BibliaTodo Commentaries


Fleming Don Bridgeway Bible
Zechariah 1

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

2. The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers.

3. Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.

4. Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD.

5. Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?

6. But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.

7. Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,

8. I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.

9. Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be.

10. And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.

11. And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

12. Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?

13. And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.

14. So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.

15. And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.

16. Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.

17. Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.

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

19. And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.

20. And the LORD shewed me four carpenters.

21. Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.

Zechariah 1

1:1-6:15 ZECHARIAH’S VISIONS Call to repentance (1:1-6) At the time Zechariah delivered his first message, Haggai had already been preaching for about two months (1:1; cf. Hag 1:1). In his two recorded messages of that time, Haggai had shown that all Israel’s current difficulties were because of the people’s selfishness and disobedience in failing to rebuild the temple. As a result of Haggai’s preaching the people stirred themselves and started building again (Hag 1:1-15; Hag 2:1-9). Zechariah now joins Haggai in the preaching, recalling that disobedience to the prophets of former times had led to hardship and finally captivity (2-3). The people should therefore learn from their forefathers’ experiences and take notice of the words of the prophets. This means not simply that they must rebuild the temple, but more importantly that they must acknowledge their sin, accept God’s discipline, turn from their disobedience and begin a new life of devotion to God (4-6). Eight visions The section 1:7-6:8 consists of a series of eight visions. These are arranged with the two most important visions in the centre, and the remaining visions in two equal groups, one on either side. At the time that Zechariah received these visions, work on rebuilding the temple had been going on for five months, three months of which were taken up with preparing the foundations (cf. v. 7 with Hag 1:14-15; Hag 2:18). The people would clearly benefit from some encouragement and direction. The first three visions are largely messages of encouragement to the builders, the middle two are of special encouragement to the leaders Joshua and Zerubbabel, and the final three give assurance of ultimate victory for God and his people.

Encouragement to the builders (1:7-2:13) In the first vision some mounted patrol officers have just returned from a tour of duty and report to a rider on a red horse who is standing among some trees (7-10). The patrol officers report that throughout the empire all is calm and peaceful (11). This report may be good news for the Persians but it is not for the Jews, who have now been in bondage to foreign overlords for more than seventy years. They long for freedom and pray for God’s mercy (12-13). God tells them that although he used foreign nations to punish them, those nations went beyond the limits he had set. He loves his people and he knows what their enemies have done to them (14-15). Therefore, he will now turn and help Israel again. The temple will be finished, and the city rebuilt and made prosperous once more (16-17). The second vision assures the Jews that they need have no fear of foreign overlords. Nations may attack them from all sides, using their power to oppress Israel as wild beasts use their horns to terrify their victims, but their success will not last. As each wild beast is overcome by a workman who smashes it with a hammer, so each nation that attacks Israel will be overthrown (18-21). In the third vision Zechariah sees a young man going out to measure Jerusalem in preparation for the rebuilding of its walls (2:1-2). But a messenger stops him, for the rebuilt city will extend beyond the walls of the former city. In fact, it will not need walls, because God will be its protector (3-5). Those Jews still in Babylon may have made living conditions reasonably comfortable for themselves, but they should beware of becoming too settled. They should return to Jerusalem as quickly as possible, both to enjoy its blessings and to avoid the punishment about to fall on their captors (6-9). God gives further encouragement to those working on the temple by assuring them that it will be the means by which he dwells among his people again. Citizens of other nations will renounce their gods and come to join with Israel as the people of God (10-13).

King James Version

This is the 1769 King James Version of the Holy Bible (also known as the Authorized Version). "Public Domain"