Zechariah Lesson 1


KEY VERSE: Zechariah 4:6b “. . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”

THEME: Zechariah deals with things yet to come. His primary concern is the nation of Israel. Zechariah deals with the remnant and the immediate future, then the incarnation of the Messiah, and the return of Christ in great glory.

DATE: Zechariah appeared on the scene in 520 B.C., two months after Haggai. His early prophecies continued until 518 B.C.

WRITER: Zechariah means “Jehovah remembers.” He was a priest, probably of the tribe of Levi. He was the son of Iddo. He was born in Babylon and returned with the captives. Zechariah began his ministry as a young man. According to Josephus, the Jewish historian, he died a martyr, being slain in the temple.

WRITTEN: The book was written in Palestine after the return from captivity. It contains more predictions of prophesy than do all the other minor prophets combined. It is also the longest of the twelve minor prophecies. Zechariah was written with amazing literary skill. It records, in intricate detail, the vast prophetic themes of the ages.

THE BOOK: Number in the Bible: 38 of 66 books in the Bible. Number of chapters: 14. Number of verses: 211. Number in order of writing: 11th of 12 books of minor prophecy.

PURPOSE: Zechariah and Haggai were both sent of God to urge the remnant to begin again to build the temple. Zechariah gives a message of comfort and reassurance. He points out God’s glorious purpose for Israel in the future. Some of them were having trouble realizing that a number of the promises made of restoration would be fulfilled in the Messianic age in the future.

DIVISIONS: 1. The ten-fold visions of the prophet. 1-6. 2. The manifold vanities of the people. 7-8. 3. The two-fold visitation of the prince. 9-13.

FACTS: Zechariah was born in Babylon. He returned with the captives (approximately 50,000 people). Zerubbabel was governor and Joshua was the high priest. Zechariah was a contemporary of Haggai (1:1). The ruined temple was being rebuilt at Jerusalem. Adverse conditions had caused building to cease. The work had been neglected for fifteen years. Zechariah was a priest, as well as a prophet. His grandfather was Iddo, who had returned with Zerubbabel and Joshua. There is a decided difference between the earlier part of the book and the latter chapters in writing style. Bible students believe the reason for this is that the prophet, Zechariah, was a much older man when he wrote the last part of the book. Haggai seems to have been a very old man, while Zechariah seems to be a very young man. Haggai’s ministry lasted only four months, while Zechariah’s, in contrast, lasted for about two years. We believe both of these men were on hand through the whole four years of the work and completion of the temple. Tradition says that Haggai and Zechariah were not only laborers together in rebuilding the temple, but that they were also buried in the same grave. Haggai seemed to have his feet on the ground; Zechariah was a visionary with his head in the clouds.

OUTLINE: I. The introduction 1:1-6. II. The visions of the night 1:7-6:8. III. The coronation of Joshua 6:9-15. IV. The question concerning fasts 7:1-3. V. The answer to these questions 7:4-8:23. VI. The first burden of the prophet 9:1-11:17. VII. The deliverance of Jerusalem 12:1-10. VIII. The conversion of the remnant 12:11-13:9. IX. The return of the Messiah 14:1-7. X. The blessing of the kingdom. 14:8-21.

MISCELLANEOUS: The Ten Visions. 1. A rider on a red house 1:7-17. Here we have an appearance of Christ himself, along with some angels, keeping watch over Jerusalem. 2. The four horns 1:18-19. These may represent the four world powers of Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Rome. 3. The four artisans (carpenters) 1:20-21. 4. A man with a measuring line 2:11-13. 5. The vision of confrontation in heaven 3:1-10. Joshua is standing before the angel of the Lord with Satan at his right, resisting. 6. The golden lampstands and the two olive trees 4:1-14. This, historically, refers to Zerubbabel and Joshua; prophetically, it refers to Elijah and Moses (see Revelation 11:3-12). 7. The flying scroll 5:1-4. This represents God’s judgment upon the land for breaking the moral law of God. 8. The woman in the ephah 5:5-11. This represents a type of sin and rebellion that began in Genesis eleven and ended in Revelation eighteen. 9. The four chariots 6:1-8. Four heavenly spirits or angels driving four chariots coming from two brass mountains . . . probably represents four plagues of Revelation six from the mountain of God’s judgment. 10. The crowning of Joshua 6:9-15. This act illustrates the three-fold ministry of the coming Messiah. He will build the temple, minister as a priest, and rule as a king.

There are some twenty-eight Zechariah’s in the Bible. This one followed his grandfather in the priestly office. Undoubtedly, his father, Berechiah, died, and Zechariah became a priest after Iddo, his grandfather. He is mentioned in Ezra 5:1; 6:14, as the “son of Iddo” for this reason.

ZECHARIAH SPEAKS OF THE FOLLOWING MESSIANIC PASSAGES: 1. Christ, The Branch 3:8. 2. Christ, The Servant 3:8. 3. Christ, The Smitten Shepherd 13:7. 4. Christ’s Triumphant Entry 9:9. 5. Christ’s Betrayal for Thirty Pieces of Silver 11:12-13. 6. Christ’s Hands and Feet Pierced 12:10. 7. Christ’s return to the Mount of Olives 14:3-8.

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