What are the eight visions of Zechariah?

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Background

The series of the eight visions of Zechariah are found in chapters 1:7 to 6:8. They present a linked prophetic description setting forth the plan of God for the Jews upon their return from Babylonian captivity. These visions end in the coming of Messiah and the founding of His kingdom. Zechariah’s first vision took place approximately Feb. 15, 519 b.c., by Julian reckoning. About three months earlier, Zechariah had started his prophetic work (Zechariah 1:1).

The Lord gave the prophet these series of visions at a time of deep discouragement. At that time, it seemed that the foes of God’s children were about to stop the work of restoration. The messages of the visions are designed to inspire the captives with hope. The returned exiles were to have courage to continue their God given work with faith.

First vision (Zechariah 1:7–17)

While the pagan nations of the world are “at ease,” God declares His purpose to restore the Temple as His “house.” The Lord “chooses Jerusalem” as the tool through which His plan for the salvation of men shall be done. This vision was designed to give confidence in God’s merciful purpose to restore His people. It gave hope that the Gentile nations would be overthrown. And that in spite of the present state of Israel, God’s gracious design would be done. This was on condition that the people would do their part (Zechariah 6:15).

Second vision (Zechariah 1:18–21)

It shows the damage Israel as a nation has endured as the result of captivity. And it announces God’s purpose to heal all the ruin that has been done.

Third vision (Zechariah 2:1–13)

This vision assures the Jews of the Lord’s presence and blessing in the work of restoration. And it talks about the accomplishment of Israel’s mission to the nations of the world.

Fourth vision (Zechariah 3:1–10)

The Lord assures His people that He will come to guard them from their opponent, the devil. And He will forgive their sins. He will interfere to heal their land and work on their behalf as His chosen people.

Fifth vision (Zechariah 4:1–14)

It sets forth the means by which the restoration of Jerusalem and the change of character are to be done— “by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (v. 6).

Sixth vision (Zechariah 5:1–4)

It presents the development by which sin is to be taken out from among God’s people.

Seventh vision (Zechariah 5:5–11)

It pictures the comprehensive and final taking away of sin and sinners from among the chosen nation.

Eighth vision (Zechariah 6:1–8)

It represents God overseeing the affairs of nations for the achievement of His divine plan as set forth in the preceding visions. And thus it assures Israel of victory in their mission.

After the eighth vision, the prophet gives an inspired portrait of the coming of Messiah, “a priest upon his throne” (Zechariah 6:13). He tells of the gathering of the nations of earth to the true God (v. 15). And all this—which is presented in chapters 1:7 to 6:15—will certainly take place, if spiritual Israel (church) sincerely obeys the voice of the Lord (Zechariah 6:15; Deuteronomy 28:1, 14).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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