put together 8/90, used, 11/94.
This chapter is divided into two parts, vv. 1-8, a vision, & vv. 9-15, a command.
"This vision is closely connected with the preceding one, so far as the actual substance is concerned." In fact, all of these visions and prophecies are closely connected. They are built one upon another as the prophet works toward Christ as the sum total of all of history.
Up to here, we have seen the pronouncement of judgment against the Jewish nation; now the judgment is made all inclusive. It covers the whole earth. "As the Lord has judged his unfaithful nation, so will he judge the heathen world, which rises itself in hostility to his kingdom." (Hengstenberg) There will be more details on this as we go along, (see chps. 12-14).
Zechariah is being shown the promises in regards to the church as the body of Christ. The comparison will be not with a body, but with the temple which all of the nation Israel is very familiar.
When the prophet turns and lifts up his eyes as he did in 5:1, he sees four chariots coming out from between two brass mountains. He ask his interpreter, what are these? The angel answers, "These are the four spirits winds of the heavens... The four winds are used regularly throughout Scriptures to represent God's judgment blowing upon the whole earth. See Jer. 49:36; Dan. 7:2; Rev. 7:1; Ez. 1:4. Zechariah 6:5 shows us that these winds (spirits) that went out over the whole earth were sent forth from before the Lord of all earth, 5.
We should notice that the prophet is in this vision standing within the protection of or behind the mountains of brass because the four winds (spirits, chariots) came...out from between... The four winds are going out from before the lord of all the earth, v. 5. Therefore, the brass mountains were around the dwelling place of the Lord, and the four winds had been standing in His presence.
The mountains are identified as brass mountains, and they are easily identified from Ps 125. Ps 125 was a song of degrees; it was song sung as the people went to the house of the Lord. Undoubtedly, it was well known, if not sung, during the time of this vision.
Not only would the prophet have known the Psalm, but those to whom he is writing would have known it. Ps. 125 identifies these mountains as God's protection round about His covenant people. Ps 125 shows God's Divine Protection of His Church, which is His dwelling place as we will see.
These mountains are on both sides and are made of brass, showing us that the Lord surrounds His kingdom with a protecting wall that cannot be broken through by the ungodly. (Hengs.)
Keep in mind, Zechariah is speaking of a future time as he builds upon the previous visions. Zechariah is speaking of a time beyond the temple which was being rebuilt during his day.
Looking closely at this vision, we see that God's judgment is going out over the whole earth from His dwelling place behind the mountains of brass. Therefore, His dwelling place cannot be understood as a physical location of a temple as was being built at the time of the vision.
The context prohibits God's dwelling in a physical location because the physical destruction and dispersion of the old regathered Jewish nation that was presently doing the work had already taken place in Zechariah's visions, 5:5-11.
Obviously, the vision of chapter 6 must look past what had already taken place: Solomon's temple had already been destroyed, the people dispersed, then regathered, and were now busy rebuilding the temple. Therefore, these prophesies could not be looking at what had already happened; rather, they spoke concerning what was going to take place.
This vision, therefore, tells us that the rebuilt city of Jerusalem was to be completely destroyed and the regathered Jewish people led away again into captivity before the destruction of the nations of the world commenced, 6:7.
Not only does the context prohibit understanding this judgment as going out from a physical temple, but so does the proper interpretation of the NT Scriptures:
Since Christ, the dwelling place of God is in the temple, the church, made up of individual believers; therefore, any effort to make the dwelling place of God a physical location, such as a physical temple at Jerusalem in the land of Israel, would deny God's dwelling in the believer.
If we say that Zechariah is speaking of a physical location yet to come, we would have to remove the book of Hebrews from our Theology (which many have done). The physical temple seen by these OT prophets spoke of Christ.
Therefore, since Christ, any effort to rebuild a physical location for God's temple is heresy and apostasy; such an effort would deny Christ's work which is exactly what the Jewish religion in His day did and many are doing today. Let us not get caught in supporting them in anyway in their attempts to replace Christ's work today with a physical location.
THE HORSES, V. 6, 7.
