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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Zechariah - Chapter 6

Zechariah - Chapter 6

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 6

1. And I returned and lifted my eyes and saw-and behold!- four chariots were coming forth from between the two mountains, and the mountains were mountains of copper.   א. וָאָשֻׁב וָאֶשָּׂא עֵינַי וָאֶרְאֶה וְהִנֵּה אַרְבַּע מַרְכָּבוֹת יֹצְאוֹת מִבֵּין שְׁנֵי הֶהָרִים וְהֶהָרִים הָרֵי נְחֹשֶׁת:
and the mountains were mountains of copper: A sign of the strength of these kingdoms, which came to them from between the two mountains, which are hard and strong, as these four chariots are messengers of the Holy one, blessed be He, to give ruling power to the four kingdoms of Babylon, Media, Greece, and Edom.  
2. In the first chariot were red horses, and in the second chariot were black horses.   ב. בַּמֶּרְכָּבָה הָרִאשֹׁנָה סוּסִים אֲדֻמִּים וּבַמֶּרְכָּבָה הַשֵּׁנִית סוּסִים שְׁחֹרִים:
red horses: They were the ones that caused Babylon to mount, for [Babylon] is red, as it is written (Dan. 2:38): “You are the head of gold” [gold having a red tinge].  
black: [Horses,] to cause Media to mount, for they blackened the faces of Israel in the days of Haman.  
3. And in the third chariot were white horses, and in the fourth chariot were spotted, ash-colored horses.   ג. וּבַמֶּרְכָּבָה הַשְּׁלִשִׁית סוּסִים לְבָנִים וּבַמֶּרְכָּבָה הָרְבִעִית סוּסִים בְּרֻדִּים אֲמֻצִּים:
white: To cause Persia to mount, and Persia built the Temple.  
spotted: They are spotted. [Their function is] to cause Greece to mount, [as Greece] oppressed Israel with various kinds of decrees  
ash-colored: to cause Edom and Ishmael to mount, but I do not know the expression אֲמֻצִּים. Jonathan rendered: ash-colored.  
4. And I raised my voice and said to the angel who spoke to me, "What are these, my lord?"   ד. וָאַעַן וָאֹמַר אֶל הַמַּלְאָךְ הַדֹּבֵר בִּי מָה אֵלֶּה אֲדֹנִי:
5. And the angel replied and said to me, "These are the four corners of the heavens coming forth from standing beside the Lord of the entire earth."   ה. וַיַּעַן הַמַּלְאָךְ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָי אֵלֶּה אַרְבַּע רוּחוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם יוֹצְאוֹת מֵהִתְיַצֵּב עַל אֲדוֹן כָּל הָאָרֶץ:
These are the four corners of the heavens: The heavenly princes of the nations that rule over the four corners of the heavens.  
coming forth from standing, etc.: They came before Him, and He gave them permission from His mouth to rule.  
6. The one [chariot] the black horses were in was going forth to the northland, and the white ones went forth after them. And the spotted ones went forth to the southland.   ו. אֲשֶׁר בָּהּ הַסּוּסִים הַשְּׁחֹרִים יֹצְאִים אֶל אֶרֶץ צָפוֹן וְהַלְּבָנִים יָצְאוּ אֶל אַחֲרֵיהֶם וְהַבְּרֻדִּים יָצְאוּ אֶל אֶרֶץ הַתֵּימָן:
The one [chariot] the black horses were in was going to the northland: to cause Media to ride. Concerning the red ones, he does not write that they were going forth because the kingdom of Babylon had already been destroyed.  
and the white ones went forth after them: to cause Persia to mount both of them, in the north, and they ruled over Babylon.  
and the spotted ones went forth to the southland: to cause Greece to mount so that Greece should take the kingdom from Persia. In Rav Saadiah’s interpretation of Daniel, the king of the south (11:5) is identified with the king of Greece.  
7. And the ash-colored ones went forth and begged to go to walk to and fro on the earth. And He said, "Go, walk to and fro on the earth." And they walked to and fro on the earth.   ז. וְהָאֲמֻצִּים יָצְאוּ וַיְבַקְשׁוּ לָלֶכֶת לְהִתְהַלֵּךְ בָּאָרֶץ וַיֹּאמֶר לְכוּ הִתְהַלְּכוּ בָאָרֶץ וַתִּתְהַלַּכְנָה בָּאָרֶץ:
And the ash-colored ones went forth and begged: of Him that they have a very long rule, to go throughout all the earth.  
And He said, “Go, walk to and fro on the earth”: He gave them permission to rule a great ruling, and that is the kingdom of Edom.  
