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Zechariah Chapter 6


Introduction to Chapter 6

In Chapter 6, we conclude the visions, which began in chapter 1, the eighth vision concludes in the first half of chapter 6.  In a scene similar to Revelation chapter 6, four chariots appear, drawn by red, black, white and spotted horses.  These chariots are sent by the Lord of Hosts to go throughout the earth.  This concluding vision also brings the reader back to the first vision, which also included horses red and white, led by the Angel of the Lord, the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ.  

            The angel explains the meaning to Zechariah who does not understand what is taking place. This leads to the next section the crowning of Joshua the High Priest.  Joshua stands as a type or picture of the coming Messiah, who is also named Joshua (Jesus). Joshua pictures the dual office of Messiah who will be both king and priest.

            Though the first and second part of chapter 6 do not seem to logically connect. If we view the first part in an eschatological context, understanding the vision of the chariots as a reference to the tribulation period the second part of chapter 6 logically follows.  The tribulation is followed  by the establishment of the Messianic kingdom, where Joshua (Jesus) the High Priest will reign over the earth as both king and priest.

 The Four Chariots

      ZEC 6:1  Then I turned and raised my eyes and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming from between two mountains, and the mountains were mountains of bronze.
ZEC 6:2  With the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot black horses,
ZEC 6:3  with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot dappled horses-strong steeds.
ZEC 6:4  Then I answered and said to the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?" Zechariah 6:1-4

  (1) Then I turned:  Zechariah is still in the vision, from the first chapter.  He just seen the two women with wings like storks carry off the women, called wickedness to the land of Shinar (Babylon) (Zechariah 5).  As the ephah is taken away, Zechariah turns to see four chariots coming from between two bronze mountains.

Four chariots:  The word for chariot is hbkrmMerkabah, this same word is by Israel for its brand of tanks.  The chariot was a vehicle of war, often have a couple occupants and drawn by a number of horses.  A typical chariot might have three people, one to steer, one with a bow and one with a shield. 

Between two mountains:  Zechariah sees the chariots emerge from between two mountains.  Mountains signify kingdoms and powers in scripture, including the kingdom of God. (Daniel 2:45). The nations are referenced as mountains in Isaiah 41:15, Jeremiah refers to Babylon as a destroying mountain.  Persia is alluded to as the mountain standing in the way of Zerubbabel in completing the 2nd Temple.

 "Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, Who destroys all the earth," says the Lord."And I will stretch out My hand against you, Roll you down from the rocks, And make you a burnt mountain. Jeremiah 51:25

 Mountains of bronze: The mountains are described as tXxnN’chosheth, meaning copper. From these  two mountains of copper, emerge four chariots from before the Lord of Hosts (vs. 5).  Some commentators view these two mountains as the Mount of Olives and Mount Moriah, standing near the Temple of the Lord, God’s throne on earth. Jameison Faussett Brown comments on the meaning of these two mountains.

the valley of Jehoshaphat, between Moriah and Mount Olivet [MOORE]; or the valley between Zion and Moriah, where the Lord is (Zechariah 2:10), and whence He sends forth His ministers of judgment on the heathen [MAURER]. The temple on Mount Moriah is the symbol of the theocracy; hence the nearest spot accessible to chariots in the valley below is the most suitable for a vision affecting Judah in relation to the Gentile world powers. The chariot is the symbol of war, and so of judgments. 

 The metal bronze also plays an important role in scripture and the Temple.  The material is used in the tools, equipment of the Temple. Moses fashioned a Brass or Copper Serpent. The Brazen Altar in the tabernacle was where sacrifice was burned.  Moses instructs Israel to construct and altar with four horns, and covers them with bronze.

 1 "You shall make an altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits wide-the altar shall be square-and its height shall be three cubits. 2 "You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it. And you shall overlay it with bronze. 3 "Also you shall make its pans to receive its ashes, and its shovels and its basins and its forks and its firepans; you shall make all its utensils of bronze. 
Exodus 27:1-3

 The altar was the place of judgment, where sacrifices were burned.  The chariots from before the Lord, could demonstrate the judgment of the Lord going out.  The bronze mountains could symbolize the kingdom of God, sending out judgment to the nations.  This view corresponds Revelation 6, where the four horses are pictured as judgments going out from the throne of God.

 Revelation 6
1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." 2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. 3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see." 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. 5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine." 7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see."
8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. Revelation 6:1-8

 In Revelation 6, the colors of the horses represent an aspect of God’s judgment in the last days.  The White Horse represents a false peace, established by military might.  This false peace erupts into war with the emergence of the Red Horse, who takes peace from the earth, he has a great sword. Following the Red Horse, is a Black Horse, having scales representing a lack of food, and inflation, the consequences of war. Following the Black Horse is a Pale Horse, representing death, which follows war and famine, because of disease, wild animals and war one quarter of the Earth’s population dies.