There were two horses in chp. 1, and there are four horses here. The context of chapters 1 and 6 tell us that these horses represent God's judgment being executed upon His enemies. There are actually four chariots and each pulled by more than one horse. All the horses on each chariot was of the same color.
Red,the color of blood,
black, the color of mourning
white, the color of victory over the enemies of God's kingdom.
grisled, speckled horse, spotted, marked, as if sprinkled with hail.
Hail is seen in Scriptures as representing the fury of God's divine judgment against the ungodly. Cf. Rev. 8:7; Ezek. 8:11; Isa. 32:19; Rev. 16:21.
Bay means strong and powerful, v. 3. Although the word bay is connected with the grisled horses, it applies to all of the horses, v. 7.
Where do these four horses go?
The first chariot pulled by the black horses goes into the north country followed by chariot pulled by the white horses.
The chariot pulled by the grisled, spotted horses, goes toward the south country, v. 6.
Three of the four horses are accounted for, and v. 7 tells us what the fourth desires. The chariot pulled by the red horses, identified as bay horses, requests of the Lord to be allowed to go over the whole earth.
We see from 1:8-11 that actually the red horses are "the strongest among the strong." In the sending out of these horses, we see the divine judgment covering the whole of the earth. This world-wide judgment against God's enemies is coming out from the dwelling place of the Lord behind the brass mountains, the church.
6:6 tells us that two chariots, the black and white, went toward the north to carry out God's divine judgment against those living in the north.
The north country throughout Scriptures is identified as the chief dwelling place of the enemies of the kingdom of God, the church (see Ezek. 38, 39). The north country which Zechariah sees typifies the future enemies of the church, and this certainly holds true for our day. The chief enemy of the church is headquartered in the north, the Soviet Union. The northern enemy was set up by God's enemies here in our own nation, and have been supported by them every since. Well, we have news for them: they rate not one, but two divine chariots of God's judgment.
There is only one chariot which is sent to the south country showing us that the enemies of the church are not as powerful there. In view with where we are today, the north could represent Communism and the spout could represent Islam. Regardless, the prophecy is God judging his enemies at a future time, (from Zechariah).
V. 8, the spirit of the Lord is sent out to the north country, and there it rests. It stayed there to manifest God's power to judge ungodliness and to sustain the church. Isa. 4:4 shows us that it is His Spirit that executes His judgments upon the earth, and He executes His judgments as He rests in the north country.
The primary mark of God's judgment may be in the north country, but, as we see, the rest of the world is also covered by God's judgment: one chariot went south and the fourth went to and fro through the earth.
God will sustain his church, no matter how weakened it may appear. He will also judge ungodliness no matter how strong ungodliness may appear. The Spirit of God will remove every hinderance which the world may put in the way of His kingdom.
Zechariah has given the future history of the kingdom, including the judgment upon the covenant people as well as on all nations who have forsaken the God of heaven. The appearance of the "Anointed of the Lord" will accomplish God's judgment, v. 12.
December 11, 1994
Now the second part of the vision opens with the words, And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying.
These words continue the close connection vv. 1-8. Vv. 9-15 need no interpreter because they are constitute a direct message from the Lord.
Vv. 10, 11 gives us a symbolic action of crowning the high priest.
The three men named in v. 10 are representatives from the Jews still in Babylon. Then the Jews in Babylon heard the rebuilding of the temple was in process, which actually started 5 months previously, they sent these messengers to Jerusalem with their contributions.
Zechariah is told to ask them for whatever gold and silver would be required and make crowns. Then the crowns were to be placed upon Joshua, the high priest. In this, "It must have been perfectly clear, that the crowning denoted the conferring of royal dignity (Hengs.)."
We do not need to understand these crowns as meaning more than one crown. No doubt, this is something like Rev. 19:12 where the many crowns are joined into one and placed upon Christ's head.
Therefore, we see here the Joshua the high priest; his crowning typifies the crowning of another. The other person is not hard to identify because Joshua had already been presented as a type of the Messiah, (chp. 3).
