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Bible Commentaries
Zechariah 6

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-15

Zechariah, chapter 6.

Now as we pointed out, the Lord gave to Zechariah ten visions. Visions are subject to interpretation. Oftentimes the meaning of them is rather veiled. And unless the Lord gives the interpretation, then speculation is really foolishness. Because every one can have their own idea, and all of them without real credibility when you turn to speculation or the interpretation of the scriptures. You hear people say, "But there are so many interpretations." Yes, that is true. That is tragically true.

I do not believe that God really desires that we try to interpret the Bible. I believe that the meaning that makes sense when you read it is the correct meaning. If God uses symbolic language, if there is a basis in other scriptures for the symbolic language, then you can interpret it by the symbolism, as long as you have a constant base. As we talked to you about expositional constancy. That is, there are certain figures in the Bible that are used consistently through the Bible. For instance, in metals brass is consistently used as a metal that symbolizes the judgment of God. Gold is a metal that symbolizes the heavenly scene. Silver is a metal that is symbolic of redemption. So there is the expositional constancy in the use of these metals in symbolism.

The same is true with certain colors: the blue for heaven, the purple for royalty, the red for the sacrifice, and the white for purity. So there can be an interpreting of the various colors symbolically if it calls for a symbolic interpretation from the constancy there. Birds in the scripture are always used in an evil sense as a part of the work of Satan. You remember in the parable of the sower, and he sowed some seed on the wayside, and the birds came and ate it up. This is the enemy who comes and takes the Word away before it has a chance to take root.

Now, if you will follow the expositional constancy, you'll be all right in the understanding of parables, of visions, and dreams in the Bible. But when you get out on your own and just start interpreting fancifully, then is where we get into all kinds of trouble. I do not believe in doing that; I do not practice that, because I feel that anybody's guess is as good as mine, and I don't like to guess when I'm dealing with the Word of God. I like to deal with the facts, and just stick with the facts. And where there are aspects where I do not fully understand, then I like to just say, "This is something that I don't fully understand."

I said all of that to say that when we get to this tenth vision, I don't fully understand it. The Lord does not give a clear enough interpretation that we can know for certain what the Lord is speaking about on these various colored horses that go through the earth.

But I turned, and I lifted up my eyes, and I looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between the two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass ( Zechariah 6:1 ).

So we do have the brass, mountains of brass, so we're speaking of judgments.

In the first chariot were red horses; in the second chariot black horses; in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot there were grizzled and bay horses ( Zechariah 6:1-3 ).

Now these do not fit with the four horses in the book of Revelation, chapter 6. There you began with a white horse, followed by the black, and then the red, and then the pale. So it isn't, you can't tie those two, really, together.

Then I answered ( Zechariah 6:4 )

Jeremiah had the same problem I have--he didn't understand it.

I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord? And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all of the earth. Now the black horses go forth into the north country; the white go forth after them; the grizzled go forth toward the south country. And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: he said, Get you hence, walk to [He ordered the horses, "Get going and walk to,"] and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth. Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country ( Zechariah 6:4-8 ).

Now that's all of the interpretation of this vision that is given. And I do confess, I do not understand the full implication, significance, or meaning of this particular vision. So you can read into it whatever you want, or you can choose to do as I have and just file it in the little cabinet up here, which has marked on the face of it, "Wait for further information." I've got a lot of things filed in that cabinet that I've just been waiting for further understanding and further information. I do not have a complete knowledge of them as yet.

Now, as we get into the next part, I have a much better understanding. We're not dealing with visions now; we're dealing with actualities.

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, [that is, to Zechariah] Take of them of the captivity [those that had come back from captivity], even Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon, and come thou the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah; Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest; And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both ( Zechariah 6:9-13 ).

Now the Lord ordered Zechariah to take these men to make a gold and a silver crown, and to take Joshua who was with Zerubbabel standing before the Lord. And to anoint Joshua, the son of the high priest, or to place this crown upon his head, and then to prophesy concerning the coming King, the Branch.

Now, it's interesting that they would put the crown upon Joshua who was a priest, thus from the tribe of Levi. The kingly tribe in Israel was Judah. God had promised that from David there should be one who would reign upon the throne. In fact, the Branch is the name of the one from David. "And there shall arise from Jesse a branch." It is predicted that the Branch out of Jesse, tribe of Judah, would reign. But here is Joshua, the son of the high priest, being crowned. But then the prophecy given concerning the Branch.

The name Joshua, of course, is significant. It is the name Jesus. It is the Hebrew for the Greek Jesus. In Hebrew it means Jehovah or "yah is salvation." So it is significant, the name itself, that Joshua was crowned as a priest, but crowned to be the king. As a foreboding or of a prophecy of the crowning of Jesus as King, who is from the tribe of Judah, but also to be acknowledged as the priest.

