“The Apple of the Eye” is a term for caring and protecting, it is usually reserved for a loved one but I have heard it used for objects and things. In the Bible it is used four times the first three is ison and the last time it is baba; it actually means “the little man or child of the eye.” The pupil or the dark circle of your eye can reflect the image of someone looking into the eye. We humans do really protect our eyes, it is automatic and that little bump called the cornea is very sensitive. We blink, have tear ducts and cry, shield our eyes from bright lights and things coming at those two little indented light receptors.
Deuteronomy 32:10 is part of a song Moses shared on the day that the Lord called him to Mt. Nebo to die. In this part of the song Moses is talking about Jacob/Israel and how God found him and protected him. As the apple of God’s eye Jacob is compared to a baby eagle that is being taught to fly. God says He will care for him, shield him, and spread His wings and catch Israel when they fall.
Psalm 17:8 – David is asking God to show him His love and answer his prays. David wants to be hidden under the wing of God (protected like the apple of the eye) and protected from mortal enemies.
Proverbs 7:2 – Here “the Father” is telling His son to guard the teachings and commands He has been taught as the “apple of your eye.” This comes in the middle of a discourse about staying away from adultery and a wayward sexual lifestyle.
Zechariah 2:8 – This chapter is very interesting and may get its own study. Having read several translations and then the comments about verses 6 – 9 it is still a little cloudy as to who is speaking but it seems that the Godhead is referring to itself about the nations who have touched Jerusalem/Judah. The Lord is saying that since they touched the apple of His eye He will cause the downfall of Babylon.
In verse 12 the Lord says He will take Judah as His portion and choose Jerusalem again. This is very much like Deuteronomy 32:9 which was the first use of the apple of the eye. I need to note here that Zechariah and Haggai are written as the construction on the Temple in Jerusalem is about to begin again after being stopped in Ezra 4:24.
Translations read for Zechariah 2 – KJV, NIV, Living Bible, Knox, and Moffatt.
The Zondervan NIV Exhaustive Concordance was also used for definitions.