Zechariah 1, The Four Horns and Four Craftsmen

Posted by on 17 September 2012 | 6 Comments

Prophecy is powerful, far-reaching in its scope and can have multiple fulfillments, and that is why I love studying the book of Zechariah.  I believe there are three ways in which we are to interpret Zechariah’s visions;

  • Historical events in the past

God is jealous in His love for Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is His city, and the Israelites are His people.  He is fully aware of the worldwide oppression of Israel and the repeated call for her annihilation in our day.  But one day He is going to move on Jerusalem's behalf and judgment will fall upon the nations that afflicted Israel.


Zechariah 1:18-19 (NIV)
[18] Then I looked up--and there before me were four horns!
[19] I asked the angel who was speaking to me, "What are these?" He answered me, "These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem."

So we go from spirit horses and riders to horns and skilled craftsmen.  Horns are symbolic of power and refer to Gentile kings and their kingdoms (Dan 7:24; Rev. 17:12).  The four horns or four kingdoms in question are hostile towards Israel and they are responsible for scattering Jerusalem, Judah and Israel.  The four horns “gouged” God’s holy nation.

The four horns (kings/kingdoms) which Zechariah saw are the same four beasts (king/kingdoms) described in Daniel 2 & 7.

Daniel 7:17 (NIV)
[17] 'The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth.

Babylon (Iraq), Medo-Persia (Iran), Greece (Syria) and Rome (the revived Roman empire in the End Times will become Antichrist’s ten nation/horn kingdom).  These are the kingdoms that have been historically beastly towards Israel in the past during the times of the Gentiles.  They will again oppress and disperse Israel in Daniel’s 70th week.  The times of the Gentiles began with Babylon oppressing Jerusalem and will end with the Antichrist’s oppression and scattering of Jerusalem.


Zechariah 1:20-21 (NIV)
[20] Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen.
[21] I asked, "What are these coming to do?" He answered, "These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise his head, but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter its people."

God will destroy any nation that oppresses Israel.  The skilled craftsmen are protectors and builders with strong hammers and other tools that will shatter the horn/empires that attack Israel.  Remember that God will curse everyone who curses Israel (Gen 12:3), and the nations of the earth today should heed this warning!  In the end, Israel is indestructible because of God’s covenants with her.

The craftsmen represent the four great and powerful empires of Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and Messiah.  Each kingdom was (or will be) used by God to cast down and destroy the horn/empire that had preceded them and had been oppressing Israel.  So, the first craftsman is Medo-Persia, which broke the horn of Babylon.  The second craftsman is Greece which broke the horn of Medo-Persia.  The third craftsman is ancient Rome which broke the horn of Greece.  The future revived Roman Empire will give rise to the fourth horn again (the Antichrist’s 10 horn kingdom).  The fourth craftsman is the Kingdom of God, which will bread the horn of Rome and Messiah will destroy the Antichrist’s empire.

Daniel 8:17 (NIV)
[17] As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. "Son of man," he said to me, "understand that the vision concerns the time of the end."

Daniel 8:19 (NIV)
[19] He said: "I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end.

Zechariah’s horns and craftsmen, along with the 7th and 8th chapters of Daniel (read these chapters), also describe the events concerning the End Times.  At the present time, the same four powerful nations that persecuted Israel in the past have arisen in our day and are plotting and maneuvering in preparation for a final attack against Jerusalem.

In the End Times, Iraq, Iran, Syria and revived Rome are somehow destined to give rise to the final ten horn kingdom of the Antichrist (see Revelation 13:1; 17:3).  These nations do not have even a hint that they are doing Satan’s bidding and fighting against the God of Heaven.


The Bible provides plenty of evidence that there are dark spiritual forces behind the horns which empower the political entities against Israel.  The evil power behind each horn (king/kingdom) is a demonic angel.  They are in constant battle with the holy angels of the Lord.  The four horns are empowered by four demonic angels (princes) fighting against Israel.

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)
[12] For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Daniel 10:13-14 (NIV)
[13] But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.
[14] Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come."

There is one remaining 'scattering' of Israel that will take place during Daniel’s 70th week.   Where else are four angels mentioned in the Bible?  The book of Revelation tells of four evil angels currently bound at the Euphrates awaiting release during the end times.

Revelation 9:13-15 (NIV)
[13] The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that is before God.
[14] It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates."
[15] And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.

The supernatural battleground is going to heat up to a full boil during the End Times.  The appointed destiny of these four demons is to scatter Israel and kill mankind, with a final and terrifying gouging.


Revelation 12:7-9 (NIV)
[7] And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.
[8] But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.
[9] The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

If the four horns are the four angels from the sixth trumpet, it makes sense that the four craftsmen would also be four angels.  But they would have to be more powerful than the four horns in order to defeat them.  Is there another group of four angels powerful enough to defeat the four horns?

The Bible refers to Michael and Gabriel by name as two powerful warriors in God’s army.  Interestingly, in the apocryphal Book of Enoch, which is included in the Catholic Bible and is referred to by Jude in verses 14-16, two additional archangels are named;  Uriel and Raphael.  Could these four mighty archangels who stand in the presence of God be the four craftsmen fighting against Israel’s enemies?


If the angelic forces are preparing for a final supernatural conflict in the end times, how is the Church preparing?

Thanks for reading,


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    Posted by bishopcreekstudio.com, 25/12/2017 8:13am (2 months ago)

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  • Very true and also concerning the former revived Roman Empire which many today do not see and realize this...all the Nations of Daniel prophecy where judge except for the former Roman Empire and as bible history shows all nations that came against Israel was judge and will be judge and even those that did not directly come against Israel will also be judge because of they sins..there the nations that shall join forces with the revived Roman Empire will be those nations East of the Euphrates..which will be judge with Rome in the battle of Armageddon by the Lamb (Messiah Kingdom)...The norther nations will be judge through Ezekiel War...the west will be judge by Rome (Revelations 17) and the southern nations will be conguer by Rome under Daniel 11-12. Therefore only region that is left is the Eastern region which joins with Rome for the battle of Armageddon..As a King is the last to be taken down before his kingdom is taken over..therefore as Satan gave up his seat to the beast (Rome) then it is only fit for the beast and the false prophet to be thrown in the lake of fire and then Satan is bound for the 1000 years by the Lamb and his power under Yehovah Almighty and Yeshua takes the kindom and usher in the Millennium Reign...

    Posted by Kev, 15/11/2015 12:44pm (2 years ago)

  • great read! I've been reading OT prophecies, zechariah today. came upon your article when i got stuck on the Craftsmen. Great insight. Regarding the church praparation? my opinion is....she snores....

    Posted by carrie, 22/10/2015 11:11pm (2 years ago)

  • Very interesting. Definately thpught provoking

    Posted by eric, 08/10/2015 8:06pm (2 years ago)

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