Zechariah

Zechariah 6:1-8 Four Chariots.

Here we have another appearing of horses, but unlike 1:7-11 these are four different colours, red and white as before, but now also black and dappled (black and white) instead of sorrel (or chestnut). Any significance to the last two does not appear evident. However, as was noted earlier, there is some significance to the number four. “The identification of the four horns could be the same as those of Daniel’s prophecies (Dan. 2:36-45; 7:17-28), and so correspond either to Babylonia, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, or to Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, and Persia (10:10-11). The horns could also have a greater significance and refer to “the four corners of the earth” (Rev. 20:8)” (NGSB p.1468). In the vision of four horns and four craftsmen (1:18-21), it was suggested that the number four might have a greater significance as referring to “the four corners of the earth” (Rev. 20:8)” The LORD then says concerning His people that He had spread them “abroad like the four winds of heaven” (2:6 Cf. Is. 48:20; Dt. 28:64). When asked what these red, black, white, and dappled horses signified, the angel said that, “These are four spirits of heaven, who go out from their station before the Lord of all the earth” (v. 5).

It would appear that the four spirits are likely ministering angels (Cf. Ps. 104:4; Heb. 1:7, 14), going out at the Lord’s command (Cf. 4:14; I Kgs. 22:19; Dan. 7:10; Lk. 1:19). The white horses followed behind the black to the north country, and the dappled (black and white), went to the south country, seemingly combining in one what was symbolized with the separate black and white to the north (v. 6). Black often refers to corruption and the judgment of death, and white to those innocent or washed of their sins (Cf. Rev. 6:1-8). Jeremiah wrote of a judgment breaking forth on the kingdoms to the north (1:14-16 Cf. Ezek. 1:4). They walk to and fro in the whole earth (v. 7 Cf. 1:10). The judgment coming to the north gave rest to the Spirit of the Lord. “The north country is here representative of Israel’s enemies because the geography of Palestine demanded that anyone attacking from the east, including the Persians, had to come by way of the north. If the north country were judged by God, then all other lands were securely under His judgment, and His protection of His people was complete. His Spirit could therefore rest” (NGSB p.1472).

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