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The Horses of Zechariah 1 Are God!1
I saw by night, and behold, a Man riding upon a red Horse and He stood between the myrtle trees which were in the hollow. And behind Him were Horses: Reds, Sorrels, and Whites. (Zechariah 1:8, a more literal translation)2
In Zechariah 1:9 Zechariah asks, "What are these?" He is told They are God, but in a round about way. The Angel who talked with him says He will show him what They are (verse 9), and immediately after the Angel says this, the Man who stood among the myrtle trees (verse 10), who is the same as "the angel who talked with me" (see below), declares,
These are the ones whom the Lord has sent to walk to and fro throughout the earth. (Zechariah 1:10)
The only "these" in the context here is the Horses. So, it is noted that the Horses "are the ones whom the Lord has sent to walk to and fro throughout the earth." This "to and fro throughout the earth" which is also found in the next verse (11) is similar language to Zechariah 4:10 of the "eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth" (see also 2 Chronicles 16:9).3 The "eyes of the Lord" are God Himself.
Nonetheless, in the next verse (11) the Horses answer "the Angel of the Lord" ("the man who stood among the myrtle trees"), who is God Himself (see Zechariah 3:1-2; 12:8).4
So they answered the Angel of the Lord, who stood among the myrtle trees, and said, "We have walked to and fro throughout the earth, and behold, all the earth is resting quietly." (Zechariah 1:11)
The "they" here are the Horses of verse 8. Thus, we have here talking Horses!
Next, the Angel of the Lord answers these talking Horses.
Then the Angel of the Lord answered and said, "O Lord of hosts, how long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which You were angry these seventy years?" (Zechariah 1:12)
Here the Angel of the Lord (who is God Himself) calls the Horses, "Lord of hosts," (יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת, Yehvâh tsevâ'ot). Then, the Horses, that is, the Lord of hosts, answers,
And the Lord answered the angel who talked to me, with good and comforting words. (Zechariah 1:13)
Here the Horses are identified as "the Lord" (יְהוָה,Yehvah).
So, the discourse goes like this: It begins in verse 8 as Zechariah sees "a Man riding on a red Horse" standing among the myrtle trees (Zechariah 1:8). This Man and His Horse is identified as the Angel of the Lord (Zechariah 1:10-11), who is God (Zechariah 12:8), and is "the angel who talked with me" (Zechariah 1:12-13). It is the Man and His Horse (not just the Man), because They (the Man and His Horse) are depicted as One. The Man is riding on the Horse, yet He is standing among the myrtle trees (see Zechariah 1:8, 10).5
After seeing the Man and His Horse, Zechariah sees behind the Man, "Horses: Reds, Sorrels, and Whites," and asks the Man in verse 9, "My Lord, what are these?" In other words, what are these Horses? Verses 10-11 tell what They do, and verses 12-13 reveals Who They are. They are called, "the Lord of hosts" (יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת, Yehvâh tsevâ'ot) in verse 12 and "the Lord" (יְהוָה, Yehvâh) in verse 13.
Therefore, the order of this conversation flows as follows: Zechariah speaks to God (the Man and His Horse, vs. 9). Then God (the Man and His Horse) responds to Zechariah (vs. 9-10). Then God (the Horses) answer God (the Man and His Horse, vs. 11). Then God (the Man and His Horse) answers God (the Horses, vs. 12). Then God (the Horses) answer God (the Man and His Horse, vs. 13). Then God (the Man and His Horse) speaks to Zechariah and tells Zechariah the good comforting words (verse 13) from God (the Horses). Thus, the prophecy of Zechariah 1:14-17 is the Word of the Horses.
This can be seen via the fact that the Lord (the Man and His Horse, the Angel of the Lord) in verse 12 asks the Horses (the Lord of hosts), "how long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem . . . ?" Verse 13 notes the answer from the Horses (the Lord) is words of comfort. Those words of comfort and the answer to the question of verse 12 are given in verses 14-17.
So the angel who spoke with me said to me, "Proclaim, saying, 'Thus says the Lord of hosts [the Horses, vs. 12]: "I am zealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with great zeal. I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease; for I was a little angry, and they helped - but with evil intent." 'Therefore thus says the Lord: "I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; My house shall be built in it," 'says the Lord of hosts, "And a surveyor's line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem."' "Again proclaim, saying, 'Thus says the Lord of hosts: "My cities shall again spread out through prosperity; the Lord will again comfort Zion, and will again choose Jerusalem."'"
1. These Horses in Zechariah 1 are indeed the Lord, but earthly horses are not. See e.g. Psalm 20:7; 33:17; Isaiah 31:1-3a; Hosea 1:7.
Horses of the Lord are also found e.g. in Jeremiah 8:16 (12:5?); Habakkuk 3:8, 15. Chariots are found in 2 Kings 2:11-12 [13:14]; 6:17; 1 Chronicles 28:18 [note verses 12, 19]; Psalm 68:17; Isaiah 66:15; Zechariah 6:1-8.
2. Zechariah 1:8 in the Hebrew is, רָאִיתִי הַלַּיְלָה וְהִנֵּה־אִישׁ רכֵב עַל־סוּס אָדם וְחוּא עמֵד בֵּין הַהֲדַסִּים אֲשֶׁר בַּמְּצֻלָה וְאַחֲרָיו סוּסִים אֲדֻמִּים שְׂרֻקִּים וּלְבָנִים (râ'iytiy halaylâh vehinnêh-'iysh rokhêv `al-sus 'âdom vehu' `omêd bêyn hahadasiym 'asher bamtsulâh ve'acharâyv susiym 'adummiym seruqqiym ulevâniym).
3. In Zechariah 1:10 what is translated "to walk to and fro" is לְהִתְהַלֵּךְ (lehithallêkh). In Zechariah 1:11 what is translated "We have walked to and fro" is הִתְהַלַּכְנוּ (hithallakhnu). In Zechariah 4:10 what is translated "scan to and fro" is מְשׁוֹטְטִים (meshottiym) which is the same word translated "run to and fro" in 2 Chronicles 16:9.
In Zechariah 6:7 what is translated "that they might walk to and fro" is לָלֶכֶת לְהִתְהַלֵּך (lâlekhet lehithallêkh). What is translated "Go, walk to and fro" is לְכוּ הִתְהַלְּכוּ (lekhu hithallekhu). What is translated "So they walked to and fro" is וַתִּתְהַלַּכְנָה (vattithallakhnâh).
In Job 1:7 & 2:2 Satan uses both terms. In Job 1:7 & 2:2 what is translated "from going to and fro" is מִשּׁוּט (mishut; 2:2 מִשֻּׁט), and what is translated "and from walking" is וּמֵהִתְהַלֵּךְ (umêhithallêkh). Daniel 12:4 uses similar language with "shall run to and fro" יְשׁטְטוּ (yeshottu), and Amos 8:12 with "they shall run to and fro" יְשׁוֹטְטוּ (yeshottu).
4. For more on God being called an angel, see part II. Genesis 19 of "The Three Men of Genesis 18 Are God" and endnote therein.
5. The Hebrew for "a Man riding upon a red Horse and He stood between the myrtle trees" in Zechariah 1:8 reads, אִישׁ רכֵב עַל־סוּס אָדם וְהוּא עמֵד בֵּין הַהֲדַסִּים ('iysh rokhêv `al-sus 'âdom vehu' `omêd bêyn hahadasiym). In Zechariah 1:10 "the man who stood among the myrtle trees" is הָאִישׁ הָעמֵד בֵּין־הַהֲדַסִּים (hâ'iysh hâ`omêd bêyn-hahadasiym)
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