Survey of Zechariah

Book Type: The eleventh book of the Minor Prophets; the thirty-eighth book of the Old Testament; the thirty-eighth book of the Bible.

Author: Zechariah, as noted in Zechariah 1:1.

Audience: Zechariah was a priest and prophet born during the exile in Babylon. He later came to Jerusalem under the first return with Zerubbabel and Joshua. Zechariah, like Haggai, encouraged the people to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Ezra 6:14–15 notes this project soon began and was completed four years later.

Date: Zechariah consists of two major segments taking place between approximately 520 and 470 BC.

Overview: Zechariah includes 14 chapters with three main sections. Following a call to repentance (Zechariah 1:1–6) Zechariah is given a series of eight visions (Zechariah 1:17—6:15). The eight visions include a man among myrtle trees (Zechariah 1:7–17), four horns and craftsmen (Zechariah 1:18–21), a man with a measuring line (Zechariah 2:1–13), the cleansing of the high priest (Zechariah 3:1–10), a gold lampstand and two olive trees (Zechariah 4:1–14), a flying scroll (Zechariah 5:1–4), a woman in a basket (Zechariah 5:5–11), and four chariots (Zechariah 6:1–8). The section ends with mention of the consecration of the high priest Joshua (Zechariah 6:9–15).

The second main section consists of four sermons or messages from Zechariah. After questions about fasting (Zechariah 7:1–3), Zechariah's four messages condemn the Israelites for sinful motives (Zechariah 7:4–7), demand repentance from the people (Zechariah 7:8–14), preach concerning the favor of the Jews which will be restored in the land (Zechariah 8:1–17), and tell the people their traditional fasts would now be times of feasting (Zechariah 8:18–23).

The final section addresses two concerns of Zechariah in chapters 9—14. In chapters 9—11 he predicts the coming of the Messiah, and judgment on those nations who reject Him when He appears. Yet chapters 12—14 note a second coming at which He will be embraced and restore all things. The messages of these chapters have been partly fulfilled in the coming of Jesus as the Messiah, while the yet future predictions of the second coming of Christ remain to be completed in the future.

Key Verses (ESV):

Zechariah 1:3: "Therefore say to them, Thus declares the LORD of hosts: Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts."

Zechariah 7:13: "'As I called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,' says the LORD of hosts."

Zechariah 9:9: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! \ Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! \ Behold, your king is coming to you; \ righteous and having salvation is he, \ humble and mounted on a donkey, \ on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

Zechariah 13:9: "And I will put this third into the fire, \ and refine them as one refines silver, \ and test them as gold is tested. \ They will call upon my name, \ and I will answer them. \ I will say, 'They are my people'; \ and they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'"