Zechariah 006 – Judging the Judges

Dr. Andy Woods | Oct 27, 2021 | Zechariah 1:18‒2:4 | Zechariah

Judging the Judges
By Dr. Andy Woods

Let’s open up our Bibles to the book of Zechariah chapter 1, and verse 18 (Zech 1:18). We are continuing our study on the book of Zechariah, and the first part of the book as you remember was an introductory call to repentance, chapter 1, verses 1 through 6.

Structure
I. Introductory call to repentance (Zech 1:1-6)
II. Eight night visions (Zech 1:7–6:15)
III. Question and answers about fasting (Zech 7–8)
IV. Two burdens (Zech 9–14)

And it’s basically there that Zechariah tells his audience to not imitate their fathers who would not listen to the words of the prophets, and they suffered consequences as a result. So, as the Lord is giving Zechariah his oracle, He wants it to be heeded, and from there he moves into the eight night visions. Those start in chapter 1, verse 7, and they go all the way to chapter 6, verse 15 where Zechariah receives 8 visions in a single night, if you can imagine that, and everything in this book, as you know, is designed to stimulate the returnees from the 70 year captivity to get busy rebuilding the temple, something that was, you know, they got back from the captivity and they started the temple and they hit some discouragement and then they just sort of quit and the temple was dormant for probably around 14 or 15 years, and that’s a problem because if you don’t have a temple, you can’t really have a united community. (2:38)
I did run into an interesting news article about the current prime minister of Israel saying that very thing about a year and a half ago, before he was prime minister. He basically gave a history lesson concerning Israel, concerning the Solomonic time period, concerning the time period that we are reading about here, and he said: We have to have a temple or we’re not going to be united as a country. So that’s kind of a big deal, when the “would be” prime minister of Israel says something like that because prophetically we know that there’s going to be a third temple that the Antichrist will desecrate. So when the conversation of the world moves to Israel in the last days, you know the clock is on the hour hand and when the discussion moves to the city of Jerusalem, now the clock is on the minute hand and when they begin to talk about the temple which is what this news article I’m speaking of references, then you are on the second hand. So that’s a big deal prophetically, and I just bring that up because that’s what Zechariah wanted in his day. If we don’t have a temple we don’t have a united country. (4:13)
So after calling them to repent, he begins to give eight night visions that God gave him and all of these have to do with encouragement concerning rebuilding temple number 2. So, the first night vision we’ve already studied. It’s the rider amongst the myrtle trees, chapter 1 verse 7 through verse 17.

II. Eight Night Visions (Zech 1:7‒6:15)
1. Riders & horses among the myrtle trees (Zech 1:7-17)
2. Four horns & four craftsmen (Zech 1:18-21)
3. Man with the measuring line (Zech 2)
4. Cleansing of the High Priest Joshua (Zech 3)
5. Lampstand & olive tree (Zech 4)
6. Flying scroll (Zech 5:1-4)
7. Woman in the basket (Zech 5:5-11)
8. Four chariots (Zech 6:1-8)
9. Conclusion: crowning of Joshua (Zech 6:9-15)

And the rider amongst the myrtle trees basically was speaking of God’s anger against the nations, and His blessing coming to Israel. So the reason they should build the temple is because God is going to bless the project, and they want to be on the front end of what God’s going to do.

So, now we move to our second night vision that Zechariah had, and it has to do with the four horns, horns and the four craftsmen and you’ll find that in chapter 1, verses 18 through 21 (Zech 1:18-21) and it has to do with God’s judgement on the nations that are afflicting Israel.

2. The Four Horses & Four Craftsmen (Zech 1:18-21)
I. Four Horns (Zech 1:18-19)
A. Description (Zech 1:18)
B. Explanation (Zech 1:19)
II. Four Craftsmen (Zech 1:20-21)
A. Description (Zech 1:20)
B. Explanation (Zech 1:21)

So, we have four horns described, verses 18 and 19, and then there’s going to be four craftsmen described, verses 20 and 21, and so for each, there’s a description of what Zechariah sees in the vision and an explanation. (5:48)
So notice if you will, Zechariah chapter 1, verse 18 (Zech 1:18) where he gives us his second night vision, look at verse 18 if you could: Then I lifted my eyes and I looked… So, this is how you know we are moving on to a new vision, is because there’s a verb of perception. Whenever he says “I saw”, “I heard”, “the Lord showed me”, something like that, typically in the book of Zechariah, it means that you are getting now a fresh vision, and you might recall in the first vision that same pattern existed if you go back to chapter 1, verse 8 (Zech 1:8), same chapter, he says: I saw at night and behold a man was riding on a red horse. So, when he says I saw, that’s vision number 1. Beginning around chapter 1 verse 8, now you got the same pattern there, same chapter verse 18 (Zech 1:18): .. Then I lifted my eyes.
So, what exactly did he see? Chapter 1 verse 18: I lifted my eyes and behold there were four horns. Now when you study the Bible, what you learn is that horns, as in like a horn on an animal, they typically represent power and pride. The two Ps. So for example over in Jeremiah chapter 48 verse 25 (Jer 48:25) it says: The horn of Moab has been cut off and his arm broken, declares the Lord, and then when you go to Daniel 8 verses 20 and 21 (Dan 8:20,21), it talks about two empires. One of them is Persia and one of them is Greece, and the first one is described with a ram and it says in Daniel 8 verse 20 (Dan 8:20): The ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia. Verse 21 of Daniel 8 (Dan 8:21) says: The shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king. So, it’s sort of a pattern as you look at this when you see horns on an animal, it typically represents power and pride of a Gentile power. So the horn would represent a Gentile power that God has raised up to trample down His people for purposes of discipline, and so that’s what Zechariah is seeing here with these four horns. (8:50)
So, what is the explanation then of these four horns, notice verse 19 (Zech 1:19): So I said to the angel who was speaking with me, “What are these?”…and of course the angel doesn’t, you know, start responding by talking about the price of tea in China or some unrelated subject, you know, in this kind of prophetic writing, every time a question is raised, the angel answers, based on the question that Zechariah is asking. So it says there in verse 19 (Zech 1:19): So I said to the angel who was speaking with me, “What are these?” I mean, What are these four horns represent? And the angel gives an answer, verse 19: …he answered me, “These are the horns which have scattered Judah… that’s the southern kingdom… Israel, that’s the northern kingdom.., and Jerusalem… which is the capital city of the southern kingdom.
So the four horns represent empires that God had raised up to discipline His people, and this is language that goes back to the Mosaic covenant, after God brought the nation out of the Egyptian captivity, He took them to Mount Sinai and He gave to them, that’s the circle of the bottom:

