Exegetical Studies in Zechariah Part 4 -- By: Charles Lee Feinberg
BSac 98:389 (Jan 41) p. 56
Exegetical Studies in Zechariah
(Continued from the October-December Number, 1940)
II. The Prophet’s Night-Visions, 1:7-6:15.
b. The Vision of the Horns and Smiths, 2:1-4 (Hebrew)
Because the second vision of Zechariah is so closely linked to that which precedes it, the LXX and Jerome add the second vision to the first chapter. Although the Hebrew text does not follow this division, it is to be found in the English versions. Both the second and third visions aim at the consolation promised in 1:13; first, by setting forth the manner in which God will execute His sore displeasure upon the nations who afflicted Israel, second, by assuring of the prosperity and enlargement foretold for Israel.
The prophet continues his series of visions: “And I lifted up my eyes and I saw, and, behold, four horns” (v. 1). It appears as though after each vision, the eyes of the prophet were lowered to meditate upon the import of what he had been shown. From this meditation he was aroused again and again by the exhibition of another vision. Here Zechariah sees four horns. In Scripture the horn is the symbol of power and also of pride (Amos 6:13; Jer 48:25; Dan 8:20, 21). Various explanations have been given as to the identity of the four horns. We note the two principal ones. Some have suggested that they are symbolic of Israel’s foes in all four points of the compass, conveying the thought of the universality of the hatred against the people of God. A large number of students of the passage refer the horns to the four empires of Daniel 2 and 7. With this position we agree. The number (four) and the symbol (horn) surely point back to Daniel’s prophecies. The Targum renders “four horns,” “four kingdoms,” here as well as in verses 2 and 4. After this same train of thought, Kimchi comments: “These are the four monarchies, and they are the Babylonian monarchy, the Persian monarchy, and the Grecian
BSac 98:389 (Jan 41) p. 57
monarchy; and so the Targum of Jonathan has it, ‘the four monarchies.’”1 He does not name the fourth, but notes that each of the horns in its own time did Israel evil. There have been several o...
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