In Part 1 we explored the possibility that the ’Four Horns’ of Zechariah could indicate ‘The Quartet’ that consists of the United States, United Nations, the European Union, and Russia. In the natural world that seems like a logical possibility, but of course there is no way of knowing whether this is the correct interpretation. As with all prophecy, it can only be confirmed when viewed through the rear view mirror.
With that in mind, in Part 2 I’d like to explore a different option…..a supernatural option that could be used to scatter Israel in the last days. And if this option proves to be the correct one, it may explain the identity of the four craftsmen as well.
The Four Supernatural Horns
Then I looked up—and there before me were four horns! 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.” (Zechariah 1:18-19)
Naturally, the first qualification for this dubious honor is that these horns must “scatter” Judah, Israel and Jerusalem. Presumably this means that they must scatter them from the land of Israel, and plenty of candidates have done that in the past. But there is only one remaining ‘scattering’ that will take place in Israel’s future, and it has been reserved for the great tribulation. And it may also be reserved for the four horns.
The books of Daniel and Revelation tell us that ‘ten horns’ will serve the antichrist and trample the earth in the coming end times, and the Bible provides plenty of evidence that these ten horns will be spiritual as well as geo-political entities. So is there also a spiritual quartet that would qualify as Zechariah's four horns? There is only one stated answer in the Bible, and it’s the four angels that are currently bound at the Euphrates;
The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that is before God. It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 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. (Revelation 9:13-15)
It’s interesting that a voice from the "four horns" of the golden altar announces the release of these four horns of Satan. While the four horns on the altar symbolized sanctuary, it’s quite possible that they are also symbolic of the four archangels and the power that they wield to protect man and destroy God's enemies. But more on that in a moment.
Revelation 9 makes it quite clear that these four angels could qualify as the four horns of Zechariah because they will obviously scatter, terrify and kill a large percentage of mankind when they are released. And in fact, it would appear that they will do this deed at the precise time necessary to qualify them in this role. The release of these four angels will occur immediately after Satan and his angels are thrown down from heaven, at which time the fallen angels from millennia past will be released from their imprisonment in the earth. And Revelation 12 tells us that the woman (Israel) will be scattered from the land one last time when the dragon (Satan) is hurled down;
When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. (Revelation 12:13-14)
While it is the dragon that will pursue the woman, the remaining portion of chapter 12 makes it clear that he will use his proxies to do this, and these four angels from the Euphrates would very likely be part of that group.
In his effort to become “like the Most High”, Satan has always sought to counterfeit everything God does. And since God has four Archangels that do his will, then it makes sense that Satan would direct four powerful fallen angels to serve him in that same way. And for 3½ years they will trample and scatter the nation of Israel for Satan. But when their appointed time is over, the tables will be turned on these ‘four horns’ when God sends his ‘four craftsmen’ to respond in kind.
The Four Craftsmen
Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen. 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.” (Zechariah 1:20-21)
If the ‘four horns’ are the four angels from the sixth trumpet, then it makes perfect sense that the “four craftsmen” would also be four angels. But they would have to be more powerful than the four horns because they will have to subdue them. So the question becomes, ‘what group of four angels would be powerful enough to “terrify” and “throw down” these horns’? For that answer, I believe we only need to point to the following scripture where one of these craftsmen is named;
“And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 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.” (Revelation 12:7-9)
In this passage we obviously learn that “Michael and his angels” are superior to Satan and his angels, because they defeat them in battle and throw them from heaven. So if Michael and his angels have power that is superior to that of Satan, then they are superior to his ‘four horns’ as well, and are probably the four craftsmen we are looking for. And history suggests that they are.
The Four Archangels in History
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
Solomon reminds us that the things that will occur in the future have already occurred in the past, and nowhere is this notion more pronounced than with the four archangels. In our biblical canon we find Michael and Gabriel mentioned as two of these angels, but in the lost book of Enoch (now found) we also find Uriel and Raphael in this role. Together, these powerful angels are identified as the four Archangels that stand in the presence of the Lord.
