Wesley's Notes on the Bible
And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass.
6:1 Four chariots - Angels who are sometimes styled chariots of God. These as employed in the affairs of church and empire, act their part in the revolution and changes of things, 'till the gospel be preached by the Messiah, and the apostles. Of brass - These denote the immoveable decrees of God, his steady execution of his counsels and the insuperable restraints upon all empires and countries, which God keeps within the barriers of such impregnable mountains.
In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses;
6:2 Red horses - Perhaps denoting bloody times, Rev 6:4. Black horses - Perhaps a time of mortality, and wasting diseases, Rev 6:5.
And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses.
6:3 White horses - Signifying joyful and prosperous affairs, chap. 1:8. Grisled - A mixt state of affairs.
Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord?
And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.
6:5 These are - The angels of heaven, who have a great share in the management of the affairs both of the church and states. Of the heavens - Which reside in heaven, 'till employed, go thence when employed, and having done their work, return thither. Standing - They stand as servants attending the command of their Lord.
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.
6:6 The black horses - The angels signified by the black horses are the executioners of God's just displeasure. Therein - In the second chariot. The north - country - Babylon. The grisled - The angels signified by these, managed the Roman power, which was sometimes favourable, sometimes fierce and severe, to those they had to do with. The south - country - Egypt and Arabia, which lay south of Judea. It may perhaps point at their invading Africa too, whose punishments were mixed, with kindness and mercy more than the punishments of Babylon were.
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.
6:7 Sought to go - Waited for a commission. He said - Christ who hath all power in heaven and on earth. Through the earth - Thro' the rest of the kingdoms of the world remote from Judea, but not remote from God's wise and sovereign providence.
Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.
6:8 Cried he - Christ spake aloud, and called to him. Quieted my spirit - By doing what I appointed them in revenge of my peoples injuries, and by bringing my people back into Canaan.
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon, and come thou the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah;
6:10 Take - Of those that are come out of Babylon. Come thou - Go fetch them, if they lodge elsewhere. The same day - The same day in which they come.
Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest;
6:11 Make crowns - One of silver, the other of gold. Set them - Put both of them, one after another. Joshua - Who herein is now a type of Christ, king and priest for ever for his people.
And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh 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:
6:12 Unto him - Joshua, but in the hearing of others. Whose name is the Branch - Whom you know by the name of the Branch, who was called so long since. Thou, O Joshua art the portrait, he is the Branch itself. Out of his place - Of the tribe and family, and in the place foretold. He shall build - He it is, though unseen, that stands by you, who build the material temple, far inferior to the spiritual temple, which Christ will build, preserve, and dwell in for ever.
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: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
6:13 The glory - Of both kingly and priestly office; the glory of both those crowns shall abide on him. Shall sit - Which speaks both his royal magnificence, and the perpetuity of it. A priest - The great high - priest, to offer the great sacrifice to God, to make reconciliation, to intercede for his people. The counsel of peace - The peace made for God's people shall rest upon these two, the kingly and priestly office of Christ; by his priestly office he shall make their peace with God, by his kingly office he shall deliver them from their spiritual enemies.
And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the LORD.
6:14 The crowns - The two crowns before mentioned. Helem - These persons we know no more of than their names. A memorial - Of the Messiah's certain and speedy coming.
And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.
6:15 They that are far off - This verse hath a double reference, one to the Jews, and the building of the material temple, the other to the bringing in of the Gentiles. And this - The literal part shall come to pass in your day, if you will obey the voice of the Lord. The mystical part shall come to pass also, and, if you will believe and obey, the Gentiles shall come in and be your brethren, and help to build the temple, the spiritual temple. But if you rebel and obey not, you shall be cast out and the Gentiles be taken in, to be God's people.