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Minor Prophets - Zecheriah

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An Overview of Zechariah

Introduction:

(1)    Zechariah’s name means “whom Jehovah remembers.”

(a)    His name was a popular name among the Hebrews as evident by the fact that there are at least 27 men bearing this name in the OT.

(b)    This Zechariah identifies himself as “the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo” (Zech. 1.1).

i.                    He is also mentioned in Ezra 5.1 and 6.14 as only the “son of Iddo.”

ii.                  From Nehemiah 12.4, 16, we learn that he was of priestly descent, being of the group of priests, who under Zerubbabel’s leadership, returned to Jerusalem from Babylon in 536 B.C.

iii.                Jesus refers to a Zechariah in Matthew 23.35 as one who had been murdered between the temple and the altar.

a.       Most believe that this is a reference to the Zechariah, son of Jehoiada, in           2 Chronicles 24.20-22.

b.      Unless there is a scribal error in Matthew, then the reference is to the prophet, son of Berechiah, who must have likewise suffered a similar death.

(2)    The date of the book:

(a)    All scholars agree that chapters 1-8 were spoken in the years 520-518 B.C.

(b)    Chapters 9-14 have created some discussion:

i.                    Some hold to a different author and dates of even before the exile.

ii.                  Nevertheless, it seems that the chapters are written by the same author and around the same time as the first eight chapters.

(3)    Some facts about the book:

(a)    It is the longest of the books that comprise what we know as the “Minor prophets.”

(b)    Some regard it as the “most Messianic.”

(c)    It contains some apocalyptic messages similar to the NT book of Revelation.

Discussion:

I.                   Visions: Discussed and Explained (Zech. 1-6):

A.    The prophet begins with a call to repentance (1.1-6).

B.     The 8 night visions:

1.      The Rider on the Red Horse (1.7-17) – After 70 years, Jerusalem will be rebuilt and the heathen will be punished.

2.      The Four Horns and the Four Smiths (1.18-21) – There is no longer any opposition to the building of the Lord’s house.

3.      The Man with the Measuring Stick (2.1-13) – Jerusalem will be a city without walls and the Lord will be her protection.

4.      Joshua, the High Priest, and the Branch (3.1-10) – The priesthood shall be cleansed and made acceptable for service.

5.      The Golden Candlestick with 7 Lambs and 2 Olive Trees (4.1-14) – Zerubbabel and Joshua are given assurance that the temple will be completed.

6.      The Flying Scroll (5.1-4) – The Law will remove crime from the land.

7.      The Woman sitting in an Ephah (5.5-11) – With the temple rebuilt, evil is to be removed from the land.

8.      The 4 Chariots from between the Copper Mountains to forth to Patrol the Earth (6.1-8) – Symbolizes God’s protecting providence, the earth is at peace under the control of God.

II.                Fasting: Questions and Answers (Zech. 7-8):

A.    Some from Bethel wonder if the fasts now have relevance since the exile is over and the work on the temple has progressed (7.1-7).

1.      The law demanded one day of fasting – day of atonement – but fasts had sprung up commemorating the calamities.

2.      The prophet makes clear that it is not fasting, but obedience, justice, and kindness that is significant and reminds them that the exile came about because of disobedience (7.8-14).

B.     In chapter 8, Zechariah gives 10 short oracles of encouragement assuring that the Lord will dwell in Zion and that prosperity is sure to come.

III.             The Messiah: The Time and Purpose of His Coming (Zech. 9-14):

A.    There is coming a meek and just King (9.1-17).

B.     He will be interested in His people (10.1-12).

C.     He will be sold for 30 pieces of silver (11.1-17).

D.    He will be pierced (12.1-14).

E.     The fountain will be cleansed when the Smitten Shepherd comes (13.1-9).

F.      Jerusalem will be destroyed in A.D. 70 as a New Age begins (14.1-21).

G.    In chapters 12-14, we have a portrait of the judgment upon the world powers and the victory of the Kingdom of God!

Conclusion:

(1)    The Branch has come.

(2)    Will you be a part of His Kingdom and share in the victory?

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