1. four chariots--symbolizing the various dispensations of Providence
towards the Gentile nations which had been more or less brought into
contact with Judea; especially in punishing Babylon. Compare
("the north country," that is, Babylon);
Zec 1:15; 2:6.
The number "four" is specified not merely in reference to the four
quarters of the horizon (implying universal judgments), but in
allusion to the four world kingdoms of Daniel.
from between two mountains--the valley of Jehoshaphat, between Moriah
and Mount Olivet [MOORE]; or the valley between Zion and Moriah, where
the Lord is
and whence He sends forth His ministers of judgment on the heathen
[MAURER]. The temple on Mount Moriah is the symbol
of the theocracy; hence the nearest spot accessible to chariots in the
valley below is the most suitable for a vision affecting Judah in
relation to the Gentile world powers. The chariot is the symbol of war,
and so of judgments.
of brass--the metal among the ancients representing hard solidity; so
the immovable and resistless firmness of God's people (compare
CALVIN explains the "two mountains" thus: The
secret purpose of God from eternity does not come forth to view before
the execution, but is hidden and kept back irresistibly till the fit
time, as it were between lofty mountains; the
chariots are the various changes wrought in nations, which, as
swift heralds, announce to us what before we knew not. The "two" may
thus correspond to the number of the "olive trees"
the allusion to the "two mountains" near the temple is not
necessarily excluded in this view. HENDERSON
explains them to be the Medo-Persian kingdom, represented by the "two
(Da 8:3, 4),
now employed to execute God's purpose in punishing the nations; but the
prophecy reaches far beyond those times.
2. red--implying carnage.
black--representing sorrow; also famine
(Re 6:5, 6;
3. white--implying joy and victory
grizzled--piebald. Implying a mixed dispensation, partly
prosperity, partly adversity. All four dispensations, though various in
character to the Gentile nation, portended alike good to God's people.
bay--rather, "strong" or "fleet"; so Vulgate
[GESENIUS]. The horses
have this epithet, whose part it was to "walk to and fro through the
However, the Septuagint and Chaldee agree with English
Version in referring the Hebrew to color, not
4. The prophet humbly and teachably seeks instruction from God, and
therefore seeks not in vain.
5. four spirits of the heavens--heavenly spirits who "stand before
Jehovah" to receive God's commands
in heaven (of which Zion is the counterpart on earth, see on
and proceed with chariot speed
to execute them on earth in its four various quarters
Heb 1:7, 14)
Or, the secret impulses of God which emanate from His counsel and
providence; the prophet implies that all the revolutions in the world
are from the Spirit of God and are as it were, His messengers or
6. north country--Babylon (see on
The north is the quarter specified in particular whence Judah and
Israel are hereafter to return to their own land
"The black horses" go to Babylon, primarily to represent the awful
desolation with which Darius visited it in the fifth year of his reign
(two years after this prophecy) for revolting
The "white" go after the "black" horses to the same country; two
sets being sent to it because of its greater cruelty and guilt in
respect to Judea. The white represent Darius triumphant subjugation of
Rather, I think, the white are sent to victoriously subdue Medo-Persia,
the second world kingdom, lying in the same quarter as Babylon, namely,
grizzled . . . toward the south--that is, to Egypt, the other great
foe of God's people. It, being a part of the Græco-Macedonian kingdom,
stands for the whole of it, the third world kingdom.
7. bay--rather, the "fleet" (or "strong"). As the "red" are not
otherwise mentioned, the epithet "fleet" (as the Hebrew for "bay"
ought to be translated) in
seems to apply to all four, and here especially to the "red." Their
office is to complete hereafter the work already in part executed by
the previous three who have stilled Babylon, Medo-Persia, and
Græco-Macedonia; namely, to punish finally the last great foe of
Israel, the final form assumed by the fourth world kingdom, Rome, which
is to continue down to the second advent of Christ. Hence they "walk
to and fro through the earth," counterworking Satan's "going to and fro
in the earth"
2Th 2:8, 9;
in connection with the last awful development of the fourth world
kingdom. Their "fleetness" is needed to counteract his restless
activity; their red color implies the final great carnage
Re 19:17, 18, 21).
8. north . . . quieted . . . my spirit--that is, caused My anger to rest
Eze 5:13; 16:42).
Babylon alone of the four great world kingdoms had in Zechariah's time
been finally punished; therefore, in its case alone does God now say
His anger is satisfied; the others had as yet to expiate their sin; the
fourth has still to do so.
The double crown is placed on Joshua's head, symbolizing that the true
priesthood and the kingdom shall be conferred on the one Messiah.
