The Book of Zechariah



Background of Zechariah
Time: Persian Period (Post-Exile): 520BCE
Place: Yehud
Kings: None. Ruled by High Priest (Joshua) + Governor (Zerubavel)


Political Backdrop:

·       Same timing/backdrop as Haggai
·       We’re back from exile!
Step 1: Assyrians are the Big Bad: Northern Kingdom falls (722BCE)
Step 2: Babylonians take over as the Big Bad: Southern Kingdom goes into exile (586BCE)
            Exile period…
539BCE: Neo-Babylonian Empire falls to Cyrus the Great (Perisan Empire)
Step 3: The Persian Empire sends us home! (538BCE)



Primary Themes of Zechariah:

·       The necessity to rebuild the Temple – and to do better than the previous generations so that it won’t be destroyed again

·       Strong messianic themes

·       Israel’s sin = injustice, bad religious leadership (especially from false prophets)

·       Elements of apocalyptic literature
o   Angelic guide
o   Messianic imagery – eschatology?
o   Lots of very confusing, slightly frightening imagery/visions





Structure of Zechariah


Content
Verses
Section 1: Introduction and Call to Repent
Chapter 1:1-6
Don’t be like your ancestors!



Section 2: The Dreams
Chapter 1:7-Chapter 6
Dream 1: Four Horsemen
Angel/horseman/messenger – two people or one?
1:8-17
Dream 2: Israel’s Sin and Exile: Four Horns and Four Blacksmiths
2:1-4
Dream 3: Future Jerusalem: J’lem is Measured
2:5-17
Dream 4: Messianic Kingdom: Heavenly Court
High Priest Joshua
‘How we get there’: vv.6-7
3:1-10
Dream 5: Messianic Kingdom: The Menorah
Governor Zerubbavel
‘How we get there’: vv.6-7
4:1-14
Dream 6: Future Jerusalem: Flying Scroll
5:1-4
Dream 7: Israel’s Sin and Exile: Woman in a Tub
5:5-11
Dream 8: Four Horsemen
Seem to be at the beginning of their journey?
6:1-8


Section 3: Preparation for God’s Kingdom
6:9 – Chapter 8
The coronation of the High Priest
6:9-15
Fasting and obedience
     Don’t be like your ancestors!
7:1-14
Divine announcements of hope
     Fasting becomes joy
8:1-23


Section 4: Images of the Future
Chapters 9-14
Nations will be defeated; Zion will rejoice
9:1-8
Images of victory
     King on a donkey
     God manifests
Chapter 9
     vv.9-10
     v.14
People were led astray by false prophets, etc
10:1-3
Israel will beat its enemies in battle
10:4-12
Good and bad shepherds
Chapter 11
‘On that day’
     The clans of Judah will beat its enemies
     But they will take pity on their enemies
     Idols and prophets will end
     God will attack the ‘shepherd’ (leader)
     Earth-shaking events lead to J’lem’s power
     J’lem will be established as the religious centre
Chapters 12-14
     12:1-8
     12:9-14
     13:1-6
     13:7-9
     14:1-15
     14:16-21








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