Thursday, May 28, 2020

Teaching Notes Book of Zechariah - Who Was the Prophet Zechariah?

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Teaching Notes Book of Zechariah - Who Was the Prophet Zechariah?

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Quarantine Day 77.   Thursday.   

Look for God in the way things are not in the way you want them to be. 

Hugh C. Wood, Atlanta, Georgia

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Surprisingly there is not a great deal of information about the "man" Zechariah.

(/zɛkəˈr.ə/HebrewזְכַרְיָהModern: ZekharyaTiberian: Zəḵaryāh, "YHWH has remembered";

[T]he eleventh of the Twelve Minor Prophets. He was a prophet of the Kingdom of Judah. Wiki.

[T]he book of Zechariah introduces the prophet as the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo (Zechariah 1:1). The book of Ezra names Zechariah as the son of Iddo (Ezra 5:1 and Ezra 6:14), but it is likely that Berechiah was Zechariah's father, and Iddo was his grandfather.

His prophetical career probably began in the second year of Darius, king of Persia (520 BC). His greatest concern appears to have been with the building of the Second Temple.

Liturgical commemoration

On the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar, his feast day is February 8. He is commemorated with the other Minor Prophets in the calendar of saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on July 31. The Roman Catholic Church honors him with a feast day assigned to September 6.  Wiki

The Prophet Zechariah by Michelangelo for the Sistine Chapel Circa 1512

"The prophet is protrayed on the entrance wall as an old bearded man, with his bust shown in profile, in the act of reading a book. Zechariah, who lived around 500 B.C. worked on sustaining the Israelites on their return from exile in Babylon with the word of God".  Vatican Museum 

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To find this Fresco here is the virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel maintained by the Vatican Museum

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The Sistine Chapel (/ˌsɪstiːn ˈtʃæpəl/; Latin: Sacellum Sixtinum; Italian: Cappella Sistina [kapˈpɛlla siˈstiːna]) is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the pope, in Vatican City. Originally known as the Cappella Magna ('Great Chapel'), the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored it between 1473 and 1481. Since that time, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today, it is the site of the papal conclave, the process by which a new pope is selected. The fame of the Sistine Chapel lies mainly in the frescos that decorate the interior, most particularly the Sistine Chapel ceiling and The Last Judgment by Michelangelo.  Wiki

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From the Jewish Encyclopedia (1906):


By: Emil G. Hirsch
One of the Minor Prophets, to whom is attributed the collection of prophecies and apocalyptic visions constituting the book bearing his name. He was a son of Berechiah and a grandson of Iddo (Zech. i. 1), and was loosely called the son of Iddo (Ezra v. 1, vi. 14); the latter was possibly identical with the Iddo mentioned as high priest in Neh. xii. 4, which would make the prophet himself the high priest named in Neh. xii. 16. Zechariah was probably born during the Captivity, but was brought back early to Palestine. He began his prophetic ministry in the second year of King Darius Hystaspes, a little later than Haggai (Zech. i. 1; Hag. i. 1), his preoccupation being the rebuilding of the Temple. According to the contents of that part of the book which without doubt is by him (i.-viii.; see Zechariah, Book of—Critical View), Zechariah received Yhwh's messages largely through the medium of visions (i. 8; ii. 2, 5; and elsewhere), which excited his curiosity, and which, in answer to his inquiries, were interpreted to him as significant monitions bearing on the condition of the colony and the timeliness of proceeding with the rearing of the sanctuary (i. 16, ii. 14). He appeals for loyalty on the part of Joshua the high priest toward the Messianic prince, the "Branch" (iii. 8) or Zerubbabel (iv. 9). As the mediator of his visions, theprophet names an angel of Yhwh, called sometimes "the" angel, and it is he who introduces also "the" Satan in the rôle of a mischief-maker confirming the people's hesitation and discouraged mood (iii. 1, 2). His method thus borders on the apocalyptic. His style is not lacking in directness in some passages, but in others it leans toward involved obscurity. Zechariah, however, proves himself to be an uncompromising critic of the ritual substitutes for true piety, such as fasting and mourning (vii. 5); and he reiterates the admonitions for mercy and righteousness, which according to the Prophets constitute the essence of the service of Yhwh (vii. 8, 9). For neglect of this service Israel was visited with the sufferings that befell it (vii. 13, 14). Jerusalem is to be called the city of truth (viii. 3), and shall dwell in peace, so that old men and old women shall be found in its streets (verse 4), together with boys and girls (verse 5), and prosperity shall abound in the land (verses 7 et seq.).

