By Martin Cisneros
4 who said to him, “Run, speak to this young man, saying: ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. 5 For I,’ says the LORD, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’” (Zechariah 2:4-5)
I wanted to write a brief note anticipating a question about the context and nature of Zechariah 2:4-5 before people readily begin trying to arm themselves against my usage of this passage with regards to the Hosea 2:18 Covenant, because it is such a striking additional witness to other passages I've brought up along the way, when viewed in the light I've shared it in, together with the other Scriptures I assert it's a supporting text to. Some might try to contend that the people are in the city with their animals only because of one of the appointed times by Moses for animal ritualistic slaughter, and that while it's a time of atonement for the people, it's not a great place to be if you're an animal that Moses' law says to kill at the time of a required animal sacrifice while the Mosaic law was in effect as the only path to God. First of all, the Mosaic law wasn't a path to God.
The Abrahamic Covenants have always been the path to God and the Mosaic law, according to Galatians 3, was only put in force to deal with sin, partially and temporarily until the coming of Christ, but that this thing was always a matter of the coming of Christ rather than having real peace with God through animal sacrifice. People didn't have peace on that basis. On the contrary, the Bible says that through the law was the knowledge of sin, not of righteousness:
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:20)
Zechariah 2:4-5 is not an animal slaughter passage. I believe this is proven by Isaiah 54:9-10, Jeremiah 31:27-28, Zechariah 8:10-11, and by Hebrews 12:22 that says the Church is His Jeremiah 31:27-28 "Jerusalem" and "Zion" that's comprised of Jews, Gentiles, and Animals. Human temples of sacrifice had walls and Jerusalem is without walls in this passage because of the multitude of people and animals, not because of the stench of animal carnage ascending to the highest heavens!
The last verse of the chapter tells all flesh to be silent because He's aroused from His holy habitation and a slaughterhouse situation is as noisy as any slave trade has ever been. If Noah's flood was the end of all flesh, 'cept for that of those in the ark, then this is talking about all flesh at the close of Zechariah 2 and no exceptions are understood in it's context:
13 Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!” (Zechariah 2:13)
Therefore, we have every reason to believe verses 4 through 5 are a worshipful, peaceful situation for Jews, Gentiles, and Animals through Christ, their wall of fire.
Although the first chapter speaks of the rebuilding of God's house, the second chapter speaks of many nations being joined to the Lord, which gives the whole passage a New Covenant, Ephesians 2, context:
11 “Many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. (Zechariah 2:11)
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
Chapter 3, of Zechariah, introduces Jesus baring the sin of the people, while chapter 6 reveals this Priest He's talking about to be after the Order of Melchezedec. Although that's likely in type and shadow form, in an actual historical fulfillment prior to the coming of Christ, but showing what would happen later, it's nonetheless revealing this book to have a New Covenant unveiling, which for animals is their Hosea 2:18; Romans 8:21 Covenant. Zechariah chapter 4 is the introduction of God's grace which sets aside the Mosaic dispensation for people and animals. And John chapter 1 says:
14 And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:14, 16, 17)
For the sake of brevity, I'll go no further. It isn't essential to demonstrate every verse of the book of Zechariah to have a New Covenant context, but to offer practical proof that what I'm using from the book would fit with the New Covenant context that I'm speaking of. Some things had partial Old Testament fulfillments, in Zechariah, similar to how the New Testament quoted parts of the Old Testament and announces their fulfillment as having occurred right then in a way many modern preachers would hesitate to, if the New Testament wasn't as firm about it as it is. (See Matthew 2:15 for an example and have a look at Hosea 11:1 that it's declared to be the fulfillment of.)
Presuming [and I believe I'll successfully demonstrate, if given time by God's grace] that there's as much Biblical doctrine with the Hosea 2:18 Covenant as with any other Covenant of the Bible, I'm going to be scrutinizing quite a few passages that many may genuinely wonder if it really goes together with what I'm sharing in quite that way. That's okay. Preachers for centuries ignored this Covenant believing it to have fulfillments in future ages from their own, so other than brief speciesist comments that were made here and there in their theological writings, not much was said tying this particular Hosea 2:18 Covenant to other Scriptures by any of the prior theologians that stopped to notice this passage for 3 seconds to simply express belief of it taking place in heaven, on the New Earth, or during their idea of a future millenium. Or they would interpret it as some forced type and shadow situation that's not Biblically consistent with it and other passages with similar language, but they'd interpret it as such to where man's cruelties would continue with animals having no right to challenge their unjust treatment of them at any time. I'm essentially pioneering, [in terms of my writing,] something His grace has been making real to me and in my life.
I'm announcing that today are these Scriptures fulfilled in your ears! Until our minds are fully renewed to this, and until a larger percentage of us see demonstrations of His grace in it's behalf with greater regularity and genuinely notable miracles on an ongoing basis, many things I bring up on this are likely to sound strange, foreign, or forced, but I contend that the time is now, and both the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit will bare that out to every sincere heart that's genuinely keeping in step with our Lord everywhere He leads.