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Verses 7-8

Zechariah 1:7-8. Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month That is, about three months after he had received the former vision; which is the month Sebat This was the Chaldee or Syriac name of the eleventh month, not the Hebrew name. This month corresponded with the latter end of January and the beginning of February. Came the word of the Lord unto Zechariah This second revelation contains eight distinct visions, following each other in the same night. “The first vision is of an angel in a human form, sitting on horseback, in a low valley among myrtle-trees, attended by others upon horses, of different colours. The prophet asks the meaning, and is informed that they were the ministers of Providence, sent to examine into the state of the whole earth, which they report to be quiet and tranquil. The angel hereupon intercedes for Judah and Jerusalem, which he represents to have suffered under the divine indignation seventy years. He receives a consolatory answer. The prophet is directed to proclaim, that God’s wrath against Judah was at an end; that he would cause the temple and Jerusalem to be rebuilt; and would fill the country with good, as a token and consequence of his renewed favour, Zechariah 1:7-17.” Blayney. Saying, I saw, &c. That is, the word came to the prophet, who said, I saw, &c., or, thus recited the divine vision which had been sent him. What now follows (which extends to the end of the sixth chapter) was uttered when the people had made a great progress in the work of the temple, and were now to be excited to the new labour of fortifying Jerusalem. And behold a man The prophet terms him so, according to his appearance; till, perceiving by his answer, Zechariah 1:10, that he had a divine commission, he afterward gives him the respectable title of the angel, or messenger of Jehovah; riding upon a red horse A horse of a red or bloody colour was an emblem of the slaughters of war, as appears from Revelation 6:4. But the myrtle being a tree of pleasure, and an emblem of peace, therefore the red horse appearing among the myrtle- trees, signified that the slaughters of war were, or soon would be, repressed or restrained by a profound peace, namely, in the Persian empire, for that is here referred to: and accordingly there was a profound peace in it in the fourth, fifth, and sixth years of Darius. It is doubtful what angel or other being was represented by the figure of a man on this red horse. Some suppose Michael, whom the Prophet Daniel seems to mention as the guardian angel of the Jews, or the angel presiding, under God, over the affairs of their nation, and taking care of them. Others suppose the λογος , or Son of God, is meant; which opinion seems probable. The reason of his appearing in a bottom, or low place, amidst myrtles planted by the waters, is thought to have been to mark out the affliction, humiliation, and sorrow to which Judea was reduced. The myrtle flourishes best in shady and watery places. Littora myrtetis lætissima, says Virgil. See Calmet. Behind him were red horses With riders on them, as appears from Zechariah 1:10, “who were angels, Zechariah 1:11. They had horses to show their power of celerity; and horses of different colours, to intimate the difference of their ministries.” Newcome. Or, as others explain it, to signify the various events of the wars waged by Darius, which were sometimes fortunate, at other times unsuccessful.

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