1:1 In the eighth month, in the second year of a Darius, came
the word of the LORD unto b Zechariah, the son of
Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
The Argument - Two months after Haggai had begun to prophesy,
Zechariah was also sent of the Lord to help him in the
labour, and to confirm the same doctrine. First therefore,
he puts them in remembrance for what reason God had so
severely punished their fathers: and yet comforts them if
they will truly repent, and not abuse this great benefit of
God in their deliverance which was a figure of that true
deliverance, that all the faithful should have from death
and sin, by Christ. But because they remained still in
their wickedness, and lack of desire to set forth God's
glory, and were not yet made better by their long
banishment, he rebukes them most sharply: yet for the
comfort of the repentant, he ever mixes the promise of
grace, that they might by this means be prepared to receive
Christ, in whom all should be sanctified to the Lord.
(a) Who was the son of Histaspis.
(b) This was not the Zechariah, of which mention is made in
(2Ch 24:20), but he had the same name, and is called
the son of Berechiah, as he was, because he came of
those progenitors, as of Joiada or Berechiah, and Iddo.
1:2 The LORD hath been c sore displeased with your fathers.
(c) He speaks this to make them afraid of God's judgments, so
that they should not provoke him as their fathers had done,
whom he so grievously punished.
1:3 Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts;
d Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will
turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.
(d) Let your fruits declare that you are God's people, and
that he has wrought in you by his Spirit, and mortified
you: for otherwise man has no power to return to God,
but God must convert him; (Jer 31:18 La 5:21)
)Isa 31:6 45:21)
1:5 Your fathers, where e [are] they? and the prophets, do
they live for ever?
(e) Though your fathers are dead, yet God's judgments in
punishing them ought still to be before your eyes: and
though the prophets are dead, yet their doctrine remains
for ever; (2Pe 1:15).
1:6 But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants
the prophets, did they not take hold of f your fathers?
and g 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.
(f) Seeing you saw the force of my doctrine in punishing
your fathers, why do you not fear the threatenings
contained in the same, and declared by my Prophets?
(g) As men astonished with my judgments, and not that they
were touched with true repentance.
1:7 Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which
[is] the month h 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,
(h) Which includes part of January and part of February.
1:8 I i saw by night, and behold k a man riding upon a red
horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that [were] in
the bottom; and behind him [were there] l red horses,
speckled, and white.
(i) This vision signifies the restoration of the Church: but
as yet it would not appear to man's eyes, which is here
meant by the night, by the bottom, and by the myrtle
trees, which are black, and give a dark shadow. Yet he
compares God to a King who has his posts and messengers
abroad, by whom he still works his purpose and brings
his matters to pass.
(k) Who was the chief among the rest of the horsemen.
(l) These signify the various offices of God's angels, by
whom God sometimes punishes, and sometimes comforts, and
brings forth his works in various ways.
1:12 Then the m 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?
(m) That is, Christ the mediator prayed for the salvation
of his Church, which was now troubled, when all the
countries about them were at rest.
1:14 So the angel that talked with me said to me, Cry thou,
saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am n jealous for
Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.
(n) Though for a time God defers his help and comfort from
his Church, yet this declares that he still loves them
most dearly, as a most merciful father his children, or
a husband his wife, and when it is expedient for them,
his help is ever ready.
1:15 And I am very greatly displeased with the nations [that
are] at ease: for I was but o a little displeased, and
they helped forward the affliction.
(o) In destroying the reprobate, I showed myself but a
little angry toward my Church, but the enemy would have
destroyed them also, and did not consider the goal of
1:16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; I have returned to Jerusalem
with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD
of hosts, and a line p shall be stretched forth upon
(p) To measure out the buildings.
1:17 Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities
through prosperity shall yet q be spread abroad; and the
LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose
(q) The abundance will be so great, that the places of
storage will not be able to contain these blessings
that God will send, but will even break because of
1:18 Then I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold r four
(r) Which signifies all the enemies of the Church: east,
west, north, and south.
1:20 And the LORD showed me four s craftsmen.
(s) These craftsmen or smiths are God's instruments, who
with their mallets and hammers break these hard and
strong horns which would overthrow the Church, and
declare that no enemies' horn is so strong, but God has
a hammer to break it in pieces.