The Horns which Scattered
29th May 2010, hej
This Article: (2 Pages)
- 1. The Four Horns of Zechariah
- 2. The Quartet on the Middle East
1) The Four Horns of Zechariah
When speaking of Jerusalem sometime after 520 BCE Zechariah is shown four horns.
The horn of most animals, given mostly to the males of a species, is used for warfare for subduing those others who would assume top position. In the animal kingdom supremacy in a herd is maintained by use of the horn, therefore, a horn is a symbol of the powerful nations in the human kingdom. This imagery was adopted by the ancient nations with many including Vikings, Huns and the ancient Romans associating horns with gods, kings and heroes (and some wore them on their helmets to go to war).
Zechariah is shown 4 horns, or as the Hebrew also implies 'tips of mountains' or great nations.
I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. (Zechariah 1:19)
When was this?
Were there to be 4 great nations or empires that sequentially over time scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem, or
Were there to be at one point in time 4 great and powerful entities who would seek to scatter Judah, Israel and Jerusalem?
It turns out both apply. The sequential oppression of the people of Judah and Israel and the city of Jerusalem has been evident in history and is therefore relevant to the servants of God since the time the prophecy was written. The second has become relevant since 2002. The last of the 4 horns that emerged sequentially over time has revealed a further subset of 4 horns.
4 empires who scattered from the time of Zechariah 520BCE until today.
Daniel speaks of the great empires as 'horns' and he names Medo-Persia and Ancient Greece as a ram and a goat respectively locking horns (8:21-22). Nebuchanezzar is shown a vision with all the great empires (Daniel Chapter 2) . There are four great empires shown with the fourth one becoming 2 then becoming 10 nations partly strong and partly weak.
As Zechariah lived after the time of Nebuchadnezzar, there was yet four great empires that would have power to scatter Judah, Israel and Jerusalem. These empires or horns were, Medo-Persia, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and the partly strong partly weak kingdom which has arisen from the 10 nations that came out of the break up of the Roman Empire. This has re-emerged in recent times in the founding nations of the European Union. Whereas the regimes of the Caliphs and Ottomans occupied the land of Judea and Israel they did not, as the Romans and the Crusaders did, scatter the people of Judah (forcibly evict them from Judea and Jerusalem).
Zechariah specifically wrote in this order: Judah, Israel and Jerusalem. But throughout all this time there was no nation of Israel to scatter. Israel had ceased to exist many years before Zechariah wrote. It may be argued that 'Judah, Israel and Jerusalem' means all the former territory of of the divided kingdom. It seems more likely that Judah and Israel refers to the people in diaspora, and Jerusalem to their centre, as persecution and dispersal by the Roman horns have been accompanied by attacks on the city of Jerusalem in attempts to control it.
In the next verse 4 carpenters or craftsmen are sent to frighten and cast out the 4 horns,
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 frighten them, to throw out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it. (Zechariah 1:21)
Four carpenters are raised up so that the 4 nation powers may be frightened and cast off. A sequential cutting off did not occur. The Ancient Medo-Persian power succumbed to the horn of Greek power, not a 'carpenter', and Greek power succumbed to the 'iron horn' of Rome. In effect, also, Greece absorbed and took over from Persia, And Rome absorbed and took over from Greece. Rome was broken up by many nations' attacks and became the Holy Roman Empire in various phases until they in turn were partially broken up, this time by masses of people inspired by multiple ideological movements and wars.
Only since the era of revolutions and Napoleon do we begin to see the carpenters, inspired by the carpenter of Nazareth, 'frightening' the powers of the day. Those Brethren who took up the Bible and preached it in the Late Middle Ages into the Enlightenment were most often craftsmen, artisans and smiths of the working class. With them were 3 other distinct groups. There were those influenced in part by the Brethren, who sought to fight for freedom. There were also religious Jewish intellectuals who from the time of the Enlightment were more widely read, speaking from the Old Testament and with them secular Jewish voices, as the fourth. Zechariah was shown there were to be two olive trees in the earth to feed the one lampstand, to achieve things not by might, or by power, but by Yahweh's spirit (Zechariah 4). If this modern era was the era of the 4 carpenters, the historic empires are partially cut off at one time.
For a time, due to their work, the last of the historical four horns seemed not to have power over Israel, as from the mid 1860's until recently, Judah and Israel were gathered and not scattered. Any effort to scatter, including that from Europe, resulted in more gathering to Israel.
Are there now great nation powers who seek to scatter Israel?