Zechariah 1

The judgments of God which those who went before us were under should be taken as warnings not to tread in their steps.
A speedy reformation, while the mercy of God is extended,
is the only way to prevent an approaching ruin.

1 In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,

2 The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers.

3 Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.

4 Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD.

5 Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?

6 But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.

7 ¶ Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,

8 I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.

9 Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be.

10 And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.

11 And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

12 ¶ Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?

13 And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.

14 So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.

15 And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.

16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.

17 Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.

18 ¶ Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.

19 And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.

20 And the LORD shewed me four carpenters.

21 Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.

Zechariah 1:1-17 – ​A Vision of Pardon and Restoration

Zechariah does not slur over the sins of the past, but lays stress on the divine forgiveness. His only fear is lest God should call in vain, and the people refuse as their fathers did. Notice the repetition of God’s title, Lord of Hosts, five times in the first six verses. The enemy’s armies were vast, but the protecting hosts, vaster. A glimpse of these hosts is given in the following vision. A green valley, filled with myrtles, the emblem of humility, where the prophet may have been wont to meditate, seemed alive with mysterious figures, who had been patrolling the earth, and announced that it was peace, for these were the days of Cyrus’ illustrious reign. Notice the frequent reference to his celestial friend, Zechariah 1:9, 14, 19; 4:1, 4-5; 5:5, 10; 6:4. The future was bright with promise, Zechariah 1:16-17. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Zechariah 1:8—He stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom.

​   The myrtle in a lowland vale is a beautiful emblem of the people of God. They do not aspire to be forest trees, but are content to fill a little space if He be glorified. As the myrtle seeks its home in shady and moist lands, so the believer needs shadow and moisture. God’s ideal for us is a lowly plant, fragrant in scent, and graceful in its appearance.
   But, however lowly and humble the myrtle might be, the Angel of Jehovah, who could have been none other but the Lord Jesus Himself, was there. At dead of night the prophet beheld Him sitting on a red horse, and attended by a retinue of horsemen, who had come back to Him after walking to and fro in all the earth. The Lord has his throne in the midst of his people, and his servants post over sea and land to do his bidding on their behalf.
   And thus the prophet overheard the colloquy. The Lord’s inquiry and the Angel’s answer were clearly distinguished. He also heard the appeal made by the Redeemer of Israel to the Eternal, as He pleaded that God would avenge his peoples cause, and was answered with good and comforting words The Angel Jehovah who pleaded for Israel (Zephaniah 1:12) still pleads for his Church: and is similarly answered.
   Yes! we are the objects of divine solicitude. Jesus with his bright angels is on our side. Not more really was He with the disciples of old, who were but as myrtles, than He is with us. He is still displeased with those who invade our lives with their cruelties. He is jealous for his people with a great jealousy. He will yet comfort Zion, and choose Jerusalem. However dark your night, dare to believe that the Lord of the Angels has stooped to your myrtle-tree life to help and bless. —Our Daily Homily

Zechariah 1:18-21 – ​The Redemption of Jerusalem

The work of Temple-building had ceased for fifteen years and the new resolve to arise and build might meet with a similar fate. But the four horns met with four carpenters. For Babylon the carpenter was Cyrus; for Persia, Alexander the Great; for Greece, the Roman; for Rome, the Gaul. No weapon that is formed to thwart God’s purposes can prosper. —Through the Bible Day by Day