope, we have God's ultimate plan for His people of faith, the true children of Abraham in the last age of time. And here we have God revealing the expansion and greatness of His earthly kingdom and these unfathomable promises so that Israel might have opportunity to grasp that while touching upon fulfillment in that day the promises extend to a far greater day than they could bring about.

This should have helped lead the Jews of that generation and especially the following ones to the realization that the literal fulfillment of God's promises could only come about in a climatic time when the city of Jerusalem would become the capital of the millennial kingdom.

(Sing: The Lily of the Valley)





The previous scene has faded, and while the prophet was pondering its significance, another divinely given vision presses itself upon Zechariah's attention in verse 1. Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a man with a measuring line in his hand.

The prophet had been ordered in 1:16 to assure the people that a surveyor's line will be stretched forth over Jerusalem. Here we have that promise illustrated and confirmed (and extended). The marking out of the city would be the first step toward its restoration.

The third vision builds on the previous one by again (the same phrase as in 1:18) beginning with, "Then I lifted up my eyes and looked and beheld a man." The Man with the measuring line foretells the hope of a rebuilt Jerusalem and a restored people. But here we have a different word used for measuring line than in 1:16 for here we have a man measuring and planning out what we will see is the boundless capital of God's earthly kingdom, instead of the temporary Jewish capital of Jerusalem.

The man is important as is pointed out by the emphatic adverb, behold. Who is this man with the measuring line (Zech. 6:12, Ezek. 40:23; Heb. 3:3)? Although one cannot be positive, most likely He is the man who in the first vision was riding on the red horse, the Divine Messenger of the covenant, the pre-incarnate Christ, the second person of the Holy Trinity. For who else could measure and establish a city that has no walls or boundaries.

This earthy restoration and eternal hope is captured in the One who told us that "I go and prepare a place for you" in John 14. Here we have Him preparing His earthly capital.

First we saw the Surveyor, now ...


Encouraged by the visions he has already received, the prophet eagerly seeks information concerning what was now being so vividly portrayed in verse 2. So I said, "Where are you going?" And he said to me, "To measure Jerusalem, to see how wide it is and how long it is."

In the previous vision, God promised to humiliate the horns of proud, oppressive, destructive power. But that alone was not enough to make His people numerous or exalted. So now the Master Builder is shown planning the expansion of His city after His craftsmen have destroyed the demonic opposition.

Zechariah inquires of the Surveyor with the measuring rod to know what He is doing; what was to be measured, and why it was to be measured.

The man replies that He is going to measure Jerusalem. Is the Surveyor establishing dimensions of the present city or the millennial city? Since the man is expected to be the pre-incarnate Christ and the city's dimensions are not indicate, it could be the city of the future, earthly new Jerusalem. So here we possibly see Christ establishing how large and great the capital city of the future kingdom is to be. For it seems to reflect the way Ezekiel had talked about the size of the renewed city (Ezek. 45:6), or the picture that Jeremiah had presented of the measuring line stretching out over the rebuilt Jerusalem (Jer. 31:38-40). [John L. Mackay. Focus on the Bible: Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, E4 Group, Zechariah,]

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