Zechariah 6

Zechariah 6:1-8 there came four chariots out from between the two mountains

The gathering of Israel is one of the most important signs of the times.  In this vision of Zechariah, four different chariots are seen roaming the earth.  They are the four spirits from the throne of God which are called to gather scattered Israel home.  Excluding Moses, Zerubbabel and Zechariah’s group of refugees from Babylon are the first part of the gathering.  They are a tiny branch represent the hope of the latter-day gathering:  a group of believers who return to Jerusalem to worship the Lord in righteousness—to build him a temple and worship in his presence forever.

Zechariah 6:6 the black horses… go forth into the north country

The 10 tribes from the Kingdom of Israel were taken into the north country and scattered by the Assyrian Empire in the days of Isaiah.  They are a special focus of the gathering because such a large body was taken at one time.  Many prophecies speak of their return to the land of their inheritance.  “We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes.” (AofF 10)

Zechariah 6:8 behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit

Zechariah’s angelic escort is comforted by seeing the black horses in the north country.  Why so?  Well, obviously the vision is just hinting at the gathering of the 10 tribes from the land of the north.  Apparently, this angel knew enough to be upset by their scattering. 

It’s comforting to know that the Lord will set his hand again to recover the lost ten tribes.  It’s comforting to know as Nephi explained, that “they shall be grafted in, being a natural branch of the olive tree, into the true olive tree” (1 Ne. 14:16).  It’s comforting to know that the Lord has spoken “unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away,” and that they will have their own scripture which will someday take its place next to the Bible and the Book of Mormon (2 Ne 29:12-13).  It’s comforting to know that the Master Shepherd has always had his eye on this group of sheep, “other sheep I have, which are not of this fold.” (Jn. 10:16)  It is comforting that they shall hear his voice and return home so that there may be “one fold, and one shepherd” (3 Ne. 15:17).  It’s comforting to know that after his ascension into heaven, the resurrected Jesus appeared unto the lost ten tribes and taught them the gospel (3 Ne. 16:3). It’s comforting to know that the Lord himself said, “then will I gather them in from the four quarters of the earth; and then will I fulfil the covenant which the Father hath made unto all the people of the house of Israel” (3 Ne. 16:4-5).

It’s comforting to know that the keys of “the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north” were returned to the earth by Moses (D&C 110:11).  It’s comforting to know that “they who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord; and their prophets shall hear his voice, and shall no longer stay themselves; and they shall smite the rocks, and the ice shall flow down at their presence” (D&C 133:26)  It’s comforting to know that the Lord has a plan for them to receive their temple ordinances; “there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim” (D&C 133:32). 

Their gathering is a temple theme and therefore appropriate for Zechariah to see as he is commanded to finish building the Jerusalem temple.

Joseph Smith

What was the object of gathering the Jews, or the people of God in any age of the world? The main object was to build unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto His people the ordinances of His house and the glories of His kingdom, and teach the people the way of salvation; for there are certain ordinances and principles that, when they are taught and practiced, must be done in a place or house built for that purpose. (History of the Church, 5:423).

Zechariah 6:11 take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua… the high priest

“Zechariah's actions connected to the making of the crowns is replete with Christological symbolism. (Zech. 6:9-15.) . . .Zechariah is commanded to:

Take silver and gold and make crowns, and set [one] upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest. And speak unto him, saying, Thus spaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is THE BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne. (Zech. 6:11-13.)

“Several symbols belonging to this passage have Jesus as their referent. The name Joshua is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek Jesus. Joshua, the high priest, has reference to Jesus the ‘great high priest.’ (Heb. 4:14; 3:1.) The Branch identified in the passage is Jesus (Jer. 23:5-6; Isa. 11:1-5, Zech. 3:8-10.). The reference to regalia, i.e., the crowns, the throne, and to the statements regarding the glory, sitting and ruling upon the throne point to Jesus as the ‘King of Zion’ (Moses 7:53), ‘King of glory’ (Ps. 24:7), and the ‘King of Kings and Lord of Lords.’ (Rev. 19:6.) In addition, the duplicated reference to temple speaks of the coronated and enthroned Jesus Christ. It is evident, then, that Zechariah's participation in the coronation of Joshua, the high priest, prophesied of the future coronation of Jesus Christ.” (Old Testament Symposium, LDS Church News, 1993, 12/11/93)

