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  • I.e., Darius Hystaspes, who ruled the Medo-Persian empire from 521-486 B.C. See Ezra 4:5, 24; 5:3-17; 6:1-12. This Darius is different from both the Darius in Dan. 9:1; 11:1 and the one in Neh. 12:22.

  • Meaning Jehovah remembers. Zechariah was born of a priestly family in captivity (Neh. 12:1, 4, 12, 16). He was first a priest, and then he became a prophet. He returned to Judah with Zerubbabel at the time of the prophet Haggai in about 520 B.C. (Ezra 5:1). Zechariah and Haggai encouraged the building of the temple of God under the hands of Zerubbabel and Joshua. Joshua was the high priest, representing the priesthood, and Zerubbabel, a descendant of the royal family, was the governor of Judah, representing the kingship. Thus, the temple of God was built by the kingship with the priesthood. Likewise, in the building up of the church as the Body of Christ, both the priesthood and the kingship are needed (1 Pet. 2:5, 9). See note Ezra 5:11.

    The central thought of Zechariah’s prophecy is that Jehovah remembers His chastised people and sympathizes with them in their suffering of the nations’ excessive action in carrying out Jehovah’s punishing of Israel. God used the nations to punish Israel, but the nations went too far in carrying out God’s punishing of His elect. For Israel’s suffering of His punishment, God sent Christ as His Angel to be with them and go with them through their captivity (vv. 7-11). He also raised up “craftsmen” to deal with the nations who had dealt with Israel excessively (vv. 20-21). Through Zechariah, a prophet of restoration, God gave His chastised people a hearty word of consolation and promise, saying that He would bring the scattered Israel back to their own country with the expectation of a time of restoration and prosperity (vv. 12-17 Zechariah 2:1-13; 3:1-10; 4:1-14; Zech. 6:9-15; 8:1-23).

    In Zechariah’s prophecy Christ was sent to Israel as their King in a lowly form (Zech. 9:9-10) and as their Shepherd to feed them (Zech. 11:7), but He was detested (Zech. 11:8), sold (Zech. 11:2-13), attacked (Zech. 13:7), and pierced (Zech. 12:10) and thereby accomplished redemption for them (Zech. 13:1a; Zech. 1:8; 3:9). Eventually, Christ will fight for Israel to deliver them out of the hand of Antichrist for their household salvation (12:1—14:21). In the restoration Christ will be King over all the earth (Zech. 14:8-11, 16, 20-21).

  • Meaning Jehovah blesses.

  • Meaning at an appointed time. The total significance of the three names Zechariah, Berechiah, and Iddo is that at an appointed time Jehovah will bless and Jehovah will remember.

  • Or, Sabaoth. So throughout the book.

  • The exhortation to the children of Israel in vv. 2-6 to return to Jehovah with the promise that Jehovah will return to them indicates that although the children of Israel had returned from Babylon to Jerusalem, most of them probably had not returned to the Lord. This establishes the principle that we must return to the Lord first, and then the Lord will return to us.

  • This man is the Angel of Jehovah (v. 11), Christ in His humanity. The Angel of Jehovah is Jehovah Himself as the Triune God (Exo. 3:2, 4-6, 13-15). He is also Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God (Col. 2:9) and as the sent One of God (John 5:36-38; 6:38-39). The Angel of Jehovah is also the Angel of God who escorted and protected Israel on their way from Egypt to the promised land (Exo. 23:20; 32:34; Judg. 6:19-24; Isa. 63:9).

  • Here the red horse signifies Christ’s swift move in His redemption, accomplished through the shedding of His blood (Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).

  • These myrtle trees signify the humiliated yet precious people of Israel in their captivity. The redeeming Christ, as a man and as the Angel of Jehovah, the embodiment of the Triune God, was sent by God to be with the humiliated people of Israel in their captivity. Christ’s standing among the myrtle trees that were in the bottoms means that He remained strongly among the captured Israel in the lowest part of the valley in their humiliation. As the One on the red horse, Christ, the redeeming One, was Israel’s patron, ready to do anything for them swiftly in order to care for them in their captivity. Christ maintained Israel in their captivity that He might eventually be born into humanity through Israel to accomplish God’s eternal economy.

  • The horses of three different colors indicate that Christ’s redemption (the red horse) leads the repentant Israel (the reddish-brown horses) to be justified and accepted by God swiftly (the white horses). This vision of the horses portrays the situation of Israel in their captivity. In the eyes of God, Christ the Redeemer was with them taking the lead, and they, God’s redeemed people, were following Him. Because they were God’s redeemed people, they appear at first sight as red horses. But because they were not pure, they are signified also by the reddish-brown horses (the color reddish-brown indicating a mixture). They need to contact God and to be dealt with by Him in order to gain God and be justified by Him and thus become those signified by the white horses. Once they repent, they will swiftly be accepted by God and justified by Him.

  • The red, reddish-brown, and white horses had been sent by Jehovah to go to and fro on the earth to observe the situation of the nations. As indicated by the movement of the horses, God’s captured people were unsettled and were without peace, rest, and the enjoyment of life. The nations, on the contrary, were sitting still and were quiet (v. 11). This indicates that, in the eyes of God, all the nations around Israel at that time were sitting and enjoying their life in peace and quietness while God’s elect were suffering.

  • Because the nations were sitting peacefully while Jerusalem was troubled, Jehovah was very jealous for Jerusalem. He was extremely angry with the nations, who were at ease, sitting still and quiet (vv. 15*a, 11). God was only a little angry with Israel, but the nations, in their carrying out of God’s punishment on Israel, dealt with Israel excessively (v. 15b).

  • Measuring for the purpose of possessing. For seventy years Jerusalem was given up by God (v. 12; Jer. 25:11). Now He was coming back to repossess the city; thus, He caused a measuring line to be stretched over it (Zech. 2:1).

  • The vision of the four horns and the four craftsmen (vv. 18-21) was a comforting and encouraging word of promise to Israel as God’s answer to Christ’s intercession for Zion and Jerusalem in v. 12. The four horns are the four kingdoms with their kings — Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and the Roman Empire — also signified by the great human image in Dan. 2:31-33 and by the four beasts in Dan. 7:3-8, that damaged and destroyed the chosen people of God. The four craftsmen (v. 20) are the skills used by God to destroy these four kingdoms with their kings. Each of the first three kingdoms — Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece — was taken over in a skillful way by the kingdom that followed it (cf. Dan. 5; 8:3-7). The fourth Craftsman will be Christ as the stone cut out without hands, who will crush the restored Roman Empire and thereby crush the great human image as the totality of human government at His coming back (Dan. 2:31-35).

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