On to Zechariah 1:7-17
v7: The 11th month, the month of Shebat, is an important month. In Deut 1:3 the Israelites were on the brink of entering into the Promised Land (after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness) when Moses reminded them of the L-rd’s commandments and promises. G-d gave the people another opportunity to be faithful.
v8: Red, Biblically speaking, is synonymous with blood/bloodshed – there is going to be a blood filled transition from this age into the next one (Rev 6:4)
· Myrtle trees are mentioned in the Scripture when a bad situation becomes a good one (Is 41:17-20, Is 55:12-13). Notice how the myrtle trees are emphasized in this passage. G-d is reminding His people that although things will be bad He is going to make good come out of it.
· In the original the word translated ‘Sorrel’ is actually the word ‘hissing’ or ‘shrieking’ horse. The rabbinical commentaries say it speaks of fear/death.
· White (Rev 6:2) speaks of conquest. These horses (as seen in Revelation) speak of something bad.
v10: Yeshua opens the seals in Revelation 6, releasing the (bad) horses we find there. They are sent for one main reason – to bring about change (usher in the antichrist) and repentance. Often, we only listen and respond to G-d through hardships and trials.
v11: ‘Resting quietly’ – i.e. the world is at peace. In Dan 9:27 the antichrist makes a covenant of (false) peace. See also 1 Thess 5:1-3
· When the people went back to Israel, they had no temple and were not worshipping G-d as they ought to have been. They were at peace with their state of affairs, but G-d wanted that to change.
v12: G-d’s mercy to us is to change us to become more like Him (2 Cor 3:14-18 and 4:1) The people had not changed after exile – physically and spiritually things were pretty much in the same state as before. The angel wanted G-d to show His mercy and bring change to the people.
v13: A gem of a verse! G-d knows what He is doing. We can take comfort in that.
v15: G-d was a little angry with His people before the exile, but the nations capitalized on G-d’s anger toward His people. They made the punishment of Israel much worse than it should have been.
v16-17: This didn’t only take place 2500 years ago but will take place again (all scholars agree that these verses are about the time of the end). Is G-d finished with Israel and the Jewish people? Has the church replaced her? Absolutely not! (Roms 11:1-12)
The Hebrew Bible ends Zechariah chapter 1 with verse 17.