520 BC

Zechariah began to prophesy in the same year as Haggai. His prophecy is full of mysterious figures and promises of blessings, partly relating to the synagogue, and partly to the Church of Christ.

1. The present generation are warned not to behave as their fathers had done. The message is one of comfort and encouragement for God’s people. Jerusalem will be rebuilt, prosperity will return. Zechariah 1:1-17
2. A vivid vision of the destruction of hostile powers which have ground the nation down. Zechariah 1:18-21.
3. The ‘measuring man’ may have been a projection of Zechariah’s own image. The walls had been destroyed. They were not rebuilt until the year 445 B.C., seventy five years after this prophecy. But God pledges himself to protect Jerusalem. He calls on the remaining exiles to return. Zechariah 2:1-13.
4. The investiture of the High Priest. The taints of exile, when strict observances of the dietry and other laws was impossible, are removed. The High Priest is suitably robed for office. God promises to send the long foretold Messiah, the branch from the family of David. He will usher a day of universal peace and prosperity. Zechariah 3:1-10.
5. The seven branch candlestick may represent God’s people or their worship, supported and ‘fed’ by the royal priestly leaders (the two olive trees). From small beginnings great things will be accomplished. Zerubbabel will lay the last stone in the temple building as he had done the first. Zechariah 4:1-14.
6. In ancient thinking a curse possessed destructive power. This is the concept behind the picture of the scroll. The woman in the great measure, or barrel, is sin personified: perhaps particularly the sin of idolatry, since she is removed to Babylon where a temple is built for her. Zechariah 5:1-11.
7. This last vision is like the first. God is keeping watch over the whole world. He is actively in control. His ‘patrol’ has power to execute judgement. In verses 9-14 the crowning of the high priest prefigures the dual role of the Messiah, as priest and king. Zechariah 6:1-15.
8. The problem of fasting. Should the fasts be maintained? In reply God questions them about the spirit in which the fasts were kept, and reminds them of the standards they refused to keep before the exile. The fasts still apply. Zechariah 7:1-14.
9. Joyful promises to Jerusalem. God promises a glorious future for his people and for Jerusalem. His purpose is wholly good. Judgement is past. God will return to make his home in the city. His people will enjoy peace and plenty. Right will prevail. And men and women of every nation will flock to Jerusalem seeking God. At the time of the prophecy only a few had returned from exile and building was scarcely begun. But is was a foretaste of the wonderful days to come. Zechariah 8:1-23.
10. The coming of the Lord. This chapter pictures the joyous arrival of the Messiah, riding on a donkey, inaugurating a rule of peace. Before him Israel’s old enemies will fall. Zechariah 9:1-17.
11. Salvation only from the Lord. This chapter condemns the careless leaders of God’s people. He is full of pity for the straying flock. Every one will be brought home. Zechariah 10:1-12.
12. The destruction of Jerusalem. The prophet becomes shepherd to God’s flock – but the people prefer exploitation to genuine care. They get what they want. The covenant with God is broken and the nation divided. Zechariah 11:1-17.
13. God shall protect his people. God strengthens his people for great battles against the nations. Zechariah 12:1-14.
14. Idols and false prophets destroyed. The ‘refining’ of God’s people and the removal of everything that offends God. Zechariah 13:1-9. B.C.
15. Jerusalem shall be saved. The last battle and the age to come. God himself will appear ushering in perpetual day. The whole earth will become God’s kingdom. Those who set themselves against God will be destroyed. All who survive will worship him. Zechariah 14:1-21.