Zechariah 6:5. These are the four spirits of the heavens Or rather, The four winds, as the word רוחות very frequently signifies, and as it is here rendered in the margin, and also by the LXX. and the Vulgate: that is, these chariots are the four empires in the different parts of the world. Thus Daniel, beginning to foretel the rise of these four great empires, Daniel 7:2, observes, Behold, the four winds of heaven strove upon the great sea. But how, it may be asked, could these chariots be said to be winds? Like strong winds they rushed violently on, and produced great agitations and commotions in the earth, resembling the effects of strong winds, both by sea and land. These winds are said to go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth, to signify that, as winds are frequently made God’s ministers, and fulfil his word, (Psalms 148:8,) so these empires, as his servants, should do his pleasure, and execute his purposes, whether of judgment or mercy, upon the different nations of the earth. In other words, they should be made subservient to the designs of his providence.
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