Horse Order

Zechariah 6:1-8

Zechariah 1:8-17

Revelation 6:1-8


Red horses with chariot

Red horse with Angel of the Lord

White Horse with rider and bow


Black horses with chariot


Red horse with sword


White horses with chariot


Black with rider and scales


Dappled horses with chariot


Pale horse and rider

(2) First chariot: The order of the horses differs from Revelation, in Zechariah the first horse is the Red.

Red horses:The Hebrew word for red is ~da'adom, From this word, both the names of Adam and Edom can be traced.  Revelation connects the meaning of red with war.  In Zechariah one, we see the Angel of the Lord riding a red horse, followed by other horses with angelic riders. They report to the Angel of the Lord, the status of earth.

Second chariot:The second horse in Zechariah, the black one is the third horse in Revelation, and does not appear in the first vision of horses (Zechariah 1:8-17)

Black horses: The horses’ black color represents an ominous sign, often associated with mourning or destruction. In Revelation, the rider of the black horse had scales in his hand.  He cried out, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.". The Black Horse follows the Red in Revelation, which stands for war.  Here the ominous sign is lack of food and inflation as food becomes scarce following the wars at the start of the tribulation.  Oil and wine foods of luxury are not harmed meaning the poor will suffer the brunt of the famine following the war.

            Whether the meaning of the black horses of Zechariah and the black horse of Revelation mean the same is not certain.

(3) Third chariot: The White horses, third in Zechariah, are first in Revelation.

White horses: White is often associated with the color of purity, peace, holiness and victory in scripture.  White horses appear two times in Zechariah (Chapters 1 & 6) and two times in Revelation (Chapters 6 &19).  In Revelation 19, Jesus is riding a white horse, followed by the saints who are also riding white horses, showing the victory of Christ and the saints over the world.

            In Revelation 6 however, the rider has a bow and goes out conquering, his peace, however is false, since it is followed by war, the Red Horse.   For this reason, the white horse in Revelation 6, is seen as the Antichrist who brings a false military peace, pictured as a white horse.        

Fourth chariot:  The fourth horse, is dappled, spotted or marked, In Zechariah one, the horses are speckled (sorrel, reddish, tawny, bay) while in Zechariah 6, they are grizzeled (spotted or marked). In Revelation 6, the fourth horse is pale or chloros (pale green). 

Dappled horses: Essentially the term means spotted, but there is not a point of reference, to draw upon a meaning and its application here. Speculation might see a mixed state of affairs surrounding Israel during this period of judgment.

Strong steeds:  This term is applied to either the dappled horses or all the horses since they are all called strong steeds in verse 7.

(4) The angel who talked: Zechariah now asks the angel who has accompanied him on the whole journey from chapter 1, what is the meaning of what he sees.

 Interpretation of the vision

 ZEC 6:5  And the angel answered and said to me, "These are four spirits of heaven, who go out from their station before the Lord of all the earth.ZEC 6:6  "The one with the black horses is going to the north country, the white are going after them, and the dappled are going toward the south country."ZEC 6:7  Then the strong steeds went out, eager to go, that they might walk to and fro throughout the earth. And He said, "Go, walk to and fro throughout the earth." So they walked to and fro throughout the earth.
ZEC 6:8  And He called to me, and spoke to me, saying, "See, those who go toward the north country have given rest to My Spirit in the north country."
Zechariah 6:5-8

 (5) These are:The accompanying angel, now explains to Zechariah the meaning of what he is sees.

Four spirits of heaven:  The angel describes these four chariots, with four diverse color horses, with angel drivers implied but not stated, as being the four spirits of heaven. The word for sprit xwrRuwach,  means breath, wind.  Ruwach the same term used for the Holy Spirit, and angels.  In this case, it is referring to angels, which stand before the throne of God.

Their station: These angels have a specific function; they are in the presence of the Lord.  These four chariots could be four judgment angels, represent angels involved in judgment on the nations.  Their emergence from between two mountains of Brass, means they have come forth for judgment, as the armies of the Lord. Chariots were instruments of war.

 (6) black horses: In this verse, the destinations of three of the chariots are listed, the black horses go north, followed by the white, and the dappled horses go south.  We are not told where the red horses go. 

North country:This term is applied to Babylon, even though Babylon is east of Israel.  Invaders because of the terrain would attack from the North. (See Jeremiah 6:22. 10:22, 23:8, 31:8).  The white horses follow the black into the North Country. The exact meaning is uncertain, so we can only speculate. If we use, the meaning of the horses explained in Revelation, it could mean in the end-times, famine and starvation (black horse) will be followed by conquest (white horse) in the North Country (Russia).

