Grandson of the priest Iddo, Zechariah prophesied to the people of Judah after they returned from their seventy years of exile in Babylon (Zechariah 1:1; Nehemiah 12:1, 4, 16). Zechariah’s grandfather returned from Babylon, his young grandson in tow, with the first group of Israelites allowed back, in 538 BC under the decree of Cyrus, king of Persia. Because of his family lineage, Zechariah was a priest in addition to a prophet. He, therefore, would have had an intimate familiarity with the worship practices of the Jews, even if he had never served in a completed temple. As a “young man” at the time of his first prophecies (Zechariah 2:4), his life more than likely extended into the reign of Xerxes I (485–465 BC), the king best known in the Bible for making Esther the queen of Persia (Esther 1:1).1
Where Are We?
Zechariah, a young man, especially when compared to his contemporary Haggai, came alongside the older prophet to deliver messages from the Lord to the Jewish remnant recently returned from Babylon. While Haggai’s overall message had more of a cautionary tone to it (pointing out the Jews’ sin and self-focus), Zechariah emphasized a tone of encouragement to the struggling Israelites trying to rebuild their temple.
Why is The Book of Zechariah so Important?
The book of Zechariah contains the clearest and the largest number of messianic (about the Messiah) passages among the Minor Prophets. In that respect, it’s possible to think of the book of Zechariah as a kind of miniature book of Isaiah. Zechariah pictures Christ in both His first coming (Zechariah 9:9) and His second coming (9:10–10:12). Jesus will come, according to Zechariah, as Savior, Judge, and ultimately, as the righteous King ruling His people from Jerusalem (14:8–9).
What's the Big Idea?
Israel (9:1–11:17), and then at His eventual reign when Israel will finally be delivered (12:1–14:21).
Angels appear throughout the Book of Zechariah. An angel restores the high priest Joshua in Zechariah 3. The first part of the book, Chapters One through Eight, contains eight symbolic visions of Zechariah. Chapters 1:8-12 and 6:1-8 may serve as a source of symbols and imagery for the Book of Revelation. Zechariah 7:3 relates the day of mourning (Tisha B'av) of the Israelites over the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple of the Lord. Zechariah 7:12 speaks of the divine inspiration of the Law and Prophets.
VISIONS: Visions Match Each Other (1, 8; 2, 7; 3,6; 4,5; Bonus)
Four Horsemen (Rangers) - asks God for Mercy for His people. “The World is at Peace” (1:8-17)
Four Horns – (Past Sins) four Kingdoms who have divided Israel, Judah, and Jerusalem. God will repay by casting these nations out by Persia (1:18-21)
Measuring of the land or Rebuilding of Jerusalem (2:1-3)
Joshua dirty clothes are Israel’s sins. New clothes – God’s grace/forgiveness. Angels states if he remains faithful then Joshua will represent the new King (Jesus) (3:1-10)
Two Olive Trees giving Oil to the lamp - God’s message to Zerubbabel (Descendent of David) and Joshua building the temple. His work will be accomplished by the King.
Flying Scroll – is a curse on thieves and liars. Not found in the new Jerusalem (5:1-4)
Women in a Basket – represents wickedness. Israel’s past sins
Four Horsemen (Rangers) - asks God for Mercy for His people. “The North is at Rest” (6:1-8)
Joshua is given a crown and will represent the new priest (Jesus) if the people obey God’s covenant.
The nation will seek the Lord in Jerusalem. The BRANCH will be humble. The King is coming to them on a donkey in righteousness.
Satan – accuses Joshua but God chooses Jerusalem to denounce him. Joshua is giving clean clothes to wear. God tells Joshua His servant will remove the sin of the land.
Jerusalem – will be an immovable rock. The people will look upon Him whom they have pierced and will mourn. There will be a fountain to cleanse the sins and prophets will be removed from the land. 1/8, 2/7, 3/6, 4/5
Zion (City of David)
Mount Moriah (Temple Mount)
Cyrus the Great (Persian)
Zerubbabel (King From David’s Lineage)
Joshua (High Priest)
Following the Hebrew text, many translations of Esther call the king of Persia Ahasuerus, the Hebrew name for Xerxes.
F. Duane Lindsey, "Zechariah," in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament, ed. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1985), 1545.
Bishop George L. Lockhart is the Pastor for the Lake Park area in Palm Beach County FL