The Four Chariots
Verse 1 – Then I turned and raised my eyes and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming from between two mountains, and the mountains were mountains of bronze.
This is the eighth vision where Zechariah sees four chariots which represent war. These chariots represent four angels of God’s judgment on earth.
Verse 2 – With the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot black horses,
The red horses represented a great slaughter of many people. The black horses represented great sorrow through famine.
Verse 3 – with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot dappled horses – strong steeds.
Verse 4 – Then I answered and said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?”
Verse 5 – And the angel answered and said to me, “These are four spirits of heaven, who go out from their station before the LORD of all the earth.
Verse 6 – “The one with the black horses is going to the north country, the white are going after them, and the dappled are going toward the south country.”
Verse 7 – Then the steeds went out, eager to go, that they might walk to and fro throughout the earth. And He said, “Go, walk to and fro throughout the earth.” So they walked to and fro throughout the earth.
The black horse that went to the north executed God’s judgment to punish the nations who had come against Israel. The other direction in and out of Palestine was to the south. Thus the whole earth was patrolled.
Verse 8 – And He called me, and spoke to me, saying, “See, those who go toward the north country have given rest to My Spirit in the north country.”
Babylon, in the north, in Zechariah’s time, had been finally punished, which in turn gave God’s Spirit rest.
Verse 9 – Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:
Verse 10 – “Receive the gift from the captives – from Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have come from Babylon – and go the same day and enter the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah.
The naming of these individuals suggest there are still Jews in exile in Babylon. Dedication to a memorial to them functioned as encouragement to those who had not returned.
Verse 11 – “Take the silver and gold, make an elaborate crown, and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest.
Verse 12 – “Then speak to him saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of host, saying: “Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, and He shall build the temple of the LORD;
Verse 13 – Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on His throne; so He shall be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace be between them both.” ‘
God was telling Zechariah that someone worthy of the crown would come to rule as both King and Priest.
Verse 14 – “Now the elaborate crown shall be for a memorial in the temple of the LORD for Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen the son of Zephaniah.
Verse 15 – “Even those who are far away shall come and build the temple of the LORD. Then you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you. And this shall come to pass if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.”
Some of God’s promises are conditional, obeying in order to receive blessing. The rebuilding of the temple required careful obedience. God would protect the people as long as they obeyed Him. Inconsistent obedience cant’ produce constant blessings.