Zech. 6:1 And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass.
Zech. 6:2 In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses;
Zech. 6:3 And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses.
Zech. 6:4 Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord?
Zechariah’s visions continue. This time he looks up and sees four chariots emerge from between two mountains of brass. The first chariot is pulled by red horses, the second by black, the third by white, and the fourth by spotted (from the Hebrew for grisled) and bay.
Brass is usually representative of judgment in scripture. Mountains often represent kingdoms. I’m not sure what kingdoms these mountains represent if indeed that is the case.
In further study I have learned (and it makes sense to me) that some teachers I respect (McGee and Focht) believe these two mountains are in reference to Zion and the Mount of Olives. The Valley of Jehoshaphat between them is known as the valley of judgment.
Zech. 6:5 And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.
Zech. 6:6 The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country.
Zech. 6:7 And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth.
The angel then tells Zechariah that the chariots represent the four spirits of the heavens that are sent on their mission by YHWH. I couldn’t help but think about the four angels in John’s vision that control the winds of the earth.
Rev. 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
There are other scriptures that indicate that spirit beings—both heavenly and demonic—are assigned to specific areas of influence, i.e., Daniel 10.
Dan. 10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
Dan. 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Maybe these are the heavenly spirits that have supervisory responsibility over the four corners of the earth—north, south, east and west—that in these verses in Zechariah are reduced to two—north and south. The black and white horses headed north with their chariots, and the spotted and bay horses head south apparently followed by the red (from the Hebrew for bay) horses. Their mission, as with the riders in chapter 1, is to patrol the earth. They also seem connected to the mission of the four carpenters in chapter 1.
Zech. 6:8 Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.
The spirits that headed north have quieted the spirit of the angel of the Lord in the north country. This would seem to indicate that judgment had been exacted to satisfy God’s anger as expressed in 1:15.
Zech. 6:9 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Zech. 6:10 Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon, and come thou the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah;
Zech. 6:11 Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest;
“Heldai” = worldliness
“Tobijah” = goodness of YHWH
“Jedaiah” = the hand of the Lord, confessing the Lord
Although the wording is confusing, these appear to be the names of men, former captives in Babylon. Since I doubt that Zechariah was told to go and summarily take silver and gold from (as implied by verse 11), it must be an instruction to take the gifts of gold and silver that they had offered for the work on the temple and make crowns to set upon the head of Joshua, the high priest. Maybe the gifts of these three men were chosen because of their names. They were bringing of the worldly treasure they possessed due to God’s goodness and offering it in acknowledgement of His blessings upon them. Joe Focht pointed out that silver represents redemption and gold divinity. As stated in the next verse, Joshua is a type of Jesus—our redeemer, God in flesh.
Zech. 6:12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:
Zech. 6:13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
YHWH then declares Joshua to be a picture of His Servant, The Branch, identified in chapter 3 as Jesus. The Branch will grow up to build the temple of the LORD. I think there are layers of meaning to this verse (as well as in most of scripture). I can’t help but make application to the temple the returned exiles are rebuilding, the temple Christ is building in each believer and through the church as a whole, and the physical temple that He will build for His Kingdom on earth (cf Ezekiel 40-48).
Cor. 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Cor. 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1Cor. 3:9 & 16-17 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building….Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Cor. 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
The fact that crowns (plural) were put upon the high priest was quite attention getting, because crowns are for royalty. Again, it brings to mind a verse from Revelation that stood out in that study.
Rev. 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
This verse in Revelation is part of the description of Jesus returning to earth in glory as the King of kings.
The high priest and kingship were different offices that God had established among His people; they were never to be held by the same person. The Branch, however, was going to be Priest and King—“sit and rule upon His throne.” At that time there will be no difference in the responsibilities of the two positions; they will be unified in one with God Himself in the person of His Son on the throne dwelling among His people.
Zech. 6:14 And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the LORD.
The Hebrew equates Helem to Heldai; context would indicate that Hen and Josiah are the same.
Joshua was not to continue to wear the crowns; they were to be housed in the temple of the LORD as a memorial to the gifts of the men who gave them. This made me think of God’s delight in the offerings and sacrifices of the heart that we give Him. The fact that the Creator of all things wonderful would treasure the gift that He gave us to begin with—all because we are willing to offer it back in love and obedience to Him—shows amazing grace.
Zech. 6:15 And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.
Again, I think this verse has more than one application—to the days of Zechariah and the rebuilding of the temple and to the body of believers. Since the promise is conditional, I think you can’t include the Millennial Temple. The rebuilding of the temple in Zechariah’s day was dependent on the obedience of the people. God promised to bless them and provide for them if they continued in their obedience, but He did not force their obedience. The same is true with the temple formed by the body of believers. God encourages us and provides us everything we need through the empowerment of His Spirit to build a strong, beautiful and glorious temple for Him, but He does not force us. He invites us and encourages us.
I was about to close when I noticed the word diligently. This speaks of obedience that is a result of careful discernment and understanding of God’s word. I was also surprised to see the phrase “call together” as part of its meaning. The message is directed to the community of God’s people; it would take a unified effort to accomplish God’s purpose in the building of His temple.