New Defender's Study Bible Notes
1:20 four carpenters. To supplement the preceding vision, in which God had assured Israel of ultimate deliverance from those who had afflicted them, this second vision becomes more specific, showing four horns scattering the people, then four carpenters in turn fraying each of these. Most likely, Zechariah would understand these to refer to the famous dream image of Nebuchadnezzar, interpreted by Daniel and, no doubt, well known to the Jews of the exile (Daniel 2:36-44), forecasting four great kingdoms embracing the times of the Gentiles. Some of these had been fulfilled already (Babylon and Persia, with Greece beginning to threaten in the distance, as intimated in Zechariah 9:13), and history would show the fourth to be Rome. Each of these would, in turn, be cut down—Babylon by Persia, Persia by Greece, Greece by Rome, and Rome in its final extension ultimately by Christ Himself. Eventually, these “horns of the Gentiles” would be utterly cast out.