He gave to them the Mosaic Law or the Mosaic covenant, which is very different than the Abrahamic covenant. The Abrahamic covenant, Genesis 15, was given 6 centuries earlier. This is something different, it’s called the Mosaic covenant, and the Mosaic covenant outlines for Israel, the cycles of blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience, and if you want to read about those, you would read the 28th chapter of the book of Deuteronomy.

Six Parts of a Suzerain-Vassal Treaty in Deuteronomy

 Preamble (Deut 1:1-5)
 Prologue (Deut 1:6–4:40)
 Covenant obligations (Deut 5–26)
 Storage and reading instructions (Deut 27:2-3; 31:9, 24, 26)
 Witnesses (Deut 32:1)
 Blessings and curses (Deut 28)

Chapter 28, verses 1 through 14 (Deut 28:1-14) are the blessings for obedience, they are very tangible and physical. God says, you know, if you obey me then you will lend and not borrow, you’ll go out and fight your wars and you’re going to win, your crops are going to produce a great harvest and you’ll be the head and not the tail. Then you get to Deuteronomy 28, verses 15 through 68 (Deut 28:15-68) and it’s a completely different situation, the opposite will occur. If you disobey me then you will be the tail and not the head, you will borrow rather than lend, you will go out and fight your wars and you will lose, and your crops will fail. (12:03)
So this is something that God put the nation of Israel under, and it’s almost as if God knew what was going to happen because He only gives 14 verses for blessings for obedience, Deuteronomy 28, verses 1 through 14 and the whole rest of the chapter, verse 15 all the way through the end I think it’s verse 68, are curses for disobedience.
So many would call Deuteronomy 28 the spine of the Old Testament. If you want to understand all things that are happening to Israel as you go through the Old Testament, read Deuteronomy 28 and you’ll understand it perfectly. If you want to understand what the prophets are always warning about, speaking about, read Deuteronomy 28 very carefully and you’ll understand it exactly, and there’s a parallel passage in Leviticus 26, also part of the Mosaic Law given to the prior generation and it reveals the exact same thing. Blessings for obedience, curses for disobedience. (13:16)
Now, at the height of the curses, when you look at Deuteronomy 28, verses 49 and 50, is that God is going to raise up a nation to evict His people from their own land. Deuteronomy 28, verses 49 and 50 (Deut 28:49,50) says: The LORD will bring against you from far away, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you will not understand, a nation with a defiant attitude who will have no respect for the old or show favor to the young, and as you go through the Old Testament you could see how that cycle was fulfilled over and over again in the life of Israel. The northern kingdom was scattered by the Assyrians in 722 BC, the southern kingdom was taken away into captivity in Babylon and this crowd that we are reading about here had just come back from the 70 year captivity, but the whole cycle is revealed all the way back in the time of Moses. (14:37)
And during this difficult time period for the southern kingdom, God is going to raise up four powers, and I think those are the four horns that Zechariah saw in this second night vision. Daniel saw it, I guess about a century, little less than a century or so earlier.

Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, the same dream was then later revealed to Daniel, Daniel 2, and that dream is a beautiful statue and the statue represents the four kingdoms that will trample Israel down for the southern kingdom. The head of gold would represent Babylon, the chest and arms of silver would represent Persia, the belly and thighs of bronze would represent Greece, the legs of iron would represent Rome and prophetically speaking, eschatologically speaking we know that God is not finished with Rome, there is going to be a revived Rome. I think it’ll be much bigger than Rome, it will be worldwide, a ten region confederation. But that’s the feet yet future, made of iron and clay of ten toes, and Daniel 7 reveals the exact same trajectory.

