Chapter six closes Zechariah’s night with a final vision, this one of “four chariots emerging from between two mountains of bronze” (Zechariah 6:1-8). These chariots were driven by the four horsemen of his first vision (Zechariah 1:8-11). In the first vision they reported to Jehovah that they had settled peace on the earth at that time, probably in reference to Persia’s defeat of Babylon. In this vision they were returning to their jobs, walking the earth to do God’s will.
This chapter and section concludes with a final action Zechariah was to oversee at this time (Zechariah 6:9-15). From the Babylonian exiles, he was to choose four men (none of whom are named elsewhere in Scripture) to craft crowns (plural in Hebrew) for Joshua, the high priest. Astonishingly, this was a royal crown, not the high priest’s turban (mentioned in Zechariah 3:5), meaning that the high priest was also being crowned as king. Since Israel did not have a king during or after this time, and since the king and the high priest were distinct roles, this must be a prophetic illustration to be fulfilled in Messiah, who will serve as both priest and king in his kingdom. This is evident in three ways.
First, we have again the Messianic reference to the Branch of Isaiah 11. Second, in Zechariah 4:7-10 God had promised that Zerubbabel, not Joshua, would rebuild the Temple, yet this king-priest will build it. (This indicates that there would be yet another Temple built after Zerubbabel’s, something that history has proven to be true. 1 ) Third, after their “crowning” of Joshua, the four men were to take the crowns into the Temple “as a memorial,” showing that Joshua himself was not intended to serve as both high priest and king. Zechariah promised that, if they would “completely obey the voice of the LORD your God,” other exiles would come and help rebuild the Temple, “so that you may know that the LORD who rules over all has sent me to you.”
- Modern Orthodox Jews believe that it will be the true Messiah who builds the Temple in Jerusalem. That is how they think they will finally know who he is. Unfortunately, Daniel 9:27 and later revelation indicate that Antichrist will probably help rebuild a Temple first, securing the loyalty of the Jews early in the Tribulation period, before he violates his covenant with them. ↩