I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem - No wars shall be employed to spread the kingdom of the Messiah; for it shall be founded and established, "not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts," Zechariah 4:6.
And I will cut off the chariot - The horse is the symbol of worldly power, as the ass is of meekness. “Some,” says the Psalmist, “put their trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God” Psalm 20:7. “A horse is but a vain thing to save a man” Psalm 33:17. “He delighteth not in the strength of a horse” Psalm 147:10). In scarcely any place in Holy Scripture is the horse spoken of in relation to man, except as the instrument of war. It represents human might, which is either to be consecrated to the Lord, or destroyed by Him (see Micah 5:10). As the “stone, cut out without hands” Daniel 2:34, broke in pieces and absorbed into itself all the kingdoms of the world, so here He, whose Kingdom should not be of this world, should supersede human might. His kingdom was to begin by doing away, among His followers, all, whereby human kingdoms are established. He first cuts off the chariot and the horse, not from His enemies, but from His own people; His people, not as a civil polity, but as the people of God. For the prophet speaks of them as Ephraim and Judah, but Ephraim had no longer a distinct existence.
And He shall speak peace unto the pagan - As the Apostle says, “He came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh” Ephesians 2:17. He shall speak it to them, as He who hath power to give it to them, peace with God, peace in themselves, the reconciliation of God and man, and the remission of their sins.
Osorius: “At His birth the heavenly host announced peace to men; all His doctrine has peace for its end; when His death was at hand, He especially commended peace to His disciples, that peace which the world knoweth not, which is contained in tranquility of mind, burning zeal for charity. Divine grace. This same peace He brought to all who gathered themselves to His empire and guidance, that, emerging from intestine wars and foul darkness, they might behold the light of liberty, and, in all wisdom keep the grace of God.”
And His dominion shall be from sea to sea - The bounds of the promised land, in its utmost range, on the west, were the Mediterranean sea; on the east, “the great river,” the Euphrates. The prophet pictures its extension, so as to embrace the whole world, taking away, first the one bound, then the other. “From sea to sea” is from the Mediterranean to the most extreme east, Where the Ocean encircles the continent of Asia; “from the river to the ends of the earth,” is from the Euphrates to the most extreme west, embracing the whole of Europe; and whatever may lie beyond, to the ends of the earth, where earth ceaseth to be. It is this same lowly and afflicted king, whose entry into Jerusalem is on a despised animal, who shall, by His mere will, make war to cease, who shall, by His mere word, give peace to the pagan.