[b-hebrew] Zech 1:19,21

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Thu Apr 19 23:08:52 EDT 2007

> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Zech 1:19,21
> Steve Miller wrote:
> >
> > [Steve Miller] I think the 4 workmen are the 4 workmen revealed in the
> > remaining chapters of Zechariah:
> > 1. the builder in 6:12-13
> > 2. the lowly king in 9:9
> > 3. the shepherd in 11:4-14 & 13:7
> > 4. the servant of the ground in 13:5
> >
> > Another possibility is the measurer in 2:5 (2:1), but I think that is an
> > angel.
> >
> > A theme throughout Zechariah is that God defeats the mighty by humble
> device
> > (4:6). All 4 workmen are the Messiah, each from a different point of
> view,
> > as in the 4 gospels.i
> >
> HH: I find these kinds of comments uncontrolled subjectivism. I have
> never had any of these thoughts and don't think a natural reading of the
> texts implies them. The four workmen are seen together. Thus the reader
> expects them to be four different agents, not the same person depicted
> four ways.
[Steve Miller] Harold, thanks for responding. I am using the Bible to
interpret the Bible, and Zechariah to interpret Zechariah. I hate
subjectivism in interpreting the Bible, and always desire to limit myself to
what the Bible says. The New Testament explains the Old. Without the New
Testament explanation, many Old Testament passages cannot be understood.
However, the New Testament explanations of the Old still can be defended
purely from the Old Testament. Not because they are the most
straight-forward interpretations that a natural reading would give, but
because no other possible explanation fits.

Take Zech 11:8 "And I caused the three shepherds to perish in one month; and
My soul loathed them, and their soul also abhorred Me."

According to the most straight-forward reading of this Scripture, the 3
shepherds are 3 individuals, whom the Shepherd sent from God destroyed. 
But the 3 shepherds were not 3 individual leaders, but 3 groups who were the
leaders of the nation (Matthew 16:21; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22; Psalm
118:22-23). And the Shepherd did not straight-forwardly destroy anyone.
These leaders caused themselves to perish by abhorring the Shepherd.

Isa 6:9-10 And he said, Go; and thou shalt say unto this people, Hearing ye
shall hear and shall not understand, and seeing ye shall see and shall not
10  Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and blind
their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and
understand with their heart, and be converted, and healed.

Some prophesies are written in such a way that they cannot be understood by
a superficial reading. But the prophesies are not ambiguous. Only one
interpretation works when put to the test.

> > My problem is: What is the text saying that the 4 workmen do in 2:4
> (1:21)?
> > At this point I think it means that the 4 workmen bring the nations into
> the
> > fear and trembling [of God] so that, due to fear [of God], they do not
> > praise the mighty kings which scattered Judah.
> >
> HH: The workmen are agents used by God to defeat the world powers that
> attack Israel. The image is one of the purposeful use of force. The
> nations are hostile to Israel. Please read the post I sent to Isaac
> about this passage a few days ago, if you haven't already.
> Yours,
> Harold Holmyard

[Steve Miller] Yes, the workmen are agents used by God to deal with the
world powers that scattered Israel. Yes, the nations are hostile to Israel. 

No, I do not believe emphasis of the image is one of force. 4:6 says, "It is
not by might, nor by power." And in 4:10 "Who has despised the day of small
things." The image is one of humble devise, common workmen, thru whom God
accomplishes His purpose. The Lord took on such a lowly estate when He was a

I've read your previous post, and in it you do not give an answer as to what
the 4 workmen are. You say they might be angels, or they might be nations,
or they might be kings. They may have already come, or they may be coming in
the future. 

I seek to understand God's word better than that. 

In your post you point out that what the 4 workmen do seems to be fulfilled
by the Angel of the Lord in 2:6-9. I agree. That Angel of the Lord is the
Lord of hosts Himself, and is the One sent by the Lord of Hosts, the Messiah

The end result of the work of the 4 workmen is given at the end of the book
in 14:16 "And it shall come to pass, that all that are left of all the
nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to
worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the feast of

-Steve Miller

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