6 “Up, up! Flee from the land of the north,” says the Lord; “for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven,” says the Lord. 7 “Up, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.” 8 For thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye. 9 For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me.
Verses 6-13 are prophetic oracles emphasizing the restoration of Israel and judgment of the Gentile nations. Verses 6-9 call for Jews living among the nations to return to Jerusalem, or Zion, before He judges the Gentiles. Verses 10-12 show Jehovah’s return to Jerusalem to gather Israel and the nations to worship.
Verses 6 through 13 sounds four significant points:
(1) Exiles of Zechariah’s day should return from Babylon (vv. 6-7)
(2) God will judge Gentile nations that persecuted Israel (vv. 8-9)
(3) God will bless Israel, and Israel, in turn, will bless many (vv. 10-12)
(4) The entire Gentile world will be silenced before the Lord (v. 13)
“Up, up! Flee from the land of the north [Babylon],” says the Lord;
In verses 6 and 7, Jehovah speaks to the exiles of Zechariah’s generation. This is a summons for the nation Israel to return to the Promised Land from exile in Babylon before He executes judgment on the city (Ezra 1:3; Isa 48:20; Jer 31:17-21), which happened two years after this prophecy.
“for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven,” says the Lord.
Jewish exiles spread in exile to the four points of the compass. Some fled to Moab, Ammon, Edom, and Egypt.
“Up, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.”
This sentence is a direct challenge to the Jews to leave Babylon as exiles and return to the Promised Land.
For thus says the Lord of hosts:
In verses 8 and 9, Jehovah speaks, giving why it is urgent to flee from Babylon and return to Jerusalem.
“He sent Me after glory,
God the Father speaks to the Messiah. Jehovah will display His glory in the Millennium. God’s ultimate purpose for creation was that the Messiah would demonstrate God’s glory on earth in time (Isa 61:1-3, 11; Jn 1:14; 12:28; 17:4).
to the nations which plunder you;
This phrase may refer to the second vision (Zech 1:19). The glory of the Messiah will judge the Gentile nations who plundered Israel (Mt 25:31-46).
for he who touches you touches the apple [pupil] of His eye.
The “apple” of the eye is a sensitive part of the body. Jehovah is sensitive to what happens to the Jews, “the apple of His eye.” To harm God’s chosen people is like sticking an object in His eye. God’s glory is inseparably connected with the fortunes of the nation Israel.
For surely I will shake My hand against them,
Jehovah will protect His pupil Israel with His personal power. The shaking of His hand is a threatening jester to Babylon. The Lord is the champion of His people.
and they shall become spoil for their servants.
Jews who were slaves will inherit from their oppressors. It is something that Jehovah does.
Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me.
Israel will know that the Messiah has come to set up His kingdom on earth.
God hates anti-Semitism.
God holds Israel as the apple of His eye. She is in a special place in His heart. Whenever a national entity or even an individual expresses anti-Semitism, God will deal with them. He said, “I will curse them that curse you and bless them that bless you.”