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Zechariah Chapters 1-3

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CHAPTER 1 Dec. 19 
Return to the Lord 
In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, the prophet, saying, 2Yahweh was very displeased with your fathers. 3Therefore tell them: Thus says Yahweh of Armies: ‘Return to me’, says Yahweh of Armies, ‘and I will return to you’, says Yahweh of Armies. 4Don’t you be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying: Thus says Yahweh of Armies, ‘Return now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings;’ but they did not hear, nor listen to me, says Yahweh. 5Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6But My words and My decrees, which I commanded My servants the prophets, didn’t they influence your fathers?  Then they repented and said, ‘Just as Yahweh of Armies determined to do to us, according to our ways, and according to our practices, so He has done with us’.
A Man on a Red Horse 
 7On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, the prophet, saying, 8I had a vision in the night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in a ravine; and behind him there were red, brown, and white horses. 9Then I asked, ‘My lord, what are these?’.  The angel who talked with me said to me, I will show you what these are.  10The man who stood among the myrtle trees answered, They are the ones Yahweh has sent to go back and forth through the earth.  11They reported to the angel of Yahweh who stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked back and forth through the earth, and behold, all the earth is at rest and in peace.  12Then the angel of Yahweh replied, O Yahweh of Armies, how long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which You have had indignation those seventy years?  13Yahweh answered the angel who talked with me with kind and comforting words. 14So the angel who talked with me said to me, Proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh of Armies: I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. 15I am very angry with the nations that are at ease; for I was but a little displeased, but they added to the calamity. 16Therefore thus says Yahweh: I have returned to Jerusalem with mercy. My house shall be built in it, says Yahweh of Armies, and a builders’ line shall be stretched forth over Jerusalem’.  17Proclaim further, saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh of Armies: My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and Yahweh will again comfort Zion, and will again choose Jerusalem’.
Four Horns and Four Carpenters 
18I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, four horns. 19I asked the angel who talked with me, What are these? He answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.  20Yahweh showed me four carpenters. 21Then I asked, What are these coming to do?  He said, These are the horns which scattered Judah, so that no man lifted up his head; but these have come to saw them off, to cast down the horns of the nations, which lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it.


1:2 God is frequently called “Yahweh of Armies” in Zechariah because the prophecy is seeking to assure the Jews that although everything seemed quiet on earth and in the land of Judah (:11), God’s invisible armies of Angels were very actively working. We need to also be aware of this.
1:12 The Angel didn’t understand- Angels don’t sin, they have God’s nature, but they still don’t know everything (Mt. 24:36). 
1:16 God had returned to Jerusalem; through the prophets, He had called for the Jews to leave Babylon and also return to Jerusalem. But most of them preferred to stay in the soft life there. Those who returned were following where God led. The call to repentance in v.3 was in terms of ‘returning’ to God- and the Jews could’ve demonstrated this by returning to Jerusalem from Babylon. God had already returned to them; they had to return to Him. God takes the initiative with us, time and again.
1:21 A horn can be understood as a symbol of power.