            The countries of Gog and Magog, north of Israel play a prominent role in the end times, they are described as being north of Israel, invading the land of unwalled villages, of a people gathered from many nations. (See Ezekiel 38-39)

 6 "Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops-many people are with you. 7 "Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. "After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. Ezekiel 38:6-8

White: The battle of Gog and Magog is an end times battle, recognized in Judaism as a battle where the Messiah son of Joseph is slain in battle.  The white horse, follows the black into the north, this could mean the armies of the Antichrist, presented by the white horse which gives a false-peace (Revelation 6:2-3) conquers the North Country.

            In Zechariah, we get a near term fulfillment, which looks forward to a greater fulfillment in the end times.  For example, in chapter 2, we start out with a vision regarding Jerusalem’s current state in the days of Zechariah, we end up with a picture of Jerusalem in the days of Messiah.  In chapters 3, we read about Joshua the High Priest who pre-figures the servant called the BRANCH.

            Here also, the black horse might have near term fulfillment with Babylon and Persia, as Babylon is called the North Country in Jeremiah, and defeated by Cyrus the Persian (Isaiah 44:28, 45:1-2) the long term fulfillment being at the times of Messiah. 

Dappled…south county:  In Ezekiel, the south is referred to as Sheba and Dedan (Saudi Arabia) they are also involved in the end times battle over the lands of Israel, questioning the invasion of the north. (Ezekiel 38:13) Libya and Ethiopia from the south will also gather against Israel in that day (Ezekiel 38:5).

(7) Strong steeds:  The description of chariot horses in Zechariah’s vision.

To and fro throughout the earth:  This same term is used in Zechariah 1:11 when the horses are sent to inspect the earth, and report to the Angel of the Lord on the earth’s status.

Again, this could a near term meaning applying to the days of Zechariah, with a long-term fulfillment in view. This verse refers to the earth, which means the events could be in global in scale and not just regional.

(8) He called:From the context of the He, the Lord is calling out to Zechariah adding to what the accompanying angel is explaining.

North CountryThe Lord’s spirit is given rest in the North Countries judgment. God’s Holy Spirit is vexed in iniquity. God allows sin because He has mercy on the sinner, but eventually judgment comes on sin.  In judgment the Lord’s spirit is put to rest, from the vexation of sin.

This concludes the eight visions of Zechariah.

 Joshua the High Priest 


ZEC 6:9  Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:ZEC 6:10  "Receive the gift from the captives-from Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have come from Babylon-and go the same day and enter the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah.ZEC 6:11  "Take the silver and gold, make an elaborate crown, and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest.ZEC 6:12  "Then speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the Lord of hosts, saying: "Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the Lord;ZEC 6:13  Yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both." 'ZEC 6:14  "Now the elaborate crown shall be for a memorial in the temple of the Lord for Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen the son of Zephaniah.ZEC 6:15  "Even those from afar shall come and build the temple of the Lord. Then you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. And this shall come to pass if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God."

(9) Word of the Lord:  This begins a new phase of revelations.  This completes the first phase of revelation through Zechariah.  Chapter 7 takes place in the 4th year of Darius.  Chapter 1 through 6 take place in the 2nd year, the eight visions start in the 11th month. (Zech. 1:7). 

      This “Word” from the Lord is set apart from the visions, however the reference to the BRANCH and Joshua the High Priest link it to chapters 3 and 4 in Zechariah.

(10) Receive the gift:  Three captives, whether they were recent arrivals is not certain.  They bring gifts of Gold and Silver, indicating they were recent arrivals, wanting to help with the Temple’s rebuilding. The three along with Zechariah go the house of Josiah, who must have been an artisan or metalworker, who would create a crown.

(11) Make an elaborate crown:  Using the gift of silver and gold Josiah was to construct a crown or crowns. The word for crown here is  hrt[`atarah, in the Masoratic  Text (MT) the word is plural in the Septuagint (LXX) it is singular.  The word here is also not commonly associated with the High Priest, this term for crown is used in a royal sense, a priest did not rule , like a king.

      The term used for a priest’s crown was tpncmMitsnepheth translated Miter. The crown the High Priest wore was made from cloth and had a gold plate, saying Holy to the Lord (Exodus  28:36-38).  The implication here is the High Priest taking on royal power, in addition to priestly power.

      The High Priest wearing the crown, presents the dual office of the Messiah, who will be both a priest and king.  Psalm 110:4 declares he will be a priest after the order of Melchizedek.

 4 The Lord has sworn And will not relent, "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek." Psalm 110:4

 The Messiah will also be king and rule on David’s throne as a son of David. (Isaiah 9:6-7).  He rules as both king and priest.   This dual role as both king and priest was typified in Melchizedek (Genesis 14, Hebrews 7).  Joshua the High Priest is another picture of the coming Messiah, presenting as both Priest and King.

