Zechariah was one of the minor prophets of the Old testament. The name (Heb. Zekaryah), means “Yahweh remembers,” or “Yahweh has remembered.” This prophet was probably a Levite or a priest ( Neh. 12:16) born in Babylonia.
Zechariah began his ministry 16 years after the return from Babylonian Captivity in 520/519 B.C. His prophecy took place in the 4th year of Darius. So, it is possible that the prophet lived to see the completion of the Temple a few years later, in 515 B.C. (Ezra 6:15).
The prophet was contemporary with the prophet Haggai (Zech. 1:1; Haggai 1:1). Therefore, God appointed Zechariah and Haggai to arouse the Jews to rebuild the temple. For the Jews had left off the building of the temple because of enemy’s opposition under the False Smerdis (522 B.C.).
The prophecies of Zechariah came at a time of great perplexity. At that time, the Jews permission to rebuild the temple was about to be canceled. Therefore, Zechariah’s messages, dealing with the work of God and the divine plans for the restoration, were designed to inspire hope to the fading zeal of the Jews. And these messages together with the leadership of Zechariah and Haggai caused the temple work to be completed Ezra 6:14, 15).
The prophet’s messages, setting forth Jerusalem’s glorious future, were conditional on the Hebrews’ obedience to God’s commands (Zech. 6:15). But because the people failed to obey God, they could not reap the benefits of the fulfilled promises as they were originally given. However, certain aspects of these promises will be fulfilled in the Christian church.
Most Bible scholars see Zechariah’s predictions in chapters 7 to 14 as Messianic prophecies. Certainly, these prophecies help shed light on Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection. But chapters 9 to 14 of the Book of Zechariah are an early example of apocalyptic literature. It should be noted that the Book of Revelation predicts the end of history and uses some images found in the book of Zechariah.
In His service,