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Saturday, June 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Zechariah 6

Gaebelein's Annotated BibleGaebelein's Annotated

Verses 1-15


1. The eighth vision (Zechariah 6:1-8 )

2. The crowning of Joshua, the High-Priest (Zechariah 6:9-15 )

Zechariah 6:1-8 . The last vision is the vision of the four chariots. We notice the similarity with the first night-vision. The visions opened with the hosts of heaven upon red, speckled, and white horses. It was a vision of judgment for the Gentiles and a vision of comfort to Israel. In this last vision the chariots of judgment are seen sweeping over the earth. It seems to denote judgment in its final accomplishment. The riders of the first vision may be termed the beginning of God’s dealing with the nations, but the chariots put the divine judgment decrees into operation.

The riders halted in a valley amidst a myrtle grove, but the chariots rush forth to execute their terrible work from between two mountains of brass. These mountains mean undoubtedly Mount Moriah and the Mount of Olives. They rush through the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The brass is mentioned to denote the firmness and stability of these mountains, which shall never be moved. We do not think that in the four chariots there is an allusion to the four world-powers. The judgment of them is now come. The stone is falling and smiting the image at its feet and pulverizing it, putting it completely out of existence. The chariots are God’s powers, agencies for judgment in the earth, which will pass swiftly along, shown by the fast running chariots. In Revelation 6:1-17 the seven seals are opened, and there go forth the four terrible riders upon white, red, black, and pale horses. The riders in the Apocalypse are the riders which go through the earth during the great tribulation, but in the eighth night vision of Zechariah we see the chariots of God’s wrath. The vision falls in the time when the heaven opens and He appears riding upon a white horse, His name Faithful and True, coming in righteousness to judge and to make war. Wonderful vision of Him who is clothed with a vesture dipped in blood! He is followed by the armies of heaven upon white horses, all clothed in fine linen white and clean. “And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations, and He shall rule them with a rod of iron, and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of almighty God” Revelation 19:1-21 .

The angel interprets to the prophet that the chariots are the four spirits of the heavens which go forth from standing before the Lord of the earth. These agencies for wrath were with God, standing before Him, the Lord of all the earth, but now at His command they descend to scatter death and destruction. They go forth in sets, and the north country and south country both so prominent in the prophetic word are mentioned. The bay horses, however, are not confined to one direction, they go through the entire earth. At last in the judgment of the land of the north the spirit is caused to rest. The overthrow of the enemies of Israel is complete and the spirit is quieted. How long may the wrath last and for how long may the chariots do their deadly work? Perhaps longer than we think. The millennial reign of Christ, as foreshadowed in the bloody rule of David, followed by the peaceful reign of Solomon, may teach us lessons in this direction. The night visions have ended. They may be termed the Apocalypse of Zechariah. Daniel, Zechariah, and Revelation go together in a wonderful harmony and explain each other. Alas! that just these three parts of the Bible should be so little studied and so little understood.

Zechariah 6:9-15 . The memorable night with its great visions was gone. The first streaks of the morning heralded the coming dawn. Then the Word of the Lord came to the young prophet commanding him to make crowns of silver and gold and crown Joshua, the High-Priest.

Some consider this to be the ninth vision of the prophet. It is, however, the word of the Lord which comes to the prophet. There can be no doubt but the command was actually carried out and Cheldai (robust), Tobiah (God’s goodness), and Jedaiah (God knows), gave their silver and gold, and crowns were made out of it and placed upon the head of Joshua the high-priest. But the action had a much deeper meaning. It was a highly typical one. It must have astonished Joshua and the people to hear such a command, for the royal crown did not belong to the high-priest but to the descendant of David. He must have understood that the whole command had a symbolical bearing. Joshua hears it from the Word of the Lord that another person is only typified by him, “Behold the man whose name is the Branch.” It is this man the Branch who will be a priest upon the throne. This, of course, is our Lord Jesus Christ. The name of the high-priest Joshua is in itself very significant, for the meaning is, God is salvation, Saviour, Jesus. Pontius Pilate was fulfilling prophecy when he stood there leading out Jesus of Nazareth before that tumultuous multitude, and when he said “Behold the man.” If the assembled Jews had known the Scriptures they would have recognized the phrase. But how did He then come forth? He wore a crown of thorns upon His meek and loving brow, and the people gazed into the blood-stained face of the Lamb of God now ready to be placed upon the altar and slain. But once again it will sound forth, “Behold the man,” for when He appears it will be after He has gathered His saints, and then He will come as the Son of Man in the heavens, and the sign of the Son of Man will be seen there. He will be crowned again, too, but not with the crown of suffering and shame, but with the crowns of glory. Thus He is seen in Revelation 19:12 as wearing many crowns.

He comes to build the temple of Jehovah, bearing majesty, sitting and ruling upon His throne. He is now the builder of the spiritual temple, which is composed of living stones Ephesians 2:21 ,1 Peter 2:5 . But when He comes again there will be the building of another temple. It is now no longer His Father’s throne but His own, upon which He is a priest as well. The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords has now taken possession of His inheritance. The times of overturning are over and He whose right it is has come. There is a very instructive thought in the fact that the persons of the exile, as mentioned above, were to bring the silver and the gold out of which the crowns were to be made. The time will come when the whole exiled nation, so long scattered and peeled, though even in dispersion, the richest nation of the earth, will bring their silver and gold, their glory and their all and lay it at the feet of the King.

Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Zechariah 6". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gab/zechariah-6.html. 1913-1922.
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