Head of Joshua: After the crown was complete, it was placed on the head of the High Priest.  In the Mosaic Law, the High Priest was not a monarch, but a representative of the people before the Lord God. 

(12) Speak to him:  Zechariah is now told to speak to Joshua the High Priest.  In chapter 3, during the vision, Zechariah had an encounter with Joshua, now his encounter with him is in the physical realms as opposed to the spiritual. Zechariah is to proclaim the Lord’s message to Joshua (Jehusha).

Behold the Man:  Joshua the High Priest serves as the model for the Messiah, in Zechariah 3:8, Joshua is seen distinct from the servant called the Branch.

Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. Zechariah 3:8

 Whose name: Joshua the High Priest, has the same name as Jesus, which the world knows him by today.  Just as Joshua and Zerubbabel, as king and priest, they worked together to build the  2nd Temple. Jesus Christ, the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, will build his Temple and establish His Kingdom.  Joshua the High Priest bore the name of the Messiah who would also be Joshua the High Priest.

The Branch:  The Branch is the descendent of King David, who will rule as Messiah on the throne of David.  He is called the branch because he is a stem of David’s line. (See Isaiah 11:1-3, Isaiah 4:2, Jeremiah 23:5-6)   The Branch will rule Jerusalem in the Millennium as both King and Priest.

 5 "Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord, "That I will raiseto David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Jeremiah 23:5-6

 He shall build: The Messiah at His first coming began construction of his spiritual house, the body of believers are the bricks in his temple. (I peter 2:5).  Joshua like the Messiah, is involved in building the Lord’s house.  For this reason, Jews today identify the Messiah with the one who rebuilds the Temple in Jerusalem. 

      The Messiah in Ezekiel 40-43, called the Glory of the Lord, will build the Millennium Temple on earth.  This Temple will serve as the throne of Messiah on Earth, during the Millennium.

 7 And He said to me, "Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. No more shall the house of Israel defile My holy name, they nor their kings, by their harlotry or with the carcasses of their kings on their high places. 8 "When they set their threshold by My threshold, and their doorpost by My doorpost, with a wall between them and Me, they defiled My holy name by the abominations which they committed; therefore I have consumed them in My anger. 
Ezekiel 43:7-8

 The temple: The 2nd Temple, built by Joshua and Zerubbabel was destroyed the Romans following the rejection of Jesus as Messiah (Daniel 9:26, Matthew 24:1)

(13)He shall build: The Branch shall build the Temple of the Lord, and the Branch will bear the glory.  Joshua the High Priest only modeled what Jesus will fulfill. In Chapter 3, Joshua is covered in filth and is cleansed by the Angel of the Lord who removes his iniquity (Zechariah 3:4).  He is later clothed by the angel of the Lord with glory and declared to be sign (Zech 3:8)

Bear the Glory: The Messiah will bear the glory, He is called the Glory of the Lord in Ezekiel.  Joshua the High Priest was only a model or a type. The High Priest was a picture of the role Jesus would fulfill.

Sit and rule: The Messiah will sit and rule on the throne, having the office of both Priest and King. 

His throne: The throne of Messiah, His throne is eternal, He possess it.  Daniel talking about Messiah, as the Son of Man says all nations will serve Him and be subject to Him.

 13 "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14

 Priest on His throne: In the Mosaic Law, the priest and king were separate; therefore, this is clearly a picture of the rule of Messiah, who will be both king and priest on His throne.

Counsel of peace...both:  As King and Priest, the Messiah will unify the two anointed positions. He will council the world and brings peace to the nations.  In Zechariah 4, the two offices of Messiah are presented as two Olive trees, which drip their oil in to the reservoir feeding the golden candlestick. (Zechariah 4:11-14).  The two witnesses in Revelation, chapter 11, stand in the office of king and priest, during the first half of the tribulation. (Rev. 11:4)

(14) Crown (s): The crown constructed was a picture to remind Israel of the coming role of Messiah, hew would fulfill both roles. This is emphasized in the book of Hebrews, the dual nature of the Messiah.

In the temple: The Crown was to be kept in the Temple, because the Messiah would be both King and Priest from the Temple. The purpose was to also remind the priesthood of the coming role Messiah would play, so they could expect his coming.

(15)Those from afar: The near term fulfillment being the Jews in Babylon, the distant fulfillment, the Gentile nations would help in the construction of Messiah’s Temple.

Build the Temple:  The Third Temple, which will be built in the tribulation period will not be the final temple, the Temple will be desolated in the tribulation by the Antichrist. The Messiah, the Glory of the Lord, will construct the Millennium Temple after the tribulation. The final Temple is the New Jerusalem, made up of believers from all the nations for eternity. (Revelation 21-22).

Obey the voice: Through the obedient this will come about, when the nation of Israel recognizes their Messiah, Jesus Christ, (Yeshua ha’Mashiach)