Crowns of Silver and gold:
1) the two combined speak of the two fold character of the Messiah: He is both High Priest and King.
2) The reason the silver and gold was to be obtained from the messengers representing those brethren still in distance Babylon is explained:
A) vv. 12, 13 they are giving to the to finance the work
of the Great King and High Priest.
B) vv. 14, 15 those from afar finance its building.
V. 12, vv. 10 and 11 are placed side by side with vv. 12, 13 and vv. 14, 15. Thus the Lord leaves no doubt as to what He is presenting with the physical activity of the prophet Zechariah toward Joshua. The Lord is in the mind calling the Messiah, THE BRANCH, to the side of Joshua. Joshua is physically representing the Messiah, in both his name and office.
There are some difficult situations being dealt with here:
1) Chapter 5 told us of folks who were very actively engaged
in the work yet their hearts were not right. They had a great
amount of zeal, yet that zeal was not a result of godliness in
2) the other group was also hard at work, and they had proper attitudes. Their problem was that they remembered the past glories of the temple under Solomon. The problem was that they mourned over the weak and insignificant state of the present settlement and temple.
Therefore, one of the purposes of Zechariah's visions and writings was and is to encourage the discouraged. The discouraged are doing right with right motives to glorify God, but they are not seeing the glory of God in their work. Zechariah urges them to be faithful in their present work of building a physical temple, and, at the same time, think on the future greater glories represented by the work they are doing: The BRANCH and His Kingdom.
V. 12. Gives the promise of The BRANCH (Sprout, B.A.B. 855), is introduced. Zechariah is to tell Joshua, "The sprout will come, he will sprout up out of his place and he will build the temple of the Lord."
This is, of course, the great promise of the Messiah. "The expression, "he will sprout up from his soil," denotes the prosperity of Christ. At the same time, it presupposes the lowliness from which he will first rise by degrees to glory (Heng.s)."
No doubt the prophet had the parallel passage of Jeremiah 33:15 in his mind as this is given to him by the Lord.
Over the years, Jewish commentators have dreamed of a rebuilt outward temple, and they have used this passage to support their dream. But there is no way this vision can prophecy any literal temple.
"That there can be no reference to the building of the outward temple, as Jewish commentators have dreamt, has been clearly shown by Reuss--. The building of an outward temple is never ascribed to the Messiah (Hengs.)."
We are told here that the Messiah will build the temple, and there is absolutely no Scriptural warrant to say that the Messiah will personally start and oversee a literal building program.
We have already seen from chp. 4:9 that Zerubbabel had been
promised that he would finish the current temple.
The glory of the presence of the Messiah had also been promised to this current temple, Haggai 2:7-9; Malachi 3:1.
Therefore, this present temple that was being constructed stood only as a type, symbol and figure of a future greater temple. Zechariah is typical of all prophets: They take well-known figures out of the present and project those figures into the future as a picture of something better yet to come.
The Book of Hebrews makes the proper connection between the OT temples, Solomon's and the one being build under Zechariah. Everything of the current temple of Zechariah's day pointed to something better. Even though the glory of God was promised in the physical building being built, it couldn't begin to compare to the future greater glory yet to come in the temple that the BRANCH, sprout, Messiah was yet to build.
Isa. 53 would have been quite well-known to Zechariah. Isaiah clearly presented the work of the sprout would do for His people.
Notice another important point here, vv. 12, 13.
Solomon built a temple of the Lord, which Babylon destroyed.
Ezra rebuilt the temple, and the representatives came from far off Babylon to help in its support. Hundreds of years latter, Harod would also build a temple of the Lord.
Vv. 12, 13 speaks of the counterpart to the temple the messengers from afar supported and was being built under Zechariah. The counter part is not called a temple of the Lord as was being built, but it is called The temple of the Lord. In other words, those former buildings only looked forward to the real temple of the Lord which was going to be built by the Messiah, The BRANCH.
