#1 of Zechariah's Eight Visions "The rider on the red horse"
Zech. 1:7
Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
Remember the admonition from Haggai who urged us five times to "consider" things, e.g. our ways, what we are building, and even what time it is? And now we have been given this great Book of Zechariah which truly is a "Timely" (Iddo) message from the LORD to those who are "Blessed of Yah" (Bechariah).

Also, in relation to the time and subject matter of Zechariah it is worth noting that the number "24" in Biblical numerics represents the "priesthood" and the number "11" represents "judgment" (see appendix 10 in the Companion Bible).

[8] I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.
The first thing we must understand is that this is a "vision". In fact, this is the first of eight visions Zechariah will be shown, and this first vision is one he "saw by night"! That lets us know two things: 1.) the time of this vision, i.e. that it is for the "night time" (as we shall see) and 2.) that God's elect are given to "see" what is going on during that period of the night. You see, the world even now dwells in the shadow of darkness (spiritual darkness) which shall soon become a "total eclipse of the sun" when the "moon turns to blood", i.e. when Satan (moon) comes and deceives the whole world into believing he is the true sacrifice (blood), i.e. that he is Jesus Christ (sun) who shed His blood. But you see, God's elect possess the light of truth and shall not be spiritually put to sleep during the night. They do fill their lamps with oil and thus they shall see their way through that final hour of darkness.

One more note concerning the myrtle trees in verse 8. Myrtle trees were small fragrant trees that grew in the mountains near Jerusalem and it was from the sweet smelling myrtle branches that booths were made at the Feast of Tabernacles (Neh. 8:15). However, the major point is (as your Companion Bible will document) the location where the "man" is standing which is between the "two mountains" of Zech. 6:1 where we shall once again meet up with the four "colored horses".

Zechariah now asks the Lord what these horses are. You "see", that is how one learns truth, by asking Jesus Christ, i.e. by going to the Word of God where He will unveil the visions and the seals and show you those things which others cannot see, even those things which are hidden in the shadow of darkness. There is no other way one can come to an understanding of the truth but to go to Him directly through His Word.

[9] Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be.
Questions, questions, questions! God's servants always have so many questions! They just seem to hunger and thirst after righteousness, i.e. truth and the knowledge of His Word. Of course they are so blessed for it: Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." To wit, you will always find that whenever the disciples came and asked Jesus Christ a question, which they so often did, He always answered them! On the other hand, the multitudes who listened to Him speak always went their way after He was finished, probably smiling at each other and saying "Wasn't that a lovely sermon?"
[10] And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.
The great scholar Dr. Bullinger calls these whom the LORD hath sent "invisible agencies", which is a fair enough description for they are indeed "scouts" whom the LORD hath sent to bring back a report (vs. 10) about the status of things on the earth. In other words they are His watchmen who see and monitor, as in measure, the level of the activities of the earthly dynasties throughout the earth, which we know are those Four Hidden Dynasties symbolized by the colored horses.

Therefore, having just returned from their commissioned assignments, let us listen in and hear them give their latest report to Jesus Christ:

Zech. 1:11
And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.
Here is a question for you: Do you understand and agree with this report, i.e. as to its present accuracy and timeliness? God's elect, those who have come out of Babylon of whom Zerubbabel was a type, and who also hold fast to the plumbline of God's Word in the building of the walls of His house, do also run to and fro through the earth as His "eyes", i.e. as watchmen. Consequently, they should also be able to discern the activity level of the earthly dynasties and know the TIMES and the SEASONS!
Zech. 4:10
For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.
By the way, the word "Behold" used Zech. 1:11 is a figure of speech called an "Asterismos", which is a word used to draw special attention to some particular point or subject. The point of emphasis here is that the time being spoken of is the "time of stillness and rest" when everyone is spiritually asleep. In other words it is that time of night (spiritual darkness) when they cry peace and safety, i.e. still and at rest! Here it is as reported by Paul, the New Testament editor and correspondent of good news paper, "The Thessalonian Times":
1 Thes. 5:1
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
This is especially true if one has read the history reports, forecasts, and in-depth instructions and directions of all the prophets of God. You "see", everything you want to know about these last days is all right there! Mark 13:23 "But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things."
[2] For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
Thieves come unexpectedly at night when everyone is peacefully sleeping safe and sound, as snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug!
[3] For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
Be sure to read the rest of Paul's report because it documents that God's elect, His children, will not be surprised. Why not? Because they are the children of LIGHT and know how it is all "going down" in this final generation!
1 Thes. 5:4-5
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

[5] Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

You "see", as "eyes", as "watchmen", we "see" (understand) what is going on behind the scenes! So keep up the good work!
[6] Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
Paul then gives us some very, very, comforting words of knowledge and wisdom in verses 7-10, e.g. "God has not appointed us to wrath", which means we shall not be "shakees" but rather "shake-ers" with Him! Read these words of comfort for yourself and share them with others!
1 Thes. 5:11
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
The next question to be answered is as follows:
Zech. 1:12
Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?
This has to remind students of God's Word of the question His servants asked Him in Rev. 6:10, those servants whom the apostle John saw in his spiritual trip to the Day of the Lord (Rev. 1:10). Rev. 6:10: "And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge* our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" (We shall discuss these 70 years in-depth in a subsequent lesson.)