Now in the book of Hebrews, the writer of Hebrews points out that Jesus is our great High Priest who has entered into heaven for us. Now, for we Gentiles, we have no problem with that. Yes, Jesus is my great High Priest, and I have no problem with Jesus being my High Priest, because I'm a Gentile. But if I were a Jew, and someone would say to me, "Well, Jesus is our great High Priest," I would say, "How can Jesus be the great High Priest when He is from the tribe of Judah? The priesthood belongs to Levi. How could one from the tribe of Judah be a priest?" So the writer of the book of Hebrews, recognizing that that would be a problem to the Jews, declared that Jesus was a priest not after the order of Levi, but after a different priestly order, the order of Melchizedek, which was spoken of in the scriptures. He spoke of how when Abraham returning from the spoiling of the five kings who had taken his nephew Lot as a captive, how he was returning with all of the spoils of these kings, having defeated them, and how Melchizedek the king of Salem came out to meet him, and how Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek of all that he had. Melchizedek was called "The priest before the Lord."

Now of Melchizedek we know nothing of his family background. We don't know where he was from. This was before Israel was ever a nation. This is when Abraham was in a strange land, actually. Who is Melchizedek? Where did he come from? What is his background? The scripture is totally silent. But he was a priest of the Most High God, and he received tithes from Abraham. So that it shows that the order is actually a higher order of priest than was the Levites. Because the Levites came from Abraham, and Abraham received the blessing of Melchizedek, and the lesser is blessed by the greater. So here is Melchizedek, a person of which we have no scriptural background, coming, blessing Abraham, receiving tithes from Abraham, and is acknowledged as a priest of the Most High God. So the author of Hebrews said that Jesus is a priest after the order of Melchizedek, which is actually a superior order of priesthood than that of Levi.

Now here is the crowing of the priest as king. One day Jesus will fulfill both roles as the High Priest, and as King. In fact, He fills those roles today. But here is the prophecy of the day that will come when Jesus will be acknowledged as the King. And so the prophecy is of the Branch, and He will build the temple of the Lord.

Now this is why the Orthodox, the strict Orthodox Jews in Israel today are opposed to the current Israeli state. In the area in Jerusalem known as Measharim, ultra Orthodox, they have gone so far as to write a letter to king Hussein in Jordan asking king Hussein to annex Measharim into Jordan. Because they don't want any part of the Jewish state. They are of the feeling and opinion that the Jewish state has no right to exist until the Messiah comes and builds their temple. They are using here in Zechariah the method by which the identity of the Messiah will be revealed to them in that He will build the temple of the Lord.

Now this sets up these people to fulfill a prophecy that was made by Jesus Christ, who, when they rejected Him, declared to them, "I came in My Father's name, you did not receive Me. Another one is going to come in his own name, and him you will receive" ( John 5:43 ). In other words, Jesus predicted their accepting of the antichrist in the beginning of his reign.

Now in Daniel, chapter 9, we are told that the prince of the people that shall come of the Roman Empire, and in this case the revived Roman Empire, or the European Community as it is more commonly called today, he will come and make a covenant with the nation Israel. But in the midst of that seven-year period, he'll break the covenant and set up the abomination which causes desolation.

The temple is to be rebuilt, I feel, very soon. There is an extremely powerful movement in Jerusalem right now dedicated to rebuilding the temple. Surely the temple will be standing during the time of the Great Tribulation. John is given a measuring stick and told to measure the new temple and its courts. That's during the tribulation period.

Here in Zechariah, the prophecy of the Branch is that, "He shall build the temple of the Lord. Even He shall build the temple of the Lord, and shall bear the glory and sit and rule upon His throne."

So they are looking today for someone to come and to initiate and to help them in the rebuilding of the temple. You talk to the Orthodox Jews today, and they will tell you that they are anticipating the Messiah to come soon, and they'll know Him because He'll help them to build their temple.

Thus, they are ripe for the accepting of the antichrist when he comes with his plan to put the wall between the mosque, the Dome of the Rock Mosque, and the northern area of the temple mount, and grant the Jews the right to rebuild their temple. They will hail him immediately as their Messiah. But after three and a half years, when the temple is built and he returns to the temple, he will then reveal his true identity through his blasphemy. He will stand in the temple of God, proving that he is god, and demanding to be worshiped as god, causing the daily sacrifices and prayers to cease. They will set the image of the beast there in the temple. The image that they give power to speak. Men will be actually commanded and ordered at the force of death, to worship the beast and his image. So because Zechariah speaks of the Branch building the temple, that is why they are looking for their Messiah now, and that's why they anticipate identifying him as the Messiah as he helps them build the temple.

But Zechariah is looking a little further beyond the temple that will be built, to the Kingdom Age temple described in Ezekiel, that the Lord Himself shall build. "He will bear the glory, and He will sit and rule upon His throne, and He shall be a priest upon His throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both."

And the crowns shall be to Helem, and Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the LORD ( Zechariah 6:14 ).

In other words, they were to make these crowns. They were to put the crowns upon Joshua, but then they were to set them in the temple as a reminder to the people of the future glory that would come yet to Israel. When their true King comes and reigns. So they were to be set there, and every time the people would go to the temple, they'd see the gold and silver crowns that had been put upon Joshua, or put upon Jesus, if you please, the Greek name. It was the reminder that one day He will sit upon His throne in the temple and reign--the hope for them.

And they that are far off shall come and build the temple of the LORD ( Zechariah 6:15 ),

I hope to be in that crew; I just hope that I don't be ordered to use a framing claw hammer.

and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, and you will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God ( Zechariah 6:15 ).

So that glorious day in the future when Jesus comes and reigns, and there is obedience to Him and to His kingdom. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Zechariah 6". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/zechariah-6.html. 2014.
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