"Let us examine now, in what sense the building of a temple is ascribed to the Messiah. Under the Old Testament, the temple was the seat of the kingdom of God; it was in this, and not in the walls, or any other outward thing connected with it, that the very idea of the temple consisted. Any for that reason, it was admirably adopted to be the type and figurative representation of the kingdom of God itself, that is of the Church, which did not commence with the coming of Christ, but was essentially the same under both the Old and New Testaments. Solomon and Zerubbabel had helped to build this temple; inasmuch as their outward efforts proceeded from faith, and was directed not to the outward edifice, to the shell merely, but to the kernel, which continued to exit, when the shell had long been destroyed, (Christology II, pg. 998)."
The buildings Solomon, Ezra and Herod built were not the temple; rather, they were only representations of the true temple.
The true temple was the kingdom of God on earth made up of the covenant people, the Church.
Therefore, the covenant people started in the garden when the original covenant was given, (Gen. 3:15) and they will not be complete until the end of the world.
"The temple of God is one, namely the church of the saved, originating in the promise given in paradise and lasting to the end of the world, (Cocceius, quoted by Hengs.)."
Zechariah is encouraging those working on a building which would contain some of the total glory of the Messiah. But with some of the glory of the Messiah, it only represented the temple which the Messiah in all of his glory would build and dwell in, and that temple was going to be His covenant people.
Notice Zech. 7:2. The true house of God has NEVER BEEN A BUILDING. Zech. 3:7, the congregation of the Lord is called his house, i.e. the house of God. Hosea 8:1 calls the congregation the house of the Lord. The building has never actually been the house of the living God. Throughout history, it only represented the Lord's true house or dwelling place, HIS PEOPLE.
Before the incarnation of the true center or focal point of the kingdom of God, Christ, God had physical buildings to represent the focal point of His Kingdom. Ex 25:31, when the Lord commanded Moses in building the tabernacle, He addressed the tabernacle and its furnishings as a person.
What about today?
Probably a better term to use rather than church in reference to the public assembly, would be Christian Synagogues or gathering places.
Heb. 12:22, 23 clearly identifies the members of the congregation of the Lord, the church. Hebrews shows us that the Lord's true church consists of the saints of all ages, whether in heaven or on earth. Our vocabulary today uses the word church in reference to a gathering place, but the Biblical meaning would be for closer to the congregation of the Lord.
(Of interest here is Thayer's, pg. 195. He starts out his definition as, "Called out or forth---. But he continues on in his definitions as assemblies. All except one of his definition where he says, "The whole body of Christians scattered thought the earth;--" Overwhelmingly he uses the word church as referring to the assembly. Yet according to his original meaning of the word, "called out or forth--" the word church would refer to any individual who is called out of death into life by the act of sovereign grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. This would not require an assembly as we think of it today. Although it would include an assembly of believers, whether assembled around the throne in heaven or here on earth. The church would be a unity to a common creed, Christ. Whether that is public unity or individual unity.)
"It is not a new church, but one and the same. It is the same olive tree, (Rom. xi, 16, 17). It is founded on the same covenant, the covenant made with Abraham, (Hedges, Systematic Theology, Vol. III, pg. 549)." Let me add, the covenant must go back past Abraham to Adam. Hedges does this as he goes on. "A covenant is a promise suspended upon a condition. It is beyond controversy that God did make such a promise to Adam, to Abraham, and to the Hebrew nation through Moses; and these transactions are in Scripture constantly called covenants. It would be time well spent to study his thoughts on the church. There are far too many good teachings which he presents to go into in this short study. (See our document on the church.)
One last point concerning the church. Even though it was founded in the garden, Gen. 3:15, it is founded in and on grace. It was the sovereign grace of God which gave the promise and called people to that promise; Adam did not deserve it, nor did Noah, Abraham, Jacob for that matter.
Zech 6:13, even he shall build the temple of the Lord.
Zechariah is encouraging those actively engaged in rebuilding the temple from the previous ruins. They are discouraged as they see the weak and insignificant condition of the settlement around them. Here the prophet is directing their attention to the glorious future. At that time, the BRANCH, SPROUT will build the temple of the Lord. What they are engaged in is only a type of what He will do.
