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Bible Commentaries
Zechariah 6

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-8



Verses 1-8:

The Four Chariots, Vision 10

Verse 1 introduces the last of ten visions that Zechariah received, with interpretations, from the angelic messenger of the Lord. In this vision he saw four chariots, or great empires, coming forth from between two mountains of brass, between Moriah and Zion. The four chariots came as symbols of war and judgment, from among the four parts of the earth, governed by Gentile powers. The four chariots symbolized the four kingdoms of Daniel, in judgment against Judea in particular. Brass is a symbol of judgment in the scriptures, Jeremiah 1:18. The judgment looks beyond Judea’s oppression by the four Gentile powers, to the end of the time of the Gentiles, when Israel shall be raised up again as pledged in the word of the Lord, Daniel 2:31-45; See also Isaiah 2:10-22; Revelation 19:11-21.

Verse 2 describes the first chariot as drawn by red horses and the second chariot as drawn by black horses, a symbol of war, cruelty, and bloodshed, completely hitched in the drawing shafts, ready for swift flight into battle. The red horses symbolizes a bloody carnage. The black horses symbolize sorrow and mourning that follow the bloody carnage of death, Revelation 6:5-6. These acts of Divine angelic judgment against Israel are executed in the permissive will and purpose of God.

Verse 3 describes the third chariot drawn by white horses implying joy and victory. While the fourth chariot was drawn by grisled and bay horses, corresponding with the speckled horses of prosperity and adversity mixed, Zechariah 1:8.

Verse 4 is an humble inquiry of the informing angel of the Lord; "Who are these my lord?" Zechariah asked, indicating that he was teachable, had a will to understand, John 7:17; Zechariah 5:10.

Verse 5 recounts the angel’s explanation that these four horses represented the heavenly spirits of angels, perhaps of Michael’s band, "who stand before Jehovah," to execute his judgment will, commands, and purposes, ch. Zechariah 4:14; 1 Kings 22:17; Job 2:1; Daniel 7:10; Luke 1:19. They proceed with chariot speed at the Lord’s command to execute judgment in the four quarters of the earth, 2 Kings 6:17; Psalms 68:17; Psalms 104:4; Hebrews 1:7; Hebrews 1:14.

Verse 6 explains that the black horses of judgment go forth on their judgment journey into the north country, Babylon, from which Judah and Israel are hereafter to return to their own land, Jeremiah 1:14; Zechariah 2:6; Jeremiah 3:18. And the white horses follow them to the north, to subdue Medo-Persia; While the grisled go away to the south, to Egypt, and Arabia, the other great oppressor of national Israel.

Verse 7 decribes the bay horse Roman empire that went forth, swift and strong, attempting to lead all the other horse powers in battle array against Israel and Judah , as the three former ones had done. This Gentile oppression of the dispersed Jews is yet to continue, until the second advent of our Lord, Genesis 13:17; Job 1:7; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9; 1 Timothy 4:1. See also Ezekiel 39; Revelation 19:17-18; Revelation 19:21.

Verse 8 asserts that those horses of judgment, from the four spirits of heaven, that had gone forth over the north part of the earth (referring to Babylon) had quieted his spirit, or appeased his anger in the north country. Babylon, only, of the four Gentile powers, had fallen under Divine judgment at this time, Ecclesiastes 10:4; See also Judges 8:3; Ezekiel 5:13; Ezekiel 16:42.

Verses 9-15

Symbolic Crowning

Verses 9-15:

Joshua The High Priest---A Symbolic Crowning

Verse 9 reasserts Zechariah’s claim to be speaking and writing "the word of the Lord," as a prophet of God, 2 Peter 1:20-21; Psalms 119:160. The double crown, symbolizing the true priesthood and kingly reign of the Messiah, was to be placed on the head of Joshua the high priest, Hebrews 6:20; Hebrews 7:1-2.

Verse 10 calls upon Zephaniah to take three returned men of the captivity, in Babylon, and enter into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah. The three former Hebrew exiles were: 1) Heldai which means "robust," and 2) Tobijah which means "the goodness of God, and 3) Jedaiah which means "God knows." It is believed that Josiah, the son of Zephaniah, may also have recently come from Babylon, and established his residence there in Jerusalem, into which Zephaniah had brought the three as guests.

