Zechariah, whose name
means "Yahweh remembers," or "Remembered of the
LORD," had an enthusiastic message of encouragement
for the men who were working at restoring the Temple
after the Babylonian exile. He was one of the exiles
who saw Jerusalem for the first time when he arrived
with the returning exiles in 520 B. C. God used the
inspired preaching of Zechariah and his passion for
the restoration of the Temple to see the building
through to completion.
An important part of that
message of encouragement is the Messianic component.
He interprets the meaning of the Temple to the
people of Yahweh. Messianic interpretation dominates
the book. No other Old Testament book is as
Messianic as Zechariah. There is a deep flowing
messianic theme in his message that gave him
confidence in proclaiming God's future and purpose
for the nation. The fulfillment of those hopes
depended on the completion of the Temple.
Zechariah's picture of
the coming Messiah provokes the soul to God. This
great Messiah King is to come as the vindicated and
victorious Prince of peace (9:9-10). He comes
triumphantly and yet in the humble pursuit of peace.
Instead of riding a warhorse he rides a humble beast
used by kings and notables on missions of peace.
We cannot miss the
powerful imagery of the Messiah King and the Good
Shepherd which clearly look forward to the life and
ministry and death of our Lord (John 10:11-18). The
great conflict will end in a glorious victory when
the King Messiah comes in glory. He will put all of
His enemies under His feet and reign as King of
Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Cor 15; Rev. 19).
THE PROMISED PEACE
Israel has been punished
for her sins of idolatry by being carried into
Babylonian captivity in 586 B.C., which lasted for
seventy years. Zechariah writes at the end of the
exile in 520 B. C. as the exiles return to rebuild
Jerusalem and the temple (1:1). The Temple was
rebuilt and completed in 516 B. C. (v. 16). The LORD
punished Israel for her sins and she repented (vv.
There is a time of peace
coming when God restores His people (v. 11). The
Babylonians went too far in their punishment of
Israel and God will deal with them (vv. 14-15).
Zechariah saw a man with
a measuring line who has come to measure Jerusalem
(2:1ff). He envisions a city "without walls" (v. 4).
Another angel came up to the first angel and said to
him, "Run, speak to that young man, saying,
'Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls because
of the multitude of men and cattle within it. For
I,' declares the Lord, 'will be a wall of fire
around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.' "
(vv. 4-5). In the time of peace there will be no
need for protecting walls surrounding Jerusalem. It
will be a time of perfect peace.
The LORD will be
Jerusalem's protection without and 'glory within'
(cf. Isa. 60:19). It will take place when the Lord
reigns as the Messiah in the millennial kingdom on
the earth (Rev. 20:1-10; Ezek. 43:2-5; Zech. 2:5,
The Shekinah glory
of Yahweh will be Israel's protection. "I will be a
wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in
her midst" (v. 5). Israel will be able to say, "I
saw God do it!"
Keil and Delitzsch write:
"Jerusalem is in future to resemble an open country
covered with unwalled cities and villages; it will
no longer be a city closely encircled with walls;
hence it will be extraordinarily enlarged, on
account of the multitude of men and cattle with
which it will be blessed (cf. Isa. 49:19, 20; Ezek.
38:11). Moreover, Jerusalem will then have no
protecting wall surrounding it, because it will
enjoy a superior protection. Jehovah will be to it a
wall of fire round about, that is to say, a defense
of fire which will consume everyone who ventures to
attack it (cf. Isa. 4:5; Deut. 4:24). Jehovah will
also be the glory in the midst of Jerusalem, that is
to say, will fill the city with His glory (cf. Isa.
In verses eight and nine
it is Yahweh Himself as the Angel of the Lord or
Messiah who speaks. It is a difficult Hebrew phrase
in which NIV translates, "after He has honored me
and has sent Me." The KJV reads, "After the glory
hath He sent Me." The NASB reads, "For thus says the
LORD of hosts, 'After glory He has sent me against
the nations which plunder you, for he who touches,
touches the apple of His eye'" (v. 8). The meaning
is probably that God will send the Messiah who will
judge the nations that have plundered Israel. He
will display His glory at the judgment of the
Gentiles at the Second Coming of Christ (Matt.
Praise to Yahweh
for Peace (1:10-13)
As a result of God's
deliverance and protection the people break forth in
praise to Him. Verses 10-13 are a grand time of
worship. "Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of
Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in
your midst," declares the Lord. Many nations will
join themselves to the Lord in that day and will
become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst,
and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me
to you. The Lord will possess Judah as His portion
in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.
Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord; for He is
aroused from His holy habitation."
