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The Book of Zechariah

I will do the Zechariah Commentary similar to my other Commentaries . . . in that I will bring the verse or verses in the KJV, followed by what it is saying to me. What I write will be a personal comment, it is NOT Scripture.

Outline of the Book of Zechariah:
A. Zech 1:1-1:6 Return to the LORD and turn from evil
B. Zech 1:7-6:8 Eight visions of the future
#1. Four horsemen among the myrtles Zec.1:7-17
#2. Four horns and four craftsmen. Zec.1:18-21
#3. The man with the measuring line. Zec.2
#4. Clean clothes for the high priest. Zec.3
#5. The golden lampstand and two olive trees. Zec.4
#6. The flying scroll. Zec.5:1-4
#7. The woman in the basket in Babylon. Zec.5:5-11
#8. The four chariots. Zec.6:1-8

C. Zech 6:9-15 Crowning Joshua the high priest

D. Zech 7-8 Fasting
1. Justice and compassion, not just fasting
2. The promise of a jealous God

E. Zec.9-11 The First Prophecy: the King is rejected
Nations north and west vs. Israel. Zec. 9:1-13
The promise of spring rain Zech 9:14-10:12
The foolish shepherds and the good shepherd. Zech 11

F. Zec.12-14 The Second Prophecy: the king is enthroned
#1. Israel will return to God, though two-thirds will perish. Zech 12-13
#2. The LORD’s future fighting for Jerusalem. Zech 14

Zechariah is mentioned often in other books of the Bible.
Compared to its size, Zechariah is mentioned more often than any other book. Part of the reason is that Zechariah is much smaller than the major prophets. It is said that the New Testament quotes from this book about 40 times.

Some similarities with the book of Revelation:
While Revelation has many things that are not in Zechariah, much of the prophecy in Zechariah is repeated in Revelation.

Consider the following:

  • Sevenfold Spirit Rev.1:4 Zech 3:9; Isa. 11:2
  • The wicked pierced Jesus and will mourn Rev.1:7 Zec.12:10-14
  • Four destructive angels Rev.7:1 Zec.6:1-8; Jer.49:36
  • The great silence Rev.8:1 Zec.2:13; Hab.2:20
  • Two olive trees and two lampstands Rev.11:4 Zec.4:3,11-14
  • The future evil of Babylon Rev.17 Zec.5:5-11; 1 Pet.5:13
  • Gog and Magog battle Rev.20:7-9 Zec.12:7-11; 14:2,8,12; Eze.38 & 39
  • River flowing out of Jerusalem Rev.22:1-2; Zec.14:8

Some similarities with the book of Haggai:
Both prophets were contemporaries with Ezra, and they undoubtedly knew each other, so one might expect some similarities. Scholars have counted as many as 18 similarities between Zechariah and Haggai.

#1. The phrase "LORD of hosts" is outstanding, used 90 times, in Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. It is used 14 times in Haggai: Hag.1:2,5,7,9,14; 2:4,6,7,8,9 (2x),11,23 (2x).
#2. Both books date some of their prophecies. This was usually NOT done in literature prior to this time, but became common during the neo-Babylonian and Persian Empire.
#3. Both focus on Zerubbabel the governor, Joshua the high priest and the people.

The Book of Zechariah is the prophecy of the prophet Zechariah. His name means "the memory of the Lord"or "the Lord remembers". . . and this is SO true. The Lord does remember us, His covenant and His Promises of grace. Zechariah prophecy concerns the Messiah, of which there are many instances in this book.

The writer of this prophecy simply could NOT be, as some think, Zacharias the father of John the Baptist (Lk.1:1-24); nor the Zacharias (Mat.23:35), the son of Barachias, slain between the temple and the altar, since there were hundreds of years difference between them.

Zechariah was a son of Berechiah and a grandson of Iddo (Zec.1:1), and was also called "the son of Iddo" (Ezra 5:1; 6:14); the latter was possibly identical with the Iddo mentioned as high priest in (Neh.12:4), which would make the prophet himself the high priest (Neh.12:16).

Zechariah was probably born during the Captivity, but was brought back early to Palestine. He began his prophetic ministry in the second year of King Darius Hystaspes, a little later than Haggai (Zec.1:1; Hag.1:1). His concern was the rebuilding of the Temple, as was Haggai.

As the mediator of his visions, the prophet names an "Angel of the Lord, called sometimes "the" angel (Zec.1:9), and it is He who also introduces Satan in the role of a mischief-maker (Job 1:6-7,12), behind the people's hesitation to work and discouraged mood (Zec.3:1-2). Zechariah's way of doing things borders on the apocalyptic. His style is very direct in some Passages, while in others, his words are very hard to understand.

