Zechariah 6


The vision of the four chariots drawn by several sorts of

horses, 1-8.

The other vision in thus chapter may refer in its primary

sense to the establishment of the civil and religious polity of

the Jews under Joshua and Zerubbabel; but relates in a fuller

sense, to the Messiah, and to that spiritual kingdom of which

he was to be both king and high priest. In him all these types

and figures were verified; on him all the promises are yea and

amen, 9-15.


Verse 1. There came four chariots] Four monarchies or empires.

This is supposed to mean the same with the vision of the four

horns, in Zec 1:18-21.

Mountains of brass.] The strong barriers of God's purposes,

which restrained those powers within the times and limits

appointed by Jehovah.

Verse 2. In the first chariot were red horses] The empire of the

Chaldeans, which overthrew the empire of the Assyrians.

The second chariot black horses] The empire of the Persians

founded by Cyrus, which destroyed the empire of the Chaldeans.

Verse 3. The third chariot white horses] The empire of the

Greeks, founded by Alexander the Great, which destroyed the

empire of the Persians.

The fourth chariot grisled and bay horses.] That is

party-coloured horses; or with horses, some grisled and some

bay. The empire of the Romans or of the Greeks. The Greeks

divided after the death of Alexander; one part pointing out the

Lagidae, who attacked and subdued Egypt; and the other, the

Seleucidae, who subdued Syria under Seleucus.

Verse 5. The four spirits of the heavens] Ministers of God's

wrath against the sinful nations of the world.

Verse 6. The black horses] This refers to the second chariot; of

the first the angel makes no mention, because the empire designed

by it had ceased to exist. This had red horses, to show the

cruelty of the Chaldeans towards the Jews, and the carnage they

committed in the land of Judea.

The black] Cyrus, at the head of the Persians and Medes,

bringing devastation and death among the Chaldeans, called the

north in many parts of Scripture.

The white] Alexander, who was splendid in his victories, and

mild towards all that he conquered.

The grisled] The Lagidae or Ptolemies, who founded an empire

in Egypt; of these some were good, some bad, some despotic, some

moderate, some cruel, and some mild; represented by the

party-coloured horses.

Verse 7. And the bay went forth] The Seleucidae, who conquered

Syria and the upper provinces, and who wished to extend their

conquests, and "sought to go, that they might walk to and fro

throughout the earth," were of unbounded ambition, and sought

universal empire; such as Antiochus the Great. "So they walked

to and fro," did extend their conquests; and harassed many

countries by their vexatious and almost continual wars. Some think

the Romans are meant, who carried their conquests hither and

thither, just as the Divine providence permitted them.

Verse 8. Have quieted my spirit in the north country.] They have

fulfilled my judgments on Assyria and Chaldea. Nabopolassar and

Cyrus first, against the Assyrians and Chaldeans; and Alexander

next, against the Persians. On this vision Abp. Newcome remarks:-

The black horses seem to denote the Persian empire; which, by

subduing the Chaldeans, and being about to inflict a second heavy

chastisement on Babylon, quieted God's spirit with respect to

Chaldea; a country always spoken of as lying to the north of the


The white horses seem to be the Macedonian empire; which, like

the Persian, overcame Chaldea.

The spotted bay horses seem to be the Roman empire. This

description suits it because it was governed by kings, consuls,

dictators, and emperors. It penetrated southward to Egypt and

Africa. The Roman empire is mentioned twice, Zec 6:6, 7, under

each epithet given it, Zec 6:3.

Verse 10. Take of them of the captivity] The names that follow

were probably those to whom the silver and golden vessels of the

temple were intrusted; and who might have had bullion of silver

and gold, for particular purposes, about the ornaments of the


The house of Josiah] Probably an artificer in silver, gold, &c.

Verse 11. Make crowns] ataroth; but seven MSS. of

Kennicott's and De Rossi's, and one ancient of my own, with the

Syriac and Chaldee, have atereth, a crown, or

tiara. And as Joshua the high priest is alone concerned here,

I think one crown only is intended.

Verse 12. Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH!] I cannot

think that Zerubbabel is here intended; indeed, he is not so much

as mentioned in Zec 3:8.

Joshua and his companions are called anshey mopheth,

figurative or typical men; the crowning therefore of Joshua in

this place, and calling him the BRANCH, was most probably in

reference to that glorious person, the Messiah, of whom he was the

type or figure. The Chaldee has, "whose name is my MESSIAH," or


And he shall grow up out of his place] That is, out of David's

root, tribe, and family.

And he shall build the temple of the Lord.] This cannot refer to

the building of the temple then in hand, for Zerubbabel was its

builder: but to that temple, the Christian Church, that was

typified by it; for Zerubbabel is not named here, and only Joshua

or Jesus (the name is the same) is the person who is to be crowned

and to build this spiritual temple.

Verse 13. Even he shall build the temple] Joshua, not


He shall bear the glory] Have all the honour of it; for none can

do this but himself. The Messiah is still intended.

And shall sit and rule upon his throne] For the government of

the Church shall be upon his shoulder.

And he shall be a priest upon his throne] He shall, as the great

high priest, offer the only available offering and atonement;

and so he shall be both king and priest, a royal king and a

royal priest; for even the priest is here stated to sit upon his


And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.] Whom?

Zerubbabel and Joshua? Certainly not Zerubbabel, for he is not

mentioned in all this prediction; but, as the Messiah is intended,

the counsel of peace-the purpose to establish peace between heaven

and earth, must be between the Father and the Son.

Verse 14. And the crowns shall be] One of my MSS. has

ataroth, crowns, corrected into atereth, crown; and so the

Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic. The Chaldee has, "And praise

shall be," &c. The meaning appears to be this, that the crown made

for Joshua should be delivered to the persons mentioned here and

in Zec 6:10, to be laid up in the temple of the Lord, as a

memorial of this typical transaction.

Verse 15. And they that are far off shall come] The Gentiles

shall come to the Saviour of the world; and build-become a part of

this new temple; for they, as living stones, shall become a holy

temple, a habitation of God through the Spirit.

Ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me] These

predictions, relative to the regal and sacerdotal offices of the

Messiah, shall be so circumstantially fulfilled, that ye, Jews,

shall be obliged to acknowledge that the Lord of hosts hath sent

me with this message.

And this shall come to pass] Your own temple shall be rebuilt,

and God shall dwell among you now, if ye will diligently obey the

voice of Jehovah your God.

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