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.

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A call to the exiles (Zech 2:6-2:7)

“‘Up!

Up!

Flee from the land

Of the north!’

Says Yahweh.

‘I have spread you abroad

Like the four winds

Of the heaven.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Up!

Escape to Zion!

You that live

With daughter Babylon.’”

Next Zechariah has Yahweh call all the Israelites living in the north land of Babylon to return to Zion.  They were to flee and escape this northern country.  Yahweh had spread them to the 4 winds of heaven, but now they were to get up and come back to Jerusalem.

The great Greek king (Dan 11:3-11:4)

“Then a warrior king

Shall arise.

He shall rule

With great dominion.

He shall take action

As he pleases.

While still rising

In power,

His kingdom

Shall be broken.

It shall be divided

Toward the four winds of heaven,

But not to his posterity,

Nor according to the dominion

With which he ruled.

His kingdom

Shall be uprooted.

It shall go to others

Besides these.”

This warrior king was Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE), who had great power. He died while still young, only 32 years old. When he died, his great kingdom was divided into 4, like the 4 winds of heaven. Cassander, Lysimachus, Seleucus, and Ptolemy became the 4 rulers, none of whom were his children.

The great power of the goat decimated (Dan 8:8-8:8)

“Then the male goat

Grew exceedingly great.

But at the height

Of his power,

The great horn

Was broken.

In its place,

There came up

Four prominent horns

Toward the four winds

Of heaven.”

This male goat became exceeding great, Alexander the Great. However, at the height of his power, at the age of 32, he died. Thus, the great horn was broken. Instead of one leader, there were 4 horns or leaders, equivalent to the 4 winds of heaven. These were Cassander, Lysimachus, Seleucus, and Ptolemy, the successors of Alexander.

The vision of the four winds (Dan 7:2-7:2)

“I!

Daniel!

Saw in my vision,

By night,

The four winds

Of heaven

Stirring up

The great sea.”

Clearly, the first-person singular indicates that this is no longer a description about Daniel, but Daniel himself writing about his dream or vision. He had this vision at night, as he saw the 4 winds of heaven stirring up the great sea, the Mediterranean Sea.