I A call to repentance, ver. 1-6. The vision of the horses, ver.7-11. The prayer of the angel for Jerusalem answered, ver. 12-17. The vision of the four carpenters, ver. 18-21
Verse 1. In the eighth month - Two months after Haggai began to encourage the Jews to build the temple. Zechariah - Probably this is that Zechariah whom the Jews slew between the temple and the altar, Matt. xxiii, 35.
Verse 5. Where are they - But where are your disobedient fathers? Were they not consumed with famine and sword, as I threatened them? Do they live - The prophets died as others; they must not live always to warn you.
Verse 6. My words - The dreadful menaces which I spake. My statutes - The decreed judgments which I resolved to execute on them, which by my prophets I proclaimed. Take hold - Overtake as a pursuing enemy overtakes, and seizeth on his enemy. They returned - By this it should seem that Zechariah gave them time to consider what answer to give. So hath he dealt - It is true, as God said he would do, so he hath done against us.
Verse 8. A man - Christ Jesus in the shape of a man. Riding - In a posture of readiness. A redhorse - This colour is a symbol of his coming to avenge himself on his enemies. The myrtle-trees - He posted himself in a convenient place to observe and be ready, among verdant, fragranttrees, emblems of the saints of God. In the bottom - This bottom or valley in which the myrtles grew, is an emblem of the church in a low, afflicted state. Behind him - Christ was, as becomes a captain, at the head, the rest, as his soldiers, are behind attending on him. Red horses - Horses and horsemen, and those are angels, ver. 10. And the colour of these horses is red, probably denoting the bloody condition of states and kingdoms, by wars one against another when God punisheth his church, or when he avengeth himself. Speckled - Of a mixt colour; perhaps an emblem of affairs, not all dark, nor all light, such as those during the last seventy prophetic weeks. White - An emblem of the best days of the church.
Verse 9. O my Lord - This was Christ, the Lord of hosts. What are these - What is the meaning of these appearances. The angel - Christ, the angel of the covenant.
Verse 10. These - Horsemen, are angels, who are ministers of the Divine Providence in the government of the world.
Verse 11. Is at rest - All men sit still to take their ease. All is peaceable. This was the state of the empire which at that time ruled all.
Verse 12. Angel of the Lord - The angel, the Lord Christ.
Verse 14. Cry thou - Now publish what thou hearest, and assure my poor captive church, that God will do good for her.
Verse 15. A little displeased - With mine own people, that is, in comparison of the anger I bear against the Heathen. Helped forward - Attempted to destroy whom I would but correct.
Verse 16. A line - The builder's measuringline shall be stretched out, to mark out the walls, gates, streets, and houses in Jerusalem.
Verse 17. Through prosperity - Through increase of families, they shall send forth colonies, and plant new cities, and thro' increase of wealth, and cattle, be able to build their cities, and stock their colonies.
Verse 19. The horns - Powers, states, and kingdoms, which have from all sides pushed at, broken and tossed my people. Judah - The two tribes. Israel - The ten tribes.
Verse 21. He - Christ. These - He first points to the four horns. But these - These carpenters are emblems of those instrumentsGod will employ in breaking those destroyers. Who lift up - Who employed their arms and strength against the kingdom of Judah, to drive them out of God's inheritance.