Zechariah means Yahweh remembers.
Author of the book of Zechariah, prophet and priest in the Old Testament.
Zechariah, son of Berekiah and grandson of Iddo, the prophet
Zechariah’s ministry took place during the reign of Darius the Great.
Zechariah’s prophecies are dated from 520-518 BC,
Haggai was a contemporary prophet of Zechariah after the fall of Jerusalem.
Zechariah experienced visions from the Lord. A vision is something seen that will or may come to be, according to the dictionary. Zechariah was one of the minor prophets – Joel, Hosea, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Malachi. The major prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel and Daniel.
Zechariah’s night visions occurred all in one night –
Horseman – 1:7-17
Horns and Craftsmen – 1:18-21
Man with a Measuring Line – 2:1-13
Joshua the High Priest – 3:1-10
Golden Lampstand – 4:1-14
Flying Scroll – 5:1-4
Woman in a Basket – 5:1-11
Four Chariots – 6:1-8
Crown and the Temple - 6:9-15
Zechariah returned to Jerusalem and was called a few months after Haggai, to prophesy. His visions are dated from 520-518 BC. The interesting fact is that Zechariah grew up in captivity, and his grandfather was a priest and a prophet. Picture Zechariah as a young boy being taught about the Father God of all. Picture his excitement in returning to Jerusalem, the Holy City. Imagine his longing to make Jerusalem become as it once was. Then comes the visions. It wasn’t what he ate, but it was real visions. Visions brought from the Angel of the Lord, speaking for the Lord God. He must have been in awe.
Zechariah listened, and listened well, to the Word of the Lord given him by the Angel of the Lord. He recorded the words. He believed them. He shared them. So often I have thumbed quickly through the Bible and skipped the book of Zechariah. As I study Zechariah, I find a wealth of information that is not only important for the Israelites returning to their homeland, but also to me and to you.
Chapter One gives this insight: “I, the Lord, was very angry with your ancestors. Therefore, say to the people, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.’ Verses 2-3
The promise is clear. When we return to God, He returns to us. Everywhere I look in this world I see wars, death, chaos, greed and unrest. Our God is of Peace and Love. That is lost to us. The faithful listen and are challenged to live ever close to God. Is God angry with us? The blame goes to everyone, for we are all sinful. Zechariah was admonished by the Angel of the Lord, Shout this message for all to hear: ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: My love for Jerusalem and Mount Zion is passionate and strong. I:14.
In Chapter 9:7-9 - Shout this message for all to hear: ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: My love for Jerusalem and Mount Zion is passionate and strong.
In Chapter 12, the phrase – In That Day – is repeated over and over. That Day is coming! Yes! Verses 1—11 - “Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David and on the people of Jerusalem. They will look on me whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for him as for a firstborn son who has died. The sorrow and mourning in Jerusalem on that day will be like the great mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the valley of Megiddo.
Oh, how Zechariah wondered about the message. He grew up knowing and watching for the coming Messiah. The how and why are not told, simply how there will be grieving. A first born son has died? Such sadness fills these two verses. There is more.
When I read these verses my heart quakes with sorrow, for I see there is a great battle coming. How do I know if this battle of darkness against light is not with us today? We live by a highway of scurrying, hurrying travelers whisking by our house, just across the fence. Are we like them, scurrying and whisking through our lives not heeding God’s Words?
God chooses us, but He waits for us to choose to serve and obey Him. The choice is a matter of life and death, lightness and darkness. So often I remember my Grandmother’s prayer that all her family will join her in Heaven; they would choose God. This was my Mother’s prayer as well. Now I understand completely. Choosing God is choosing life now, tomorrow and forever.
Zechariah’s message ends with a bad news -- good news theme. IN THAT DAY….the first two verses cry out….and then comes what will take place.
Verses 3-5 - Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations, as he has fought in times past. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. And the Mount of Olives will split apart, making a wide valley running from east to west. Half the mountain will move toward the north and half toward the south. You will flee through this valley, for it will reach across to Azal. Yes, you will flee as you did from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all his holy ones with him.
Now that is good news! Then the Lord my God will come, and all his holy ones with him.
Thank you, Zechariah, for blessing us with the words from the Angel of the Lord. How blessed we are for your courage to share with us. John writes, He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20