Zechariah is an uncompromising critic of the ritual substitutes for true piety, such as fasting and mourning (Zec.7:5); and he repeats the warnings for mercy and righteousness, which according to the prophet make up the heart of service to the Lord (Zec.7:9). Because Israel neglected this service, the judgments of the Lord came down hard on them (Zec.7:13-14). Jerusalem is to be called "a city of truth" (Zec.8:3), and shall dwell in peace, so that old men and old women shall be found in its streets (Zec.8:4), together with boys and girls playing in the streets (Zec.8:5).

Zechariah received the Lord's messages mainly through visions (Zec.1:8; 2:2,5). They were answers to his questions and were interpreted to him as significant warnings because of the condition of the Jewish people and their hesitation in proceeding with the building of the sanctuary (Zec.1:16; 4:14). He pleads for loyalty from Joshua the high priest toward the Messianic Prince, the "Branch" (Zec.3:8), and from Zerubbabel (Zec.4:9).

The Visions of Zechariah:

Vision 1 . . . The man on a red horse . . . Zec.1:7-17
Vision 2 . . . The 4 horns and the 4 workmen . . . Zec.1:18-21
Vision 3 . . . The man who is measuring Jerusalem . . . Zec.2:1-5
Vision 4 . . . The chief priest . . . Zec.3:1-10
Vision 5 . . . The lampstand and the 2 olive trees . . . Zec.4:1-14
Vision 6 . . . The flying scroll . . . Zec.5:1-4
Vision 7 . . . The woman in the basket . . . Zec.5:5-11
Vision 8 . . . The 4 chariots . . . Zec.6:1-8

Not all agree as to how they connect together!
One idea:
Visions 1, 2 and 3 are about the return from exile.
Visions 4 and 5 are about the leaders.
Visions 6, 7 and 8 are about the removal of sin.

Another idea:
Visions 1, 2 and 8 are about the relationship of Judah with other countries;
Visions 3-7 are about the future of Judah/Israel as a nation.
Both ideas could be useful to Bible students.

Four visions (1, 3, 4 and 5) have messages from the LORD. They are:
Vision 1 . . . Zechariah 1:13-17;
Vision 3 . . . Zechariah 2:6-13;
Vision 4 . . . Zechariah 3:6-10;
Vision 5 . . . Zechariah 4:5-10.

Zechariah's Prophetical Book is composed of fourteen chapters. It is the eleventh in the order of the Minor Prophets, following Haggai and before Malachi. Chapters 1-8 contain three prophecies: #1. an introduction (Zec.1:1-6); #2. a complex of visions (Zec.1:7-6:15); and #3. the Seed of Peace (ch.7-8).

Chapters 9-14 contain:

  • #1. A prophecy concerning the judgment about to fall upon Damascus, Hamath, Tyre, Zidon, and the cities of the Philistines (ch.9).
  • #2. A warning to the people NOT to seek help from Teraphim and diviners but from the Lord.
  • #3. An announcement of war upon unworthy tyrants, followed by a parable in which the faithless people is censured and the brotherhood between Israel and Judah is declared to be at an end; fate of the unworthy shepherd (ch.11). To this chapter, Zec.13:7-9 seems to belong, for it describes a process of purification by the sword and fire, two-thirds of the people being consumed.
  • #4. Judah versus Jerusalem (12:1-7).
  • #5. Four results of Jerusalem's deliverance (Zec.3:4; 9:11; 12:8; 13:6).
  • #6. The judgment of the heathen and the sanctification of Jerusalem (ch.14).

Zechariah is the longest and the most obscure of all the twelve minor prophets. His style is interrupted, and without connection. His prophecies concerning the Messiah are more particular and more precise than the other prophets. Some critics think that chapters 9,10 and 11 Zechariah were written by Jeremiah; because in Matthew 27:9-10, under the name of "Jeremy", we find quoted Zechariah 11:12-13. I cannot agree with this because the words "thirty pieces of silver" do NOT occur ant where in Jeremiah's writing. These words are found only in Zechariah 11:12-13 and Matthew 26:15, 27:9. By some clumsy, human mistake, the name of "Jeremy" was slipped into that Passage of Matthew instead of Zechariah.

The prophet Zechariah foretold exactly, the siege of Babylon by Darius, son of Hystaspes. This prince laid siege to that rebellious city at the beginning of the fifth year of his reign, and reduced it at the end of twenty months. Both Isaiah and Jeremiah had foretold of the Babylon calamity (Isa.13:19; 14:22; 21:9; 43:14; 47:1; 48:14; Jer.21:2; 25:12; 50:1,13,39; 51:1,29,37,55,60,64).

Zechariah, a little before the time of Babylon's fall, writes to the Jews that were still in this city: Zechariah 2:6-9 Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD. 7 Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon. 8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. 9 For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me. (KJV)

It is most likely that the Jews did take advantage of these warnings, and returned from Babylon into their country; or at least, withdrew into a place more secure until the city was taken.


  • #1. Warns to immediate repentance and reformation, chapters 1, 2, 7-8.
  • #2. (a) Promises present blessings, chapters 1, 2, 8:9-15. (b) Future mercy, under Persian government, Zec. 8:3-7. (c) Under Alexander and the Grecians, Zec. 9:8. (d) In the Maccabees' times, Zec. 9:12-15; 12:6.
  • #3. Encourages Joshua, Zec.3 and Zerubbabel, Zec.4.
  • #4. Threaten the enemies of the Jews, Zec.1:21; 2:9; 9:1-8, 12:1-4, 9, and the sinful and impenitent Jews, Zec.4; 11:1; 14:1-2.
  • #5. Foretells the Messiah's Coming, Zec.3:8-10; 8:19-21; 9:9-10; 13:7, and the Jews' rejecting Him, Zec. 11:10-12, and God's avenging the sin on the Jews, Zec 14:1-2, the calling of the Gentiles, Zec.8:20-23; 12:10, 3:8, 9; 6:12-13, and continued protection of the Christian church among the Gentiles, Zec.14:3-4, to the end.

Zechariah prophecy is represented to us by this prophet, either in dark, but important symbols or else in plain, easy to read words.

Thirty-five Commands, from the Lord, in Zechariah:
#1. Turn unto Me (Zec.1:3).
#2. Be not as your fathers (Zec.1:4).
#3. Cry yet saying (Zec.1:17).
#4. Run, speak to this young man (Zec.2:4).
#5. Deliver yourself, O Zion (Zec.2:7).
#6. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion (Zec.2:10).
#7. Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord (Zec.2:13).
#8. Take away the filthy garments from him (Zec.3:4).
#9. Let them set a fair mitre upon his head (Zec.3:5).
#10. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your fellows (Zec.3:8).
#11. Lift up your eyes now, and see what is this that goes forth (Zec.5:5).
#12. Get hence, walk to and fro through the earth (Zec.6:7).
#13. Take of them of the captivity, which are come from Babylon, and come the same day, and go into the house of Josiah (Zec.6:10).
#14. Take silver and gold and make crowns, and set them on the head of Joshua the high priest (Zec.6:11).
#15. Speak unto him saying (Zec.6:12).
#16. Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests (Zec.7:5).
#17. Execute true judgment (Zec.7:9).
#18. Show mercy and compassions every man to his brother (Zec.7:9).
#19. Oppress not the widow, the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor (Zec.7:10).
#20. Let none of you imagine evil against his brother in his heart (Zec.7:10).
#21. Let your hands be strong, you that hear My prophets these days (Zec.8:9).
#22. Speak every man truth to his neighbor (Zec.8:16).
#23. Execute judgment of truth and peace in your gates (Zec.8:16).
#24. Let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor (Zec.8:17).
#25. Love no false oath ((Zec.8:17).
#26. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion (Zec.9:9).
#27. Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem (Zec.9:9).
#28. Turn to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope (Zec.9:12).
#29. Ask rain of the Lord in the time of the latter rain (Zec.10:1).
#30. Open your doors, O Lebanon (Zec.11:1).
#31. Howl, fir tree (Zec.11:2).
#32. Feed the flock of the slaughter (Zec.11:4).
#33. Cast it unto the potter (Zec.11:13).
#34. Take yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd (Zec.11:15).
#35. Awake, sword, against My shepherd, and against the man that is My fellow (Zec.13:7).

27 Questions asked in Zechariah: Zec.1:5 (3); 1:9; 1:12; 1:19; 1:21; 2:2; 3:2; 4:2 (3); 4:7; 4:10 (5); 5:6; 5:10; 6:4; 7:3; 7:5 (3); 8:6; 13:6.

Book of Zachariah

Ch.1 . . Ch.2 . . Ch.3 . . Ch.4 . . Ch.5 . . Ch.6 . . Ch.7 . . Ch.8 . . Ch.9 . . Ch.10 . . Ch.11 . . Ch.12 . . Ch.13 . . Ch.14 . . Home Page



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