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Zechariah 1:18 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, four horns.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, [there were] four horns.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Then I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Then lifted I up mine eyes and looked,—and lo! Four Horns.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And I lift up mine eyes, and look, and lo, four horns.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And I lifted up my eyes, and saw: and behold four horns.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Then lift I vp mine eyes, and saw, and behold foure hornes.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And I lifted up mine eyes and looked, and behold four horns.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Then lifted I up 5375
{5375} Prime
A primitive root; to lift, in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively, absolutely and relatively.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
(0853) Complement
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
mine eyes, 5869
{5869} Prime
Probably a primitive word; an eye (literally or figuratively); by analogy a fountain (as the eye of the landscape).
and saw, 7200
{7200} Prime
A primitive root; to see, literally or figuratively (in numerous applications, direct and implied, transitively, intransitively and causatively).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
and behold x2009
(2009) Complement
Prolonged for H2005; lo!.
four 702
{0702} Prime
The second form is the masculine form; from H7251; four.
horns. 7161
{7161} Prime
From H7160; a horn (as projecting); by implication a flask, cornet; by resemblance an elephant's tooth (that is, ivory), a corner (of the altar), a peak (of a mountain), a ray (of light); figuratively power.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Zechariah 1:18

_ _ Zechariah 1:18-21. Second Vision. The power of the Jews foes shall be dissipated.

_ _ four horns — To a pastoral people like the Jews the horns of the strongest in the herd naturally suggested a symbol of power and pride of conscious strength: hence the ruling powers of the world (Revelation 17:3, Revelation 17:12). The number four in Zechariah’s time referred to the four cardinal points of the horizon. Wherever God’s people turned, there were foes to encounter (Nehemiah 4:7); the Assyrian, Chaldean, and Samaritan on the north; Egypt and Arabia on the south; Philistia on the west; Ammon and Moab on the east. But the Spirit in the prophet looked farther; namely, to the four world powers, the only ones which were, or are, to rise till the kingdom of Messiah, the fifth, overthrows and absorbs all others in its universal dominion. Babylon and Medo-Persia alone had as yet risen, but soon Graeco-Macedonia was to succeed (as Zechariah 9:13 foretells), and Rome the fourth and last, was to follow (Daniel 2:1-49; Daniel 7:1-28). The fact that the repairing of the evils caused to Judah and Israel by all four kingdoms is spoken of here, proves that the exhaustive fulfillment is yet future, and only the earnest of it given in the overthrow of the two world powers which up to Zechariah’s time had “scattered” Judah (Jeremiah 51:2; Ezekiel 5:10, Ezekiel 5:12). That only two of the four had as yet risen, is an argument having no weight with us, as we believe God’s Spirit in the prophets regards the future as present; we therefore are not to be led by Rationalists who on such grounds deny the reference here and in Zechariah 6:1 to the four world kingdoms.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Zechariah 1:18-21

_ _ It is the comfort and triumph of the church (Isaiah 59:19) that when the enemy shall come in like a flood, with mighty force and fury, then the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. Now, in this vision (the second which this prophet had), we have an illustration of that, God's Spirit making a stand, and making head, against the formidable power of the church's adversaries.

_ _ I. We have here the enemies of the church bold and daring, and threatening to be its death, to cut off the name of Israel; such the people of God had lately been insulted by: I looked and behold four horns (Zechariah 1:18), which are explained Zechariah 1:19. They are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem, that is, the Jews both in the country and in the city, because they were the Israel of God. They have tossed them (so some read it), as furious bulls with their horns toss that which they are enraged at. They have scattered them, so that no man did lift up his head, Zechariah 1:21. No man durst show his face for fear of them, much less give them any opposition, or make head against them. They are horns, denoting their dignity and dominion — horns exalted, denoting also their strength, and power, and violence. They are four horns, for the Jews are surrounded with them on every side; when they avoid one horn that pushes at them they run upon another. The men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and many of Israel that joined themselves to them, set about the building of the temple; but the enemies of that work from all sides pushed at them, and drove them from it. Rehum, and Shimshai, and the other Samaritans that opposed the building of the temple, were these horns, Ezra 4:8. So were Sanballat and Tobiah, and the Ammonites and Arabians, that opposed the building of the wall, Nehemiah 4:7. Note, The church's enemies have horns, and use them to the hindrance of every good work. The great enemy of the New Testament church has seven heads and ten horns (Revelation 17:3), so that those who endeavour to do the church any service must expect to be pushed at.

