II. THE VISION OF THE FOUR HORNS
AND THE FOUR CRAFTSMEN
In verses 18 through 21 we have the vision of the four horns and the four craftsmen.
A. An Answer to Christ’s Intercession
This vision was the answer to Christ’s intercession for Zion and Jerusalem (vv. 12-17).
B. The Four Horns
"Then I lifted up my eyes and saw, and behold, there were four horns. And I said to the angel who spoke with me, What are these? And he said to me, These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem" (vv. 18-19). These four horns are the four kingdoms with their kings—Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and the Roman Empire—signified by the great human image in Daniel 2 and by the four beasts in Daniel 7:3-8, which damaged and destroyed the chosen people of God.
C. The Four Craftsmen
"Then Jehovah showed me four craftsmen. And I said, What do these come to do? And he spoke, saying, These are the horns that have so scattered Judah that no man lifts up his head, but these have come to terrify them, to cast down the horns of the nations who have lifted up the horn against the land of Judah to scatter it" (vv. 20-21). These four craftsmen are the skills, including the stone not hewn by man’s hands, used by God to destroy the four kingdoms, with their kings, that destroyed the nation of Israel. Christ is the One among the craftsmen who will come as the stone cut out without hands to smash the great image.
Each of the first three kingdoms—Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece—was taken over in a skillful way by the kingdom which followed it. Babylon was defeated in one night when Darius the Mede came and defeated Belshazzar. How skillful was Darius! Then, as Daniel 8 reveals, the goat from Macedonia (the Grecian Empire under Alexander the Great) came to trample the ram of Persia. History tells us that Alexander the Great was very skillful. He was one of the craftsmen that dealt with the four horns. Later the Roman Empire came in to deal with Greece. These four empires are the central factors of human history. Eventually, the restored Roman Empire will be smashed into powder by Christ as the top Craftsman.
All four empires devastated and destroyed Israel. But they all have been or, in the case of the restored Roman Empire, will be destroyed by the four craftsmen raised up by God. This is a comforting and encouraging word of promise.
(Life-Study of Zechariah, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)