Zechariah 1:21
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And I said, “What are these coming to do?” He said, “These are the horns that scattered Judah, so that no one raised his head. And these have come to terrify them, to cast down the horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter it.”

King James Bible
Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.

American Standard Version
Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head; but these are come to terrify them, to cast down the horns of the nations, which lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I said: What come these to do? and he spoke, saying: These are the horns which have scattered Juda every man apart, and none of them lifted up his head: and these are come to fray them, to cast down the horns of the nations, that have lifted up the horn upon the land of Juda to scatter it.

English Revised Version
Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast down the horns of the nations, which lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then said I, What come these to do? And he spoke, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man lifted up his head: but these are come to terrify them, to cast down the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.

Zechariah 1:21 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Habakkuk 2:1-3 form the introduction to the word of God, which the prophet receives in reply to his cry of lamentation addressed to the Lord in Habakkuk 1:12-17. Habakkuk 2:1. "I will stand upon my watchtower, and station myself upon the fortress, and will watch to see what He will say in me, and what I answer to my complaint. Habakkuk 2:2. Then Jehovah answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon the tables, that he may run who reads it. Habakkuk 2:3. For the vision is yet fore the appointed end, and strives after the end, and does not lie: if it tarry, wait for it; for it will come, it does not fail." Habakkuk 2:1 contains the prophet's conversation with himself. After he has poured out his trouble at the judgment announced, in a lamentation to the Lord (Habakkuk 1:12-17), he encourages himself - after a pause, which we have to imagine after Habakkuk 1:17 - to wait for the answer from God. He resolves to place himself upon his observatory, and look out for the revelation which the Lord will give to his questions. Mishmereth, a place of waiting or observing; mâtsōr, a fortress, i.e., a watch-tower or spying-tower. Standing upon the watch, and stationing himself upon the fortification, are not to be understood as something external, as Hitzig supposes, implying that the prophet went up to a steep and lofty place, or to an actual tower, that he might be far away from the noise and bustle of men, and there turn his eyes towards heaven, and direct his collected mind towards God, to look out for a revelation. For nothing is known of any such custom as this, since the cases mentioned in Exodus 33:21 and 1 Kings 19:11, as extraordinary preparations for God to reveal Himself, are of a totally different kind from this; and the fact that Balaam the soothsayer went up to the top of a bare height, to look out for a revelation from God (Numbers 23:3), furnishes not proof that the true prophets of Jehovah did the same, but is rather a heathenish feature, which shows that it was because Balaam did not rejoice in the possession of a firm prophetic word, that he looked out for revelations from God in significant phenomena of nature (see at Numbers 23:3-4). The words of our verse are to be taken figuratively, or internally, like the appointment of the watchman in Isaiah 21:6. The figure is taken from the custom of ascending high places for the purpose of looking into the distance (2 Kings 9:17; 2 Samuel 18:24), and simply expresses the spiritual preparation of the prophet's soul for hearing the word of God within, i.e., the collecting of his mind by quietly entering into himself, and meditating upon the word and testimonies of God. Cyril and Calvin bring out the first idea. Thus the latter observes, that "the watch-tower is the recesses of the mind, where we withdraw ourselves from the world;" and then adds by way of explanation, "The prophet, under the name of the watch-tower, implies that he extricates himself as it were from the thoughts of the flesh, because there would be no end or measure, if he wished to judge according to his own perception;" whilst others find in it nothing more than firm continuance in reliance upon the word of God.

(Note: Theodoret very appropriately compares the words of Asaph in Psalm 73:16., "When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me, until I entered into the sanctuaries of God, and gave heed to their end;" and observes, "And there, says the prophet, will I remain as appointed, and not leave my post, but, standing upon such a rock as that upon which God placed great Moses, watch with a prophet's eyes for the solution of the things that Iseek.")

Tsippâh, to spy or watch, to wait for the answer from God. "This watching was lively and assiduous diligence on the part of the prophet, in carefully observing everything that took place in the spirit of his mind, and presented itself either to be seen or heard" (Burk). ידבּר־בּי, to speak in me, not merely to or with me; since the speaking of God to the prophets was an internal speaking, and not one that was perceptible from without. What I shall answer to my complaint (‛al tōkhachtı̄), namely, first of all to myself and then to the rest. Tōkhachath, lit., correction, contradiction. Habakkuk refers to the complaint which he raised against God in Habakkuk 1:13-17, namely, that He let the wicked go on unpunished. He will wait for an answer from God to this complaint, to quiet his own heart, which is dissatisfied with the divine administration. Thus he draws a sharp distinction between his own speaking and the speaking of the Spirit of God within him. Jehovah gives the answer in what follows, first of all (Habakkuk 2:2, Habakkuk 2:3) commanding him to write the vision (châzōn, the revelation from God to be received by inward intuition) upon tables, so clearly, that men may be able to read it in running, i.e., quite easily.

