Notes & Commentary:
Four chariots. The four great empires of the Chaldeans, Persians, Grecians, and Romans; or, perhaps, by the fourth
chariot are represented the kings of Egypt and of Asia, the descendants of Ptolemeus and Seleucus. (Challoner) (See Daniel
ii.) (Worthington) --- The chariots seem to represent the same thing as the four horns, (chap. i. 18.) namely, the punishment
of the four empires. The angel says nothing of the first chariot, as the Chaldeans, who overthrew the Assyrians, were now
devoid of power. --- Brass, or hard; signifying that the chariots were designed to bruise nations. (Calmet) --- Empires
depend on the decrees of God. (Menochius) --- The two mountains may denote the passes of Cilicia, through which the conquerors
must pass from Egypt and Syria to Babylon. (Tournemine)
Red. The Chaldeans were bloody towards the Jews, and clothed in red, Nahum ii. 3. (Menochius)
Strong; (Protestant marginal note) the text has "bay." (Haydock) --- Some Greek copies read erroneously, red. (St.
Jerome) --- Others have, variegated, as ver. 7. (Haydock)
Winds. These angels go throughout the world to punish, Daniel x. 13. We commonly suppose the tutelar angels to be for
the defence of their kingdoms. (Calmet) --- But they may often promote our real welfare by chastisements. (Haydock) --- The
four monarchies fight like the winds, and soon disappear. (Menochius)
North. So Babylon is called, because it lay to the north in respect of Jerusalem. The black horses, that is, the Medes
and Persians, and after them Alexander and his Greeks, signified by the white horses, went thither because they conquered
Babylon, executed upon it the judgments of God, which is signified [in] ver. 8 by the expression of quieting his spirit.
(Challoner) --- The Persians are black, afflicting the Jews under Assuerus, and hindering the temple. (Menochius) ---
Cambyses meditated their utter ruin, chap. ii. 20. (Haydock) --- White. Alexander was of a beneficent temper when he
was not intoxicated. He fought for glory, and was kind to the Jews. (Calmet) --- South: Egypt, which lay to the south
of Jerusalem, and was occupied first by Ptolemeus, and then by the Romans. (Challoner) --- The Lagides were some good and
some very bad princes, represented by the grisly colour. (Calmet)
Strong. Septuagint, "variegated;" psaroi, (Haydock) sturnini. (St. Jerome) --- Earth. This
well describes the ambition and power of the Seleucides, particularly of Antiochus the great, (Calmet) or of the Roman generals
down to Cæsar. (Menochius)
Spirit. Septuagint, "wrath or fury." (Haydock) --- Nabopolassar overcame the Assyrians, Cyrus the Chaldeans, as Alexander
would shortly treat the Persians.
Holdai, &c. They had brought presents for the temple, which are to be used to make crowns for Jesus and Zorobabel,
ver. 13. (Calmet) --- The names are interpreted by the Septuagint, "of the princes and of its useful things, and of those
who have known it, (captivity) and thou," &c. (Haydock) --- Helem and Hem are afterwards mentioned instead of Holdai,
ver. 14. (St. Jerome)
Crowns. Chaldean, "a great crown." Septuagint, ver. 14., "a crown;" perhaps like the pope's (Menochius) --- Jesus.
When the prophet set the crown on the high priest's head, in order to shew that it did not belong to him, except as a figure
of the Messias, he added, behold a man, who is also God, called Orient, or "raising up," and establishing the
kingdom, which was promised to David. (St. Jerome) (Worthington)
Orient. Protestants, "the branch, and he shall grow up out of his place." (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "under or
from himself." This alludes to the miraculous birth of Christ, (Isaias xi. 1.) whom the prophet had principally in view; though
his hearers might naturally understand (Calmet) Zorobabel, who was to preserve the royal family and build the temple. (Theodoret;
St. Jerome) --- Yet he was only a shadow of the Messias, chap. iii. 8. (Calmet)
Glory. Septuagint, "virtue," or "receive strength" and courage, areten; (Haydock) or one of the
crowns, as prince of Juda, ver. 10. (Calmet) --- Both. That is, he shall unite in himself the two offices or dignities
of king and priest. (Challoner) --- Zorobabel and Jesus shall act in concert. (Haydock)
Helem. Septuagint, "the crown shall be for those who expect him." (Haydock) --- Hem. Septuagint, "for grace."
Hebrew chen. (St. Jerome) --- Thus proper names are frequently interpreted. (Haydock) --- The crowns were not to be
worn, but to be deposited in the temple, 1 Machabees i. 23. (Calmet) --- The names of those four who had contributed towards
their making, were to be inscribed upon them. Helem and Hem are the same with Holdai and Josias. (Menochius) --- The Jews
say Hem or Daniel, and his three companions, brought gifts. (St. Jerome)
Off. Many Jews now assisted in the building, coming from all parts. The temple was thus finished in four years time;
whereas Solomon, with all his riches and workmen, spent seven in building one. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The vision of four chariots. Crowns are ordered for Jesus,
the high priest, as a type of Christ.
1 And I turned, and lifted up my eyes, and saw: and behold four chariots
came out from the midst of two mountains: and the mountains were mountains of brass.
2 In the first chariot were red horses, and in the second chariot black
3 And in the third chariot white horses, and in the fourth chariot grisled
horses, and strong ones.
4 And I answered, and said to the angel that spoke in me: What are these,
5 And the angel answered, and said to me: These are the four winds of the
heaven, which go forth to stand before the Lord of all the earth.
6 That, in which were the black horses, went forth into the land of the
north, and the white went forth after them: and the grisled went forth to the land of the south.
7 And they that were most strong, went out, and sought to go, and to run
to and fro through all the earth. And he said: Go, walk throughout the earth: and they walked throughout the earth.
8 And he called me, and spoke to me, saying: Behold, they that go forth
into the land of the north, have quieted my spirit in the land of the north.
9 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
10 Take of them of the captivity, of Holdai, and of Tobias, and of Idaias;
thou shalt come in that day, and shalt go into the house of Josias, the son of Sophonias, who came out of Babylon.
11 And thou shalt take gold and silver: and shalt make crowns, and thou
shalt set them on the head of Jesus, the son of Josedec, the high priest.
12 And thou shalt speak to him, saying: Thus saith the Lord of hosts, saying:
*Behold a man, Orient is his name: and under him shall he spring up, and shall build a temple to the Lord.
13 Yea, he shall build a temple to the Lord: and he shall bear the glory,
and shall sit, and rule upon his throne, and he shall be a priest upon his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between
14 And the crowns shall be to Helem, and Tobias, and Idaias, and to Hem,
the son of Sophonias, a memorial in the temple of the Lord.
15 And they that are far off, shall come, and shall build in the temple
of the Lord: and you shall know that the Lord of hosts sent me to you. But this shall come to pass, if hearing, you will hear
the voice of the Lord, your God.
12: Luke i. 78.