Zechariah 6 - Verse by Verse Commentary
1 Once more I looked, and this time I saw four chariots emerging from between two mountains of bronze.
Zechariah recorded his eighth and final vision. He saw four chariots riding between two mountains of bronze. The two mountains are Mount Moriah and the Mount of Olives. Between these two mountains is the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The Valley of Jehoshaphat is where all of the Gentile nations who oppress Israel will be judged by God. Bronze was a symbol of judgment.
2 Harnessed to the first chariot were red horses, to the second black horses, 3 to the third white horses, and to the fourth spotted horses, all of them strong.
These four horses are not the four horses of the Apocalypse in Revelation 6. They are the angels who had earlier given a report to the Angel of the Lord. The Angel of the Lord was the pre-incarnate Christ.
4 Then I asked the angelic messenger who was speaking with me, “What are these, sir?”
Zechariah asked for the interpretation of the vision.
5 The messenger replied, “These are the four spirits of heaven that have been presenting themselves before the Lord of all the earth.
The angel answered Zechariah’s questions. These are the four angels who gave the Angel of the Lord the earlier report about the status of Gentiles. These angels are the ones in charge of the four Gentile powers who were mentioned in Daniel chapter 7.
6 The chariot with the black horses is going to the north country and the white ones are going after them, but the spotted ones are going to the south country.
These four angels were sent out to Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
7 All these strong ones are scattering; they have sought permission to go and walk about over the earth.” The Lord had said, “Go! Walk about over the earth!” So they are doing so.
These four angels were sent out to perform a mission. They gave the report of their mission to the Lord Jesus Christ in His pre-incarnate form.
8 Then he cried out to me, “Look! The ones going to the northland have brought me peace about the northland.”
God’s messianic program is moving forward.
9 The word of the Lord came to me as follows:
After the eighth and final vision, Jehovah began to give prophetic messages to Zechariah.
10 “Choose some people from among the exiles, namely, Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, all of whom have come from Babylon, and when you have done so go to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah.
The angel asked Zechariah to assemble these three men at the home of Joshua. Joshua was the High Priest of Israel.
11 Then take some silver and gold to make a crown and set it on the head of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest.
Zechariah was to make a silver and gold crown and place it upon Joshua the High Priest. Levitical priests were not to serve in monarchy roles. Only those from the line of Judah could be appointed as king, and only if a prophet of God anointed them for office.
12 Then say to him, ‘The Lord who rules over all says, “Look—here is the man whose name is Branch, who will sprout up from his place and build the temple of the Lord.
Crowning the High Priest as king was the acting out of a future prophetic historical event which was to come. Just as the High Priest Joshua was crowned as king, so will Yeshua be crowned as king. The name Joshua is Hebrew for Yeshua, or Jesus. The Branch has already been announced as the Messiah of Israel. One of the attributes of the Branch was that He was to be deity. Now He is announced also to be human. The Branch (Jesus) will sprout up, meaning that He will be virgin born as a baby, but He will have to sprout (or grow) into a man. When He grows up, He will build the Millennial Kingdom Temple.
13 Indeed, he will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed in splendor, sitting as king on his throne. Moreover, there will be a priest with him on his throne and they will see eye to eye on everything.
The Branch will build the temple. He will be clothed in the Shekinah Glory, just as He was at His transfiguration. He will sit upon the throne of David and become king, because He was born into the line of David. He will see eye-to-eye with Jehovah, meaning that They are both co-equal. They are both deity. Jesus will become a priest-king. He will be priest after the order of Melchizidek. He will be king from the line of David.
14 The crown will then be turned over to Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen son of Zephaniah as a memorial in the temple of the Lord.
After Joshua is crowned temporarily in this prophetic and symbolic coronation, the crown will be turned over to these three men. They will place it in the temple as a memorial. This memorial will point to the future time period when King Jesus returns at His second coming and rules the world from Jerusalem.
