Morning Bible Study
The background to Zechariah, like that of Haggai, is found in the book of
After having been captive in Babylon for seventy years, the Jews are given
permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem.
When the Temple construction is stopped, it was Haggai and Zechariah who
began to prophesy and encourage the people to finish the Temple. (Ezra 5:1-2)
The prophecies of Zechariah are given during the years of 520-518 BC.
One of the key distinctions of the book of Zechariah is the amount of
prophecy about the coming Messiah.
Back in chapter one we started to look at a series of eight “night visions”
(1:7) that Zechariah received from God on a single night.
This is now the eighth and final vision.
6:1-8 Four Chariots
: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
:2 With the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot
:3 with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot dappled
:1 four chariots
In Zechariah’s day, chariots were the top military hardware of the day.
:1 mountains of bronze
Bronze is often a picture of judgment (Rev. 1:15; 2:18)
Though the mountains could be symbolic, they could be two actual mountains.
If Zechariah is seeing this vision in Jerusalem (where he is at the
moment), then the two mountains would most likely be Mount Zion and the Mount
The valley between the two (the Kidron Valley) is also called the Valley of
Jehoshaphat, or the “valley of judgment” (Joel 3:2, 12-16; Zec 14:4; Ps. 36:6)
And I will enter into judgment with them thereOn account of My people, My heritage Israel,Whom they have scattered among the nations;They have also divided up My land.
“Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.For the winepress is full,The vats overflow—And utter His voice from Jerusalem;The heavens and earth will shake;But the Lord
will be a shelter for His people,
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,Which faces Jerusalem on the east.And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,From east to west, a very large valley;
Your judgments are a great deep;O Lord, You preserve
man and beast.
The idea is that these chariots are heading out from Jerusalem to
accomplish some purpose.
:1 four chariots
Earlier in Zechariah’s evening, his first vision also dealt with horses
(though not chariots).
Those horses were sent out to “scout”, to do “recon” of the world.
And now, at the end of the evening, in the final vision, God is not going
to send out more “scouts”, but weapons of war – chariots.
Today it would be as if God is collecting intelligence data from
satellites, and then deciding to send Viper Helicopters, or F-22 stealth
:4 Then I answered and said to the angel who talked with me, “What are
these, my lord?”
:4 the angel who talked with me
As we’ve seen through these eight visions, Zechariah has been assigned an
angelic “tour guide” to help him understand the visions.
: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.
:5 go out from their station before the Lord
These are four angels being sent out from heaven to bring judgment.
We might not be too happy with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim right now,
but they’re not the only Angels in town.
Children have guardian angels.
NKJV) “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I
say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is
We too have angelic guardians.
NKJV) For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep
you in all your ways.
The writer of Hebrews tells us,
(Hebrews 1:14 NLT)
Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people
who will inherit salvation.
(Psalm 34:7 NKJV)
The angel of the Lord
encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.
You are not alone.
: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.”
:6 the north country
Both the black and white horses are heading north.
In Zechariah’s day, the “north” referred to Babylon.
:6 the south country
The “dappled” or “spotted” horses head south.
In Zechariah’s day, the “south” usually refers to the land of Egypt.
What happened to the red horse chariot?
I’m not sure.
In Zechariah’s first night vision, the rider of the red horse was the Angel
of Yahweh, or Jesus, and the other horses were giving their reports to Him.
:7 Then the strong 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.
:8 And He called to me, and spoke to me, saying, “See, those who go toward
the north country have given rest to My Spirit in the north country.”
:8 given rest to My Spirit
The idea of bringing “rest” to God’s Spirit is to calm His anger.
NLT) Then the Lord
summoned me and said, “Look, those who went north have vented the anger of my
Spirit there in the land of the north.”
God’s anger would be calmed because the required judgment would be
finished. The people who have messed
with God’s people will have been judged.
The horses heading north to Babylon would bring judgment there.
Three years after this vision, the city of Babylon would rebel against the ruling
Persian Empire. The Persians would respond by crushing the rebellion and
removing the population from the city.
:6 north … south
The fact that the horses are going north and south brings to mind one of Daniel’s
incredible prophecies (Dan. 11) in which he foresaw several hundred years of
kings in the north doing battle with kings in the south.
It was little Israel that was caught in the middle.
Protecting Little People
Perhaps one of the points of this last vision is to give encouragement to
God’s people that even though they might have thought of themselves as small
and insignificant in the scheme of things, in the days ahead that He’s aware of
their situation, and He is there to protect and guide them.
For the next five hundred years, even though armies will march back and
forth over the land of Israel, God’s people somehow survive.
The nation would survive until the coming of the Messiah.
God wanted them to have a chance to see the promise
It’s only after their rejection that they are once again
scattered among the nations.
Jesus was not only the Messiah of Israel, but the Savior
of the world.
Their survival during those five hundred years brought the
rest of us the benefit of salvation because Jesus was born a Jew.
6:9-15 Crowning Joshua
:9 Then the word of the Lord
came to me, saying:
: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.
:10 Receive the gift from the captives
These fellows were the latest wave of immigrants from Babylon.
They brought gifts to help with the Temple building project.
: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.
:11 make an elaborate crown
The word for crown is plural, and could be translated “crowns”, but plural could
also carry the idea of a super-duper crown, an “elaborate” crown.
:11 Joshua the son of Jehozadak
Joshua – Yehowshuwa’ –
“Yahweh is salvation”
This is the fellow we’ve followed throughout Haggai and Zechariah, who was
the actual high priest when the captives first returned to Jerusalem with
Zerubbabel from Babylon.
