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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,
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.
Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will show thee what these be.
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.
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.
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?
And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.
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.
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.
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.
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.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

1:7 word of the LORD. This verse begins a series of eight visions. Since the next specific reference to a date occurs after all of them (Zechariah 7:1), it is likely that they were given in rapid succession, probably all on the same night, and that their respective messages are related sequentially in terms of the future events they foresee.

1:8 a man. The “man” is clearly the same as “the angel of the LORD” (Zechariah 1:11), and thus can be identified as none other than the pre-incarnate Christ, the second person of the Trinity. He continues to communicate with Zechariah in all the visions, guiding him in understanding their messages.

1:8 red horse. The “red horse” suggests conflict and war (compare Revelation 6:4) which eventually will be visited upon the nations that have been abusing the people of God, as well as on the apostates among Israel. In the company led by the Angel—evidently a part of the angelic host of heaven—were more red horses, but also some white and some speckled. Presumably these suggest there is mercy mixed with judgment in the mission of the heavenly army.

1:8 myrtle trees. The “myrtle trees” must represent the people of Israel in context, for the Angel had come to stand in their midst. The Hebrew for “myrtle” is the masculine equivalent of Hadassah, which was the Jewish name of Esther before she was made queen of Persia. In fact, it was not many years later when Esther would be saving the Jews in the Persian empire from Haman’s planned genocide.

1:8 the bottom. “The bottom” is translated from a Hebrew word used only this once in Scripture, and its meaning is uncertain. It seems to be suggesting that “the myrtle trees [Israel] in the bottom” are somehow in deep trouble and danger, but the Angel of Jehovah will intervene for them.

1:10 walk to and fro. Like Satan and his angels (e.g., Job 1:7; I Peter 5:8), God’s holy angels walk about on the earth on behalf of His people. Perhaps they are, in effect, “the eyes of the LORD” (II Chronicles 16:9). See also Zechariah 6:7.

1:12 angel of the LORD. The Angel of the LORD (i.e., the Second Person of the Trinity) here prays as an Intercessor or Mediator to the Lord of Hosts (i.e., the First Person) on behalf of His people. He is, indeed, “our Advocate with the Father” (I John 2:1).

1:12 threescore and ten years. The seventy years of prophesied exile had passed, and the Jewish remnant had come back home, but they still had not rebuilt the temple, as they had been commissioned to do. These visions given to Zechariah are intended to empower him (along with Haggai, whose testimony must soon end) to encourage and constrain them to complete it.

1:17 shall yet choose Jerusalem. The chosen people are not going to be “unchosen.” God has repeatedly punished them for disobedience, but “will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land” (Isaiah 14:1). See also Jeremiah 30:11.

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