Zechariah 6:3

3 And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay[a] horses.

Zechariah 6:3 Meaning and Commentary

Zechariah 6:3

And in the third chariot white horses
Which, as referring to Gospel preachers, may denote the purity of their lives and doctrines, and their conquests and victories over the souls of men by the ministry of the word; and, as applicable to angels, may express the purity of their nature and actions, the joyful messages they bring to the heirs of salvation, and their victories over the evil angels; but, as respecting the monarchies, point at the Grecians, and the conquests of Alexander, and his mildness and gentleness to the Jews: white horses were used in triumphs, in token of victory F20; see ( Revelation 6:2 ) ( 19:14 ) and they have been reckoned the swiftest in running; and by the "oneirocritics", to see them in a dream or vision is a good omen F21; and so it was accounted with the Jews F23; all which suits very well with Alexander, who was famous for his victories over many nations: and who, with great velocity, overran them, and as soon conquered them, and was kind and beneficent to the Jewish nation: and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses:
signifying either the diversity of gifts in the ministers of the Gospel; or the different employment and services of angels; or rather the Romans are meant, who were collected out of various nations, and consisted of different people, and had dvarious forms of government, and emperors of different dispositions to the Jews; and particularly as two colours are assigned to these, it may respect the division of their kingdom into Pagan and Papal, as is predicted in ( Daniel 2:41 Daniel 2:42 ) . Kimchi thinks the "bay horses" design the kingdom of the Ishmaelites, or Turks, a strong and powerful people; as some think the word used signifies F24; rather the Goths and Vandals; see ( Zechariah 6:7 ) . The word for "grisled" is by the Targum rendered "spotted" or "speckled"; and comes from one which signifies "hail"; and so denotes such coloured horses as are spotted with white spots, like hailstones F25, upon another colour, as black or red; and is by the Septuagint, and others, rendered "various" F26, of divers colours: and the other word for "bay" is rendered by them "starling coloured"; the colour of the starling, which is a black bird, with white spots; and so were a fit emblem of the Goths, Huns who were of various nations, and had various laws, customs, and usages; though some think by these two are meant the successors of Alexander, the Lagidae and the Seleucidae, put together, because of their intermarriages with one another, as well as succeeding Alexander: the former by the "grisled", who went and settled in the south country in Egypt, ( Zechariah 6:6 ) whose first king was Ptolemy Lagus, from whence is the name, and who is the king of the south in ( Daniel 11:5 ) and the latter by the "bay" or "ash coloured", as the Targum; the kings of Syria hiding deep their counsels, as under ashes, particularly Antiochus, as Grotius observes; and sometimes making war on one nation, and sometimes on another; and both of them in their turns falling upon the Jews suddenly, and with great violence, like hailstones, and making sad devastations among them, reducing them to ashes; but then this sense shuts out the Romans, the fourth monarchy, from having any place in this vision, which cannot be admitted; since these four chariots answer to the four sorts of metal in Nebuchadnezzar's image, and to the four beasts in Daniel's vision. So the Jewish writers


F1 say, the red horses are the kingdom of Babylon, which shed much blood in Israel; this is the head of gold: the black horses, the kingdom of the Persians and Medes, like to a bear, who made black the faces of Israel, by the decrees of Haman: the white horses, the kingdom of Grecia, who made white the faces of Israel by reproaches: the horses grisled and bay the fourth kingdom, which decreed various decrees, different from one another: and these four chariots went out from between two mountains, from between the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, which dwell between two countries, that beyond Jordan, and the land of Israel; and they went out between them, and carried them captive; and these kingdoms are called mountains of brass, because strong as brass, and hearkened not to the words of the prophets.
F20 Aurel. Victor de Viris Ilustrib. c. 26. in Furio Camillo, & Plutarchus in Camillo.
F21 Bochart, ut supra, (Hierozoic par. 1. l. 2. c. 7.) col. 105, 106.
F23 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 93. 1.
F24 (Myuwma) "fortes", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Drusius; "robusti", Piscator, Tarnovius, Gussetius, Stockius, p. 74. "validi", Burkius; so Kimchi; and the Jews in Pesikta apud Yalkut in loc.
F25 (Myddb) "grandinate", Montanus, Cocceius, Burkius; "grandiue gut. tati", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Tarnovius, De Dieu, Pembellus.
F26 (poikiloi) , Sept.; "varii", Pagninus.
F1 In Pesikta Rabbati apud Yalkut in loc.

Zechariah 6:3 In-Context

1 And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass.
2 In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses;
3 And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses.
4 Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord?
5 And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.

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