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Zechariah 1:8 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— I saw in the night, and, behold, a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle-trees that were in the bottom; and behind him there were horses, red, sorrel, and white.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that [were] in the bottom; and behind him [were there] red horses, speckled, and white.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— I saw at night, and behold, a man was riding on a red horse, and he was standing among the myrtle trees which were in the ravine, with red, sorrel and white horses behind him.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle-trees that [were] in the bottom; and behind him [were there] red horses, speckled, and white.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— I saw by night, and behold, a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle-trees that were in the low valley; and behind him were red, bay, and white horses.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— I looked by night, And lo! a man riding upon a red horse, and he was standing among the myrtle trees, in the shade; and, after him, were horses, red, bay, and white.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— I have seen by night, and lo, one riding on a red horse, and he is standing between the myrtles that [are] in the shade, and behind him [are] horses, red, bay, and white.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees, that were in the bottom: and behind him were horses, red, speckled, and white.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— I saw by night, and behold a man riding vpon a red horse, and he stood among the mirtle trees that [were] in the bottome, and behinde him [were there] red horses, speckled and white.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— I saw by night, and behold a man mounted on a red horse, and he stood between the shady mountains; and behind him were red horses, and grey, and piebald, and white.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that [were] in the bottom; and behind him [were there] red horses, speckled, and white.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
I saw 7200
{7200} Prime
רָאָה
ra'ah
{raw-aw'}
A primitive root; to see, literally or figuratively (in numerous applications, direct and implied, transitively, intransitively and causatively).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
by night, 3915
{3915} Prime
לַיִל
layil
{lah'-yil}
From the same as H3883; properly a twist (away of the light), that is, night; figuratively adversity.
and behold x2009
(2009) Complement
הִנֵּה
hinneh
{hin-nay'}
Prolonged for H2005; lo!.
a man 376
{0376} Prime
אִישׁ
'iysh
{eesh}
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
riding 7392
{7392} Prime
רָכַב
rakab
{raw-kab'}
A primitive root; to ride (on an animal or in a vehicle); causatively to place upon (for riding or generally), to despatch.
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
upon x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
a red 122
{0122} Prime
אָדֹם
'adom
{aw-dome'}
From H0119; rosy.
horse, 5483
{5483} Prime
סוּס
cuwc
{soos}
From an unused root meaning to skip (properly for joy); a horse (as leaping); also a swallow (from its rapid flight).
and he x1931
(1931) Complement
הוּא
huw'
{hoo}
The second form is the feminine beyond the Pentateuch; a primitive word, the third person pronoun singular, he (she or it); only expressed when emphatic or without a verb; also (intensively) self, or (especially with the article) the same; sometimes (as demonstrative) this or that; occasionally (instead of copula) as or are.
stood 5975
{5975} Prime
עָמַד
`amad
{aw-mad'}
A primitive root; to stand, in various relations (literally and figuratively, intransitively and transitively).
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
among x996
(0996) Complement
בַּיִן
beyn
{bane}
(Sometimes in the plural masculine or feminine); properly the constructively contracted form of an otherwise unused noun from H0995; a distinction; but used only as a preposition, between (repeated before each noun, often with other particles); also as a conjugation, either... or.
the myrtle trees 1918
{1918} Prime
הֲדַס
hadac
{had-as'}
Of uncertain derivation; the myrtle.
that x834
(0834) Complement
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
[were] in the bottom; 4699
{4699} Prime
מְצוֹלָה
m@tsullah
{mets-ool-law'}
From H6751; shade.
and behind 310
{0310} Prime
אַחַר
'achar
{akh-ar'}
From H0309; properly the hind part; generally used as an adverb or conjugation, after (in various senses).
him [were there] red 122
{0122} Prime
אָדֹם
'adom
{aw-dome'}
From H0119; rosy.
horses, 5483
{5483} Prime
סוּס
cuwc
{soos}
From an unused root meaning to skip (properly for joy); a horse (as leaping); also a swallow (from its rapid flight).
speckled, 8320
{8320} Prime
שָׂרֻק
saruq
{saw-rook'}
From H8319; bright red (as piercing to the sight), that is, bay.
and white. 3836
{3836} Prime
לָבָן
laban
{law-bawn'}
From H3835; white.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Zechariah 1:8

_ _ by night — The Jews begin their day with sunset; therefore the night which preceded the twenty-fourth day of the month is meant (Zechariah 1:7).

_ _ a man — Jehovah, the second person of the Trinity, manifested in man’s form, an earnest of the incarnation; called the “angel of Jehovah” (Zechariah 1:11, Zechariah 1:12), “Jehovah the angel of the covenant” (Malachi 3:1; compare Genesis 16:7 with Zechariah 1:13; Genesis 22:11 with Zechariah 1:12; Exodus 3:2 with Zechariah 1:4). Being at once divine and human, He must be God and man in one person.