15 Then those who are far away will come and build the temple of the Lord so that you may know that the Lord who rules over all has sent me to you. This will all come to pass if you completely obey the voice of the Lord your God.” ’ ”
Those from far away are the Romans. King Herod will use Roman taxes to rebuild Zerubabbel’s temple to an even more glorious state. Jesus will step into this temple and claim to be the Messiah.
Zechariah 6 Breakdown
Zechariah 6:1-8 (Eighth Vision: Four Chariots)
Summary: The two mountains might be Mount Zion and the Mount of Olives (v.1). The vision is of four chariots pulled by red, black, white, and gray horses (v.3). These are angels under God’s control (v.5), who are going to judge the world (v.6). These seem similar to Revelation 6:1-8. They don’t go out until they hear a command from God (v.7).
(6:1) These “two mountains” likely refer to Mount Zion and the Mount of Olives and the Kidron Valley in between. It could also be the splitting of the Mount of Olives with a large valley in between (cf. Zech. 14:4).
The “four chariots” are four angels or “spirits” (v.5).
(6:2-3) These are very similar to the horses in Revelation 6:1-8. If this is the case, then each would symbolize aspects of judgment (e.g. warfare, disease, hunger, etc.).
(6:4-6) North would be Babylonia. South would be Egypt. These horses (“angels”) go out to judge the nations.
(6:7-8) This shows that the angels go at God’s command. He is ultimately in charge and sovereign.
Zechariah 6:9-15 (The Priest King)
Summary: The Jews collect precious metals to make a crown for the high priest (vv.9-10). This is strange because the Jews kept their “Church and State” separate. Here, they are blended together! A priest-king? A king-priest? This makes sense in view of Jesus Christ: the ultimate Priest-King. It is not a coincidence that this typology of Christ occurs chronologically after the judgment of the nations in verses 1-8. This is a strong messianic passage.
The Messiah is going to rebuild the Temple (v.13), but when? Since Zerubbabel rebuilt the second Temple, this must be referring to the third Temple (cf. Ezek. 40-48). People from across the whole world will help in its construction (v.14). This can’t refer to the second Temple.
Why (or how) can this be conditional on Israel’s obedience? (v.15)
(6:9-10) The returning exiles take up a collection for the Temple.
(6:11) Joshua is a priest, but he is crowned as a king. The historical Joshua never served as a king. Instead, they took the crown from his head and put it in the Temple to serve as a reminder for the future (v.14).
Joshua—the high priest—is a type of Christ, who would be the ultimate King-Priest. It’s interesting that both Joshua and Jesus have a name which means “the Lord saves” (Mt. 1:21).
(6:12) The term “Branch” became a common term for the Messiah. Barker writes, “The Aramaic Targum, the Jerusalem Talmud, and the Midrash all regard the verse as messianic.” This builds further on what God promised earlier: “Behold, I am going to bring my servant the Branch” (Zech. 3:8).
The “Branch” will rebuild the Temple. Yet, we are already told that Zerubbabel would rebuild the Temple (Zech. 4:9-10). This must, therefore, refer to the third Temple in the messianic (millennial) kingdom (Ezek. 40-48).
(6:13) Again, this figure will rule over “two offices.” The throne likely refers to the Davidic throne (2 Sam. 7:11-14). This fits well with the Messiah being a King-Priest in Psalm 110.
(6:14) They put the crown in the Temple to remind people of the Messianic hope in the future.
(6:15) The Gentiles will come to rebuild the Temple. “Those who are far off” refers to the Gentiles (cf. Zech. 2:11; 8:22; Isa. 2:2-4; 56:6-7; 60:1-7).
For additional studies this week, listen to Dr. J. Vernon McGee’s Zechariah sermons/studies: https://www.blueletterbible.org/audio_video/popPlayer.cfm?id=7088&rel=mcgee_j_vernon/Zec
What were 5 points that stood out to you in this chapter? They can be observances, cross references, questions, etc…
Overview of the Visions:
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