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Zechariah Chapter 1

1  In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the LORD's word came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, the prophet, saying,

2 "The LORD was very displeased with your fathers.

3 Therefore tell them: the LORD of Armies says: 'Return to me,' says the LORD of Armies, 'and I will return to you,' says the LORD of Armies.

4 Don't you be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying: The LORD of Armies says, 'Return now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings;' but they didn't hear, nor listen to me, says the LORD.

5 Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever?

6 But my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, didn't they overtake your fathers? "Then they repented and said, 'Just as the LORD of Armies determined to do to us, according to our ways, and according to our practices, so he has dealt with us.' "

7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the LORD's word came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, the prophet, saying,

8 "I had a vision in the night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse, and he stood amongst the myrtle trees that were in a ravine; and behind him there were red, brown, and white horses.

9 Then I asked, 'My lord, what are these?' " The angel who talked with me said to me, "I will show you what these are."

10 The man who stood amongst the myrtle trees answered, "They are the ones the LORD has sent to go back and forth through the earth."

11 They reported to the LORD's angel who stood amongst the myrtle trees, and said, "We have walked back and forth through the earth, and behold, all the earth is at rest and in peace."

12 Then the LORD's angel replied, "O LORD of Armies, how long will you not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which you have had indignation these seventy years?"

13 The LORD answered the angel who talked with me with kind and comforting words.

14 So the angel who talked with me said to me, "Proclaim, saying, 'The LORD of Armies says: "I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.

15 I am very angry with the nations that are at ease; for I was but a little displeased, but they added to the calamity."

16 Therefore the LORD says: "I have returned to Jerusalem with mercy. My house shall be built in it," says the LORD of Armies, "and a line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem." '

17 "Proclaim further, saying, 'The LORD of Armies says: "My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion, and will again choose Jerusalem." ' "

18 I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, four horns.

19 I asked the angel who talked with me, "What are these?" He answered me, "These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem."

20 The LORD showed me four craftsmen.

21 Then I asked, "What are these coming to do?" He said, "These are the horns which scattered Judah, so that no man lifted up his head; but these have come to terrify them, to cast down the horns of the nations, which lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it."

Footnotes

Verse 1 (LORD)
When rendered in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, "LORD" or "GOD" is the translation of God's Proper Name.
Verse 8 (Behold)
"Behold" means look at, take notice, observe, see, or gaze at. It is often used as an interjection.

Version: World English Bible


Zechariah Chapter 1 Guide

About a month after Haggai's second message, in which he had encouraged the people who were in danger of being disheartened by the memory of the past, Zechariah uttered his first prophetic word. He gave them another view of the past, intended to warn them. He reminded them that Jehovah was sore displeased with their fathers, and warned them not to walk in the same sins. Thus Haggai encouraged them by looking on to the new spiritual glory, while Zechariah exhorted them by looking back to the past of disobedience.

Two months after Haggai had delivered his last message, Zechariah delivered his great message consisting of eight symbolic visions.

Under the figure of the myrtle trees Israel is described as "in the bottom," or, far better, as the margin reads, "in the shady place." It is the day of her overshadowing, but she is still watched. The whole earth is sitting still and at rest. The angel watcher appeals to Jehovah on behalf of Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, and is answered with "comfortable words."

These words declare Jehovah's determination to deliver and re-establish His people. This vision, therefore, is a picture of Israel as she long has been, and still is, outcast from privilege and position, yet never forgotten by Jehovah, who declares His determination ultimately to return to her with mercies, and to restore her to favour.

The second vision of horns and smiths, while indefinite as to detail, yet carries its own explanation. The horn is a symbol of power, and the four stand for the powers which have scattered the chosen people. The smiths are the symbol of that which destroys power, and stand for those who are to break the power of the horns.

The vision thus foretells the ultimate overthrow of the enemies of the purpose of God, and therefore stands in immediate and striking contrast to the one preceding it. As we have seen, there the chosen people are in the shady place, cast out, without influence or power among the nations. The second, while not entering into any detailed account of the instrument to be used, does, nevertheless, symbolize that ultimately those who have oppressed the people of God will be broken in power, and thus the oppressed people be delivered.

From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.