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Go to Bible: Zechariah 6
“Again I lifted up my eyes and saw.” This is the eighth and last of Zechariah’s eight visions, and it entails God’s angel army chariots going out over the earth to conquer and thus to prepare the earth for the coming of the Messiah. This vision is followed by the symbolic crowning of Joshua the High Priest (Zech. 6:11), and the words, “This is what Yahweh of Armies says, ‘Look! The man whose name is the Branch. And he will branch up out of his place, and he will build Yahweh’s temple’” (Zech. 6:12).
“four chariots.” It should not surprise us that God sends his angels out on chariots to do His work. The chariots represented strength, speed and power, and those things are certainly inherent in God’s army (the horses are called “strong ones” in Zech. 6:7). Furthermore, Psalm 68:17 says, “The chariots of God are ten thousands.” Although the phrase “chariots of God” can also refer to earthly human chariots under the command of godly men, God had many chariots in his angel army (cp. 2 Kings 6:17). God has an army of mighty angels who do His work (cp. Ps. 103:19-22).
“the two mountains.”Given both the future context of the prophecy and the fact that Zechariah was in Jerusalem when he saw the vision, the two mountains are almost certainly Mount Zion where the Temple was, and the Mount of Olives. The Hebrew text calls them “the” two mountains, indicating that they were well-known mountains, and the two most prominent mountains around Jerusalem are Mount Zion and the Mount of Olives. Furthermore, the mountains were bronze. The bronze indicates strength, which is inherent in Christ’s future kingdom on earth. Also, however, bronze often represents judgment. In the Bible, bronze (miscalled “brass” in some English Bibles) was associated with judgment and justification, and that certainly seems to be the case here in Zechariah 6:1. When Christ is king over the earth, judgment and justice will go forth from Jerusalem, and there will be great peace and safety on earth because Jesus will rule with a “rod of iron” (KJV Ps. 2:9; Rev. 2:27; 12:5; 19:15). In the Millennial Kingdom when Christ rules the earth, he will rule from Mount Zion (Psalm 2:6; 110:2; Ezekiel 40-48).
More evidence the two mountains are Mount Zion and the Mount of Olives is that the angelic chariots go out to the north and to the south (Zech. 6:6). But “north” and “south” of where? The logical place would be Mount Zion and Jerusalem. That is where God’s “house,” the Temple, will be. and where the city of Jerusalem will be (Ezek. 40:2-5; 48:30-35). Also, Jerusalem was the place where Zechariah was when he saw the vision, and so north and south to him would be north and south from Jerusalem.(top)
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“the four spirits of heaven.” These spirits are sent by God to do His work on earth. It is Bible verses such as we see here in Zechariah 6 that show us that much of what happens on earth is due to unseen spirits that are working behind the scenes. Both angels and demons work behind the scenes in unseen ways to influence and even control what happens on earth, and they are at war with each other.
Some English Bibles translate the Hebrew word ruach (#07307 רוּחַ), which can mean “spirit,” “wind,” and more, as “winds” here in Zechariah, but that is not correct in this context. God did not send out “winds” on chariots, he sent his angels out (although some scholars think that “winds” in this context is the right nuance because the angels were fast as the wind, but that is speculation and makes the English meaning unclear). Also, some versions have “of the heavens,” but we must understand that in Hebrew the word “heaven” is always a plural noun. There is no singular word “heaven” in Hebrew, it is always “heavens.” In this context, saying “spirits of the heavens” is unclear; what could that mean? The context makes the meaning of the verse clear: these are “spirits of heaven,” that is, angels of God, and they are going out to do His will.
“after presenting themselves before the Lord of all the earth.” Angels on horseback had searched the earth and then reported back to God in Zechariah 1:8-11. Now it appears that God, having received the report, sends out angel chariots to make things happen on earth.(top)
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“strong ones.” This is a reference to the horses, which represented military might.(top)
“quieted my spirit.” This is a use of “spirit” were it refers to attitude and emotion. Whatever the angel chariots did in the north country, it quieted God’s anger. The NASB catches the sense and reads, “See, those who are going to the land of the north have appeased My wrath in the land of the north.”(top)
“The word of Yahweh came to me, saying.” The eight visions of Zechariah are now over.(top)
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“crowns.” It is unclear and debated by scholars as to whether the plural “crowns” is a plural of majesty, or if Joshua was given more than one crown, or if there were also crowns for others, such as those mentioned in the context. A crown was a symbol of honor and authority.(top)
“the man whose name is the Branch.” This refers to the Messiah, Jesus Christ, as it does in other places (Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Zech. 3:8; 6:12).(top)
“Indeed, it is he who will build Yahweh’s temple.” There are a number of temples to Yahweh in the Bible. The first was Solomon's Temple, which was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. The second was the small temple that was built in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, and that temple was completely remodeled and enlarged by Herod the Great. It was the temple that Jesus Christ taught in and it was destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans. There has been no temple in Jerusalem since 70 AD, but the Bible tells us that the Jews will build a third temple which will be the one mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 and Revelation 11:1-2, and that temple will be destroyed in the Great Tribulation and Battle of Armageddon. Then Jesus will oversee the building of a fourth temple which is described in Ezekiel 40-47, and that temple will last 1,000 years and be destroyed in the great fire that melts the elements of the earth. Then, in the new heaven and earth there will be no temple, because God and the Lamb are the temple in that everlasting city (Rev. 21:22).
“and he will have the glory.” The first time the Messiah came, there was “no beauty that we should be attracted to him” and he was “despised and rejected by people” (Isa. 53:2, 3). But when he is present the second time, conquering and ruling the earth, he will “have the glory,” and be “beautiful and glorious” (Isa. 4:2).
“both offices.” That is, the office of king and the office of High Priest. Jesus will be king, and he will be a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 7:11, 17).(top)
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“Those who are far off.” This phrase is often used for non-Israelites and used in the New Testament that way too, and it likely is here also (cp. Isa. 49:12; Jer. 25:26; Joel 3:8; Eph. 2:13). However, it can be used for Israelites who are simply far away. So this verse may be a prophecy with a double fulfillment, with Israelites who are far away coming and helping build the Temple and in the Millennial Kingdom non-Israelites helping to build the Millennial Temple.(top)