It’s just Daniel 2, it looks like a beautiful, attractive statue of different metals, because from Nebuchadnezzar’s point of view, he was doing the trampling, so it looks like a great time as far as he was concerned. Daniel 7 gives you the same four empires but from the Jewish perspective in the form of four ravenous beasts, so the head of gold would equal one of the beasts there in Daniel 7, a lion, and the chest and arms of silver would represent another beast, there, the chest and arms of silver that would be beast number 2. Beast number 3 would be Greece which would correlate with the belly and thighs of bronze and then the fourth beast with the ten horns would equal Rome, and the ten horns would equal the feet of ten toes. So, there they are, there’s the four empires that would trample down the southern kingdom and God deliberately brought these empires against the southern kingdom because in the cycles of discipline, going all the way back to the time of Moses, God said: This is exactly what’s going to happen. Is just Daniel tells you who those four Gentile powers are, and this is who I think, Zechariah is seeing with these four horns. That’s who these four horns represent. (18:01)
So the four horns would represent four powers during the times of the Gentiles when Israel is being trampled down by various Gentile powers. The first empire is Babylon. Now Zechariah’s crowd had come out of that empire, out of Babylonian captivity and now we are into horn number 2, which is the Persian empire. The Persian empire would be replaced by the Greeks or the Greecian empire who will trample down Israel, and then Greece would be replaced by Rome. So, Babylon trampled down the holy people from about 605 BC to about 539 BC. Babylon was replaced by the Persians that trample down the southern kingdom from about 539 to about 331 BC. Persia was replaced by the Greeks who would trample down the southern kingdom from about 331 BC to about 63 BC and then the Greeks were replaced by the Romans who would trample down the southern kingdom from about 63 BC to about AD 70 when the nation was finally kicked out of their land about 40 years after the time of Christ, and then you sort of flashforward to the feet and that’s the future empire of the Antichrist, the sort of revived Rome, ten region, ten nation confederation, and that empire will trample down the holy people, the nation of Israel during the events of the tribulation, only to be overthrown by God’s kingdom, which is the stone cut without human hands that shatters the feet of the statue in Daniel 2 and grows and grows and grows till it fills the whole earth. (20:09)
So these four horns, Zechariah chapter 1, verses 18 and 19, that’s exactly who Zechariah is seeing. The four horns are the disciplinary Gentile powers that God had raised up to fulfill the cycles of discipline that go all the way back to Deuteronomy chapter 28. There’s a lot of people though, that will say: No, that interpretation isn’t right. These are not successive empires, these are all four empires that are concurrent or contemporaneous with the prophet Zechariah, and I don’t think that latter interpretation is right, because when you go back to chapter 1 verse 11 in the prior night vision, it says: So they answered the angel of the LORD who was standing among the myrtle trees and said, “We have patrolled the whole earth, and behold the earth is peaceful and quiet.” The world wasn’t broken up contemporaneously, concurrently in the four political powers at the time of Zechariah. There was one power in place, the Persian empire, and the Persian empire had the whole known world subdued. The earth was quiet and peaceful as far as that particular Gentile empire is concerned. So these are not four concurrent empires, these are four successive empires. Starting with Babylon, paving the way to Persia, later on in history paving the way to Greece, later on in history paving the way to Rome. (22:03)
So, Charles Feinberg in his commentary entitled “God Remembers” on the book of Zechariah says:

Charles L. Feinberg – God Remembers: A Study of Zechariah (Wheaton: Van Kampen, 1950, p 39-40)
“First, it is claimed that the horns are contemporaneous, whereas the position just taken would make them successive. The objection falls down completely when we consider that there were not four powers in open opposition to Judah in the time of Zechariah. Those with whom Judah had to deal at this time period were subordinate to the Persian empire.”

First.. concerning this point I’m making here… it is claimed that the horns are contemporaneous, whereas the position just taken would make them successive. The objection, in other words, these are contemporaneous, concurrent empires… the objection falls down completely when we consider that there were not four powers in open opposition to Judah in the time of Zechariah. Those with whom Judah had to deal at this time period were subordinate to the Persian empire.” So, Persia is just one of the four horns. The prior horn is Babylon. The next horn in history is Greece and the horn after that is Rome which would include the revived Roman empire, so to speak, under the Antichrist. So this is what Zechariah is seeing, he is seeing these four horns. These four empires that would successively discipline the southern kingdom.
And then, he moves on and he talks about the four craftsmen.

2. The Four Horses & Four Craftsmen (Zech 1:18-21)
I. Four Horns (Zech 1:18-19)
A. Description (Zech 1:18)
B. Explanation (Zech 1:19)
II. Four Craftsmen (Zech 1:20-21)
A. Description (Zech 1:20)
B. Explanation (Zech 1:21)

So, who were the four craftsmen? The four craftsmen are the judgers of the judge. In other words, although God is going to raise up these four empires, He is going to raise up another empire to make sure that these judges get their judgement, and that’s who the four craftsmen are, better described in chapter 1, verses 20 and 21 (Zech 1:20,21). So, look at what he says there in chapter 1, verse 20 (Zech 1:20). He says: Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen. Now, a horn is a symbol of power and pride as we talked about. A craftsman, and Zechariah is going to see four of them, are basically skilled workmen or skilled carpenters. So God is going to raise up a skilled carpenter or workman to overthrow each of these four horns, and you get a description of exactly how that’s going to happen in verse 21, and notice what it says in verse 21 (Zech 1:21), the last verse in the chapter: I said, “What are these coming to do?”… you know, he is asking a question about the four craftsmen.., and he said, “These are the horns which have scattered Judah so that no man lifts up his head; but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and to throw down the horns of the nations who have lifted up their horns against the land of Judah in order to scatter it.” So who are these four craftsmen? They are four judgers, if you will, of the four horns. (25:39)
So, it’s kind of interesting what’s happening here. The nation of Israel has been, first of all, trampled down by Babylon, and the problem with all of these empires is, they had a tendency to take glee in what they were doing. You know, they enjoyed trampling down God’s people and they went beyond what God wanted them to do in terms of discipline, and God kept a record of that, as we saw last week. In fact, look at chapter 1, verse 15 (Zech 1:15), you might recall, it says: “But I am very angry with the nations who are at ease; for while I was only a little angry, they furthered the disaster.” So, yes, they did what I wanted them to do in terms of being an instrument of discipline but they went too far. They took glee in their work. They moved from discipline to tormenting my people. So, I’ve kept a record of that and I now have a plan in place where each of these judgers are going to be judged. (26:55)