*Note: For an in-depth study of the second advent concerning the "Day of Vengeance of our God: to comfort all that mourn", read the Book of Nahum. "Nahum" means "comfort".

[13] And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.
God is not angry at His children who love and serve Him and therefore they have nothing to fear concerning the terror and darkness of this final generation. It is such a comfort to know the plan of God and to know the answers to questions concerning what is going on in the world behind the scenes, in the shadows of darkness by the powers that be. That knowledge and wisdom from our Father's Word sets us free and dispels all fears and truly comforts us by giving us peace of mind. You see, people only fear the unknown, that which they cannot "see"! That is why they are afraid of walking alone at night, in the dark. But as Paul so eloquently explained in 1 Thes. 5, God's servants do not walk in darkness and therefore they do NOT scare nor fear evil (Ps. 23:4)!

Now, since the question concerning Christ's return to Jerusalem was brought up in Zech. 1:12, let's see what is going on concerning the holy city. Before we do though, let us be reminded from His Word that when Jesus Christ returns, the "temple" which is built and being built there now (i.e. in Jerusalem), shall be pulverized to the point that not one stone shall be left standing atop another. Luke 21:5-6 "And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, [6] As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." That is because when He returns He shall be quite angry with what is going on in that city in which our Lord was crucified.

[14] So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.
Our Father has chosen the city of Jerusalem as His favorite location in all the world! Did you know that? Read Ezekiel chapter 16 and you will discover that He actually "took her to wife" and someday she will completely fulfill her destiny to be His beautiful bride: Rev. 21:2 "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." No wonder Jerusalem has been the bloodiest city and seen more wars than any other city in the history of mankind. Satan wants it for his own!

To that end when Jesus Christ returns He will find standing in that city, and "sitting in the temple of God (2 Thes. 2:4)", the abomination of all abominations, the son of perdition himself, Satan claiming that he is the bridegroom, i.e. that he is Jesus Christ. And that false messiah will have deceived and spiritually seduced the whole world and the majority of Christians who were to remain virgins throughout the night and wait for the true Bridegroom. That is why Christ said in Matthew 24:19 "WOE unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!" He wasn't talking about natural, physical pregnancy but about "spiritual seduction", spiritual impregnation, i.e. about His virgin bride being the first one "taken in the field" by the false messiah.

Why is God so jealous for Jerusalem? Wouldn't you be if you went away and came back expecting to marry your virgin bride and you discovered that she had been in bed with someone else? Woe, indeed! And as for the heathen who have run roughshod all over God's people, here is how our Father feels about them:

Zech. 1:15
And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.
In other words, our Father used the heathen as a rod of correction upon His children but they went far and above what they were supposed to and became extremely oppressive in their affliction of His children. To be sure, Father is NOT happy with the heathen! Therefore the shaking shall be great indeed and their "house" (temple) shall be destroyed and He will set His "house" upon Mt. Zion, which house is His temple, the many membered body of Christ which is now being built!
[16] Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.
From thenceforth that kingdom of true peace and true prosperity shall fill the earth!
[17] Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.
This is what the books of Haggai and Zechariah are all about, the building of His house to be established on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem! Here is a picture of His house now being built (Rev. 7:1-4) standing on Mount Zion!
Rev. 14:1
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
His name is being sealed in their foreheads at this very moment. Is it not written in Rev. 7:1-8 that His temple, 144,000 from His house, even from the whole house of Israel (i.e. 12,000 from each tribe), must be sealed in their foreheads before the Four Winds are released, before the Great Shaking takes place and this flesh age comes to a close? Yes, it is written there! Go read it!
[2] And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

[3] And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

[4] These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

These "kings and priests" we see standing on Mount Zion shall rule and reign on earth instead of the heathen, for they remained virgins throughout the night having kept their lamps filled to the full with the oil, the Holy Spirit of the Truth of His Word (see parable in Mat. 25:1-12). They are His firstfruits.

Let's continue now with the remainder of the first chapter of Zechariah.