ZECHARIAH PART THREE
CALL TO WORSHIP
Now is the moment of grace.
This is the hour of blessing.
Today is the day of salvation.
Here is the path to new life.
Already joy is abounding, and love is flowing.
For this is the day God is making. Let us rejoice and sing.
Trust in the Lord at all times, O People; God is a refuge for us.
God is our rock and our salvation; we shall not be shaken.
God is good and in God’s work we find our strength.
We sing of all God’s wonderful works!
We give thanks and praise to the Lord!
Song #1 – Here I am to Worship
Song #2 – Come Holy Spirit I Need You
Song #3 – Great In Power.
Last day we looked at Zechariah 1:1-17.
We discussed some aspects of this prophetic book and its main call for the people to return to the LORD.
We discovered that Zechariah was a book of “fours” much as Revelation is a book of “sevens.”
We saw that the prophet Zechariah received eight visions in one night and we discussed the first of these, the horses and the “man” beneath the myrtle trees.
We saw that this “man” – the angel of the LORD – is none other than Jesus in one of His pre-incarnate appearances. He was looking out for Israel with promises to comfort and return to them and to see to their coming home from their 70 expulsion in Babylon.
We saw that Zechariah-Berechiah-Iddo means “Jehovah remembers and blesses at the appointed time.”
We also realized that the Zechariah who introduces the New Testament in Luke 1 along with his wife Elizabeth means “Jehovah remembers His oath.”
We were introduced to the horses of Zechariah as being red, white and sorrel and established that these were not the same as those from Revelation.
Today, we will consider the second, and third of the eight visions. This will take us to Zechariah 1:18-21.
“Then I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.
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.
And the LORD showed me four carpenters. Then said I, What come these to do?
And he spoke saying, These are the horns which has scattered Judah,
So that no man lifted 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.”
(Zechariah 1:18-21 KJV)
In the second vision we are presented with four horns. These are identified as the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.
In scripture ‘horns’ are almost always identified as ancient symbols of power and authority. They represent nations, and in this case, nations that scattered Israel, Judah, and Jerusalem. Check out references to horns as being symbols of power and authority in the Appendix. 1
We don’t need to guess at the identity of the four Gentile nations that have scattered Israel. They are given to us in Daniel chapter 2 and chapter 7.
Nebuchadnezzar had only recently ascended to the throne of Babylon and he had a troubling dream and he wished to test the seers he inherited from his father to see if they indeed possessed supernatural knowledge. He called all his magicians and astrologers and commanded them to tell him of his dream and then give the interpretation. Of course, they had no idea. They asked their king to tell them his dream and then they would supply the interpretation. He replied angrily, that if they were wise enough and skilled enough to give an interpretation then they should also be able to tell him his dream as well. Needless to say, they could not.
This confirmed for Nebuchadnezzar that this gang of sorcerers and magicians and soothsayers were total frauds and he ordered all such in his kingdom executed. This order would also apply to the Jewish captives of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
The king’s servant Arioch informed Daniel of the decree. Daniel asked for time and he and his three companions sought GOD.
GOD always has someone in place in the king’s household to help His children. The four had a prayer session and truth was revealed to Daniel, who informed Arioch to return him unto the king. Don’t execute us with the rest of these charlatans.
“Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision.
Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.”
We have probably read the account of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and its interpretation, but let me give a very brief summary, for this dream gives understanding to the four horns of Zechariah.
Nebuchadnezzar was shown by GOD through this dream the “march of history” of the Gentile nations that would each control the people of Israel and also be responsible for the scattering of Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.
Daniel revealed the dream to the king and then went on to give the interpretation. The entire content can be studied by referring to the passages given in the Appendix.2
GOD showed Nebuchadnezzar four Gentile kingdoms – the four horns of Zechariah – in the form of a giant statue of metal. This giant statue had the dimensions of 60 cubits by 6 cubits by 6 cubits. (There will be a similar statue erected by the antichrist during the tribulation. 3
The four Gentile nations depicted in this “image” are: the head of gold representing Babylon; the shoulders and breast of silver representing Media-Persia; the belly of bronze representing Greece, and the legs and feet of iron representing Rome.4
These four nations were selected and appointed by GOD to discipline the people of Israel. However, these Gentile nations went above and beyond what GOD had intended and as such they were each judged for their over-reach by GOD.
Some may question the statement that they were appointed by GOD for this task but Scripture is very clear on this point.
Listen to what GOD says about Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2:37-38, Daniel speaking:
“Thou, O King, are a king of kings: for the GOD of heaven has
given thee a kingdom, power, strength, and glory.
And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the fields
and the fowls of the heavens, has He given into your hand,
and has made you ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.”
Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon were chosen of GOD to scatter Judah, Israel and Jerusalem. Babylon is the first horn of Zechariah 1.
The second horn – Gentile nation – chosen to scatter GOD’s people was Media-Persia. The third horn was Greece and Alexander the Great, and the fourth was Rome.5 So, these are the four horns of Zechariah 1:
“These are the horns which have scattered Judah,
Israel and Jerusalem.”
