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Zechariah 6:1-5

Context
Vision Eight: The Chariots

6:1 Once more I looked, and this time I saw four chariots emerging from between two mountains of bronze. 1  6:2 Harnessed to the first chariot were red horses, to the second black horses, 6:3 to the third white horses, and to the fourth spotted horses, all of them strong. 2  6:4 Then I asked the angelic messenger 3  who was speaking with me, “What are these, sir?” 6:5 The messenger replied, “These are the four spirits 4  of heaven that have been presenting themselves before the Lord of all the earth.

1 tn Heb “two mountains, and the mountains [were] mountains of bronze.” This has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.

sn Bronze, a hard, almost impenetrable metal, is an apt figure to speak of the obstacles standing in the way of the accomplishment of God’s purposes for the postexilic Jewish community (cf. 4:7). The cleft between the two from which the chariots emerge might be related to the eschatological triumph of the Lord who will return to the Mount of Olives and divide it into two mountains, one on the north and the other on the south (cf. Zech 14:1-8; Ezek 47:1-12).

2 tc For the MT reading אֲמֻצִּים (’amutsim, “strong”) Aquila and Syriac presuppose אֲדֻמִּים (’adummim, “red”), thus giving the red horse an assignment and eliminating the problem of a fifth, “spotted” horse. The fourth would be a mottled red horse according to this view. There is, however, no manuscript support for this interpretation.

3 tn See the note on the expression “angelic messenger” in 1:9.

4 tn The Hebrew term translated “spirit” here may also be translated “wind” or “breath” depending on the context (cf. ASV, NRSV, CEV “the four winds of heaven”; NAB similar).



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