Reference: Zechariah, Prophecy Of
Nothing personal is revealed concerning the prophet except that he was the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet. The dates mentioned are the eighth and eleventh months of the second year, and the ninth month of the fourth year of Darius, answering to 519 and 517 B.C., Zec 1:1,7; 7:1. Haggai's prophecy was in the second year of the same Persian king, so the two prophets were contemporary, and, according to Ezr 5:1; 6:14, they both roused and encouraged the Jews to go on with the building of the temple. Zechariah's prophecy is much occupied with the great Gentile kingdoms under which the Jews were placed: there is also much respecting Jerusalem, and it reaches on to the time of the Messiah and His rejection, and to the last days when Israel and Judah shall be blessed in the land.
Zech. 1. The introduction calls upon the people to turn to the Lord: not to be like their fathers who refused to hearken to the warnings, but who when God's punishments had fallen upon them, had been forced to acknowledge the truth of the prophet's words. The point of the chapter is that Jehovah had returned to Jerusalem with mercies, and God's providential ordering of the nations would favour the building of the city. The first vision is in Zec 1:7-17. A man, the angel of Jehovah, on a red horse (the horse is a symbol of the energy of God's providential government in the earth) stands in the shade among the myrtle trees, and there were other horses, red, speckled, and white, as symbols of God's agency in the government of the earth: cf. Zec 6:5. "The powers that be are ordained of God" and were used by Him. If the 'red' horse signifies Persia (having the same colour as the horse of the angel, possibly because Persia was at that time ruling and was favouring God's people), doubtless the 'speckled' and the 'white' point to the two nations that were to succeed