The Coming King: Why Study the Book of Zechariah

Bible, Blog, ITL

INTRODUCTION TO ZECHARIAH

A returnee from the Babylonian captivity, Zechariah teamed up with the mature prophet Haggai to encourage the Judeans to rebuild the God’s temple in Jerusalem. Its construction was halted and it took the prophets to restart it, both by word and action. Years later Zechariah continued his written prophecies focusing on Messiah Himself. To the disappointment of many, Messiah had not yet appeared. Zechariah gave insight on the conditions surrounding the coming King of kings and Lord of lords. Apart from Isaiah, no Old Testament prophetic book has more Messianic references than Zechariah. That’s why we call the Book of Zechariah ‘The Coming King.’

HEBREW NAME OF ZECHARIAH

Known in the original Hebrew as zekar-yah or ‘God remembers.’ Because God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He will also remember to bless their descendants, the children of Israel.

AUTHOR OF ZECHARIAH

The author of Zechariah is one of 29 people in Scripture who bear the same name. Born of priestly stock in the Babylonian exile, he returned to Judah (Nehemiah 11:4; 12:16) with Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel. His ministry was recorded in Ezra 5:1 and 6:14. He is a younger version of Haggai and also encouraged the rebuilding of the temple in 516 BC. Though some commentators say he is the same Zechariah who was martyred ‘between the temple and the altar’ (Matthew 23:35), the one murdered in II Chronicles 24:20-21 lived earlier.

PORTRAIT OF CHRIST IN ZECHARIAH

Zechariah provides extensive and important portraits of Christ. Some of the most important ones are:

  • Christ the righteous branch (3:8);
  • Christ the coming king (9:9)
  • The angel of the Lord (3:1-2)
  • The stone with seven eyes (3:9)
  • King-Priest (6:13);
  • Lowly king (9:9-10; 13:7; Matthew 21:5; 26:31,56)
  • Battle bow (10:4);
  • Betrayed and rejected (11:12-13; Matthew 26:15; 27:9-10)
  • Good shepherd, sold for 30 pieces of silver (11:4-13)
  • Pierced and struck down (12:10; 13:7; Matthew 26:31,56; John 19:37);
  • Cleansing fountain (13:1);
  • Wounded in the house of friends (13:6);
  • Smitten, abandoned shepherd (13:7);
  • Restores Israel by His blood of the new covenant (9:11; Mark 14:24);
  • Coming in glory as judge & king (14:1-6; Matthew 24:30-31; Revelation 19:15);
  • King of Israel and the world (14:6-19; Revelation 11:15; 21:24-26; 22:1-5)

Kingdom of Christ

  • Over all the earth (14:9);
  • Plenty of rain (10:1);
  • Holy Spirit poured out on Israel (12:10);
  • Israel will finally see the One Whom they have pierced (12:10);
  • Geographic and topographic changes (14:4-5, 10-11);
  • Kingdom established on earth (14:9-15);
  • Jerusalem the capital of the world and centre of worship (14:16-17)

THEME OF THE BOOK OF ZECHARIAH

Prepare for the coming warrior-king, who will establish His kingdom over Israel and the nations.

KEY VERSES OF ZECHARIAH

Zechariah 8:3 (KJV): Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.

Zechariah 9:9 (NKJV): Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.

SUMMARY OF ZECHARIAH

In the first part of his prophecy (chapters 1-8), a young Zechariah exhorts the Judeans to rebuild the temple and return to the Lord. As they come close to God, He will come close to them (James 4:8). He offers eight visions of which the first five are comforting and the last three signify judgement. This is a constant with the Hebrew prophets: judgment and mercy, condemnation and consolation, cursing and blessing. God is giving us a choice (Deuteronomy 30:19)!

The second part (chapters 9-14) have a clear end-time context. This come as two oracles. The first oracle (9-11) speaks of Messiah and the salvation of Israel. Though His coming is announced, Messiah will clearly be rejected, wounded, and struck down.

The second oracle (12-14) speaks of Israel mourning for the One whom they have pierced (12:10). A fountain of cleansing will open up to David’s house (13:1). Jerusalem, Messiah’s capital, will become the centrepiece of international controversy and conflict. Messiah returns, wins the battle, makes a victory ascent on the Mount of Olives, and commences His worldwide reign. The nations will come visiting Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles (14:16).

OUTLINE OF ZECHARIAH

Part One: Prophecies regarding the rebuilding of the Temple (1:1-8:23)

1.Introduction (1:1-6)

2.Eight night visions (1:7-6:8)

A. Vision One: Horseman among the Myrtle Trees (1:7-17)

B. Vision Two: Four horns and four smiths/craftsmen (1:18-21)

C. Vision Three: Man and Measuring Line for Jerusalem (2:1-13)

D. Vision Four: Joshua the High Priest cleansed before the Lord (3:1-10)

E. Vision Five: Golden candlestick and two Olive Trees (4:1-14)

F. Vision Six: The Flying Scroll (5:1-4);

G. Vision Seven: The woman & ephod/basket (5:5-11);

H. Vision Eight: Four Chariots (6:1-8)

3. Joshua Coronated as High Priest (6:9-15)

4. Four Messages (7:1-8:23)

A. Fasting, obedience, and justice (7:1-7)

B. Disobedience and judgment (7:8-14)

C. Repentance and blessing of God’s people (8:1-17)

D. Fasts led to restoration and feasts (8:18-23)

Part Two: Prophecies Regarding Israel and Coming Messiah (9:1-14:21)

5. First Burden of the Lord (9:1-11:17)

A. God intervenes (9:1-10)

B. Coming King and Saviour (9:11-10:12)

C. Messiah Rejected (11:1-17)

6. Second Burden of the Lord (12:1-14:21)

A. Israel Mourns, Repents, and Converts (12:1-13:9)

B. Messiah Crowned King of All the Earth (14:1-21)

 

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