Zechariah: Prophecies About Alexander the Great, the Maccabees, and the Messiah

While it is certainly true that any and all victories over Seleucid and Grecian pagan influence by the Maccabees can be attributed to God saving them, it is also true that this paved the way for the Messiah to come not long afterwards, “in the fullness of time” (Gal. 4:4), and bring eternal salvation from sin to “the flock of his people” (cf. John 10:1ff; 1 Pet. 5:4; Heb. 13:20).… Read More Zechariah: Prophecies About Alexander the Great, the Maccabees, and the Messiah

Zechariah: The Peaceful, Universal Reign of the Messiah

Zechariah foretold of the peaceful nature of the reign of Christ when he wrote of how God would “cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off” (9:10a).  God wanted the prophet to let the Jews know that their Messiah would “speak peace to the nations” (9:10b). Christians, do we understand what this means?… Read More Zechariah: The Peaceful, Universal Reign of the Messiah

Zechariah: The Burden of the Word of the Lord Against Wicked Cities

“Burden” literally refers to something heavy one must carry, but as used figuratively by the prophets – some translations use the term “oracle” instead of “burden” – it carries with it the concept of a divine verdict or punishment given against a people or nation (Zech. 9:1a; cf. Nahum 1:1; Is. 13:1).… Read More Zechariah: The Burden of the Word of the Lord Against Wicked Cities

Zechariah: An Old Testament Lesson About New Testament Joy

Remember, God had not commanded these fasts.  The Jews had come up with their observance completely of their own accord.  They commemorated the coming of the Babylonian army (the tenth month – 2 Kings 25:1), the breach the Babylonians made in Jerusalem’s wall (the fourth month – Jer. 39:2), the burning of the temple (the fifth month – 2 Kings 25:8), and the killing of Gedaliah (the seventh month – 2 Kings 25:25).  God wanted them to observe them no longer.  Now they were commanded to feast instead of fast, and to do so with joy, gladness, and cheerfulness, loving truth and peace.  Their joy would motivate those in the cities around them to serve the Lord as well (8:20-23).… Read More Zechariah: An Old Testament Lesson About New Testament Joy

Zechariah: Joshua’s Crown and the Messiah

This crown, made of silver and gold molded together by the prophet, might have been double-tiered.  According to commentator Homer Hailey, this would signify that the one wearing the crown held two offices, that of high priest AND king.  No high priest had been king before in Israel.  Zechariah’s crowning of the high priest Joshua was thus a symbolic prophecy.  This is made even clearer by what the Lord directed Zechariah to say to Joshua (whose name in Hebrew – yhosua – means “Jehovah saves” and is transliterated in Greek to iesous…Jesus).… Read More Zechariah: Joshua’s Crown and the Messiah

Zechariah: The Four Chariots of God’s Wrath (The Eighth Vision)

Remember, these horses which pulled these chariots were going “to the four winds of heaven” (6:5).  We’ve seen that angels are associated with “winds” or “spirits” and are involved in the divine punishment of nations.  Thus, the horses’ impatience to “patrol the earth” could signify the impatience of angels to deliver God’s punishment upon counties and cultures throughout the earth who rebel against Him.  In this case, they were given permission by the angel who had been speaking to Zechariah.  Would this indicate that the angel talking with him in all these visions was Michael, the archangel (archangelos, chief angel)?  Possibly.  Whoever this angel was, he then “cried” (zāʿaq in Hebrew, meaning “announced”) to Zechariah, “Behold, those who go toward the north country have set my Spirit at rest in the north country” (6:8).  Apparently, the punishment given to Persia – and the remnants of Babylon and Assyria still existing within the Persian Empire – for their wickedness had satisfied the wrath of God (cf. Ezek. 5:13; 16:42; 24:13). … Read More Zechariah: The Four Chariots of God’s Wrath (The Eighth Vision)

Zechariah: Wickedness in a Basket (The Seventh Vision)

Inside the basket sat a woman (5:7b).  If this were a literal human woman, then she must have been a very tiny woman so as to fit inside a basket which would only hold about six or seven gallons of material.  Considering that the prophet did not understand what he was seeing and thus required the angel to explain it to him, it’s more likely that this was a small figurine of a woman instead of a literal human female.  Since the angel then apparently took the woman out of the basket, said of her, “This is Wickedness,” and then “thrust her back into the basket, and thrust down the leaden weight on its opening” (5:8), it’s logical to conclude that the “woman” was in fact an idol in the form of the figurine of some pagan goddess probably worshiped by the locals living around Jerusalem as the Jews were rebuilding the temple.… Read More Zechariah: Wickedness in a Basket (The Seventh Vision)