The second vision about the four horns (Zech 1:18-1:19)

“I looked up!

I saw four horns!

I asked the angel,

Who talked with me.

‘What are these?’

He answered me.

‘These are the horns

That have scattered

Judah.

They have scattered

Israel.

They have scattered

Jerusalem.’”

Zechariah looked up and saw 4 horns.  Then he asked the angel that had been talking to him about what these horns were.  The angel told him that these 4 horns represented the powerful nations of the world who had scattered the people of Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.

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The scattering (Ezek 22:14-22:16)

“Can your courage

Endure?

Can your hands

Remain strong,

In the days

When I shall deal

With you?

I,

Yahweh,

Have spoken.

I will do it.

I will scatter you

Among the nations.

I will disperse you

Throughout the countries.

I will purge

Your filthiness

Out of you.

I shall be profaned

Through you                         

In the sight

Of the nations.

You shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh was going to scatter the people of Jerusalem into many other countries. He wanted to know if they had enough courage to endure this. Were their hands strong enough? He was going to deal with them. Yahweh was clear about what he was going to do. He was going to scatter and disperse them among the various nations and countries. He was going to purge the filthiness out of Jerusalem. Yahweh would be embarrassed that this scattering would take place in the sight of these other nations. They would all know that he was Yahweh, their God.

The initial captivity (Jer 52:27-52:28)

“So Judah

Went into exile

Out of its land.

This is the number

Of the people

Whom King Nebuchadnezzar

Took into exile.

In the seventh year.

There were

Three thousand twenty-three Judeans.”

There are specific details about the number of people being deported. In the first captivity, around the time of King Jehoiachin in 597 BCE, in the 7th year of the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar, about 3,023 Judeans went into captivity.