Ver. 1. Four chariots. The four great empires of the Chaldeans, Persians, Greeks, and Romans; or, perhaps, by the fourth chariot are represented the kings of Egypt and of Asia, the descendants of Ptolemeus and Seleucus. Ch. See Dan. ii. W.
--- The chariots seem to represent the same thing as the four horns, (C. i. 18.) namely, the punishment of the four empires. The angel says nothing of the first chariot, as the Chaldeans, who overthrew the Assyrians, were now devoid of power.
--- Brass, or hard; signifying that the chariots were designed to bruise nations. C.
--- Empires depend on the decrees of God. M.
--- The two mountains may denote the passes of Cilicia, through which the conquerors must pass from Egypt and Syria to Babylon. Tournemine.
Ver. 2. Red. The Chaldeans were bloody towards the Jews, and clothed in red. Nah. ii. 3. M.
Ver. 3. Strong; (Prot. marg.) the text has "bay." H.
--- Some Greek copies read erroneously, red. S. Jer.
--- Others have, variegated, as v. 7. H.
Ver. 5. Winds. These angels go throughout the world to punish. Dan. x. 13. We commonly suppose the tutelar angels to be for the defence of their kingdoms. C.
--- But they may often promote our real welfare by chastisements. H.
--- The four monarchies fight like the winds, and soon disappear. M.
Ver. 6. North. So Babylon is called, because it lay to the north in respect of Jerusalem. The black horses, that is, the Medes and Persians, and after them Alexander and his Greeks, signified by the white horses, went thither because they conquered Babylon, executed upon it the judgments of God, which is signified v. 8 by the expression of quieting his spirit. Ch.
--- The Persians are black, afflicting the Jews under Assuerus, and hindering the temple. M.
--- Cambyses meditated their utter ruin. C. ii. 20. H.
--- White. Alexander was of a beneficent temper when he was not intoxicated. He fought for glory, and was kind to the Jews. C.
--- South: Egypt, which lay to the south of Jerusalem, and was occupied first by Ptolemeus, and then by the Romans. Ch.
--- The Lagides were some good and some very bad princes, represented by the grisly colour. C.
Ver. 7. Strong. Sept. "variegated;" yaroi, (H.) sturnini. S. Jer.
--- Earth. This well describes the ambition and power of the Seleucides, particularly of Antiochus the great, (C.) or of the Roman generals down to Cæsar. M.
Ver. 8. Spirit. Sept. "wrath or fury." H.
--- Nabopolassar overcame the Assyrians, Cyrus the Chaldeans, as Alexander would shortly treat the Persians.
Ver. 10. Holdai, &c. They had brought presents for the temple, which are to be used to make crowns for Jesus and Zorobabel. v. 13. C.
--- The names are interpreted by the Sept. "of the princes and of its useful things, and of those who have known it, (captivity) and thou," &c. H.
--- Helem and Hem are afterwards mentioned instead of Holdai. v. 14. S. Jer.
Ver. 11. Crowns. Chal. "a great crown." Sept. v. 14. "a crown;" perhaps like the pope's M.
--- Jesus. When the prophet set the crown on the high priest's head, in order to shew that it did not belong to him, except as a figure of the Messias, he added, behold a man, who is also God, called Orient, or "raising up," and establishing the kingdom, which was promised to David. S. Jer. W.
Ver. 12. Orient. Prot. "the branch, and he shall grow up out of his place." H.
--- Heb. "under or from himself." This alludes to the miraculous birth of Christ, (Is. xi. 1.) whom the prophet had principally in view; though his hearers might naturally understand (C.) Zorobabel, who was to preserve the royal family and build the temple. Theod. S. Jer.
--- Yet he was only a shadow of the Messias. C. iii. 8. C.
Ver. 13. Glory. Sept. "virtue," or "receive strength" and courage, arethn; (H.) or one of the crowns, as prince of Juda. v. 10. C.
--- Both. That is, he shall unite in himself the two offices or dignities of king and priest. Ch.
--- Zorobabel and Jesus shall act in concert. H.
Ver. 14. Helem. Sept. "the crown shall be for those who expect him." H.
--- Hem. Sept. "for grace." Heb. chen. S. Jer.
--- Thus proper names are frequently interpreted. H.
--- The crowns were not to be worn, but to be deposited in the temple. 1 Mac. i. 23. C.
--- The names of those four who had contributed towards their making, were to be inscribed upon them. Helem and Hem are the same with Holdai and Josias. M.
--- The Jews say Hem or Daniel, and his three companions, brought gifts. S. Jer.
Ver. 15. Off. Many Jews now assisted in the building, coming from all parts. The temple was thus finished in four years time; whereas Solomon, with all his riches and workmen, spent seven in building one. C.