This is perhaps one of the most unusual ways that the term ‘spirit’ is rendered. For some, it is interpreted as ‘horsemen’ as in ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.’ For others, it is interpreted as ‘angels’ while others have interpreted it as the ‘Four winds.’ Some people believe it is to do with God sending out ‘Four Chariots’ to collect His people from the corners of the earth – that is if a sphere has corners but perhaps in a world before enlightenment where earth was considered flat and not spherical, it made sense to think God’s reach extended to the North, South East and West?
For me, what is most interesting is that the four ‘spirits’ mentioned are not assigned to God’s Holy Spirit which they would have been had they been denoted with a capital letter (S) in the scripture. No – what we find is that the four spirits are defined as a created entity that is sent by God out into the world. In Zechariah’s vision, the mention that they are standing suggests that these were heavenly creatures which gives support for the referencing of them as angels. However, in terms of this post, what we can take away from this verse is that God is not slow to act but instead proactive in regard to his timescale, plan and purpose. The heavenly beings have been in a state of constant waiting for the Word of God to direct them and once spoken, they leave to fulfil His Will.