[b-hebrew] Zech 6:8

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Sun Dec 4 22:37:43 EST 2005

From: Harold Holmyard Sunday, November 27

Dear Steve:

You wrote:

>The more I study Z`Q and Zech 6, the more I think that "and it [or he]
>caused me to cry out." Is the only way to translate the beginning of Zech

HH: Your reading certainly is possible, but since no lexicon I have agrees
with you, 

SM: Theological Wordbook of the OT by Harris, Archer, Waltke: "The Hiphil
stem occurs 7 times, but only once with the causative meaning (Jonah 3:7)."
They don't assign the causative meaning to Zech 6:8, but they do acknowledge
it for Jonah 3:7.

HH: I ask whether the context calls for the reading that you like. Little in
the context may suggest that meaning other than the verb form. Zechariah is
being told that the horses going northward have quieted God's Spirit in the
land of the north. It looks as though the horses represent aggressors who
defeat Babylon. Babylon had taken Israel into captivity, and Cyrus' defeat
of Babylon allowed Israelites to return home. The text would be like 2:7-9.
The vision in 5:5-11 was also about Babylon.

HH: So why would the speaker make Zechariah cry for help? Was Zechariah to
imitate the plight of Israel in captivity crying for deliverance? That's
possible, but Zechariah may just be a bystander, a witness here, and the
speaker may simply summon him in order to give him data that helps to make
sense of the vision.

SM: The context is a hard-to-understand prophecy, a divine puzzle or riddle.
The meanings of each word as defined by the rest of the Tanach, along with
NT & OT explanation, enable us to solve the puzzle. We should not interpret
the passage in such a way that a Hebrew word means something different than
what it means in the rest of the Tanach.

I am familiar with the above interpretation. My interpretation is different:
Zechariah 6:1-8 is explained by Revelation 6:1-8. The number and colors of
the horses are the same. The 4th horse is 2 horses in one in both passages.
When the strong horses go out over all the earth, that is the power of Sheol
let loose, the start of the great tribulation, causing Zechariah to scream
in anguish. 

I am writing a gospel tract on the 3 visions in Zechariah 5:1-6:8. I would
greatly appreciate it if you (or anyone) would review/critique it. It is 6
pages of large type (12-point Palatino). Title: The Worst Depression and the
Greatest Revival. It is a gospel tract, thus it asks the reader to pray to
the Lord Jesus at the end.

"He called out to me and said to me" fits any interpretation because the
first part, "He called out to me" is basically meaningless. Cut it out from
the passage and you lose nothing.

HH: A significant question is the subject of the verb q[z in Zech 6:8. One
commentary I have assumes that the speaker is the angel, but it seems quite
possible to me that the speaker is "the Lord of all the earth" introduced in
6:5. The messenger angel could close his speech at the end of verse 6. Then
verse 7 could be narrative. If the horses have to get permission to go
through the earth, it is logical that they would get it from the Lord before
whom they had been standing as servants (v. 5). So the speaker in verse 7
("Go, patrol the earth") could be the Lord, and the HCSB and NET insert
"Lord" as the subject of the verb (v. 7). The same subject could continue
into verse 8, so that the Lord summoned Zechariah and told him what the
horses were doing. Since the speaker in verse 8 seems to be the Lord
("quieted My Spirit"), this makes good sense. So the Lord would have
summoned Zechariah over to Himself to give him the message conveyed in verse

SM: I agree with everything you say regarding the speaker. I believe the
speaker in the 2nd 1/2 of verse 7 and verse 8 is God Himself. Thus I do not
accept the common, "He called out to me" because that would mean that God
cried out in anguish to Zechariah. "He summoned me" is also not possible
because the Hiphil z`q summoning is always for an emergency, thus relating
back to the consistent qal meaning. 

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