So, the first empire came into place, it was Babylon and the nation of Israel would cry out to God and say: God, these Babylonians are really tough on us, and God says: You know, you are right. So I’ve raised up the Persians, and by the way, this chart here, I got from the Old Testament Explore. My professor Charles Ryrie used this chart. Once I saw this chart, the whole thing made sense. You’ve got the four horns on the left, the four craftsmen on the right. So the first horn came into existence which was Babylon and Babylon went beyond what God wanted them to do in terms of discipline and God’s people cried out to God and said: You know Lord, these Babylonians are really tough on us and God said: Don’t worry about that, I’ve raised up, I’m raising up Persia to overthrow Babylon. So Persia then became the first of the four craftsmen, but then Persia became a horn, a second horn, and Persia began to trample down the holy people, and the nation of Israel would cry out to God and they would say: God, you know, these Persians are really tough on us, and God says: Yes, I know they are tough on you, don’t worry about it, I’ve raised up Greece, who is going to overthrow Persia, and then Greece came to power and moved from being a craftsmen to a horn and Greece began to trample down the nation, and the people would cry out to God and say: Lord, the Greeks are really tough on us. I mean, they trampled the nation down from 331 BC roughly to about 63 BC. So this is yet future as far as Zechariah’s vision is concerned. Lord, the Greeks are really tough on us, and the Lord said: Yes, I know they are tough on you so don’t worry about it, I’ve raised up Rome to overthrow the Greeks, which they did in 63 BC, and then at that point, Rome moved from being a craftsman to a horn and Rome began to trample down the nation of Israel. It was under Rome that Christ was crucified, it was under Rome that the temple and the city of Jerusalem were destroyed and the nation was pushed into the worldwide dispersion and the people cried out and they said: You know Lord, the Romans are really tough on us, and the Lord said: Yeah, I know they are tough on you, they’ve gone past what I wanted them to do so don’t worry about it, there’s going to be a revived Rome one day under the Antichrist but that kingdom itself is going to be destroyed by my personal kingdom, which is the stone cut without human hands. (30:07)
So, this is I think a proper understanding of what’s happening here with these horns and these craftsmen. It’s almost as if God sovereignly raises them up but when they go too far, He allows the next empire to come into existence as a craftsman to overthrow the horn, and then the craftsman at that point becomes a horn and they go too far so God raises up the next empire and the next empire and the next empire and that is a cycle that goes all the way through to the advent of the Messianic kingdom. So, every problem that the nation had, God already had pre-ordained a solution.
So, you take for example how Persia, looking at the top there, overthrew Babylon. That happened in Daniel chapter 5 in 539 BC, that’s the first time a craftsman overthrew a horn, and how exactly did it happen? How did the Persians overthrow the Babylonians? Well, Herodotus tells us.

Herodotus, Histories, 1:191 (450 B.C.)
“…he (Cyrus) conducted the river by a channel into the lake…and so he made the former course of the river passable by the sinking of the stream. When this had been done, the Persians who had been posted for this very purpose entered by the bed of the river Euphrates into Babylon, the stream having sunk so far that it reached about to the middle of a man’s thigh…those Babylonians who dwelt in the middle did not know that they had been captured…”

Herodotus who wrote his Histories, wrote about a century from the fall of Babylon at the hands of the Persians and he says: “…he … that’s Cyrus, the Persian… conducted the river by a channel into a lake…and so he made the former course of the river passable by the sinking of the stream. When this had been done, the Persians who had been posted for this very purpose entered by the bed of the river Euphrates into Babylon, the stream having sunk so far that it reached about to the middle of a man’s thigh… and those Babylonians who dwelt in the middle did not even know that they had been captured…” So, the Babylonians with their walls around the city of Babylon thought that they were invincible, and that’s why in Daniel 5, Belshazzar, the last reigning king of ancient Babylon is having a giant party. They are consuming alcoholic beverages, they’re getting themselves inebriated and they’re so pompous that they actually go into, or they bring out the vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had brought to Babylon from the temple, God’s temple, and those vessels were intended for a holy purpose, and they began to fill those vessels with alcohol for purposes of drunkenness, they had absolutely no respect for God, God’s people, God’s beliefs system, they had no respect for the religion of Judaism, and the moment that happened, you’ll remember Daniel chapter 5, there was the handwriting on the wall, which basically communicated a message that this very night, the Babylonian empire is over. (33:36)
And we have to go into secular history to discover exactly how that happened. I mean, all the Persians did is they diverted the Euphrates river, the water, which allowed the Persians to go under the walls of Babylon. Babylon felt they were invincible. The Persians just went right into the walls and Herodotus tells us that they captured Babylon that night, Daniel chapter 5, 539 BC without even a battle. So, this is how the first craftsman overthrew the first horn.
I ran into this statement by Charles Feinberg describing also how the Persians overthrew the Babylonians.