Zechariah 6:12 Behold the man whose name is the BRANCH… he shall build the temple of the Lord

Joshua, the high priest, is a type for Christ.  He has a crown put upon his head.  He is the great high priest of his people.  These represent the symbolism of the Millennial Messiah’s rule and reign in Jerusalem as the King of the Jews—the Great High Priest of the people.  Paul charged, “consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus… For this man was counted worth of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.” (Heb. 3:1-3)  Do we think of Christ as a builder?  Not typically, but we should.  We should think of him as the builder of God’s kingdom.  And Paul understands Zechariah’s imagery of the High Priest as the builder of the temple.   Paul compares the old Jewish high priests, like Joshua of Zechariah’s day, with Christ, “For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.”  The symbolism is that Christ was, “called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedek” (Heb. 5:10) ordained for men in things pertaining to God that he might offer the incomprehensible gift and the ultimate sacrifice for sin. And He “shall build the temple of the Lord.”

“The Temple of Zerubbabel was completed and dedicated in the sixth year of the reign of Darius, in March of 515 B.C. The dedicatory services were held with much rejoicing and many sacrifices and were followed by celebration of the Feast of Passover (see Ezra 6:15-19). This Temple, called the Second Temple, stood for five hundred years. Half a millennium after its initial construction, the Temple was not merely renovated but completely reconstructed by Herod. Yet Herod's Temple was still known as the Second Temple.” (David B. Galbraith, D. Kelly Ogden, and Andrew C. Skinner, Jerusalem: The Eternal City [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1996], 123)

Orson Pratt

The Temple at Jerusalem will undoubtedly be built, by those who believe in the true Messiah.  Its construction will be, in some respects different from the Temples now being built. It will contain the throne of the Lord, upon which he will, at times, personally sit, (JST Ps. 11:4; Isa. 6:1; Zech. 6:13; Rev. 7:15; 16:17) and will reign over the house of Israel forever. (Journal of Discourses, 19:20)

Zechariah 6:14  Why put crowns on the heads of Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen?

In Sunday School, we love object lessons.  For visual learners, it is easier to grasp a concept if there is something right in front of them.  The crowns upon the heads of these four Jews are an object lesson.  Zechariah was to make crowns for these four men and for Joshua the High Priest.  What is the scene?  The scene is four kings before the Great King.  The symbolism is clear:  when the Messiah takes his throne in the Temple, the great men of the earth—kings and rulers—will come to worship Him there.  Christ will be the “King of Kings” (Rev. 19:6). 

  • And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising (Isa 60:3)
  • All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord (Ps. 138:4)
  • Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship because of the Lord that is faithful (Isa 49:7)
  • Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty (Isa 33:17)
  • In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious (Isa 4:2)

Perhaps the crowns made by Zechariah were kept in the Zerubbabel Temple in honor of this future event, “for a memorial in the temple of the Lord.”

Zechariah 6:15 they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord

“A substantiating statement from a modern prophet comes from Wilford Woodruff: “… the time is not far distant when the rich men among the Jews may be called upon to use their abundant wealth to gather the dispersed of Judah, and purchase the ancient dwelling places of their fathers in and about Jerusalem, and rebuild the holy city and temple.” (Millennial Star, vol. 41, p. 244)

“In 1967, Levi Eshkol, then the prime minister of Israel, was interviewed by reporters of U.S. News and World Report, at which time he indicated that Israel had received over $1 billion from the Jewish people in the United States. Also, it is known that over $1.5 billion has been received from West Germany in restitution and reparation payments. Literally, the prophecy that gold and silver will be used to reclaim this land has been fulfilled and perhaps is still in the process of fulfillment.” (Daniel H. Ludlow, “The Future of the Holy Land,” https://www.lds.org/ensign/1972/05/the-future-of-the-holy-land?lang=eng)