8. And he cried out to me, saying, "Look, those going forth to the northland have eased My spirit in the northland."   ח. וַיַּזְעֵק אֹתִי וַיְדַבֵּר אֵלַי לֵאמֹר רְאֵה הַיּוֹצְאִים אֶל אֶרֶץ צָפוֹן הֵנִיחוּ אֶת רוּחִי בְּאֶרֶץ צָפוֹן:
Look, those going forth to the northland: to cause Media and Persia to mount.  
eased My spirit: They caused My anger to subside in Babylon when they destroyed Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar’s descendants. This is what Isaiah (48:14) said: “The Lord loves him who shall do His will in Babylon, etc.”  
9. And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:   ט. וַיְהִי דְבַר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר:
10. Take from the exiles-from Heldai and from Tobijah and from Jedaiah-and you, yourself, shall come on that day, and you shall come to the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah, who have come from Babylon.   י. לָקוֹחַ מֵאֵת הַגּוֹלָה מֵחֶלְדַּי וּמֵאֵת טוֹבִיָּה וּמֵאֵת יְדַעְיָה וּבָאתָ אַתָּה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וּבָאתָ בֵּית יֹאשִׁיָּה בֶן צְפַנְיָה אֲשֶׁר בָּאוּ מִבָּבֶל:
Take from the exiles - from Heldai, etc., who have come from Babylon: All these people.  
11. And you shall take silver and gold, and you shall make crowns, and place [them] upon the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the High Priest.   יא. וְלָקַחְתָּ כֶסֶף וְזָהָב וְעָשִׂיתָ עֲטָרוֹת וְשַׂמְתָּ בְּרֹאשׁ יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן יְהוֹצָדָק הַכֹּהֵן הַגָּדוֹל:
12. And you shall speak to him, saying, "So said the Lord of Hosts, saying: Behold a man whose name is the Shoot, who will spring up out of his place and build the Temple of the Lord.   יב. וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו לֵאמֹר כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה אִישׁ צֶמַח שְׁמוֹ וּמִתַּחְתָּיו יִצְמָח וּבָנָה אֶת הֵיכַל יְהֹוָה:
whose name is the Shoot: He is Zerubbabel, mentioned above (3:8): “Behold, I bring My servant, the Shoot,” since his greatness burgeoned little by little. Some interpret this as referring to the King Messiah, but the entire context deals with the [time of the] Second Temple.  
who will spring up out of his place: From royal descent.  
13. And he shall build the Temple of the Lord, and he shall bear glory. And he shall sit and rule on his throne, and the priest shall be on his throne. And a counsel of peace shall be between them [both].   יג. וְהוּא יִבְנֶה אֶת הֵיכַל יְהֹוָה וְהוּא יִשָּׂא הוֹד וְיָשַׁב וּמָשַׁל עַל כִּסְאוֹ וְהָיָה כֹהֵן עַל כִּסְאוֹ וַעֲצַת שָׁלוֹם תִּהְיֶה בֵּין שְׁנֵיהֶם:
and he shall bear glory: The glory of the kingship.  
And he shall sit: The High Priest [shall sit] on the throne of the priesthood.  
And a council of peace, etc.: The king and the Priest shall love one another.  
14. And the crowns shall be for Helem, and for Tobijah, and for Jedaiah, and for Hen the son of Zephaniah, as a memorial in the Temple of the Lord.   יד. וְהָעֲטָרֹת תִּהְיֶה לְחֵלֶם וּלְטוֹבִיָּה וְלִידַעְיָה וּלְחֵן בֶּן צְפַנְיָה לְזִכָּרוֹן בְּהֵיכַל יְהֹוָה:
And the crowns shall be for Helem, etc.: This is a transposed verse. It should be understood as: And the crowns shall be in the Temple of the Lord as a good memorial for Helem and for Tobijah, who donated the silver and the gold. Those crowns were hanging in the windows in the height of the Temple, as we learned in tractate Middoth (36a, 3:8).  
for Helem: That is Heldai.  
15. And distant ones shall come and build in the Temple of the Lord, and you shall know that the Lord of Hosts sent me to you. And it shall come to pass if you hearken to the voice of the Lord your God.   טו. וּרְחוֹקִים | יָבֹאוּ וּבָנוּ בְּהֵיכַל יְהֹוָה וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת שְׁלָחַנִי אֲלֵיכֶם וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּן בְּקוֹל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם:
And it shall come to pass if you hearken: And this thing shall come to pass for you if you hearken, etc.  
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