Zechariah 1:8,10-11 (NASB)

[8]I saw at night, and behold, a man was riding on a red horse, and he was standing among the myrtle trees which were in the ravine, with red, sorrel and white horses behind him.

[10]And the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered and said, "These are those whom the Lord has sent to patrol the earth." [11]So they answered the angel of the Lord who was standing among the myrtle trees and said, "We have patrolled the earth, and behold, all the earth is peaceful and quiet."

Three times the prophet mentions the myrtle trees, could there be some significance in these trees?

2 Answers 2


In the Talmud I find a probable interpretation. That is, it represents upright ones, or what would be synonymous with what we would also call "saints" :

R. Simeon b. Nahmani, when he came to lecture, began his lecture with the passage [Is. lv. 13]: "Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree, and instead of the nettle shall come up the myrtle." "Instead of the thorn," i.e., instead of Haman the wicked, who made himself an idol, as it is written [ibid. vii. 19]. "All thorn-hedges"; "shall come up the fir-tree," i.e., Mordecai, who was the essence to all the spices, as it is written [Ex. xxx. 23]: "And thou, take unto thyself principal spices, of pure myrrh"--this is translated in the Aramaic Mor-decai; "instead of the nettle," i.e., Vashti the wicked, who was granddaughter of Nebuchadnezzar the wicked, who had burnt the house of God, shall rise Esther the upright, who was called Hadassa (Myrtle), as it is written: "And he had brought up Hadassah--that is, Esther" [Esther, ii. 7]; "And it shall be unto the Lord for a name," i.e., the reading of the Megilla; "for a sign of everlasting that shall not be cut off," i.e., the Days of Purim.

Tractate Megillah [The Scroll, i.e. Esther], 1.

R. Johanan said: It reads [Zech. i. 8]: "I saw this night, and behold there was a man (ish) riding upon a red horse," etc. "This night"--the Lord intended to plunge the whole world into night. "Behold there was a man"--the Holy One, who is named [Ex. xv. 31 "ish, lord of war." "Upon a red horse"--he intended to plunge the world into blood, but after looking upon Chananyah, Mishael and Azaryah he gave up his intention. As it reads further on, "And he was standing among the myrtle-trees (hadisin)." And by myrtle-trees are meant the upright. As it reads [Esther, ii. 7]: "And he brought up Hadassah."

Tractate Sanhedrin, 11.


"Three times the prophet mentions the myrtle trees,could there be some significance in these trees?"

For those of the Single-intent school, a tree is just a tree. However, since literal interpretation permits the use of allegory as allegory, many will use free-for-all allegory to fill in the gaps. This is plain when comparing notes on parables.

But in sensus plenior, everything contributes to speaking of Christ and allegorical/metaphoric meaning is derived from the words themselves and must agree with every other usage.

"Myrtle tree" 01918 הדס hadac is of an uncertain derivation, so we rely on the Hebrew/apostolic practice of deriving the meaning of the word from the embedded metaphor of letters.

echo הד of the fulfilled purpose of God ס

quelled הס by the command of God ד

heard, but not understood ה command ד fulfilled ס

Observe the response of the ones roaming, that all is at rest.

Zec 1:11 And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

This method is demonstrated many times in the parsing of Hebrew words. "The spirit hovered over the face of the waters" is a verbalization of shmayim "heavens" as it is parsed out. And a verbalization of the letter aleph.

Adam came from the ground Adamah, and was filled with blood 'dam' with the spirit/breath on his face (the aleph). Blood 'dam' is the commandment fulfilled by the son (the cross, the blood).

From other metaphor: The primary metaphor of tree is the cross. The secondary metaphor, particularly when there are many trees, are those who have been made to be like him (Christ).

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