Zechariah Chapter 1 begins with a message from the Lord given to Zechariah to tell God’s people to return to Him.
God Speaks to Zechariah
In Zechariah Chapter 1, the Lord spoke to the prophet Zechariah. He was angry with the people because they had begun to turn their backs on Him. God suggested that if the people returned to Him, He would do the same for them and embrace them.
The Lord said that He warned their ancestors to depart from their wicked ways. They refused to listen and they faced the consequences of their actions.
The Angel and the Horses
A man mounted on a red horse appeared before Zechariah with another message. The man stood among myrtle trees and behind him were several brown, white, and red horses. Zechariah asked what the man what all of this meant.
An angel standing there told Zechariah that he would soon reveal all. The man on the horse interrupted and said the horses were the creatures that God sent throughout the earth. In their travels, they found that men were generally at rest and peace.
The Angel Questions God
The angel of the Lord asked Him how long He would allow the towns of Judah and Jerusalem to be without mercy. After 70 years of turmoil, he asked when the suffering would end.
God responded to the angel and said that these two cities would soon feel His mercy, love, and forgiveness.
Four Craftsmen and Four Horns
Then Zechariah looked up and saw a vision of four horns. The Lord explained that these horns symbolized the merciless countries that forced out the people of Israel, Judah, and Jerusalem.
God also explained that the four workers in Zechariah’s vision were there to scare away the four horns so the people could return to their homes.
Zechariah 1 (King James Version)
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,
2 The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers.
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.
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.
5 Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
13 And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable 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.
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.
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.
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.
18 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.
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.
20 And the LORD shewed me four carpenters.
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.