Zechariah

The prophets, Zechariah and Haggai, minister at the same time in Jerusalem. The Jews have returned to Judah after being held captive in Babylon for 70 years. Zechariah describes a series of visions that are similar to John’s Revelation and apocalyptic in nature.

Author and Date

Unlike Haggai, Zechariah lists his lineage, but that is all. He dates his visions and messages according to the Persian dating system because Judah does not have its own king. His ministry spans from about 525 to 520 B.C.

Outline

  1. Eight Symbolic Visions (1-6)
  2. Four Messages (7-8)
  3. Two Oracles (9-14)

Theme(s)

Zechariah is unlike any of the other minor prophets because of his apocalyptic visions recorded in the first six chapters. The word apocalyptic literally means “to reveal.” The prophet may be revealing the unseen world in past, present, or the future. He may also be revealing the events which will take place during the last days. This latter usage became popular on account of John’s Revelation.

The four messages in chapters 7-8 demonstrate the continuity between the pre-exilic and post-exilic prophets. In chapter 7, the Lord indicts the people for similar issues: “do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart” (7:10). Chapter 8 records words of hope of a future restoration of Israel. The focal point of this future blessing is the time when all nations will worship the Lord (8:23).

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