Zechariah (520-489 BC) was a priest as well as a prophet. His grandfather, Iddo, returned with Zerubabbel and Joshua (Jeshua) (Nehemiah 12:4). The original circumstances, which called for the ministry of Haggai and Zechariah, are the same. Zechariah began to prophesy two months later than Haggai. While Haggai concentrated on the need of the people to finish the temple, Zechariah had a wider vision: he saw an "Israel" in a new light - the Messiah has come.
Zechariah's task was to support Haggai in his call to finish the temple. He also was to put the restoration in its proper perspective. There was every reason for the remnant to be discouraged, for the pleasing predictions of Isaiah and Jeremiah had not yet come to fruition. Zechariah had to show that, even though postponed, the promises of God had not been forgotten.
The visions of Zechariah are apocalyptic in style, like the books of Ezekiel and Revelation. God sees, as attested by the vision of the four horsemen. God has not forgotten the attitude of the Gentiles concerning His people, and he will not allow it to continue indefinitely. The vision of the four carpenters guarantees redress. The vision of the man with the measuring rod promised prosperity. His vision of the priest contending with Satan, with Jehovah Himself defending, gives reassurance that divine favor has come again to His people. Spiritual revival is seen in the vision of the candlestick. Other visions follow, and the end result is divine judgment coming upon the nations.
The BRANCH is mention on four occasions in the Old Testament (Jere. 23:5,6; 33:15; Zech. 3:8; 6:12). It will be seen from the context of these passages that the Messiah is referred to as Jehovah, Servant, Man, and King, and coincidentally it is from these four viewpoints that the four gospel accounts are written.
Zechariah discussed the relationship of fasts, and the conclusion is that the time will come when fasting will give way to feasting. The closing chapters deal with the coming, rejection, and ultimate triumph of the Messiah. The greatest national folly of Israel was the rejection and crucifixion of Christ, and it is this that Zechariah describes in chapters 9-14. Although their folly is past history, it is perpetuated even today by man rejecting Christ and, as it were, crucifying the Son of God afresh. But God allows not for human folly to thwart His purposes. The Christ has come and the Christ now reigns (14:17)
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