"Remembered of the Lord," or "the LORD remembers,"
"Yahweh Remembers," "He whom Yahweh remembers."
Zechariah the prophet (1:1; 7:1) was a young man
born in Babylonia (2:4) of the priestly family of
Iddo (Neh. 12:4). He was one of the exiles who saw
Jerusalem for the first time with the returning
exiles. Zechariah was head of a "father’s house" and
a man of great influence. Zechariah was serving as a
priest when God called him as a prophet. "God had
called him and the time was ripe for preaching,"
B.C. 520. John R. Sampey suggested that "the
youthful Zechariah of 518 B. C. probably composed
chapters 9-14 in later life" (also Francisco).
Haggai prophesied from the sixth to the ninth month
of 520 B. C.; Zechariah began his work in the eighth
month and went on at intervals of several years.
This is a message of encouragement to the rebuilders
of the Temple who had returned with Zechariah under
the leadership of Zerubbabel in 535 B.C. He furthers
Haggai's work by seeking to bring about spiritual
revival and to motivate the people to complete the
Temple. "His passionate enthusiasm for the
restoration of the Temple challenged the people to
carry on to the hour when the building was
completed," says Kyle M. Yates.
An important part of that
message is the Messianic component. He interprets
the meaning of the Temple to the people of JHVH.
Messianic interpretation dominates the book. G. L.
Robinson said, "No other book is as Messianic."
"There is a deep-flowing messianic strain underlying
his message that gave him confidence that what he
urged was in line with God's destiny for the
nation," says Clyde Francisco. The fulfillment of
those hopes depended on the completion of the
In place of the pain God’s saints experience today,
they will one day worship the LORD in His holy city
The book has been described as "difficult, profound,
cloudy, eschatological, apocalyptic, messianic,
exaggerated, confused, unusual." Some of these words
are more aptly applied to content than to style, but
shade from the former to the later" (B. O. Herring).
"Zechariah differs from his predecessors in the
emphasis which he placed upon visions as a means of
divine communication, in apocalyptic symbolism, and
in the large place occupied by angelic mediation in
his intercourse with God" (Francisco). Zechariah
proclaimed the coming of that golden era when God's
promises would be realized. He places a strong
emphasis on the holiness of God. No other prophet
makes so large use of the Sacred Writings as he
does. He has a fondness for vision and symbols, yet
his leading idea are simple and practical.
shepherd, king, Branch, Jerusalem, Israel.
MESSIAH IN ZECHARIAH
"Zechariah's picture of
the coming Messiah stirs the soul," writes Yates.
"This great King is to come as the Prince of peace
(9:9-10) vindicated, victorious and lovely. He comes
triumphantly and yet in the guise of peace. Instead
of riding a war horse he rides a humble beast used
by kings and notables on missions of peace. . . .
the references to the Messianic King and the Good
Shepherd point forward to the life and ministry and
death of our Lord." The great conflict will end in a
glorious victory when the King Messiah comes in
glory. "The temporary victory gained by the enemies
of God will be forgotten when the Messiah in all His
might shall put all enemies under His feet and
establish His kingdom in Jerusalem. As the capital
Zion shall then be the holy city of God. At evening
time three shall be light" (Preaching from the
Prophets, p. 211).
The Branch or Sprout
(3:8f; 6:12f; Heb. 6:20-7:1
Entry of Zion’s Lowly
King (9:9-17; Matt. 21:4-5; Jn. 12:13- 16)
Sale of Jesus by Judas
(11:4-14; Matt. 27:9)
Mourning over the Pierced
One (12:10; Jn. 19:37)
Fountain opened for sin
The Smitten Servant
Glory of Jerusalem the
Center of World Worship (2:10-11; 14:8f, 20f)
At His Second Coming He
will be crowned King (14:5, 9; Rev. 11:15; 21:27)
Cyrus, King of Persia, allowed more than 50,000 Jews
to return to Palestine from Babylon in 538 B.C. In
535 B.C. the foundations for the Temple were laid
and was met with intense opposition which delayed
the construction for another 15 years (Ezra 1:1-4;
4:1-5). Darius Hystaspes (1:1) came to power in 522
and ruled until 486 B.C. A reign of great prosperity
gave him a place among the outstanding rulers of all
history. He confirmed Cyrus’ decree to allow the
Jews to leave and rebuild Jerusalem. The Temple was
completed in 516 B.C.
Yates says, "A serious
depression, with crop failures and apparent ruin,
faced the Jewish people who had responded to the
call of Haggai to build the house of God. Under the
pressure of discouragement and want that faced them
they found it was easy to fall out. . . . A new
voice was needed to lift them into the kind of
enthusiasm that would keep them working to the
finish line. Zechariah came to the rescue to supply
the needed help."
HAGGAI AND ZECHARIAH
Haggai and Zechariah were
contemporaries who present an interesting contrast
with only one thing in common—"a passionate
enthusiasm for the restoration of the Temple."
Haggai was old and spoke straight and to the point;
Zechariah was youthful and visionary. Haggai was
prosaic and practical; Zechariah was idealistic and
full of color. "While Haggai had both feet firmly
planted in the present, Zechariah and his message
gaze toward the future. Haggai prods the people to
use their hands; Zechariah encourages them to open
their hearts. Haggai is concerned about the physical
dwelling place of God—the temple in Jerusalem;
Zechariah’s passion is for God’s spiritual abode—the
hearts of his people," observes Irving Jensen.
Together the two prophets "did a magnificent work in
keeping the interest high and the hands working
through all the troublous days. It was a mighty
undertaking carried on under the most trying
circumstances to its completion in 516 B. C.," says
NEW TESTAMENT USE OF
Zech. 1:8 with Rev. 6:1-8
Zech. 3:2 with Jude 9
Zech. 3:9 with Rev. 5:6
Zech. 8:16 with Eph. 4:25
Zech 9:9 with Matt. 21:5;
Zech. 11:12f with Matt.
Zech. 12:10 with Jn.
19:37; Rev. 1:7
Zech. 13:7 with Matt.
26:31; Mk. 14:27
Zech. 14:11 with Rev.
Christ in the Old Testament
Title: Introduction to
Series: Introduction to