For thus saith the Lord of hosts
Christ, who is the true Jehovah, and Lord of armies, as appears from his being sent in the next clause: After the glory;
which is promised, ( Zechariah 2:5 ) so the Targum and Kimchi; or, "afterwards" shall be "the glory" F12; or a glorious time and state; that is, after God's people are brought out of mystical Babylon, when the Jews shall be converted, and the fulness of the Gentiles shall be brought in, then will be the latter day glory; and at the same time will be the fall and destruction of antichrist, and of the antichristian states, as follows: hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you;
the Chaldeans and Babylonians, who spoiled and carried captive the Jews; or the antichristian nations, which persecuted and wasted the people of God, the followers of the Lamb; but now Christ will be sent, and will come in a spiritual manner, and take vengeance on them; he will destroy antichrist with the breath of his mouth, and with the brightness of his coming; with the sharp sword going out of his mouth, ( Revelation 19:15 ) : for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye;
either his own eye, he hurts himself; or the eye of the Lord of hosts; "of mine eye", as some read it F13, as the Vulgate Latin version; which shows how near and dear the Lord's people are to him. The pupil or apple of the eye is a little aperture or perforation in the middle of the tunic or coat of the eye, called the uvea and iris, about which the iris forms a ring; and through this little opening the rays of light pass to the crystalline humour, to be formed on the retina or net, at the bottom of the eye. It is a very weak and tender part, and easily hurt with the least thing; and fitly describes the feeble state of Christ's people; and how soon and easily they may be disturbed, distressed, and hurt by their enemies: and as this is a principal part of the eye, and a part of a man's self, dear and valuable to him; so are the Lord's people parts, as it were, of himself; they are members of his body, closely united to him; and whatever injury is done to them he reckons as done to himself: "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" ( Acts 9:5 ) and being highly esteemed by him, and having the strongest affection for them, he resents every affront given them, and will punish all that hurt them; and exceeding careful is he of them, to keep and preserve them from being hurt: "he kept him as the apple of his eye", ( Deuteronomy 32:10 ) , which, being such an useful and tender part as it is, it is wonderfully provided for by nature against all events; besides the orbit in which it is placed; and the eyebrows, which prevent many nuisances; and the eyelids, which cover and defend it in sleep; and the fringes of hair on them, which break the too violent impressions of light, and keep off motes and flies; there are no less, than six tunics or coats about it F14, as so many preservatives of it: now, as the God of nature has taken so much care of this useful member of the human body, how much more careful and tender must we suppose the God of grace, and our merciful Redeemer and High Priest, to be over his dear people, parts of himself, redeemed by his blood, and designed and prepared for eternal glory and happiness; and how daring must such be who offer the least violence unto them; nor must they expect to escape his wrath and vengeance, that seek their hurt, and give them disturbance; see ( Psalms 17:8 ) and as this may respect the Jews called out of Babylon in the two preceding verses ( Zechariah 2:6 Zechariah 2:7 ) , it may be concluded that they were obedient to the divine call, though it is not recorded; it being not likely that God, who had so great a regard for them, would suffer them to continue there to their destruction; for it was about two years after this prophecy, in the fourth year of Darius, or the beginning of the fifth, that Babylon revolted from him, and was besieged twenty months by him, before he took it; and which he did at last by the stratagem of Zopyrus, one of his generals, when he beat down its walls and gates, and put to death three thousand of the inhabitants that were most guilty F15; but, before this, it is reasonable to suppose that the people of God, so dear unto him as is expressed, were called out from hence; as those of his people, equally dear to him, will be called out of mystical Babylon before its destruction; see ( Revelation 18:4 ) .