Zechariah’s third vision on the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month of the second year of Darius was of a man on his way to measure Jerusalem. The angel who was with the prophet was urged by another angel to hurry towards the man in order to give him a comforting message regarding the future recovery and peace of Jerusalem.
Part of the message was to say that the city would not need literal walls because the Lord himself, who would be resident in the city, would also protect the city as a wall of fire. We know from subsequent events in Nehemiah’s day that the city wall was rebuilt. Therefore, it could not have been the Lord’s intention that the prophecy would be fulfilled literally.
The message from God also addressed the exiles who still remained in Babylon. For various reasons they had not returned with those who had. Perhaps they thought that life in Jerusalem would not be safe because it had become insignificant. But the Lord wanted to assure them that the opposite would be the case. In reality, the only safe place would be Jerusalem (v. 7) and Jerusalem itself would increase in numbers when the people of many nations would unite with her (v. 11). The most important reason for returning was that Jerusalem was the place where the Lord intended to dwell (vv. 11-12). Again the final fulfilment of these promises goes far beyond what happened to the literal city.
In these verses, Zechariah was encouraging the inhabitants of the city by reminding them that great spiritual days were yet to come. Today, we live in the period when those promises are being fulfilled in the church of Jesus Christ. He gives safety to his people, he provides growth for his cause, and he dwells in his church. So the vision given to Zechariah is speaking about us, another reminder of the relevance of God’s Word.