This vision from Zechariah is quickly followed by the image of the four carpenters, or artisans or agencies used by GOD to discipline the above four Gentile nations for overstepping their GOD given mandate. Listen, once more to what is said in Zechariah 1.
“And the LORD showed me four carpenters. Then said I, What come these to do?
And he spoke saying, These are the horns which has scattered Judah,
so that no man lifted up his head: but these [the carpenters, artisans or agencies ] are come to fray them, [ the horns] to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.”
Zechariah is shown the four carpenters, artisans, agencies, and the angel explains things this way. The four horns are the four nations sent to scatter Israel, and then “these agencies” were anointed of GOD to come and “fray them,” and to “cast out the horns of the Gentiles which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.”
Here is the meaning of all this. These four agencies would come, each in their turn, to fray – to cause to fear and tremble – Babylon, then Media-Persia, then Greece, followed by Rome.
Three of these “carpenters, artisans, agencies,” are identified in Daniel as being, Cyrus, Alexander the Great, and Rome. Babylon was overthrown by Cyrus of Persia; Cyrus’ empire was overthrown by Alexander the Great of Greece, and Greece was overthrown by Rome.
There remains the identification of the final and fourth carpenter that would be responsible for the overthrow of Rome.
We are told later in Daniel chapter 7 that the first three empires of Babylon, Media-Persia and Greece would have their power removed but their “lives” would continue until the Ancient of Days establishes His kingdom. It is upon the establishment of Messiah’s kingdom that the fourth empire is destroyed.6
The Roman empire is identified as the fourth horn. It is composed of iron. It is stronger than all the others. Rome was never utterly destroyed as were the other three but became an empire with an eastern portion and a western portion. Western Rome, centered in Italy is represented by one of the legs of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue, and Eastern Rome, centered on Constantinople as the other leg of the statue.
The description continue on into the latter of days with the statue of iron legs becoming the feet of ten toes. These toes are described as being composed of clay mixed with iron, signifying a union that is not entirely substantial. It is during this last days representation of Rome that its destruction arrives by the hand of the 4th carpenter, the Messiah. Listen to its fall given in Daniel 2:44-45.
“And in the days of these kings [the ten toes of Rome] shall the GOD of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and shall stand forever.
Forasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver and the gold; the great GOD has made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”
The statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream represented the realm of Gentile nations. From Babylon through Media-Persia, onto Greece, and finalized with Rome. Nations responsible for scattering all of Israel. During the latter reign of Rome there is recorded a stone cut out of a mountain without hands, that crashes upon the feet of this great statue and brings it crashing down.
The stone is interpreted as the Messiah and of His setting up of His kingdom which will see no end.
The crashing upon the statue’s feet represents the destruction of the final and fourth horn Rome by the action of the 4th artisan Christ.
As this occurs we can hear John recording the shout from heaven in Revelation, “Babylon, the great is fallen is fallen.” 7 and the statement, “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our LORD, and of His Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” 8
For your interest, Nebuchadnezzar erected a huge statue 60 by 6 by 6 cubits in dimension to be worshipped. He set a furnace in its base. Where do you think this came from? His dream!
He erected this at the request of his Chaldeans soothsayers who wanted to trap Daniel and his three friends for showing them up. They urged the king to sign a decree directing that anyone who does not worship the image should be put to the fire. They knew full well that Daniel and his three companions would not worship the image.
This explains why Nebuchadnezzar was so reticent to execute Daniel when he put him in the lion’s den. The king stayed outside all night pleading to the GOD of Daniel that he would live!
And, the three that were cast into the fire – well, we all know the story.
Does this not bring depth and glory to the stories we heard in Sunday School?
And most certainly, as the words of the prophets of Scripture have double applications, there will be another statue erected that must be worshipped on penalty of death. And the dimensions of 60 x 6 x 6 cubits has its application to the 666 of Revelation. (See Daniel 3:1 for statue’s dimensions and its placement.)
The four horns represent the four Gentile nations that scattered Israel.
The four agencies represent the four who frayed and cast out the horns of these four Gentile nations.
There will arise another horn – a little horn – as outline in Daniel 7. It is a horn that arises from the midst of 10 horns of the 4th beast which is revived Rome. Daniel 7: 8 describes this little horn this way.
“I considered the horns, [there are 10 of them] behold, there came up
Among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.”
You can read of this little horn and of his demise in the rest of Daniel 7 and also in Revelation 19:20 and 20:10 where he is also described as the beast.
There is a lot given here and it is perhaps a good place to pause before going further. May GOD add His blessings to your reading and study. Amen, go in peace.
Sing #4 – How Great are You LORD
1 Jeremiah 48 Horn of Moab
Psalm 75:4 Horn of wicked
2 Daniel 2 3 Revelation 13:11-18 and 2 Thess. 2:14 4 Daniel 2 with Daniel 7
5 Daniel 8 6 Daniel 2:34,35 44 7 Rev. 18:2 8 Rev. 11:15