_ _ II. We have here the friends of the church active and prevailing. The prophet did himself lift up his eyes and see the four horns, and saw them so formidable that he began to despair of the safety of every good man, and the success of every good work; but the Lord then showed him four carpenters, or smiths, who were empowered to cut off these horns, Zechariah 1:20, Zechariah 1:21. With an eye of sense we see the power of the enemies of the church; look which way we will, the world shows us that. But it is with an eye of faith that we see it safe, notwithstanding; it is the Lord that shows us that, as he opened the eyes of the prophet's servant to see the angelic guards round about his master, 2 Kings 6:17. Observe, Those that were to fray or break the horns of the Gentiles, and to cast them out, were, 1. Carpenters or smiths (for they are supposed by some to have been horns of iron), men who had skill and ability to do it, whose proper business it was, and who understood their business and had tools at hand to do it with. Note, God calls those to serve the interests of his church whom he either finds, or makes, fit for it. If there be horns (which denote the force and fury of beasts) against the church, there are carpenters (which denote the wisdom and forecast of men) for the church, by which they find ways to master the strongest beasts, for every kind of beasts is tamed, and has been tamed, of mankind, James 3:7. 2. They were four carpenters, as many horns so many hands to saw them off. Note, Which way soever the church is threatened with mischief, and opposition given to its interests, God can find out ways and means to check the force, to restrain the wrath, and make it turn to his praise. Some by these four carpenters understand Zerubbabel and Joshua, Ezra and Nehemiah, who carried on the work of God in spite of the opposition given to it. Those horned beasts broke into God's vineyard to tread it down; but the good magistrates and the good ministers whom God raised up, though they had not power to cut off the horns of the wicked (as David did, Psalms 75:5, Psalms 75:10), yet frightened them and cast them out. Note, When God has work to do he will raise up some to do it and others to defend it and protect those that are employed in the doing of it.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Zechariah 1:18

Four horns — Emblems of the enemies of the Jews.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Zechariah 1:18

Then I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold (r) four horns.

(r) Which signifies all the enemies of the Church: east, west, north, and south.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Zechariah 2:1 I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand.
Zechariah 5:1 Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll.
Zechariah 5:5 Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what [is] this that goeth forth.
Zechariah 5:9 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind [was] in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven.
Joshua 5:13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, [Art] thou for us, or for our adversaries?
Daniel 8:3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had [two] horns: and the [two] horns [were] high; but one [was] higher than the other, and the higher came up last.


2 Kings 15:29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abelbethmaachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.
2 Kings 17:1-6 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years. ... In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor [by] the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
2 Kings 18:9-12 And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which [was] the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, [that] Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it. ... Because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed his covenant, [and] all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and would not hear [them], nor do [them].
2 Kings 24:1-25:30 In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him. ... And his allowance [was] a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.
Daniel 2:37-43 Thou, O king, [art] a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. ... And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
Daniel 7:3-8 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. ... I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn [were] eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
Daniel 8:3-14 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had [two] horns: and the [two] horns [were] high; but one [was] higher than the other, and the higher came up last. ... And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
Daniel 11:28-35 Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart [shall be] against the holy covenant; and he shall do [exploits], and return to his own land. ... And [some] of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make [them] white, [even] to the time of the end: because [it is] yet for a time appointed.
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Jsh 5:13. 2K 15:29; 17:1; 18:9; 24:1. Dn 2:37; 7:3; 8:3; 11:28. Zc 2:1; 5:1, 5, 9.

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