Charles L. Feinberg – God Remembers: A Study of Zechariah (Wheaton: Van Kampen, 1950, p. 50.)
“An interesting historical fulfillment of the prophecy of the judgment of God upon Babylon, although only a partial one, is the following. In the fourth year of Darius, the Babylonians, after much plotting, revolted and shut them selves up in their city, ready for a long siege.”
“Zopyrus, Darius’ friend and general, cut off his own ears and nose, and by pretending that he had been thus mutilated by Darius, gained entrance into the city and the confidence of the besieged ones. By his craft the gates were opened to the Persians, and when the city was mastered thousands of Babylonian nobles were crucified. Surely, uneasy should be the head that plots evil against Israel, and woeful indeed will be the fate of such.”

He says: An interesting historical fulfillment of the prophecy of the judgment of God upon Babylon, although only a partial one, is the following. In the fourth year of Darius, the Babylonians, after much plotting, revolted and shut themselves up in their city, ready for a long siege.” That’s where all the partying and drinking and, you know, using the temple vessels for profane purposes came in. I mean, the Babylonians literally felt that they couldn’t be captured because of the walls around the city of Babylon. Feinberg goes on and he says: “Zopyrus, Darius’ friend and general.. that’s a Persian… cut off his own ears and nose… Wow… by pretending that he had thus been mutilated by Darius.. the Persian… and he gained entrance into the city and the confidence of the besieged ones.” So, this guy cuts off his ears, plural, and nose and convinced the Babylonians that he was on their side, cause after all, the big bad Persians had mutilated him. Feinberg goes on and says: ”…By his craft the gates were opened to the Persians, when the city was mastered, thousands of Babylonian nobles were crucified…” So the Babylonians felt sorry and let this guy in, and then let the Persians in and the Persians came in and the Persians took the Babylonians and crucified them. Many thousands of Babylonians were crucified. So the crucifixion, a form of capital punishment that we know well from the life of Christ, is not something that was new, I mean, this is something that was practiced by the Persians against the Babylonians, so this is how the first craftsman overthrew the first horn. Feinberg says: “…Surely, uneasy would be the head that plots evil against Israel, and woeful indeed would be the fate of such.” (37:06)
So this cycle of one empire overthrowing another, you can track similar stories right on through to the end, and this is what Zechariah, in advance, you know, is seeing. Charles Ryrie commenting on Zechariah chapter 1, verse 15 (Zech 1:15),
Charles Ryrie – The Ryrie Study Bible
“Zechariah 1:15 (RSB:NASB1995U): 1:15 they furthered the disaster. Lit., they helped for evil. Though the heathen nations were used of God to punish Israel, they went too far in trying to annihilate her.”

I think I’ve given you this quote before, it says of chapter 1, verse 15: … they helped for evil… though the heathen nations were used of God to punish Israel, they went too far in trying to annihilate her. So when God raised up a Gentile power to discipline His people, and the moment that Gentile power goes too far, and moves away from discipline into annihilation, and the moment they begin to take glee in torturing God’s people, God raises up a craftsman to overthrow that horn.
Uhm, It talks here about scattered, you see that there in verse 21 (Zech 1:21), and He said: These horns which have scattered Judah… Why does he say scattered? Because they are the instrument of discipline upon God’s people. Sometimes to the point of evicting them from their own land, but when those nations go too far, what does God do? He raises up another Gentile power, in this case it would be the craftsman to… what does it say here? …terrify, I mean, think how terrified the Babylonians were when the Persians began to crucify thousands of them… to terrify and to throw them down. So, it’s an amazing prophecy about God’s sovereignty. God is in the discipline business but if the instrument of discipline goes beyond God’s intention, then God raises up a craftsman to overthrow that particular horn. I’ve you this illustration, I think last week. It’s as if you are working for a boss that God has put in your life to teach you something. Maybe he’s strong, maybe he is harsh, but God put him in that position to mold and shape your character in a certain way. He is for all intents and purposes, he is God’s instrument of discipline to you. So, God has you under that boss for a particular reason. But suddenly that boss goes beyond what God intended, and actually tries to destroy you or you know, tries to annihilate you, tries to humiliate you. So then God raises up a higher boss, or maybe another company, or maybe a buyout situation where that company is bought out and that boss is replaced, and, God raises up that subsequent company or that subsequent buyout situation to discipline that boss and to bring judgement on that boss, even though that boss initially was God’s instrument of discipline, if that makes any sense. (41:02)
So this is exactly what Zechariah is seeing, and you can see how this would be actually an encouragement to the beleaguered people who have returned from the Babylonian captivity, who were struggling to rebuild the temple, and they were getting all kinds of push back and all kinds of opposition from Persia and God says: Don’t worry about Persia, I’ve already scheduled the Greeks to overthrow the Persians, and the Greeks would come to power. Lord the Greeks are really killing us. Well, don’t worry about the Greeks, I’ve already scheduled the Romans to overthrow the Greeks. Lord, these Romans are just killing us. Don’t worry about the Romans because Rome is going to be overthrown by my personal kingdom one day.
So, I look at something like this as just an amazing testimony or prophecy concerning the sovereignty of God. How God uses Gentile powers for purposes of discipline but at the same time He keeps a record of when those Gentile powers go too far and He schedules their demise. So, does God raise up one Gentile power the way I’m describing it here? to overthrow another Gentile power? Read the book of Nahum sometime, and you’ll see God doing that exact same thing with Nineveh that had gone too far. God says: I’m raising up a different empire to overthrow you. Read the book of Habakkuk sometime. Where one of those empires had gone too far, God says: Okay, I’m going to raise another Gentile empire to punish that Gentile empire. So, the fact of the matter is that God does this kind of thing all of the time, and if that’s true, I don’t know we’re so uptight about world history and current events. I mean, it’s almost as if like God knows exactly what’s going on, and He’s already raised up subsequent powers to punish powers that are currently on the earth who are moving outside of God’s pattern of discipline. So the best I can do, that’s the judgement of the four horns and the four craftsmen. (43:46)
We have a little bit of time left. Let’s look at this next one. This takes us into chapter 2 and this is Zechariah’s third night vision.