Heb 6:20; 7:1-21,
on Melchisedek, who similarly combined the kingdom and priesthood as
type of Messiah.
10. Take of them of the captivity--Take silver and gold
from them. The three named came from Babylon (where some of the
exiled Jews still were left) to present gifts of silver and gold
towards the building of the temple. But in
Zec 6:11, 14,
"crowns" are directed to be made of them, then to be set on Joshua's
head, and to be deposited in the temple as a memorial of the donors,
until Messiah shall appear.
Heldai--meaning "robust." Called Helem
Tobijah--that is, "the goodness of God."
Jedaiah--that is, "God knows."
which are come from Babylon--This clause in the Hebrew comes after
"Josiah son of Zephaniah." Therefore,
MOORE thinks Josiah as well as the
three "came from Babylon." But as he has a "house" at Jerusalem, he is
plainly a resident, not a visitor. Therefore English Version is right;
or MAURER, "Josiah son of Zephaniah, to whom they are come (as guests)
the same day--No time was to be lost to mark the significancy of their
coming from afar to offer gifts to the temple, typifying, in the double
crown made of their gifts and set on Joshua's head, the gathering in of
Israel's outcasts to Messiah hereafter, who shall then be recognized as
the true king and priest.
11. The high priest wore a crown above the miter
Messiah shall wear many crowns, one surmounting the other
It was a thing before unknown in the Levitical priesthood that the same
person should wear at once the crown of a king and that of a high
Messiah shall be revealed fully in this twofold dignity when He shall
"restore the kingdom to Israel"
12. Behold, the man--namely, shall arise. Pilate unconsciously spake
God's will concerning Him, "Behold the man"
The sense here is, "Behold in Joshua a remarkable shadowing forth of
Messiah." It is not for his own sake that the crown is placed on him,
but as type of Messiah about to be at once king and priest. Joshua
could not individually be crowned king, not being of the royal line of
David, but only in his representative character.
Jer 23:5; 33:15).
he shall grow up out of his place--retaining the image of a "Branch";
"He shall sprout up from His place," that is, the place peculiar to Him:
not merely from Beth-lehem or Nazareth, but by His own power, without
man's aid, in His miraculous conception
a sense brought out in the original, "from under Himself," or "from
makes it refer to His growing lowly in His place of obscurity,
"as a tender plant and a root out of a dry ground"
for thirty years unknown except as the son of a carpenter.
translates, "Under Him there shall be growth (in the Church)."
English Version accords better with the Hebrew (compare
The idea in a Branch is that Christ's glory is growing, not yet fully
manifested as a full-grown tree. Therefore men reject Him now.
build the temple--The promise of the future true building of the
spiritual temple by Messiah
is an earnest to assure the Jews, that the material temple will be
built by Joshua and Zerubbabel, in spite of all seeming obstacles. It
also raises their thoughts beyond the material to the spiritual temple,
and also to the future glorious temple, to be reared in Israel under
The repetition of the same clause
gives emphasis to the statement as to Messiah's work.
13. bear the glory--that is, wear the insignia of the kingly glory,
(Ps 21:5; 102:16;
He himself shall bear the glory, not thou, Joshua, though thou
dost bear the crowns. The Church's dignity is in her head alone,
Christ. So Eliakim, type of Messiah, was to have "all the glory of his
father's house hung upon him"
sit--implying security and permanence.
priest . . . throne--
Heb 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:1-28).
counsel of peace . . . between . . . both--Joshua and Zerubbabel, the
religious and civil authorities co-operating in the temple, typify the
peace, or harmonious union, between both the kingly and priestly
offices. The kingly majesty shall not depress the priestly dignity, nor
the priestly dignity the kingly majesty
[JEROME]. The peace of the
Church, formerly sought for in the mutual "counsels" of the kings and
the priests, who had been always distinct, shall be perfectly ensured by
the concurrence of the two offices in the one Messiah, who by His
mediatorial priesthood purchases it, and by His kingly rule maintains
it. VITRINGA takes "His throne" to be Jehovah the Father's. Thus it
will be, "there shall be . . . peace between the Branch and Jehovah"
DIEU]. The other view is better, namely, "Messiah's throne." As Priest He expiates sin; as King, extirpates it. "Counsel
of peace," implies that it is the plan of infinite "wisdom," whence
Messiah is called "Counsellor"
Eph 1:8, 11;
Peace between the kingly and priestly attributes of Messiah implies the
harmonizing of the conflicting claims of God's justice as a King, and
His love as a Father and Priest. Hence is produced peace to man
It is only by being pardoned through His atonement and ruled by His
laws, that we can find "peace." The GOTO NEXT CHAPTER - D. J-F-B INDEX & SEARCH