THE BOOK OF ZECHARIAH
THE BOOK OF ZECHARIAH
Author - LITTLE ONE
T R E A S U R E... S E E K E R S ... I N ... T H E ... O L D ... T E S T A M E N T - ZECHARIAH
'Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path......Where your treasure is
there is your heart also'
BIBLE STUDY ON THE BOOK OF ZECHARIAH
Zechariah means “Jehovah remembers.”
He was both a prophet and a priest.
He prophesied for three years, as previously mentioned, overlapping Haggai by approximately two months.
Part 1: Introduction (1:1-6)
Part 2: A series of eight night visions (1:7-6:8)
Part 3: The Symbolic crowning of Joshua the High Priest (6:9-15)
Part 4: The Problem of fasting and the promise of the future (7-8)
Part 5: The prophetic oracles: The Great Messianic Future and the full realisation of God’s Kingdom (9-14)
Bible scholars agree that the book of Zechariah is one of the hardest to understand!! It contains much imagery, particularly within the eight visions:
The Horseman among the Myrtle Trees (1:7-17); The Four Hours and the Four Craftsmen (1:18-21); A Man with a Measuring Line (2); Clean Garments for the High Priest (3); The Gold Lampstand and the Two Olive Trees (4); The Flying Scroll (5:1-4); The Woman in a Basket (5:5-11); The Four Chariots (6:1-8).
As we are covering three books tonight, we don’t have time to cover these visions in any more detail (phew!), but I would encourage you to cast your eyes over them sometime, if only to enjoy the richness of the language used!
The intention of Zechariah is to give a message encouragement and he talks again and again of how God will strengthen and help the people.
He reassures the Goveror, Zerubbbel, that he does not have to work in his own strength:
(4:6) "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.”
How often do we quote that Scripture and lean on that promise for our own lives? Maybe not as often as we should. In my own life I lean far too much on my own strength and end up exhausted and discouraged. How much easier our lives would be if we would take our strength from God!!
Zechariah tells us that we never have to fear as long as we are doing God’s will – that God is in complete control and we have to simply trust him. I pray for all of us that need it, that we would get such a revelation of the character of God that our lives are completely transformed!!
Zechariah and Messianic Prophecies:
The book of Zechariah contains more prophecies of the Messiah than any other prophet with the exception of Isaiah:
Christ the Servant, and Branch:
(3:8) " 'Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch.
(6:12) ”Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD.”
(6:13) “It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne.”
Christ’s entry into Jerusalem:
(9:9) “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
(9:10) “I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.”
Christ the good Shepherd:
(9:16) “The LORD their God will save them on that day as the flock of his people. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown.”
Christ the stricken Shepherd:
(13:7) "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!" declares the LORD Almighty. "Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones.”
Christ betrayed for 30 pieces of silver:
(11:11) “It was revoked on that day, and so the afflicted of the flock who were watching me knew it was the word of the LORD. (12) I told them, "If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it." So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.
Christ’s hands pierced:
(12:10) "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.”
Christ wounded in the house of His friends:
(13:6) “If someone asks him, 'What are these wounds on your body?' he will answer, 'The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.'
Christ the King:
(14:9) “The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.”
Christ’s coming on the Mount of Olives:
(14:3) Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. (4) On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.
(5) You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.”
Christ’s coming and coronation:
I don’t know about you, but I just find these prophecies mind-blowing!! They were written hundreds of years before Jesus came, but they are absolutely spot on! My particular favourite is the prophesy regarding Jesus entering Jerusalem on the donkey.
What a faith-builder these prophecies are!! And what a fantastic tool for us to use in witnessing. Actually, that gives me a great idea for a future study!!
Zechariah and Fasting:
(7:1) In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev. (2) The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech, together with their men, to entreat the LORD (3) by asking the priests of the house of the LORD Almighty and the prophets, "Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?"
(4) Then the word of the LORD Almighty came to me: (5) "Ask all the people of the land and the priests, 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? (6) And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves? (7) Are these not the words the LORD proclaimed through the earlier prophets when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were at rest and prosperous, and the Negev and the western foothills were settled?' "
(8) And the word of the LORD came again to Zechariah: (9)"This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. (10) Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.'
This is an echo of Isaiah 58, also reminds me of when the Pharisees and Sadducees question Jesus in the New Testament.
(Matthew 6:16) "When you fast, do not look sombre as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. (17) But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, (18)so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
God’s response is always that it’s all about motive!! Do we fast for the right reasons? When we give up chocolate for lent, do we really stop to think why we are doing it? Outward displays of religiosity don’t impress God – it is all about the heart.
I have friends who fast on a weekly basis for the lost. They don’t advertise it (I only found out about it by accident); they simply do it as a sign of their commitment to God and to serving His people.
And fasting doesn’t always have to be about food either. It can be about giving up a television programme to pray (just one example). Ask God about it! He will reveal to you how and when you are to fast!
Zechariah ends with a vision of the Day of the Lord – a terrifying vision of the apocalypse:
(14:1) “A day of the LORD is coming when your plunder will be divided among you. (2) I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. (3) Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. (4) On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.
(5) You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. (6) On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. (7) It will be a unique day, without daytime or night time—a day known to the LORD. When evening comes, there will be light. (12) This is the plague with which the LORD will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.
(13) On that day men will be stricken by the LORD with great panic. Each man will seize the hand of another, and they will attack each other. (14) Judah too will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected—great quantities of gold and silver and clothing. (15) A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys, and all the animals in those camps.
But also with a promise:
(9) The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. (10) The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up and remain in its place, from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses. (11) It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure.
(20) On that day HOLY TO THE LORD will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the LORD's house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. (21) Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the LORD Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD Almighty.