We have already seen that the foundation of the church is in the garden. Therefore, the church was already in existence at the time of Zechariah. It had been mentioned, especially by David in the Psalms, but it has not yet been clearly revealed.
Even He shall build...
The temple of the Lord has always been the congregation of the Lord.
The grace of God has always been required to build this congregation. But God's permanent dwelling place was not yet in His people, so His dwelling place is among His people, a physical building.
The time is coming, promises Zechariah, when under the Messiah, God will dwell in a temple made without hands, in the hearts of his people.
Until that time, those who wanted to worship God, as a rule, went to this physical location, which would not be required with the new temple, Jn. 4. Neither would the new sacrifice require a physical location, Heb. 9:11, 24.
V. 13, shows the 2 aspects of the BRANCH, the two of offices: High Priest and King. They are united in the BRANCH: Isa 33:22, the King is also the Lawgiver and Judge. The High Priest is the Mediator between the covenant and their Lawgiver-Judge. Because these two offices are united in this ONE GLORIOUS PERSON, we see that these two offices have consulted together as to the best means of securing peace and salvation for the covenant people. Their High Priest and their King have it all worked out. All people have to do is follow the plan which is in place, Zec 6:15. See Ps. 110.
FURTHERMORE, in this verse, the Rule of the King is mention first and then His mediation as High Priest. He is, first of all, the just, righteous and holy King of kings. Then in his divine love, grace and providence, he made provision for His people to have peace. We need to keep these two in their proper order and in their proper balance.
In the context of Zechariah 6, we see a type in Joshua the
high priest being crowned with the crowns. Which had been made
from the material sent from those who were scattered throughout
Now the prophet refers back to the crown which he had been required to make, v. 11. Whether or not he actually did this or if it was only in the vision is a matter of debate.
The messengers came from Babylon with silver and gold to be used in the advancement of God's work in Jerusalem. This money had been sent by God's people who were still scattered in that foreign land. The prophet had been told to take of the silver and gold, make crowns and place them on the head of Joshua, who was a type and figure of the Messiah, the Great High Priest.
Now the prophet is told the meaning of the crowns: The crown represents the heathen who would one day come with haste from distant lands as the messengers from Babylon had done. They would come with great readiness to do all they could to help with the temple and advance the kingdom of God. Eph 2:13.
Clearly, the prophet is being told that They that are far
off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord, the heathen
even from the distance lands will participate in the advancement
of his kingdom. Eph 2:13, us...
I think this could go two ways.
(1.) We would have God's people scattered world-wide as they do their part in advancing God's Kingdom wherever they may find themselves. This would be typified by God's covenant people who remained in Babylon, yet they sent funds to support the effort to build the temple in Jerusalem.
(2.) We would have the unsaved heathen as they finally see the folly of rebelling against God and now support this cause even though they aren't saved. There are a host of passages which point to this. Zech. 2:11; 8:20-23; 9:10.
For now, notice His dominion shall be from sea to sea and from the river even to the ends of the earth. How will this be accomplished? Isa 60:10, and he shall speak peace [NOT WAR] unto the heathen.
Zech. 6:12-15 presents the future building of the temple. That temple is identified in I Pet. 2:15.
The Lord of Glory will be the One who builds this temple (Kingdom
of God on earth).
He will have many people who will come and build in the temple of the Lord.
The Lord of glory is not going to rebuild Solomon's old temple again because Solomon's temple only spoke of the one the Lord is going to build: He shall build... he shall sit... he shall be a priest..., v. 13.
This is future from the time this is written, and we are part of that building spoken of here. The promise is that not only his covenant people will be involved in this building of His kingdom on earth, but that the heathen nations will be involved also. How? When? Where? Only God in His Divine wisdom and purpose knows this.
Now the last phrase, if ye will...
If ye will hearken to the voice of the Lord, then . . . ye shall participate in all these blessings, and the Messiah will make atonement for you as your High Priest, and promote your prosperity as your King, (Hengs. II, pg. 1003).
This part of the prophecy of Zechariah closes.