Zechariah 1:7-17

Zechariah 1:7‑17  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Zechariah 1:7-177Upon 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, 8I 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. 9Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will show thee what these be. 10And 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. 11And 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. 12Then 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? 13And the Lord answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words. 14So 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. 15And 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. 16Therefore 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. 17Cry 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. (Zechariah 1:7‑17)
This may be called “the vision of the horses among the myrtle-trees.” The first of these horses had a rider on it, the others were in the rear, and, as far as we learn, were without riders. (They are without riders, I believe, in order to represent the senseless, brutish force which marked the Gentiles, unguided as they were by the Spirit of God. The first horse was ridden by a man, a symbol of the divine energy that ruled the fortunes of Israel. It was “the angel of the Lord” that was the rider. Nebuchadnezzar had been already as an unridden horse (Dan. 4). So now the remaining three Gentile powers. (See Psa. 49:2020Man that is in honor, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish. (Psalm 49:20).) So, in the next vision, the Gentiles are “horns,” senseless things; Israel’s friends are “Carpenters.”) The prophet asks the angel that waited on him what this meant. The rider upon the foremost horse tells him that these unridden horses were the agents of the Lord’s pleasure in the earth. The unridden horses, the representatives of the Gentiles, then speak and say that the whole earth was still and at rest; that is, just as they would have it. For such, surely, was the mind of the nations of the earth, whom God had set up upon the degradation and fall of Jerusalem. So would they have it—their exaltation upon the ruin of God’s people.
The angel, who stood for Jerusalem, upon this, at once takes the alarm, and pleads for the city of the Lord and of Israel. The Lord having answered this appeal of the angel, the angel seems to let the prophet know the answer, telling him that the Lord was displeased with the Gentiles, who were thus at ease, though they had helped forward the affliction of Jerusalem; that Jerusalem should be restored, the Lord’s house be built there again, and the cities of the land be reoccupied.