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Old Testament Survey

Zechariah




Key Verses

4:6
8:3
9:9, 10


Key Chapters

Chapter 14


Key Concepts

Word of the Lord
Lord of Hosts


Thoughts for Reading

Is the Temple important?
To the Israelites?
To us?


Zech. 1:3
Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.

Title -- Author

Zechariah was a Levite who was born in Babylon (Neh 12:1, 16),the son of Berekiah and the grandson of Iddo the priest (Zech 1:1; cf. 12:4, 16; Ezra 5:1; 6:14). While Zechariah was a common name, it is possible the prophet was a priest. His name means “God remembers.” He is a contemporary of Haggai, the prophet, Zerubbabel, the governor, and Joshua, the high priest (Ezra 5:1-2; Zech 3:1; 4:6; 6:11).

The dates for Zechariah’s messages in chapters 1--8 place his ministry in concurrence with Haggai&s ministry (520 B.C.). His ministry begins between Haggai’’s second and third message.

Purpose

Haggai used the formula “The Lord Almighty says” or “the Lord declares” some 25 times. Zechariah uses the formula “the Word of the Lord” 13 times and speaks of the “Lord of Hosts” 53 times.

Zechariah writes to comfort and encourage the returned remnant to repent of their evil ways, to return to the Lord, and to rebuild the Temple. The people who had just returned from exile felt like their efforts were insignificant and the future was uncertain. The people recognized they were still a client state of the ruling force, not an independent country. The prophet focuses on the future restoration of the nation and the judgment of the evil empires at the establishment of the Messianic kingdom. He proclaims that God would send the Messiah to establish His Kingdom through the destruction of the Gentile empires and the salvation of His people Israel.

The theme of Zechariah might be seen in 1:3, quoted at the beginning of this chapter. This is the need of the people to return to God and restore fellowship, so that God could return to them. This theme is similar to that of Jeremiah (cf. Jer 3:1, 7, 10; 4:1).

Jeremiah 24:7
And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.

These verses make it clear that a return of Israel to the Lord is a prerequisite of God’s blessings. The people must repent. Zechariah and Haggai show the prominence of the Temple in the spiritual restoration of Israel. God needs to dwell among the people in order for the people to become spiritually whole. This is the purpose of the Temple, to provide this place of communion.

Zechariah’s messages come in eight visions, four messages, and two oracles. The following chart provides the outline of the book.

An Outline of Zechariah
Chapters 1-6Chapters 7-8Chapters 9-14
Apocalyptic
Eight Night Visions
Ethical Prophecy
Four Messages
Predictive Prophecy
Two Oracles
The Horse Patrol    
4 Horns & 4 Craftsmen Rebuke  
Man & measuring line   Burden against the nations
Joshua clothed Reminder  
Lamps and Olive Trees    
Flying Scroll Restoration  
Woman and Ephah 12.   Burden for Israel
The Chariot Patrol Return  

In the present writer’s judgment, his book is the most Messianic, the most truly apocalyptic and eschatological, of all the writings of the Old Testament. 13.

Jesus in Zechariah

This is the proper view of Zechariah. The prophet sees Christ in both of His Advents. Further, Jesus is seen as Servant and King, as Man and God. He is:

Two of these prophecies speak to the two advents of Christ. The first is well-known amongst all Christians, even if they do not know the source. The second is, perhaps, less well known. Zechariah writes about Palm Sunday:

Zechariah 9:9-10
9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. 10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.

That Jesus comes to Jerusalem riding on a donkey, the colt, the foal of an ass, is well known amongst church goers. But do you remember where Jesus ascended into heaven? Do you know where He will return to earth?

We are told in Acts 1 that the Ascension is at the Mount of Olives.

Acts 1:11-12
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. 12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.

Zechariah foretells the return.

Zechariah 14:4
4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

That will be a glorious day!

Are you ready for the return of Christ?

Footnotes:
12. An ephah is a dry measure, equal to about 13 quarts
13. G.L. Robinson, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1956, 5:3136, Ages Master Christian Library electronic version.

 

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December 9, 2019

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