There is a well-known type of biblical narrative in the Old Testament in which the Holy Spirit leads a prophet to consider some event that is taking place before the gaze of the world at that moment. The inspired writer presents some of the details of what is to him contemporaneous history. Then, suddenly, without so much as a break in the paragraph, the Holy Spirit carries the writer forward more than two thousand years to the time of the end and speaks of prophetic events which have some similarity with those taking place before the eye of the prophet.1Some feel that Zechariah’s vision of the chariots is such a passage:
God’s wrath is specially spoken of in this last vision as being caused to rest on “the north country” [Zec. 6:8], because not only was it there that the attempt was first made to array a world-empire against God, and where apostasy sought, so to say, to organise and fortify itself; not only did Babylon also, at a later time, become the final antagonist and subduer of God’s people and the destroyer of His Temple [Solomon’s Temple], but probably because there, “in the land of Shinar,” the metropolis of world power, Babylon, the great rival of the city of God—wickedness [Zec. 5:8], . . . will once again establish itself, and all the forces of evil again for a time be concentrated. Then God’s judgments shall be fully poured out, and anti-Christian world-power be finally overthrown to make room for the Kingdom of Christ.2It is interesting to consider that in Zechariah’s time the chariots rode north to Babylon in judgment, whereas in the book of Revelation it is once again Babylon which occupies center stage in the end times to be overthrown in judgment (Rev. 18:2+, 21+).
1 Donald Grey Barnhouse, Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1971), 124.
2 David Baron, Zechariah: A Commentary On His Visions And Prophecies (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1918), 182.