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FRAMEWORKS: Zechariah 6: Security being brought for Israel


v.1-8 Four chariots

v.9-15 A crown for Joshua


[Preliminary Comment: The prophetic picture language continues to convey certain major truths:

•  God's will IS coming on the earth [v.1-7]

•  Part of this is to bring peace to the north, and security for Israel [v.8]

•  The rule of the nation is, as previously stated, in the hands of Zerubbabel but here we are told the overriding rule is to come from God through His representative in the temple [v.9-15]

Each of these things emphasise God's sovereignty, bringing about His purposes which involves creating a new sense of security for His people back in their land.]



v.1-8 Four chariots


v.1-3 The prophet now sees four chariots coming towards him


v.1   I looked up again, and there before me were four chariots coming out from between two mountains – mountains of bronze.

v.2  The first chariot had red horses, the second black,

v.3  the third white, and the fourth dappled – all of them powerful.


[Notes: The vision changes to reveal chariots, presumably each with two horses. Whereas in a previous vision the single-horse riders had simply been messenger, the designation of ‘chariots' suggest these go to achieve God's purposes.]


v.4,5 They represent four spirits or winds coming from God


v.4  I asked the angel who was speaking to me, ‘What are these, my lord?'

v.5  The angel answered me, ‘These are the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world.


[Notes: The prophet is told these represent [remember this is all prophetic vision conveying truth] the spirit from God in four forms conveying different intents for different lands but going out to bring about the will of God in those lands.]


v.6-8 The horses strain to go throughout the earth


v.6  The one with the black horses is going towards the north country, the one with the white horses towards the west, and the one with the dappled horses towards the south.'

v.7  When the powerful horses went out, they were straining to go throughout the earth. And he said, ‘Go throughout the earth!' So they went throughout the earth.

v.8  Then he called to me, ‘Look, those going towards the north country have given my Spirit rest in the land of the north.'


[Notes: The red [lead] horses are not mentioned but one assumes they went east. Presumably the different colours of the horses is meant to convey different purposes. The only one mentioned is the black one that has managed to bring peace to the region of the north where, for so many years in the past, rulers had been bent on invasion of the south [including Israel] and so v.8 implies that that threat has been removed.]



v.9-15 A crown for Joshua


v.9-11 The high priest, Joshua, is to be crowned


v.9   The word of the Lord came to me:

v.10  ‘Take silver and gold from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon. Go the same day to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah.

v.11  Take the silver and gold and make a crown, and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of Jozadak.


[Notes: Three wealthy returning exiles are to provide the precious metal to form a crown for Joshua the high priest. Explanation follows.]


v.12,13 Joshua, the Branch, will both build the temple and rule for God


v.12  Tell him this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord.

v.13  It is he who will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.”


[Notes: Again we have reference to the Branch [see previously 3:8 and the comments there], clearly referring to Joshua the high priest, who will both build the temple [v.12] AND be a priestly ruler of the people of God. Although Zerubbabel is the ruling governor, this present description suggests that the overriding rule must emanate from the Temple and be ‘under God'.]


v.14,15 Instructions for the crown and assurance about the rebuilding


v.14  The crown will be given to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen son of Zephaniah as a memorial in the temple of the Lord.

v.15  Those who are far away will come and help to build the temple of the Lord , and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the Lord your God.'


[Notes: The crown is not to be worn by Joshua but kept in the temple as a reminder that that is where God's rule for this people is. The temple is not yet built but the Lord brings assurance that many more people will yet return to Jerusalem and will help in the rebuilding works. This is, of course, conditional on their ongoing obedience.]



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