The four corners of the earth (Zech 6:4-6:6)

“Then I said to the angel

Who talked with me.

‘What are these?

My lord!’

The angel answered me.

‘These are the four winds

Of heaven going out,

After presenting themselves

Before Yahweh,

The Lord

Of all the earth.

The red horses

Advance to the east country.

The chariot with the black horses

Goes toward the north country.

The white horse chariots

Go toward the west country.

The dappled horse chariots

Go toward the south country.’”

Once again, as usual, Zechariah asked the angel who talked to him what was this vision all about.  This angel answered that these 4 chariots represented the 4 winds of heaven.  Each of these chariots with their colorful horses went in a different direction, after having presented themselves to Yahweh.  The red horses with their chariot went in an eastern direction.  The chariot with the black horses went north.  The while horses with their chariot went to the western area, while the dappled horses with their chariot went south.  Thus, all the different directions were covered.

The four different colored horses (Zech 6:2-6:3)

“The first chariot

Had red horses.

The second chariot

Had black horses.

The third chariot

Had white horses.

The fourth chariot

Had dappled gray horses.”

Once again, there were different colored horses leading these 4 chariots.  The first chariot had red horses.  Then the second chariot had black horses, while the third chariot had white horses.  The final chariot had dappled gray horses.  Thus, these 4 chariots had 4 different colorful horses leading them.

The importance of Zerubbabel (Hag 2:21-2:23)

“‘Speak to Zerubbabel,

The governor of Judah,

Saying.

‘I am about

To shake the heavens.

I am about

To shake the earth.

I am about

To overthrow

The throne of kingdoms.

I am about

To destroy

The strength

Of the kingdoms

Of the nations.

I am about

To overthrow

The chariots,

With their riders.

The horses,

With their riders,

Shall also fall.

Everyone shall fall

By the sword of a comrade.’

‘On that day,’

Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘I will take you,

O Zerubbabel,

My servant,

The son of Shealtiel.’

Says Yahweh.

‘I will make you

Like a signet ring.

I have chosen you!’

Says Yahweh of hosts.”

Yahweh said that Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, would have a special role in the new kingdom of Israel.  Yahweh was going to shake up heaven and earth.  He was going to overthrow all the kingdoms and countries on the earth.  All the chariots, with their riders, as well as the cavalry with their horses would all fall.  Zerubbabel, the servant of Yahweh, would have a signet ring because Yahweh had chosen him.  His grandfather would have been a king as part of the Davidic lineage

The problem of the rivers (Hab 3:8-3:8)

“Was your wrath

Against the rivers?

O Yahweh!

Was your anger

Against the rivers?

Was your rage

Against the sea,

When you drove

Your horses

With your chariots

To victory?”

Habakkuk wondered why Yahweh was angry at the rivers and the sea.  After all, Yahweh had driven his horses and chariots to victory over the rivers and seas.

What Yahweh was going to do (Mic 5:10-5:11)

“Yahweh says.

‘In that day,

I will cut off

Your horses

From among you.

I will destroy

Your chariots.

I will cut off

The cities of your land.

I will throw down

All your strongholds.’”

In the day to come, Yahweh was going to get rid of the horses and chariots of the Israelites.  He was going to cut off their cities from their land.  He was going to get rid of the military fortresses and strongholds that they had built.  There would be no need for war.

Against Lachish (Mic 1:13-1:13)

“Harness the steeds

To the chariots!

Inhabitants of Lachish!

It was here that

The beginning of sin came

To the daughter of Zion.

The transgressions

Of Israel

Were found in you.”

Lachish was the most famous and well know city of the Shephelah low land area of Israel.  Lachish was the 2nd most important city in Judah, but not a holy city like Jerusalem.  This might indicate that these other towns were close to Lachish in the same area.  The people of Lachish were to get their horses and chariots ready, because they were the cause of the sin and the beginning of the transgressions for Zion and Israel.  The Assyrians had captured this city in 701 BCE.

The powerful Babylonian horses (Ezek 26:10-26:11)

“King Nebuchadnezzar’s horses

Shall be so many

That their dust

Shall cover you.

Your very walls

Shall shake

At the noise

Of the cavalry,

At the noise

Of the wheels,

At the noise

Of the chariots.

He enters

Your gates

Like those entering

A breached city.

With the hoofs

Of his horses,

He shall trample

All your streets.

He shall put

Your people

To the sword.

Your strong pillars

Shall fall

To the ground.”

The king of Babylon had a lot of horses, so many that the dust from these galloping horses would cover them up. The cavalry would make such a loud noise that the walls would shake. The noisy wheels of the chariots, driven by horses, would enter their gates as if there were no gates there. The hoofs of their horses would trample all their streets. Their people would be killed. Their large pillars would be crushed to the ground. In very colorful language, there would be a lot of horses with cavalry and chariots attacking Tyre.

The attack of King Nebuchadnezzar (Ezek 26:7-26:7)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

I will bring against Tyre,

From the north,

King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon,

King of kings.

He will come together

With horses,

With chariots,

With a cavalry,

With a great number

Of soldiers,

With a great army.”

Yahweh was going to send the king of Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar, to attack Tyre from the north. This Babylonian king was also called the king of kings. He would come with horses, chariots, cavalry, and a large army of soldiers.

The war club of Yahweh (Jer 51:20-51:23)

“You are my war club!

You are my hammer!

My weapon of battle!

With you

I smash nations.

With you

I destroy kingdoms.

With you

I smash the horse.

With you

I smash its rider.

With you

I smash the chariot.

With you

I smash the charioteer.

With you

I smash men.

With you

I smash women.

With you

I smash the old man.

With you

I smash the boy.

With you

I smash the young man.

With you

I smash the girl.

With you

I smash the shepherds.

With you

I smash their flock.

With you

I smash the farmers.

With you

I smash their teams.

With you

I smash the governors.

With you

I smash their deputies.”

Yahweh is the war club or hammer that smashes everything. Thus with Yahweh, Jeremiah can smash nations, kingdoms, horses, riders, chariots, charioteers, men, women, old men, boys, young men, girls, shepherds, their flocks, farmers, their teams, governors, and their deputies. Yahweh is a strong weapon that can smash practically everything.

The sword of the Israelite redeemer (Jer 50:34-50:37)

“Their Redeemer is strong.

Yahweh of hosts

Is his name.

He will surely plead

Their cause.

He may give rest

To the earth.

But he will give unrest

To the inhabitants

Of Babylon.

Says Yahweh.

‘A sword against

The Chaldeans!

The inhabitants of Babylon!

Her officials!

Her sages!

The diviners!

Thus they may

Become fools!

A sword against

Her warriors!

Thus they may be destroyed!

A sword against

Her horses!

Her chariots!

All the foreign troops

In her midst!

Thus they may

Become women!

A sword against

All her treasures!

Thus they may be plundered!’”

Yahweh was the strong redeemer of Israel and Judah. He was going to bring the sword or death to the Babylonians. He was going to give the Israelites and Judeans a rest since he pleaded their case. However, the Babylonians were not going to be as lucky, since he was going to bring them unrest. The destroying sword would come up against the Chaldeans and all the people who lived in Babylon. All their officials and wise men would suffer death by the sword also. The foolish diviners and the warriors would be destroyed. Their horses, their chariots, and the foreign troops there would be wiped out by the sword. These strong fighters would become like women. The Babylonian treasures would be plundered. Watch out for the sword of this redeemer!