Original Research - Special Collection: African Hermeneutics

The mysterious Hebrew word שׂרקים in Zechariah 1:8

Philip S. Chia
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 44, No 1 | a2764 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v44i1.2764 | © 2023 Philip S. Chia | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 November 2022 | Published: 03 May 2023

About the author(s)

Philip S. Chia, Faculty of Biblical Studies, Reformed Theological Seminary of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia


The Hebrew word שׂרקים in Zechariah 1:8 is a mysterious word. The disappearance of the Hebrew word שׂרקים in Zechariah 1:8 from the rest of the Book of Zechariah and the unknown meaning of שׂרקים itself are the reasons for this mystery. Zechariah 1:8 does not only abandon two colours: the black horses and the spotted (dappled) horses but also this verse adds שׂרקים or the sorrel ones, which are not recorded in Zechariah 6:2–3 and 6:6–7. The appearance of שׂרקים in Zechariah 1:8, therefore, creates disagreement colours with Zechariah 6:2–3 and 6:6–7. In addition, Gelston states that the Hebrew word שׂרקים is probably unknown to the ancient translators. This unknown meaning causes different translations of שׂרקים in ancient texts. This article, thus, attempts to unveil this mystery with textual criticism as its methodology.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This research emphasises on the importance of textual criticism to unveil the unknown meaning of קים in Zechariah 1:8.


textual criticism; lexical analysis; Zechariah; Old Testament; Semitic languages.


Total abstract views: 1537
Total article views: 1443

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.