Verse 11 certifies that Zephaniah was directed to take silver and gold and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua, the son of Josedech, the high priest. The high priest wore a holy crown or golden plate upon his forefront, above the mitre, Zechariah 3:5; Leviticus 8:9. The true Messiah will one day wear many crowns, Revelation 19:12. The symbolic crown of the high priest and king frequently recur in prophecy, and will be embodied one day in Jesus, our High Priest and king, Psalms 110:1-2; Psalms 110:4; Hebrews 5:10. He will in that day "restore the kingdom to Israel," Acts 1:6; Luke 1:32-33; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.

Verse 12 directs Zephaniah to speak to the returned exiles from Babylon, who had brought gifts of gold and silver for the temple worship and use, and had seen Zephaniah direct it to be used in making crowns, to set upon the head of Joshua the high priest; They were called upon by Zephaniah to "behold the man whose name is The Branch," used to symbolize Jesus Christ. The term is used in four ways:

1) "The Branch of Jehovah," in his "Immanuel" character, Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 25:31.

2) "The Branch of David," of the royal seed-lineage of David, Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:15; Romans 1:3.

3) Jehovah’s "Servant, the Branch," in the humiliation and obedience, even unto death, Zechariah 3:8; Isaiah 52:13-15; Isaiah 53:1-12; Philippians 2:5-8.

4) "The man whose name is the Branch," in character, as the Son of Man," the last Adam," and the "second Adam," Zechariah 6:12-13; 1 Corinthians 15:46-47; He is to reign as Priest-King over the earth, in that dominion given to and lost by the first Adam. Matthew is the Gospel of the Branch of David, Mark of Jehovah’s Servant Branch, Luke the man "whose name is Branch," and John of the "Branch Jehovah," John ch. 15. This one shall yet build the temple of the Lord, the Messiah’s temple in Jerusalem, even as -Zerubbabel and Joshua the High Priest were to motivate the Jewish remnant in continuing to rebuild the temple in that day, v. 13. The "He" who was to grow up out of his place, was Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 2:15; Matthew 2:23; He built his house (church), that was better than that which Moses built, while here on earth, and left it to do His work, in this age, Matthew 16:18; Mark 13:34-35; Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:15-16; Hebrews 3:3-6; He will also build, or "build up", His Messianic temple when He comes again, Ezekiel ch. 40-43.

Verse 13 certifies that He shall "bear the glory" of priest-king in that day, Psalms 21:5; Psalms 102:16; Isaiah 22:21; Isaiah 52:13; The church’s dignity is in her head alone, Ephesians 1:20-21; Ephesians 5:15; Colossians 1:20-21; Hebrews 13:20. He shall "sit and rule" upon his throne, also called the lineage throne of David, Luke 1:32-33; Psalms 110:2; And he shall be a priest upon his throne, ministering to the needs of His children and servants, as Priest and King, until "God is all in all," 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.

Verse 14 returns to a local application of the crowns of gold and silver that had been made to set on the head of Joshua the high priest, the crowns were to be for a memorial, for the memories of Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen. v. 10, 11, the son of Zephaniah, the prophet in the temple of the Lord, Matthew 14:9. Alms of faith are acknowledged as a "memorial to the Lord," as well as direct gifts to His Divine Service, Acts 10:4.

Verse 15 pledges that they who were far off (Jew and Gentile), might come to find salvation and fellowship and peace with God in the house of God, through Jesus Christ, Isaiah 60:9-10; Isaiah 57:19; Christ built the temple of worship, of new order, the church, Hebrews 3:3-4; His children build "in" the temple, Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 3:21. See also Romans 3:23-30; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Revelation 5:6. The final pledge is that this reign of peace on earth will come, when the Jewish nation, after much suffering, shame, and dispersion from her land, turns to obey the voice of the Lord diligently, and is grafted in again, Zechariah 3:8; Zechariah 12:10-12; Matthew 23:39; Romans 11:16-24.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Zechariah 6". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/zechariah-6.html. 1985.
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