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
(a) Who was the son of Histaspis.
(b) This was not the Zechariah, of which mention
is made in (2 Chronicles
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
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; (Jeremiah
5:21) See Isaiah
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; (2 Peter
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
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
(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.
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 my chastisements.
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 Jerusalem.
(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 fullness.
1:18 Then I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold r
(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.