1 In the eighth month of the second year of Darius [Fall of 520 BC within months of Haggai’s prophecy; Jerusalem fell to Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon on March 16, 597 BC, so this book begins about 7 years after the 70 years of the Babylonian Captivity], the word of the LORD [YAHWEH per Blue Letter Bible, see here] came to Zechariah [meaning: “The Lord Remembers”] the prophet, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo saying,
2 “The LORD [Capitalization of “LORD” or “GOD” in NASB always is “YHWH” (YAHWEH) in Hebrew, The triune God’s personal name] was very angry with your fathers.
3 Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Return to Me,” declares the LORD of hosts, “that I may return to you,” says the LORD of hosts [If we return to YAHWEH-God He will always return to us, see also James 4:8: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”]
4 “Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Return [Hebrew ‘shuv’, occurring over 1100 times in the OT] now from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.”’ But they did not listen or give heed to Me,” declares the LORD [In the NT we are told to “repent”, which simply means to “return”, turn around, change one’s mind].
5 “Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6 But did not My words and My statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, overtake your fathers? [Don’t think you can outsmart God, be wise, submit to Him] Then they repented [again the word ‘shuv’, same as “return” in v4 above] and said, ‘As the LORD of hosts purposed to do to us in accordance with our ways and our deeds, so He has dealt with us.’”’”
7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat [Winter of 519 BC, about 4 months later], in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the prophet, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, as follows:
8 I saw at night [the work of rebuilding the temple took place in the context of spiritual darkness], and behold, a man [xxxxxx] was riding on a red horse, and he was standing among the myrtle trees [an evergreen of the Laurel family, probably representing Israel, the people of God] which were in the ravine [a low, humble place], with red, sorrel and white horses [connecting these with the four horsemen of Revelation 6:1-8 doesn’t seem to work, because these are patrollers and not messengers of judgment] behind him.
9 Then I said, “My lord, what are these?” And the angel [Yeshua, the angel of the LORD, see v11] who was speaking with me said to me, “I will show you what these are.” [when we ask for wisdom, God gives it]
10 And the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered [Zechariah asked the angel, but it was the man among the myrtles that answered – they are the same person] and said, “These are those whom the LORD [YAHWEH] has sent to patrol the earth.”
11 So they answered the angel of the LORD who was standing among the myrtle trees [here it is even more clearly stated – the “man among the myrtles” and the angel of the LORD are the same; moreover, this is a special “angel”, the “angel of YAHWEH”; this is a Christophany, an appearance of Christ Jesus in the OT, wherein a heavenly man is revealed to be God Himself; see also Gen 16:7-13, 22:11-18, Exo 2:3-9 and Judges 2:1-4, among many others] and said, “We have patrolled the earth, and behold, all the earth is peaceful and quiet.” [but not the right kind: the earth is at rest at the expense of YAHWEH’s people, so in reality, there is no rest at all]
12 Then the angel of the LORD said, “O LORD of hosts, how long will You have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which You have been indignant these seventy years?” [Yeshua interceding for His people before God the Father; per Heb 7:24-26 He is a priest forever and is always interceding for us]
13 The LORD [YAHWEH the Father] answered the angel [YAHWEH the Son] who was speaking with me with gracious words, comforting words. [Per 2 Cor 1:3 He is “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort”]
14 So the angel who was speaking with me said to me, “Proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “I [the angel speaking in the first person as God] am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion. [the passion of God for His people is clearly evident]
15 But I am very angry with the nations who are at ease [the import of a “peaceful and quiet” earth is now evident]; for while I was only a little angry, they furthered the disaster.”
16 Therefore thus says the LORD [YAHWEH], “I will return to Jerusalem with compassion; My house will be built in it,” [the temple was completed in four years] declares the LORD of hosts, “and a measuring line will be stretched over Jerusalem.”’ [the ultimate fulfillment is in Rev 21:15, when the heavenly Jerusalem descends and is measured: 1,500 miles square]
17 Again, proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.”’” [quite a promise for the returnees just a few years removed from Babylon, struggling to rebuild the temple and ruined cities]
18 Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, there were four horns. 19 So I said to the angel who was speaking with me, “What are these?” And he answered me, “These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.” [the number four represents the world and worldly kingdoms – for instance there’s 4 seasons, 4 compass directions and 4 kingdoms described in Dan 2 & 7: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and most likely Rome; these could be the same four kingdoms represented by the horns, two of which had not yet come to trouble Israel; a “horn” is symbol of human power, for instance, the “little horn” of Dan 8]
20 Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen. 21 I said, “What are these coming to do?” And he said, “These are the horns which have scattered Judah so that no man lifts up his head; but these craftsmen have come to terrify them, to throw down the horns of the nations who have lifted up their horns against the land of Judah in order to scatter it.” [the craftsman are sent by God to protect vulnerable Israel from worldly powers; a craftsman would grind down or cut off the horns]
NASB translation [with my notes in blue]