II. Eight Night Visions (Zech 1:7‒6:15)
1. Riders & horses among the myrtle trees (Zech 1:7-17)
2. Four horns & four craftsmen (Zech 1:18-21)
3. Man with the measuring line (Zech 2)
4. Cleansing of the High Priest Joshua (Zech 3)
5. Lampstand & olive tree (Zech 4)
6. Flying scroll (Zech 5:1-4)
7. Woman in the basket (Zech 5:5-11)
8. Four chariots (Zech 6:1-8)
9. Conclusion: crowning of Joshua (Zech 6:9-15)

This is the man with the measuring line, so it takes up all of chapter 2 verses 1 through 13, and it’s the surveyor with the measuring line and this has to do with God’s future blessing on restored Israel.

So here is this beleaguered community and they are struggling with rebuilding the temple, the Persian empire is pushing back against them, and God, in this particular vision, reminds the returnees that He has big plans in store, not just for Israel, not just for Jerusalem but also for the temple. So get busy building the temple cause God has big plans for it. So that’s what’s going on here in Zechariah chapter 2. So we can outline this third-night vision as follows:

3. The Man with the Measuring Line – (Zech 2:1-13)
I. Vision (Zech 2:1-2)
II. Jerusalem’s restoration (Zech 2:3-5)
III. Exiles to return (Zech 2:6-7)
IV. God and the nations (Zech 2:8-9)
V. God to inhabit Jerusalem (Zech 2:10-12)
VI. Concluding exhortation (Zech 2:13)

There’s a vision, verses 1 and 2, there’s a prophecy of Jerusalem’s restoration, verses 3 through 5, There’s a prophecy of the exiles returning to Jerusalem one day from around the world verses 6 and 7, there’s the attitude of God against the nations that mistreat His people, and that’s where God says, I believe it’s in verse 8: … that he who touches you, Israel, touches the apple or the pupil of my eye, and then you go down to verses 10 through 12 where we learn that God is going to inhabit Jerusalem one day. You know, Jerusalem is the only city in world history that will be the personal habitation of God Himself, and you see that in verses 10 through 12 and then you get to verse 13 and there’s a concluding exhortation, and the exhortation, if I can be a little bit crass about this, is two words, well, let’s make it four words: Shut up, that’s two words right? Shut up and listen, because when Zechariah sees something like this, the only thing he can do is be quiet, and God says: Zechariah it’s not just you that should be quiet when I reveal this, all flesh should be quiet, because this is something that’s going to be completely spectacular and awesome. (46:53)
So, let’s go ahead and start with the vision itself, notice if you will Zechariah chapter 2, and notice if you will verses 1 and 2 (Zech 2:1,2),

