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. The Lord gave the message to the prophet Zechariah (meaning remembered by Yahveh), son of Berekiah (meaning blessed of Yahveh), and grandson of Iddo, being one of the Nethinim. (Ezra 8:17).
2 The Lord hath been sore displeased with your fathers. God was very angry with the ancestors of Zechariah.
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. Tell the people this. Return to the Lord, and the Lord will return to you.
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. Don't be like your ancestors who did not listen or pay attention to what the prophets said to them. They did not turn from their evil ways and got what they deserved.
5 Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever? Where are they now? Your ancestors and the prophets are long dead.
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. Everything God said through His prophets happened to the ancestors of Zechariah, just as He said. They repented and said that they deserved what happened from the Lord. (God always does what He says).
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. Three months later God sent another message to Zechariah.
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. It was in a vision during the night when Zechariah saw a man sitting on a red horse in a small valley among the myrtle trees. Behind him were riders of red, brown and white horses.
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. The angel of the Lord will show Zechariah what the horses mean.
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. The horses among the myrtle trees are the ones the Lord has sent out to patrol 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. "The other riders reported to the angel of the Lord." The whole earth is at peace. "This should bring our attention to: (Revelation 6:4, 19:19-21). (Remember the wars and rumors of wars mentioned in Matthew 24:6 and Mark 13:7). Satan will utilize this time to try to bring peace to the earth gaining favor with those who follow him. Through his peace he will deceive and destroy many. (Daniel 8:25).
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? He prayed this prayer: "O Lord of Heaven's Armies, for seventy years you have been angry with Jerusalem and the towns of Judah. How long till you show mercy to them." (Jeremiah 25:11-12, Daniel 9:2).
13 And the Lord answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words. Then the Lord gave the angel comforting 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. The Lord's message was: My love for Jerusalem and Mount Zion is passionate and strong. (Mount Zion is one of God's favorite places).
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. I am angry with the other nation that now enjoy peace and security. They inflicted harm on them far beyond My intentions.
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. The Lord has returned to show mercy to Jerusalem. "My Temple will be rebuilt, says the Lord of Heaven's Armies." (Zechariah 4:9, Ezra 6:14-15, Isaiah 44:26-28, Haggai 1:14).
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. The towns of Israel will again overflow with prosperity and the Lord will comfort Zion. (Isaiah 51:3, Zephaniah 3:15-17).
18 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. Referring to the four beasts of: (Daniel 7:3-8, 8:3-14), The four great beasts that emerge from the sea of people are kings and their kingdoms. They are also the four hidden dynasties of the end time. (The political system, financial system, educational system, and the religious system). "The one world government." The lies and deception of Satan are polluting these dynasties.
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. These horns represent the nations that scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. As Zechariah lived after the time of Nebuchadnezzar, there was yet four great empires that would have power to scatter Judah, Israel and Jerusalem. These empires or horns many scholars believe are, Medo-Persia, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and the partly strong partly weak kingdom which has arisen from the 10 nations that came out of the break up of the Roman Empire. This has re-emerged in recent times in the founding nations of the European Union. Whereas the regimes of the Caliphs and Ottomans occupied the land of Judea and Israel they did not, as the Romans and the Crusaders did, scatter the people of Judah.
20 And the Lord shewed me four carpenters. Part of the second vision. These carpenters were (iron smiths), blacksmiths.
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. The four carpenters (blacksmiths, or it may denote the supernatural princes over the kingdoms), have come to terrify these four horns (nations), that have scattered and humbled Judah. They represent the Divine agencies raised up by which Yahveh will overthrow them. Similar to the "four carpenters" we have the "four horns of power" (four angels), that come from the altar of God in the book of Revelation. These four angels, (which are bound in the great river Euphrates), will be loosed in the sixth trump to slay the third part of men. (Revelation 9:13-15).