Zechariah 1:18-21

Talks for Growing Christians

The Vision of the Horns and Craftsmen

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Lesson Number 2

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God uses horns to discipline His people.
  2. God uses craftsmen to destroy the horns.

Practical Application

  1. Remember, for every horn there’s a craftsman.


  1. What was one of the first things the Jews did when they returned from their captivity in Babylon?
  2. What had happened to the temple in Jerusalem?
  3. Why did the Jews quit building?
  4. Whose hearts were stirred up to motivate the people?
  5. What made the year 520 B.C. special?
  6. How many sermons did Haggai preach and how long did it take him?
  7. How many of Zechariah’s visions of encouragement came after Haggai’s sermons? How long did these visions take?


  1. They rebuilt the altar of the Lord and restarted the sacrifices.
  2. Solomon’s temple had been destroyed by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. Upon their return, the Jews re-laid the foundation of the temple.
  3. They became discouraged because of threats from the surrounding pagan provinces as well as pressure from the Persian government. They stopped building the temple and spent all their time building their own houses.
  4. God stirred the hearts of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to rise up and motivate the people to get back to the work of rebuilding the temple of the Lord.
  5. It was quite a year of prophetic ministry. All of Haggai’s sermons were given during that year and this was the year that Zechariah had his prophetic visions.
  6. He preached four fiery sermons in a four-month period.
  7. All eight of Zechariah’s visions of encouragement came after Haggai’s four sermons of exhortation. All eight came on the same night.


  1. The second prophetic vision of Zechariah is recorded in Chapter 1:18-19. In the vision, Zechariah sees four animal horns representing the power of nations (1:21). The four horns represent Gentile powers that have attacked, dominated and scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem throughout history. Specifically, they are the four world empires as seen in Daniel 2. In line with Daniel 2, Zechariah 1 represents the Babylonian Empire, the Persian Empire, the Greek Empire, and the Roman Empire, including the end-time phase of Rome. God used all of these powers to discipline, rebuke and purge His people Israel until the end-time when the nation of Israel returns to the Lord. Marvel at the revelation of Scripture and its confirmation throughout the Bible of God’s word!
  2. Regardless of the evil and sinful actions of the Gentile powers (the horns), God is able to work all things together for His good purposes. But God also holds all nations responsible for their evil actions. In the vision of the craftsmen (Zechariah 1:20-21), God uses craftsmen to destroy the horns, the four world empires. In Daniel 2 the fourth craftsman is the world empire and kingdom of our Lord Himself, which will be set up here when the Lord returns. See Daniel 2:44. Again, marvel at the revelation and confirmation of scripture!


  1. As God used horns to discipline His people, so God may use ungodly powers in our lives. Is God using someone or something right now to discipline you? Learn the lesson that God has for you.

Key Verses

  • “The craftsmen are coming to cast out the horns of the nations that scattered the land of Judah.” Zechariah 1:21

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