וָאָשֻׁב וָאֶשָּׂא עֵינַי וָאֶרְאֶה וְהִנֵּה אַרְבַּע מַרְכָּבוֹת יֹצְאוֹת מִבֵּין שְׁנֵי הֶהָרִים וְהֶהָרִים הָרֵי נְחֹשֶׁת׃ 6:1
Zech. 6:1 Then I would return, and I could raise my eyes and look, and behold, four chariots were coming out from between the two mountains, and the mountains were mountains of brass.
בַּמֶּרְכָּבָה הָרִאשֹׁנָה סוּסִים אֲדֻמִּים וּבַמֶּרְכָּבָה הַשֵּׁנִית סוּסִים שְׁחֹרִים׃ 6:2
Zech. 6:2 With the first chariot were red horses, and with the second chariot, black horses,
וּבַמֶּרְכָּבָה הַשְּׁלִשִׁית סוּסִים לְבָנִים וּבַמֶּרְכָּבָה הָרְבִעִית סוּסִים בְּרֻדִּים אֲמֻצִּים׃ 6:3
Zech. 6:3 and with the third chariot, white horses, and with the fourth chariot were spotted bay horses.
וָאַעַן וָאֹמַר אֶל־הַמַּלְאָךְ הַדֹּבֵר בִּי מָה־אֵלֶּה אֲדֹנִי׃ 6:4
Zech. 6:4 When I could respond, then I would say to the angel speaking with me, “What are these, my lord?”
וַיַּעַן הַמַּלְאָךְ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָי אֵלֶּה אַרְבַּע רֻחוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם יוֹצְאוֹת מֵהִתְיַצֵּב עַל־אֲדוֹן כָּל־הָאָרֶץ׃ 6:5
Zech. 6:5 And the angel answered and said to me, “These are the four winds of heaven going forth after presenting themselves to the Lord of the entire world.”
אֲשֶׁר־בָּהּ הַסּוּסִים הַשְּׁחֹרִים יֹצְאִים אֶל־אֶרֶץ צָפוֹן וְהַלְּבָנִים יָצְאוּ אֶל־אַחֲרֵיהֶם וְהַבְּרֻדִּים יָצְאוּ 6:6 אֶל־אֶרֶץ הַתֵּימָן׃
Zech. 6:6 That with which the black horses are, they are going forth to the land of the north, and the white ones go out to be after them, and the spotted ones go out to the land of the south.”
וְהָאֲמֻצִּים יָצְאוּ וַיְבַקְשׁוּ לָלֶכֶת לְהִתְהַלֵּךְ בָּאָרֶץ וַיֹּאמֶר לְכוּ הִתְהַלְּכוּ בָאָרֶץ וַתִּתְהַלַּכְנָה בָּאָרֶץ׃ 6:7
Zech. 6:7 As the bays went forth, then they sought to go to traverse throughout the land. But he said, “Go, traverse throughout the earth.” So they traversed throughout the earth.
What of the chariot with the red horses? My answer is a guess. Seeing that we don’t know whether the white horses also went to the north, I’m proposing that the white horses went to either the east or the west, and the red horses went in the opposite direction. Then the bays were to go to the south but were then instructed to go throughout the earth. Another guess? Zechariah had “a senior moment,” and the spotted ones in v. 6:6 were really the reds. The literature offers alternative interpretations, all based on the idea that the chariots represent the four great powers of the area, namely Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. That would make this vision a distant prophecy extending to the latter years of that millennium. The next vision in this chapter, starting in v. 6:9, is interpreted to apply to the current years and is thought to be political in nature.
וַיַּזְעֵק אֹתִי וַיְדַבֵּר אֵלַי לֵאמֹר רְאֵה הַיּוֹצְאִים אֶל־אֶרֶץ צָפוֹן הֵנִיחוּ אֶת־רוּחִי בְּאֶרֶץ צָפוֹן׃ 6:8
Zech. 6:8 Then he called me and spoke to me saying, “See, those going to the land of the north give rest to My spirit with the land of the north.”
וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃ 6:9
Zech. 6:9 And the word of the Lord occurred saying,
לָקוֹחַ מֵאֵת הַגּוֹלָה מֵחֶלְדַּי וּמֵאֵת טוֹבִיָּה וּמֵאֵת יְדַעְיָה וּבָאתָ אַתָּה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וּבָאתָ בֵּית יֹאשִׁיָּה 6:10 בֶן־צְפַנְיָה אֲשֶׁר־בָּאוּ מִבָּבֶל׃
Zech. 6:10 “Taking from those in captivity who came from Babylon, from Heldai, from Tobijah, and from Jedaiah, then you shall come on that day and enter the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah,
וְלָקַחְתָּ כֶסֶף־וְזָהָב וְעָשִׂיתָ עֲטָרוֹת וְשַׂמְתָּ בְּרֹאשׁ יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן־יְהוֹצָדָק הַכֹּהֵן הַגָּדוֹל׃ 6:11
Zech. 6:11 and you shall take silver and gold and make crowns and place on the head of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest.”
The names Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah mentioned in v. 6:10 are apparently of individuals thought by commentators to still be in captivity. Note that Josiah son of Zephaniah is not Josiah, the high priest. He appears to be the person who was either holding the gold and silver or had the means for making the crowns.
וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו לֵאמֹר כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה־אִישׁ צֶמַח שְׁמוֹ וּמִתַּחְתָּיו יִצְמָח וּבָנָה 6:12 אֶת־הֵיכַל יְהוָה׃
Zech. 6:12 “Then you shall speak to him saying, ‘Thus speaks the Lord of hosts saying, ‘Behold, a man, Shoot is his name, and from his stead he shall spring up and rebuild the Temple of the Lord.’
The shoot is assumed by scholars to be Zarubbabel.
וְהוּא יִבְנֶה אֶת־הֵיכַל יְהוָה וְהוּא־יִשָּׂא הוֹד וְיָשַׁב וּמָשַׁל עַל־כִּסְאוֹ וְהָיָה כֹהֵן עַל־כִּסְאוֹ וַעֲצַת 6:13 שָׁלוֹם תִּהְיֶה בֵּין שְׁנֵיהֶם׃
Zech. 6:13 ‘Yes, he shall rebuild the Temple of the Lord and he shall sustain splendor, and he shall sit and rule upon his throne, and a priest shall be beside his throne, and a counsel of peace shall be between the two of them.’
וְהָעֲטָרֹת תִּהְיֶה לְחֵלֶם וּלְטוֹבִיָּה וְלִידַעְיָה וּלְחֵן בֶּן־צְפַנְיָה לְזִכָּרוֹן בְּהֵיכַל יְהוָה׃ 6:14
Zech. 6:14 ‘And the crowns, it shall be as a memorial to Helem and to Tobijah and to Jedaiah and to Hen son of Zephaniah in the Temple of the Lord.’
Helem is thought to be another spelling for Heldai (see v. 6:10) and Hen son of Zephaniah is thought to be another name for Josiah son of Zephaniah (v. 6:10). On another note, many bible scholars believe there were two crowns, one for Zarubbabel and one for Josiah, the high priest. Oddly enough, others suppose that there was only one, a great crown. This verse implies that there were four crowns.
וּרְחוֹקִים יָבֹאוּ וּבָנוּ בְּהֵיכַל יְהוָה וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי־יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת שְׁלָחַנִי אֲלֵיכֶם וְהָיָה אִם־שָׁמוֹעַ 6:15 תִּשְׁמְעוּן בְּקוֹל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם׃
Zech. 6:15 ‘And distant ones shall come, and they shall build in the Temple of the Lord.’ And you shall know that the Lord of hosts sent me to you. And it shall be, if you will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord, your God.’”
In this last verse, the four second-person pronouns, you, you, you, and your, are all plural. This tells me that the Lord’s words as spoken by the angel were addressed to all the returned exiles.
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