Zechariah ~ “Yahweh Remembers”


Likely Zechariah (see 1:1). Based on the genealogy in 1:1, we know that Zechariah was a priest descended from Iddo (who is mentioned in Nehemiah 12:4 and 16). We also know, based on the dates given in 1:1 and 1:7, that Zechariah was a contemporary of Haggai although Zechariah's ministry lasted longer than that of Haggai.

Date and Context

Based on passages like Zechariah 1:1, 1:7, and 7:1, we know that Zechariah started prophesying in 520 B.C., the same year as Haggai, and kept prophesying until 518 BC.


0. A Plea for Repentance in Light of the Certainty of God's Word [1:1-6]

A. Introduction [1:1]

B. Plea for Repentance [1:2-6]

I. Eight Visions [1:7 - 6:8]

A. Vision 1: Four, Patrolling Horseman [1:7-17]

B. Vision 2: Four Horns and Four Craftsmen [1:18-21]

C. Vision 3: Measuring Jerusalem [2]

D. Vision 4: Joshua, the High Priest [3]

E. Vision 5: Golden Lampstand and Two Olive Trees [4]

F. Vision 6: Flying Scroll [5:1-4]

G. Vision 7: Wickedness and the Ephah [5:5-11]

H. Vision 8: Four Chariots [6:1-8]

II. Five Words from Yahweh [6:9 - 8:23]

A. The man named 'Branch' [6:9-15]

  • The 'Branch' will build the Temple and be both a King and Priest.

B. A reason for the exile: selfish hearts [7:1-7]

C. A reason for the exile: hard hearts [7:8-14]

D. Future prosperity for Israel (a reversal) because of God's jealousy and the present implications [8:1-17]

E. Multinational recognition of Israel's blessing [8:18-23]

III. Two Burdens Regarding the Messiah/King [9 - 14]

A. Burden 1: The rejection of the Messiah/King [9 - 11]

B. Burden 2: The return of the Messiah/King [12 - 14]

Theological Themes

  • God's word is certain and lasting. One of the fundamental principles underlying the visions and prophecies in the book of Zechariah is that God's word will come to pass and will stand the tests of time. It outlasts prophets, kings, and kingdoms. Even those who would ignore or reject God's word are, in fact, fulfilling it. The certainty of God's word is set as a foundation in the first six verses of Zechariah. It is easy to read over these verses and wade into the challenges of understanding the visions, but it is critical to remember that all of these prophetic visions have significance because God's Word is lasting and is certain.
  • God's reign is certain and will be lasting. The book of Zechariah closes with a promise that God will one day be King "over all the earth" (14:9). The whole book of Zechariah, while complex at points, all leads to the point in history when God asserts His authority and takes dominion of the earth. Zechariah 9:10 notes that the same King riding on a donkey also rules "from sea to sea".
  • God's lovingkindness is certain and lasting. As I mentioned in the previous point, the book of Zechariah culminates with God exercising dominion over the earth. In the process of getting to this point, we witness God's remarkable and lasting lovingkindness as He defends His people (14:3), pours out his Spirit upon "the House of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem" (12:10), gathers and restores His people (10:5-12), and allows nations to be called His people (2:11) (and these are just a few examples). God's lovingkindness and grace has been and will continue to be poured out on His people in all ages.
  • Prosperity for God's people is certain and will be lasting. Throughout many of the visions and the descriptions of what is to come, we are repeatedly reminded of the prosperity that will be brought to God's people. In addition to receiving salvation and being gathered back to Jerusalem by God (8:7-8), the people of God are also promised peace, crops, and the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant (that the whole world would be blessed by Abraham's seed) (8:9-23).


  • If you are reading the book of Zechariah well, you will see numerous images and themes that overlap with other Old Testament prophecies (especially those of Daniel) and that are repeated in the book of Revelation. Zechariah is foundational for understanding the book of Revelation.
  • Chapters 9 - 14 are very tough to understand, or at least to outline. By way of example, consider Zechariah 9:9-10. Both verses describe the Messiah, but verse 9 has already been fulfilled by Christ (Matthew 21:5), while verse 10 has not yet been fulfilled. In two verses, Zechariah leaps from Christ's first, humble coming, to His second, triumphant return and reign.

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