The Book of Zechariah-Chapter 1

This prophecy concerns the rebuilding of the Temple and will be heavy in Temple imagery. It is a relatively short book but it is loaded with information. These prophecies are dated between 520 and 518 B.C. The visions of Zechariah are meant to encourage the people, especially Joshua the high priest, whose name is Yeshua in Hebrew, an important thing to remember, see Ezra 3.2, and Zerubbabel in their work. The “mountain” of opposition will be removed and their work will be completed. The crowning of Joshua is a type of the Messiah. Zechariah is introduced in the line of true prophets and is given eight visions concerning repentance, the building of the Temple and encouragement. He is a contemporary of Ezra, Nehemiah and Haggai.
1) In the eighth month (Chesvan, or Bul-1 Kings 6.38. Eight is the number of “new beginnings” and this is two months from the first prophecy of Haggai in Hag 1.1 and a few days after his second-Hag 2.1) of the second year of Darius (Darius II), the word of the Lord came to Zechariah (“God remembers”) the prophet, the son of Berachiah (“God blesses”), the son of Iddo (“his witness”) saying,
2) The Lord was very angry with your fathers (during the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem).
3) Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts (Hebrew “Adonai Zva’ot” or “Lord of the armies”), “Return to me,” declares the Lord of hosts, “that I may return to you,” says the Lord of hosts (the third time this is used in this verse).
4) Do not be like your fathers (who lived before the destruction and didn’t listen to the prophets), to whom the former prophets (Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah and others) proclaimed, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Return now from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.’ But they did not listen or give heed to me,” declares the Lord.
5) Your fathers, where are they (they died by Babylon or in captivity)? And the prophets, do they live forever?
6) But did not my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your fathers (nothing has failed in God’s word as to what would happen)? Then they repented and said, ‘As the Lord of hosts purposed to do to us in accordance with our ways and our deeds, so he has dealt with us.'”
7) On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month of Shevat (meaning “scepter, five months after Hag 1.1-15), in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah the prophet, the son of Iddo, as follows:
8) I saw at night (this is the first vision-v 8-17), and behold a man (preincarnate Yeshua) was riding (swift to the Lord’s will) on a red horse (there will be two red horses), and he was standing among the myrtle trees (Israel) which were in the ravine (in Babylon, in a low place), with red, sorrel and white horses behind him (the horses are a certain class of angels; the colors are different because it may be alluding to the different power and authority each have. These are not to be compared to the horses in Revelation 6 because here they are patrolling the earth and in Revelation they are messengers of judgment, and notice again there are two red horses).
9) Then I said, “My Lord, what are these?” And the angel who was speaking with me said to me, ” I will show you what these are.”
10) And the man (Yeshua) who was standing among the myrtle trees (Israel) answered and said (preempted the angel because he was more qualified to give the answer), “These are those whom the Lord (the Father) has sent to patrol the earth (to counter Satan-Job 1.7; 2.1-2).”
11) so they (the angels) answered the angel of the Lord (Yeshua) who was standing among the myrtle trees (Israel), and said, “We have patrolled the earth, and behold, all the earth is peaceful and quiet (as it was during the reign of Darius. However, Israel still had enemies who hindered the rebuilding of the Temple).”
12) Then the angel of the Lord answered (intercedes) and said, “O Lord of hosts (the Father), how long will you have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah , with which you have been indignant these seventy years (the time of the Babylonian captivity-Jer 25.1; Dan 9.2)?”
13) And the Lord (the Father) answered the angel (Yeshua) who was speaking with me with gracious words, comforting words.
14) So the angel (having an order from the Yeshua, the angel of the Lord of hosts) who was speaking with me said to me, “Proclaim (cry out, prophesy), saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts (the Father), “I am exceedingly jealous (for their good) for Jerusalem and Zion.
15) But I am very angry with the nations who are at ease (they had no problem with the cruelty and greed they exhibited and are free from war, prosperous, especially the Babylonians and the Persians), for while I was only a little angry (with Israel) they furthered the disaster (added to Israel’s problems).”
16) Therefore, thus says the Lord, I will return to Jerusalem with compassion (having Israel return from captivity); my house (the Temple) will be built in it,” declares the Lord of hosts, “and a measuring line will be stretched over Jerusalem (to rebuild the city also).”‘
17) “Again, proclaim (cry out, prophesy), saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “My cities (not just Jerusalem but other cities) will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem (for his habitation, building the Temple again).”
18) Then I lifted up my eyes (this is the second vision; the four destroying horns destroyed by the “craftsmen” or “carpenters”) and looked, and behold, there were four horns (horns are symbolic of “power” and these are four destroying powers from the “four winds” that surrounded the Israel, power of the Gentiles).
19) So I said to the angel who was speaking with me, “What are these? And he answered me, “These are the horns (powers) which have scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem (such as Egypt, Moabites, Ammonites, Syria, Assyria, Babylon, Persians, etc. This may be prophetic of the four kingdoms in Dan 2.31-45 who are Babylon, Medo- Persia and prophetically Greece, then Rome).”
20) Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen (the Sages say that the craftsmen are the greatest teachers of Torah who “build up” the people, also called “carpenter’s” and were no ordinary workers. They silenced anyone who wanted to argue with them because they were brilliant and the people listened. The Hebrew word for “silence” has the same root as carpenter, alluding to how they “silence” those opposing them. The Tallit has four corners, and on the four corners hang the tzitzit, which symbolize the commandments and brings us back to “carpenter’s” being scholars again. These “craftsmen” may be Zerubbabel, Joshua, Ezra and Nehemiah, who stood against those who tried to hinder the rebuilding of the Temple and the city. Tradition has it that Yeshua was a carpenter and learned it from his father. But idiomatically, the noun denoting a carpenter or craftsmen stands for a “scholar” or “learned man”- from the book “Jesus the Jew” by Geza Vermes).
21) And I said, “What are these coming to do?” And he said, “These are the horns that have scattered Judah, so that no man lifts up his head (they were depressed); but these craftsmen have come to terrify them (the four horns, to put terror into their kings), to throw down the horns of the nations (power of the Gentiles-Dan 2.31-45) who have lifted up their horns against the land of Judah in order to scatter it.”

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Tanach, Verse-by-Verse Bible Studies

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