I. Vision – (Zech 2:1-2)
A. Vision (Zech 1:1)
B. Question (Zech 1:2a)
C. Answer (Zech 1:2b)

We have a vision verse 1, a question verse 2, and an answer verse 2. So notice if you will Zechariah chapter 2 verse 1 (Zech 2:1). Now look at this: Then I lifted up my eyes.. verb of perception, right? So that tells us that we’re onto a new vision, we had that clue back in chapter 1 verse 18 (Zech 1:18), then I lifted up my eyes, that’s where we get the four horns and the four craftsmen vision. We have the same thing back in chapter 1 verse 8 (Zech 1:8), I saw at night, a verb of perception so that’s the rider amongst the myrtle trees, that was the first vision that we’ve studied.
So you look at verse 1 of chapter 2 (Zech 2:1), it says: Then I lifted up my eyes and I looked, and behold, there was a man with a measuring line in his hand. So it’s just a man with a line that measures things, and Zechariah asks a question and the question is right there at the beginning of verse 2 (Zech 2:2): So I said, “Where are you going?”… haha, well, I mean, what is this about? What are you going to do with this measuring stick or this measuring line? And the answer is given at the end of verse 2: …And he said to me… notice the interpreting angel is answering Zechariah’s question and doesn’t start bloviating about some unrelated subject… He said to me, “To measure Jerusalem, to see how wide it is and how long it is.” (48:57)
So, where are you going Zechariah in this vision with this measuring line, and the answer is to measure Jerusalem. Now, why would he measure Jerusalem? He is measuring Jerusalem as you’ll see in this vision, to see if Jerusalem is big enough to contain God’s future blessings. So, God wants to bless the city of Jerusalem, which He clearly will do, yet future in the millennial kingdom and the only real concern is, can this little city handle the blessing that is about to come to it? Is there enough room to contain the blessing? That’s a wonderful problem to have, isn’t it?
Malachi chapter 3 in verse 10 talks about giving and faithfulness to God in giving, and Malachi says: Test me in this. Malachi 3, verse 10 (Mal 3:10): …if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing that you can’t even contain, or a blessing that overflows. I’m reminded of the book of Habakkuk chapter 1 and verse 5 (Hab 1:5) where God says: …I am doing something in your days that you would not believe if you were told. God says in the book of Habakkuk, I’m up to something that’s so big, that if I actually told you what I was going to do, you would immediately lapse into unbelief, and that’s the kind of thing that God here wants to do for the city of Jerusalem. Now you’ve got to put yourself in the shoes of these returnees who were struggling against the Persian empire to rebuild the temple. The project looked so big and they were so discouraged that they gave up on the temple, building it, probably for about 15 years they just quit, and you can imagine what a vision like this would do for them. That God is not against you, God is for you. God is not trying to wreck your plans, He wants to take your little plans and enlarge them to such an extent that the biggest problem is going to be, is your little city big enough to contain God’s blessings? (51:49)
The truth to the matter is God is wonderfully doing a lot of really neat things, here at this church, at Sugar Land Bible Church, but the truth to the matter is, the things that God is currently doing at Sugar Land Bible Church are just minuscule in comparison to what He wants to do. God, I believe, in this church and any other church that wants to be faithful to His truth, wants to pour out a blessing that’s so big, the biggest problem you’re going to have is your facilities are not big enough to contain my blessings. I mean, you think you have parking problems now? You ain’t seen nothing yet. That’s the kind of thing that God is speaking here. I mean, you think that your problems are the fact that your budget in terms of revenue is way over what it was last year. I mean, do you realize that at this church, in the month of September we beat last year’s budget already? In other words, we had more revenue that came in from inside the church and outside the church at the end of the month of September than we had all of last year, and so, you know, people are running around scratching their heads and saying, Gosh, what are we going to do with this surplus? We don’t even know what to do with it, and God says: You think that’s a problem? Wait till the next year, or the year after that. So, we have to get away from this sort of little church on the corner mentality, that Sugar Land Bible Church has sort of been in for a long time. We have to expand our vision, so that it is compatible with God Himself and what He wants to do and what He can do. That is exactly what’s happening in Zechariah chapter 2. (54:17)
I’m going to measure the city because the city is too small to contain what I want to do. So, what does God want to do for the city of Jerusalem? He wants to restore it, and not just restore it but He wants to make it the cat’s meow of the whole world, that’s what God wants to do.

3. The Man with the Measuring Line – (Zech 2:1-13)
I. Vision (Zech 2:1-2)
II. Jerusalem’s restoration (Zech 2:3-5)
III. Exiles to return (Zech 2:6-7)
IV. God and the nations (Zech 2:8-9)
V. God to inhabit Jerusalem (Zech 2:10-12)
VI. Concluding exhortation (Zech 2:13)

So, you go into verses 3 through 5 where it speaks of the restoration,

II. Jerusalem’s Restoration – (Zech 2:3-5)
A. Angelic conversation (Zech 2:3)
B. Jerusalem’s repopulation (Zech 2:4)
C. Jerusalem’s protection (Zech 2:5)

and you have an angelic conversation verse 3, a prediction about the repopulation of Jerusalem verse 4, and the problem is we can’t have any walls around this city because there’s going to be too many people in the city. Well, if you don’t have any walls, who’s going to protect it? Verse 5 says: I’ll protect it, God says. I’ll be like a fire, a wall of fire around it. So, notice the angels are talking again, which is very common in this kind of style of prophecy, and it says in verse 3 (Zech 2:3): And behold, the angel who was speaking with me was going out, and another angel was coming out to meet him. So the angels are talking, and what are they talking about? They are talking about the repopulation of the city that has to be measured because the city is too small in comparison to what God wants to do. So, look if you will at verse 4 (Zech 2:4) where you have the prophecy of repopulation: and he said to him, “Run… this is the angel speaking… Run, speak to that young man.. Now, who is that young man?
3. Biography
 Common name
 Son of Berechiah (Zech 1:1)
 Called into ministry as a youth (Zech 2:4)
 Born during Babylonian Captivity
 Taken to Israel in first return
 A priest
 Member of the Great Synagogue

That young man is Zechariah and because he’s called the young man that’s how we know from his biography that we went over in our introductory lessons on the book of Zechariah that he was called as a mere youth, he was born during the days of the Babylonian captivity, and he was taken to Israel in the first return from the exile, and we think all of that is true because Zechariah is called here a young man. (56:56)

Charles L. Feinberg – God Remembers: A Study of Zechariah (Wheaton: Van Kampen, 1950, p. 44.)
“The prophet is not designated as hanna’ar hallaz because of inexperience or ignorance, as some have inferred, but on account of his youthful age. The statement is not meant to be derogatory. Older men are no more competent to fathom God‘s glorious purposes of blessing for Israel without revelation from God himself, then are younger men.”