_ _ riding — implying swiftness in executing God’s will in His providence; hastening to help His people.

_ _ red horse — the color that represents bloodshed: implying vengeance to be inflicted on the foes of Israel (compare 2 Kings 3:22; Isaiah 63:1, Isaiah 63:2; Revelation 6:4); also fiery zeal.

_ _ among the myrtle trees — symbol of the Jewish Church: not a stately cedar, but a lowly, though fragrant, myrtle. It was its depressed state that caused the Jews to despond; this vision is designed to cheer them with better hopes. The uncreated angel of Jehovah’s presence standing (as His abiding place, Psalms 132:14) among them, is a guarantee for her safety, lowly though she now be.

_ _ in the bottom — in a low place or bottom of a river; alluding to Babylon near the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, the scene of Judah’s captivity. The myrtle delights in low places and the banks of waters [Pembellus]. Maurer translates, from a different root, “in a shady place.”

_ _ red horses — that is, horsemen mounted on red horses; Zechariah 1:10, Zechariah 1:11, confirm this view.

_ _ speckled ... white — The “white” implies triumph and victory for Judah; “speckled” (from a root “to intertwine”), a combination of the two colors white and red (bay [Moore]), implies a state of things mixed, partly prosperous, partly otherwise [Henderson]; or, the connection of the wrath (answering to the “red”) about to fall on the Jews’ foes, and triumph (answering to the “white”) to the Jews themselves in God’s arrangements for His people [Moore]. Some angels (“the red horses”) exercised offices of vengeance; others (“the white”), those of joy; others (“the speckled”), those of a mixed character (compare Zechariah 6:2, Zechariah 6:3). God has ministers of every kind for promoting the interests of His Church.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Zechariah 1:7-17.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Zechariah 1:8

A man — Christ Jesus in the shape of a man. Riding — In a posture of readiness. A red horse — This colour is a symbol of his coming to avenge himself on his enemies. The myrtle — trees — He posted himself in a convenient place to observe and be ready, among verdant, fragrant trees, emblems of the saints of God. In the bottom — This bottom or valley in which the myrtles grew, is an emblem of the church in a low, afflicted state. Behind him — Christ was, as becomes a captain, at the head, the rest, as his soldiers, are behind attending on him. Red horses — Horses and horsemen, and those are angels, Zechariah 1:10. And the colour of these horses is red, probably denoting the bloody condition of states and kingdoms, by wars one against another when God punisheth his church, or when he avengeth himself. Speckled — Of a mixt colour; perhaps an emblem of affairs, not all dark, nor all light, such as those during the last seventy prophetic weeks. White — An emblem of the best days of the church.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Zechariah 1:8

I (i) saw by night, and behold (k) a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that [were] in the bottom; and behind him [were there] (l) red horses, speckled, and white.

(i) This vision signifies the restoration of the Church: but as yet it would not appear to man's eyes, which is here meant by the night, by the bottom, and by the myrtle trees, which are black, and give a dark shadow. Yet he compares God to a King who has his posts and messengers abroad, by whom he still works his purpose and brings his matters to pass.

(k) Who was the chief among the rest of the horsemen.

(l) These signify the various offices of God's angels, by whom God sometimes punishes, and sometimes comforts, and brings forth his works in various ways.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
by night:

Genesis 20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou [art but] a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she [is] a man's wife.
1 Kings 3:5 In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.
Job 4:13 In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men,
Daniel 2:19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
Daniel 7:2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

behold:

Zechariah 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man [that is] my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.
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?
Psalms 45:3-4 Gird thy sword upon [thy] thigh, O [most] mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. ... And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness [and] righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
Isaiah 63:1-4 Who [is] this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this [that is] glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. ... For the day of vengeance [is] in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.

riding:

Zechariah 6:2-7 In the first chariot [were] red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; ... And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth.
Revelation 6:4 And there went out another horse [that was] red: and [power] was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
Revelation 19:19-21 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. ... And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

among:

Song of Songs 2:16 My beloved [is] mine, and I [am] his: he feedeth among the lilies.
Song of Songs 6:2 My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.
Isaiah 41:19 I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, [and] the pine, and the box tree together:
Isaiah 55:13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign [that] shall not be cut off.
Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name [is] Holy; I dwell in the high and holy [place], with him also [that is] of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
Revelation 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

speckled:
or, bay,
Zechariah 6:6-7 The black horses which [are] therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country. ... And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth.
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Gn 20:3. Jsh 5:13. 1K 3:5. Jb 4:13. Ps 45:3. So 2:16; 6:2. Is 41:19; 55:13; 57:15; 63:1. Dn 2:19; 7:2, 13. Zc 6:2, 6; 13:7. Rv 2:1; 6:4; 19:19.

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