ZECHARIAH AND HIS BOOK
Zechariah’s name means “the Lord remembers.” His name is a reminder that the Lord never forgets His people or His promises to them. The Lord remembered His people in captivity, and He returned them, including Zechariah, to the Land of the Promise. The Lord remembered His promise to send the Messiah; and through the many Messianic prophecies of Zechariah, He showed that He continued to remember His promise. Zechariah was a priest from the tribe of Levi. He had returned from the Captivity together with his father Berekiah and grandfather Iddo. Zechariah began his prophesying two months after Haggai’s ministry began in 520 B.C., the second year of King Darius’ reign (see 1:1). Like Haggai, Zechariah encouraged the people to rebuild the Lord’s temple. Zechariah’s book, however, is longer and has much more variety than Haggai’s. His book contains visions with strange symbols, prose as well as poetry, and many Messianic prophecies. The Book of Zechariah has been called “the most Messianic” of all the Old Testament books.
GENERAL OUTLINE FOR THE BOOK OF ZECHARIAH
- Zechariah’s Eight Visions (1-6)
- The Question About Fasting (7-8) (Zechariah answers the question of whether the people should continue to fast on the day commemorating the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Zechariah answers that God wants obedience that comes from the heart; He does not just want the outward practice of fasting.)
- Prophecies about World Powers and God’s Kingdom (9-14) (This section contains many Messianic prophecies.)
A word of advice when reading Zechariah:
The Book of Zechariah contains some sections that are difficult to understand. We should let the other parts of Scripture help explain the difficult passages when that is possible; and we should not pretend to understand more than we can truly understand and make all kinds of strange interpretations.
Some of Zechariah’s Messianic prophecies:
- Zechariah 9:9-10 (compare Mat. 21:1-5)
- Zechariah 11:12-13 (compare Mat. 2:15 and Mat. 27:9-10. Note that when Matthew credits Jeremiah with this prophecy, he is using “Jeremiah” in the sense of standing for all the Old Testament prophets. Among the Jews, this was a common way of referring to the prophets.)
- Zechariah 12:10 (compare John 19:34-37)
- Zechariah 13:7 (compare Mat. 26:31)
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