Charles Feinberg says: “The prophet is not designated as… and he gives the Hebrew for a young man… because of inexperience or ignorance, as some have inferred, but on account of his youthful age. This statement is not meant to be derogatory. Older men are no more confident to fathom God‘s glorious purposes of blessing for Israel without revelation from God himself, than younger men.” So, Zechariah was receiving all of these visions as a very young person, and that’s a big deal, because a lot of people, and I was told this, when I first sensed the call into ministry, you are too young. Now they don’t tell me that anymore, they used to tell me that, you know, you’re too young, or, when you get old, they say you are too old for ministry.
I’ll put Bill here on the spot here. Bill is a seasoned saint, an attorney and yet he just enrolled at Chafer Seminary for his first year. I’m sure in Bill’s mind, he was told by Satan: Oh, you are just too old for this. So, the world system is always telling you, you are too young or you are too old. The truth of the matters is as far as God is concerned, it doesn’t matter what your age is. The only issue is, has God called you? John received his greatest revelation from God, the book of Revelation, in his nineties and when you go through the book of Daniel, you’ll see the same pattern with Daniel. Daniel receives his greatest insights from God in his eighties and his nineties so this idea that you are too old to be used by God is just silly. Uhm, similarly is the idea that you are too young to be used of God. Zechariah was a young man and he received all of this truth in a single night. (59:30)
Remember what Jeremiah said in Jeremiah 1, 6 and 7 (Jer 1:6-7)? When he was called?: Thus I said, “Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And all that I command you, you shall speak. Remember a New Testament fellow that was trying to be the pastor of the church of Ephesus when he was very young? You know who I’m speaking of? Timothy, what does Paul tell Timothy in 1st Timothy 4 verse 12 (1 Tim 4:12)?: Let no one look down on your youthfulness. So the issue is not, are you the right age to be qualified to be used of God? The world system promotes that idea, God knows nothing of it. The issue is not are you qualified but are you called. God does not call the qualified, but he qualifies the called, and that’s what you see happening here with Zechariah. Zechariah I’m going to give you a great big prophecy here as the angels are speaking, and this needs to be communicated to you Zechariah, even though you are a young man.
So, let’s just finish up verse 4 (Zech 2:4) here and with that we’ll call it a night …and he said to him, “Run, speak to that young man, saying, ‘Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls because of the multitude of men and cattle within it. Jerusalem, although currently almost desolate in Zechariah’s day, is going to have a population explosion. I believe that to a large extent we are seeing that population explosion happen in Jerusalem today even though Mark Twain when he visited that area and wrote about it in 1869 says there’s nothing here but a desolate expanse. But look at Jerusalem today, the population magnet that it is, and the prediction here is not only will it be a city without walls because of the multitude of men, it will be a city without walls because of the cattle inside of it. Cattle is wealth and livestock. This is a prophecy that fits very well with the book of Ezekiel chapter 38 and verse 12 (Eze 38:12). It’s one of the reasons Israel is going to be invaded in the last days because the surrounding nations are going to be envious or jealous of Israel’s wealth, prosperity and population. Ezekiel predicts in chapter 38 verse 12: to capture… the motive of the attackers … to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle… that’s what Zechariah is predicting here.., and goods, who live at the center of the world.’ (1:03)
And this is where reformed theology has no explanation for verses like this. Because they think that this verse should be allegorized, taken non-literally in other words, and turned into a prophecy about the church of Jesus Christ.

Charles L. Feinberg – God Remembers: A Study of Zechariah (Wheaton: Van Kampen, 1950, p.45-46.
“What baseless and unfounded hermeneutical alchemy is this which will take all prophecies of judgment upon Israel at their face value, to be understood literally, but will transmute into indistinctness any blessing or promise of future glory for the same people?… The conditions here described have at no time been true in the past since the time of Zechariah.”

Charles Feinberg reacts against that and he says: “What baseless… and this is why I like reading these old guys, 1950, I mean to me that’s old. They just sort of spoke their minds. They weren’t trying to be polite to everybody like everybody is trying to do today. Everybody is trying to exercise collegiality and all of this stuff. What does Feinberg say about replacement theology in his book “God Remembers” which is a commentary in the book of Zechariah… “What baseless and unfounded hermeneutical alchemy… I love it. You guys are hermeneutical alchemists, you reform theologians that are into replacement theology, they think that this is a prophecy about the church of Jesus Christ by deliteralizing it… “What baseless and unfounded hermeneutical alchemy is this which will take all prophecies of judgment upon Israel at face value, to be understood literally, but will transmute into indistinctness any blessing or promise of future glory for the same people?… The conditions here described have at no time been true in the past since the time of Zechariah.” Close quote. What is Feinberg saying here? He is saying, How can you take this as a prophecy allegorized, symbolized away, deliteralized, about the church of Jesus Christ when you take every other prophecy concerning Israel’s past judgements at the hands of the four horns, right? Oh, those judgements are all literal. The dispersion was literal, the Babylonian captivity was literal. So, how can you read Zechariah and try to have it both ways. Feinberg says, that’s hermeneutical alchemy, you are an alchemist. You can’t take the prophecies of Israel’s discipline literally and then turn around in the exact same book, sometimes in the exact same verse and take the prophecies of restoration allegorically. I mean if the discipline is literal, what do you think the restoration is going to be? So obviously it’s going to be literal as well. Yet, most Christians, as I speak, are sitting in denominations that teach this insanity of replacement theology, reformed theology and they have to rely on a dual hermeneutic to get it to work, and Charles Feinberg, all the way back in 1950 calls them out on it, you know with boldness that very few people will do it with today. So the biggest problem is Jerusalem can’t have walls because the blessings that are going to come to Jerusalem in terms of population and cattle are just too big. Well, that raises a very interesting question: if the city doesn’t have any walls, who’s going to protect it? God says: I’m going to protect it. I’m going to be a wall of fire around the city, verse 5. So obviously, we can’t get to that right now and I’m 7 minutes over, so I can’t go on and on about literal interpretation and ignore the clock, can I? (1:07)
So this is a good time to collect your young ones if you need to do that, otherwise take off and if anybody would like to stick around for a few minutes to do Q & A we can entertain that as well.