Rebuilding the Temple and the Future Messiah
Brit-Am Biblical Commentary (BABCOM) to the Book of Zechariah
Zechariah (NKJV) 6:
1 Then I turned and raised my eyes and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming from between two mountains, and the mountains were mountains of bronze.
mountains of bronze. In Hebrew 'necoshet" literally meaning copper.
2 With the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot black horses, 3 with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot dappled horses, strong steeds. 4 Then I answered and said to the angel who talked with me, 'What are these, my lord?'
The Commentators say these four chariots represent four empires. Rashi and RADAK quoting Rav Saadia Gaon say: [See Rabbis Quoted ].
Red represents Babylon
Black - Media
White - Persia
Dappled-Coloring - Edom and Ishmael.
Abarbanel says: Red- Babylon, Black - Persia, White - Yavan (Greece,) Dappled-Coloring - Edom and Ishmael.
In Daniel chapter 2 we are told about a dream that Nebuchadnessar king of Babylon had:
Daniel (NKJV) 2: 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze [Hebrew "necoshet," i.e. copper], 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.
Malbim says the head of gold represented Babylon, the chest and arms of silver represented Media, the belly and thighs of copper symbolizes Greece (Yavan). The four chariots in the vision of Zechariah emerge from mountains of copper, i.e. they emanate from Yavan (Greece).
On the other hand Abarbanel opines that the two mountains of copper represent the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel i.e. of the Ten Tribes.
The Malbim suggests: The Red horses are Yavan. Black - Rome responsible for the dark and cruel years of Exile the Jews were to suffer. White - another unnamed Empire that will be more kindlier than the Roman one. The Dappled Horses remain unidentified.
In other words the meaning is not clear and there is no clear stream of thought on this issues among the major Commentators. despite this their opinions are worth noting.
5 And the angel answered and said to me, 'These are four spirits of heaven, who go out from their station before the LORD of all the earth. 6 The one with the black horses is going to the north country, the white are going after them, and the dappled are going toward the south country. 7 Then the strong steeds went out, eager to go, that they might walk to and fro throughout the earth. And He said, 'Go, walk to and fro throughout the earth.' So they walked to and fro throughout the earth. 8 And He called to me, and spoke to me, saying, 'See, those who go toward the north country have given rest to My Spirit in the north country.'
have given rest to My Spirit. This is referring to the white and black horses. Perhaps Hebrews from Israel and Judah were among them?.
9 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: 10 'Receive the gift from the captives' from Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have come from Babylon, and go the same day and enter the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah. 11 Take the silver and gold, make an elaborate crown, and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 Then speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of Hosts, saying:
"Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH!
From His place He shall branch out,
And He shall build the Temple of the LORD;
the BRANCH. This is Zerubabel. Zerubabel was a descendants of David. Here we are told that a descendant of Zerubabel will rebuild the Future Temple. This indicates he will be the Messiah. The Messiah will be a descendants of David through Solomon through Rehoboaum through Zerubabel.
13 Yes, He shall build the Temple of the LORD.
He shall bear the glory,
And shall sit and rule on His throne;
So He shall be a priest on His throne,
And the counsel of peace shall be between them both."'
14 Now the elaborate crown shall be for a memorial in the Temple of the LORD for Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen the son of Zephaniah. 15 Even those from afar shall come and build the Temple of the LORD. Then you shall know that the LORD of Hosts has sent Me to you. And this shall come to pass if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.
13 Yes, He shall build the Temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” ’ So He shall be a priest on His throne.
The Hebrew text may more correctly be understood to say, "And there shall be the Priest on his throne" which is followed by the expression "And the counsel of peace shall be between them both," i.e. between the Future Messiah and the Future High Priest.
14 “Now the elaborate crown shall be for a memorial in the Temple of the LORD for Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen the son of Zephaniah. 15 Even those from afar shall come and build the Temple of the LORD. Then you shall know that the LORD of Hosts has sent Me to you. And this shall come to pass if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.”