The Hebrew scholars Keil
and Delitzsch write: "This dwelling of Jehovah, or
of His angel, in the midst of Zion, is essentially
different from the dwelling of Jehovah in the Most
Holy Place of His temple. It commences with the
coming of the Son of God in the flesh, and is
completed by His return in glory (John 1:14; Rev.
21:3). Then will many, or powerful, nations attach
themselves to Jehovah, and become His people (cf.
8:20, 21; Isa. 14:1). This kingdom of God, which has
been hitherto rejected to Israel, will be spread out
and be glorified by the reception of the heathen
nations which are seeking God (Mic. 4:2). . . . This
appointment of Israel to be the possession of
Jehovah will become perfect truth and reality in the
future, through the coming of the Lord."
It is a time when God has
prepared the earth for Christ's triumphant reign. It
is a call to praise to the LORD as the King of
Jerusalem. The Prince of Peace has arrived! This
will be the time when the Messiah will come to rule
on the throne of David. The emphasis is on the
Second coming of Christ when God's blessings to
Israel will over flow to the Gentile nations. Yes,
it is possible that both of Christ's advents are in
view here. In the Millennium people from many
nations will worship the LORD (Zech. 8:20-23; 14:16;
Isa. 2:3-4; Micah 4:2). The entire human race will
bow in awe before the LORD God! This prophecy of
glory intended for Israel (8:18-23) is still
unfulfilled because of the blindness in part to
Israel regarding the Messiah. The fulfillment began
in the first appearance of Christ and will be
consummated when He returns (Phil. 2:8-11).
E. G. Hengstenberg in his
Christology of the Old Testament says, "In
this reply the prophet embraced the whole of the
blessings of salvation intended for the covenant
nation, and the full meaning of his declaration was
first realized in Christ. The conclusion (8:20-23)
relates exclusively to the manner in which the
kingdom of God would be glorified by Him, and as a
still further expansion of Micah 4:2; Isa. 2:3; Jer.
31:6, it contains a description of the eagerness
with which heathen nations would strive for
admission into the kingdom of God."
How interesting to
compare this prophesy in Zechariah with an
experience centuries earlier in the life of the
Hebrew prophet Elisha and his servant who were
surrounded by the enemy army with horses and
chariots. His servant cried out, "Alas, my master!
What shall we do?" The old prophet said, Ah, no
sweat. "Do not fear, for those who are with us are
more than those who are with them." Yeah, but where
are they? Then Elijah prayed, "O Lord, I pray, open
his eyes that he may see." And the Lord opened the
servant's eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain
was full of horses and chariots of fire all around
Elisha. When they came down to him, Elisha prayed to
the Lord and said, "Strike this people with
blindness, I pray." So He struck them with blindness
according to the word of Elisha" (2 Kings 6:17-18).
"I will be a wall of fire
round her, and I will be the glory in her midst"
(Zech. 2:5). The Son of God, Yahweh our
righteousness said, "I am with you always" (Matthew.
28:20). Just as He dwelt among His people visibly,
even so He remains with His people today invisibly
and will visibly return in glory and be with them
forever. This presence of Yahweh, the greatest glory
imaginable to the human mind, will be the crowning
splendor of the city of God and its inhabitants
(Rev. 21:3). Yahweh of hosts who came in the person
of His incarnate Son and dwelled visibly among His
people (John 1:14), and invisibly with His Body the
church to the end of time, and will return from
heaven in eternal glory. Even so, come Lord Jesus.
The highest possible
glory is conferred upon Jerusalem because the Lord
Himself takes up His abode there. The whole
announcement is Messianic. "The essentially
Messianic character is especially apparent from what
is said in vv. 10-11, of the Lord dwelling at
Jerusalem, and the heathen nations flocking thither
in consequence, as a splendid demonstration of the
mercy of God, which according to v. 13, was to fill
all nations with overpowering amazement"
The prophecy of Zechariah
closes with a picture of all nations being gathered
by the LORD against Jerusalem. They will take the
city and plunder it (14:1-2). Then the Lord will
take charge of His people and will appear on Mount
of Olives, and by splitting this mountain, prepare a
way of safety for the rescue of the remnant and come
with all His saints (vv. 3-5) to complete His
kingdom. From Jerusalem will flow a stream of
salvation and blessing over the whole land (vv.
6-11). The hand of the LORD will destroy the enemies
(vv. 12-15). However, a remnant of Gentiles will
turn to the LORD and believe.
It is my prayer that you
will let Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God,
the Messiah become the desire of your heart. He will
give you His perfect peace right now is you will
believe on Him. If you need help in knowing Him in
an intimate personal relationship here is A
Free Gift for You.
1:11-17; 2:5-6 Yahweh Remembers and Brings Peace
Christ in the Old Testament