So, if these angels are the four craftsmen that will “terrify” and “throw down” the four horns of Satan, then according to Solomon we should have seen them in this role before. And when we read the book of Enoch, we do.
The Four Archangels in Enoch
For those that are not familiar with the importance of the book of Enoch, it’s worth mentioning that Enoch is quoted in the New Testament book of Jude, where Jude called him a prophet. Also, there are literally over a hundred direct or indirect references in both testaments that come from this book, such as the origin of evil spirits, the reason that fallen angels are currently imprisoned in the earth, the role of angels in the pre-flood world, and much more.
So while Enoch is not canon, it was a very well known and revered book of prophecy that most Jews at the time of Jesus considered to be relevant. This is why more copies of Enoch were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls than any other book. Some early church fathers even considered it to be scripture, but all considered it to be an important addition to our understanding of biblical prophecy.
With that being said, Enoch has a lot to say about the four Archangels and the roles that they played in the past. In that day each of these four powerful angels had a role to play in the destruction of evil and the rebuilding of the post-flood world. So in our first example, we find God instructing the Archangel Uriel to guide Noah while the ark was built;
“Then said the Most High, the Great and Holy One, “Uriel, go to the son of Lamech. Say to him: “Go to Noah and tell him in my name ‘hide yourself!’, and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed….….now instruct him as to what he must do to escape that his offspring may be preserved for all the generations of the world.” (Enoch 10:1-2)
In this role, Uriel was a craftsman since he was charged with preserving mankind for future generations. His efforts in this role would make him a driving force in re-building a post-flood world. However, one of the roles of the craftsmen will be to “terrify” and “throw down” Satan’s four horns in the last days, so let’s look again to Enoch for an example of how the Archangel Raphael did that very thing in the days of Noah;
And again the Lord said to Raphael: “Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness and split open the desert, which is in Dudael, and cast him in………..on the day of the great judgment, he shall be hurled into the fire. And heal the earth which the angels have ruined, and proclaim the healing of the earth, for I will restore the earth and heal the plague….”, (Enoch 10:4-7)
Raphael bound Azazel (the ‘scapegoat’) under the earth during the days of Noah, and he will do it again in the last days when Satan’s 3½ year appointed time has run it’s course. And notice how Raphael is also appointed to “heal the earth” from the damage that the fallen angels had done. Once again, this is something the four craftsmen will do.
The final two craftsmen of Zechariah we already know from the Bible, and they are the Archangels Gabriel and Michael. So let’s see what Enoch has to say about their roles in the days of Noah;
To Gabriel said the Lord: “Proceed against the bastards and the reprobates, and against the children of fornication and destroy the children of fornication and the children of the Watchers. Cause them to go against one another that they may destroy each other in battle: Shorten their days.” (Enoch 10:9)
Here we find the Lord instructing Gabriel to destroy the children of the Watchers, otherwise known as the Nephilim in the Bible. In this role, Gabriel would certainly “terrify” and “thrown down” Satan’s horns by causing them to kill each other. And at the same time, Michael would be busy binding the leader of these fallen angels and his team;
And the Lord said to Michael: “Go, bind Semjaza and his team who have associated with women and have defiled themselves in all their uncleanness…….bind them fast for seventy generation under the hills of the earth, until the day of the consummation of their judgment……….In those days they shall be led off to the abyss of fire and to the torment and the prison in which they shall be confined forever…….Destroy all the wrong from the face of the earth and let every evil work come to an end and let the plant of righteousness and truth appear” (Enoch 10: 11-16)
Along with binding these fallen angels under the earth, which is referenced several times in the New Testament, Michael would ensure the conditions necessary for righteousness to appear. So once again, the role of a craftsman is implied. And isn't it interesting that God chose the term 'craftsmen' to describe the work of these four archangels, since He himself came as a carpenter to "thrown down" sin and rebuild the world through the blood of the cross.
The Days of Noah
As Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun, and that which has been done will be done again. The lesson we can take from that statement is that while these Archangels did all these things in the days of Noah, they will do them again in the future, just as Christ prophesied;
"As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man." (Matthew 24:37)