Even though Zerubbabel was the governor and the descendant of the kings of
Judah, this crown would be given to Joshua the high priest.
:12 Then speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, 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;
: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 shall be between them
:13 He shall be a priest on His throne
This prophecy is going to combine two types of authority for the Jews.
From the earliest days, the people of Israel knew that a priest was not to
be a king, and a king was not to be a priest.
Once king Uzziah thought he could take on the role of priest and tried to
offer incense in the Temple, and he ended up with leprosy (2Chr. 26:19)
Then Uzziah became furious; and he had a censer in
his hand to burn incense. And while he was angry with the priests, leprosy
broke out on his forehead, before the priests in the house of the Lord, beside the incense altar.
But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his
destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord
his God by entering the temple of the Lord
to burn incense on the altar of incense.
Our Joshua was a priest, and yet he is now given a kingly crown.
How could this be?
It is a prophetic picture.
This is one of the clearest pictures of what Jesus is all about.
Jesus is both a king and a priest.
Jesus is a king, born of the lineage of David.
And yet we know that Jesus is also called our “great high
priest”, not after the order of Aaron, but the order of Melchizedek.
6:20b NKJV) …Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of
It is significant that the royal crown is added to the one who is already
Jesus’ first coming was more to fulfill the function of the high priest.
1:29 NKJV) The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The
Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
He died as a sacrifice to pay for our sins.
Jesus’ second coming will be to rule and reign over this earth.
The crown is added to the priest.
Is it a coincidence that the high priest in Zechariah’s day, crowned
prophetically with a kingly crown, is named Joshua?
Joshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus.
:12 the BRANCH
We’ve already heard of this person called the BRANCH (Zec. 3:8)
This is one of the names for the Messiah, who would be a “branch” or
descendant of King David. The concept
NKJV) There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch
shall grow out of his roots.
:12 He shall build the temple
Joshua would be a partial fulfillment of this prophecy.
He would be part of the current Temple construction.
Yet he wasn’t a descendant of David (the BRANCH)
There would be another “Joshua”, who would be the actual “BRANCH”.
Jesus would be of the line of David, of the tribe of Judah.
Jesus will build another kind of “Temple”.
I think you can make a case that there four types of Temples that Jesus
2:18–22 NKJV) —18 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us,
since You do these things?” 19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three
days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this
temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
The Jews think Jesus is talking about the destruction and
rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem…
But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore,
when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this
to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.
When Jesus was talking about building a temple here, He
was talking about rising from the dead.
Paul said that when the church is gathered, it’s a Temple.
3:16–17 NKJV) —16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the
Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the
temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
You don’t want to be among those who “defiles” or harms
Jesus will build His church.
16:18b NKJV) …and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades
shall not prevail against it.
Paul talks about our physical bodies as temples…
6:19–20 NKJV) —19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who
is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you
were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit,
which are God’s.
The Millennial Temple
Not the Millennium Falcon.
When Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom on this earth, He will rule and
reign in Jerusalem.
He will also build a massive Temple in Jerusalem (Ezek. 40-48)
Building or Tearing Down?
Jesus is in the business of building Temples, not tearing them down.
So should we. Another word for
“building” is “edification”.
One of the ways that we “build” is through our words.
4:29 NKJV) Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for
necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Our words can impact people in negative ways or in
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:13 He shall bear the glory
God does not share His glory with anyone.
NKJV) I am the Lord,
that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My
praise to carved images.
Yet in heaven it will be clear to whom glory belongs.
NKJV) saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and
strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
Jesus is no ordinary human. He is
:13 And shall sit and rule on His throne
Priests never sat in their ministry.
There was no place to sit in the Tabernacle nor in the Temple.
That’s because their work was never done.
Yet Jesus’ work is finished. (John 19:30)
He will “sit”. He is seated at God’s
:13 the counsel of peace shall be between them both
NLT) …and there will be perfect harmony between his two roles.’
: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.
:14 Helem, Tobijah…
These seem to be the same four fellows mentioned in verse 10, though we
find out some of them have nicknames…
These fellows bringing their gift will be a prophetic picture.
:14 the elaborate crown shall be for a memorial
The “elaborate crown” or “crowns” are prophetic. When Jesus returns, John wrote,
NKJV) His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were
:15 Even those from afar 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.”
:15 from afar …build the temple
These fellows coming all the way from Babylon with their gift were a
picture of what would happen in the future.
In Zechariah’s day, the Persians will end up financing the Temple
construction (Ezr. 6:8)
Today, Jesus is building the Temple of His church with us Gentiles.
In the future, Gentiles will be a part of building the Millennial temple:
(Haggai 2:7 NKJV)
and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All
Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts.
:15 if you diligently obey
There are some blessings that are dependent upon our obedience.
It’s not that the Messiah’s coming was dependent upon their obedience, but
that their participation in the Messiah’s blessings will be dependent upon
There are some paths of life that are open to us only when we follow
through, when we do the things that God wants us to do.
You have a role in God’s work in your life.
Some blessings are tied to obedience.
There is one point of obedience that is greater than all else.
God wants you to believe and surrender your life to the
6:29 NKJV) Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you
believe in Him whom He sent.”
Jesus came into the world in order to die for sinners.
He came to pay the price for our sins by dying in our place.
And yet this will have absolutely no value to you if you do not believe and
1:12 NKJV) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become
children of God, to those who believe in His name: