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What’s in the Book – Zechariah

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Like many of the later prophets, the Book of Zechariah has more prophecy than narrative.

The first prophecy of Zechariah occurs during the second year of the reign of King Darius (Medea). In one night, Zechariah had eight visions, all closely related:

1) A man on a red horse, with three horses behind him, reports that all is quiet in the lands (1:8-12).

2) Four artisans cut down four horns of destruction and then rebuild the city (representing the four nations that destroyed Israel) (2:1-5).

3) He declares that Jerusalem will be rebuilt as a wall-less City of God–in this vision a man sent to measure Jerusalem is sent away (2:8-9).

4) The High Priest Joshua is defended by God from prosecution by the Satan. This vision contains a prophecy referring to Zerubbabel, the descendant of the Davidic line, who will complete the Temple (3:1-10).

5) A menorah with seven lamps and seven spouts is shown. Two olive trees nearby represent the “two sons [messianic figures] of oil who stand by the Lord…” (4:1-5).

6) A large scroll flies through the air, symbolizing a curse upon thieves and those who swear falsely (5:1-4).

7) A woman in a tub is carried in the air to the land of Shinar (Babylon) by two winged women. An angel explains that this symbolizes wickedness being expelled (5:5-11).

8) The most famous vision of Zechariah: Four chariots, harnessed to different colored horses, appear between “mountains of brass” and represent the four winds of Heaven (6:1-8).

After these visions, Zechariah had silver and gold crowns made for Joshua and Zerubbabel.

Chapters 9-14 of the Book of Zechariah are extremely complex. This section is generally divided into two prophecies. The first describes the coming of the Messianic age through the judgment on Israel’s enemies, the renunciation of all idols and a declaration of war upon tyrants. The second oracle predicts the future glory of Jerusalem, as well as the turmoil in the world that will lead to the Messianic age.

Copyright © 2012 National Jewish Outreach Program. All rights reserved.

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