בּאר as in Deuteronomy 27:8; see at Deuteronomy 1:5. The article attached to הלּחות does not point to the tables set up in the market-places for public notices to be written upon (Ewald), but simply means, make it clear on the tables on which thou shalt write it, referring to the noun implied in כּתב (write), though not expressed (Delitzsch). קורא בו may be explained from קרא בּספר in Jeremiah 36:13. The question is a disputed one, whether this command is to be understood literally or merely figuratively, "simply denoting the great importance of the prophecy, and the consequent necessity for it to be made accessible to the whole nation" (Hengstenberg, Dissertation, vol. i. p. 460). The passages quoted in support of the literal view, i.e., of the actual writing of the prophecy which follows upon tables, viz., Isaiah 8:1; Isaiah 30:8, and Jeremiah 30:2, are not decisive. In Jeremiah 30:2 the prophet is commanded to write all the words of the Lord in a book (sēpher); and so again in Isaiah 30:8, if כּתבהּ על־לוּח is synonymous with על־ספר חקּהּ. But in Isaiah 8:1 there are only two significant words, which the prophet is to write upon a large table after having taken witnesses. It does not follow from either of these passages, that luchōth, tables, say wooden tables, had been already bound together into books among the Hebrews, so that we could be warranted in identifying the writing plainly upon tables with writing in a book. We therefore prefer the figurative view, just as in the case of the command issued to Daniel, to shut up his prophecy and seal it (Daniel 12:4), inasmuch as the literal interpretation of the command, especially of the last words, would require that the table should be set up or hung out in some public place, and this cannot for a moment be thought of. The words simply express the thought, that the prophecy is to be laid to heart by all the people on account of its great importance, and that not merely in the present, but in the future also. This no doubt involved the obligation on the part of the prophet to take care, by committing it to writing, that it did not fall into oblivion. The reason for the writing is given in Habakkuk 2:3. The prophecy is למּועד, for the appointed time; i.e., it relates to the period fixed by God for its realization, which was then still (עוד) far off. ל denotes direction towards a certain point either of place or time. The vision had a direction towards a point, which, when looked at from the present, was still in the future. This goal was the end (הקּץ towards which it hastened, i.e., the "last time" (מועד קץ, Daniel 8:19; and עת קץ, Daniel 8:17; Daniel 11:35), the Messianic times, in which the judgment would fall upon the power of the world. יפח לקּץ, it pants for the end, inhiat fini, i.e., it strives to reach the end, to which it refers. "True prophecy is inspired, as it were, by an impulse to fulfil itself" (Hitzig). יפח is not an adjective, as in Psalm 27:12, but the third pers. imperf. hiphil of pūăch; and the contracted form (יפח for יפיח), without a voluntative meaning, is the same as we frequently meet with in the loftier style of composition. ולא יכזּב, "and does not deceive," i.e., will assuredly take place. If it (the vision) tarry, i.e., be not fulfilled immediately, wait for it, for it will surely take place (the inf. abs. בּוא to add force, and בּוא applying to the fulfilment of the prophecy, as in 1 Samuel 9:6 and Jeremiah 28:9), will not fail; אחר, to remain behind, not to arrive (Judges 5:28; 2 Samuel 20:5).

(Note: The lxx have rendered כּי בא יבא, ὅτι ἐρχόμενος ἥξει, which the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews 10:37) has still further defined by adding the article, and, connecting it with μικρὸν ὅσον ὅσον of Isaiah 26:20 (lxx), has taken it as Messianic, and applied to the speedy coming of the Messiah to judgment; not, however, according to the exact meaning of the words, but according to the fundamental idea of the prophetic announcement. For the vision, the certain fulfilment of which is proclaimed by Habakkuk, predicts the judgment upon the power of the world, which the Messiah will bring to completion.)

Zechariah 1:21 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

These are the.

Zechariah 1:19 And I said to the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel...

Daniel 12:7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was on the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven...

fray. That is, to terrify, or affright, from the French {effrayer.}

which.

Psalm 75:4,5 I said to the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn...

Lamentations 2:17 The LORD has done that which he had devised; he has fulfilled his word that he had commanded in the days of old: he has thrown down...

Cross References
Psalm 75:4
I say to the boastful, 'Do not boast,' and to the wicked, 'Do not lift up your horn;

Psalm 75:10
All the horns of the wicked I will cut off, but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up.

Psalm 83:2
For behold, your enemies make an uproar; those who hate you have raised their heads.

Zechariah 1:19
And I said to the angel who talked with me, "What are these?" And he said to me, "These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem."

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