While Zechariah lacks originality, he is distinguished from his contemporaries by the "gift of plain speech" (G. A. Smith). But while some of the obscurities and repetitions which mark his visions are probably due to other hands, there remain enough of these defects that come from him to indicate that the visions were not the spontaneous outflow of ecstasy, but the labored effort of a strained and artificial imagination. He was a prophet, but of a period when prophecy was rapidly running to its own extinction.

Wiki Footnote 2:   Pao & Schnabel on Luke 11:49–51 (2007). Beale & Carson (ed.). Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. ISBN 978-0801026935. most identify this figure with the Zechariah of 2 Chron. 24:20–25, who was killed in the temple court

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Citations to Zechariah in Ezra:

Ezra 5 New International Version (NIV)
Tattenai’s Letter to Darius
5 Now Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the prophet, a descendant of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. 2 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Joshua son of Jozadak set to work to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem. And the prophets of God were with them, supporting them.

3 At that time Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates went to them and asked, “Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and to finish it?” 4 They[a] also asked, “What are the names of those who are constructing this building?” 5 But the eye of their God was watching over the elders of the Jews, and they were not stopped until a report could go to Darius and his written reply be received.

6 This is a copy of the letter that Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates, the officials of Trans-Euphrates, sent to King Darius. 7 The report they sent him read as follows:

To King Darius:

Cordial greetings.

8 The king should know that we went to the district of Judah, to the temple of the great God. The people are building it with large stones and placing the timbers in the walls. The work is being carried on with diligence and is making rapid progress under their direction.

9 We questioned the elders and asked them, “Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and to finish it?” 10 We also asked them their names, so that we could write down the names of their leaders for your information.

11 This is the answer they gave us:

“We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, one that a great king of Israel built and finished. 12 But because our ancestors angered the God of heaven, he gave them into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon.

13 “However, in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, King Cyrus issued a decree to rebuild this house of God. 14 He even removed from the temple[b] of Babylon the gold and silver articles of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to the temple[c] in Babylon. Then King Cyrus gave them to a man named Sheshbazzar, whom he had appointed governor, 15 and he told him, ‘Take these articles and go and deposit them in the temple in Jerusalem. And rebuild the house of God on its site.’

16 “So this Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundations of the house of God in Jerusalem. From that day to the present it has been under construction but is not yet finished.”

17 Now if it pleases the king, let a search be made in the royal archives of Babylon to see if King Cyrus did in fact issue a decree to rebuild this house of God in Jerusalem. Then let the king send us his decision in this matter.

Ezra 5:4 See Septuagint; Aramaic We.
Ezra 5:14 Or palace
Ezra 5:14 Or palace

Ezra 6 New International Version (NIV)
The Decree of Darius
6 King Darius then issued an order, and they searched in the archives stored in the treasury at Babylon. 2 A scroll was found in the citadel of Ecbatana in the province of Media, and this was written on it:


3 In the first year of King Cyrus, the king issued a decree concerning the temple of God in Jerusalem:

Let the temple be rebuilt as a place to present sacrifices, and let its foundations be laid. It is to be sixty cubits[a] high and sixty cubits wide, 4 with three courses of large stones and one of timbers. The costs are to be paid by the royal treasury. 5 Also, the gold and silver articles of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, are to be returned to their places in the temple in Jerusalem; they are to be deposited in the house of God.

6 Now then, Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and you other officials of that province, stay away from there. 7 Do not interfere with the work on this temple of God. Let the governor of the Jews and the Jewish elders rebuild this house of God on its site.

8 Moreover, I hereby decree what you are to do for these elders of the Jews in the construction of this house of God:

Their expenses are to be fully paid out of the royal treasury, from the revenues of Trans-Euphrates, so that the work will not stop. 9 Whatever is needed—young bulls, rams, male lambs for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, and wheat, salt, wine and olive oil, as requested by the priests in Jerusalem—must be given them daily without fail, 10 so that they may offer sacrifices pleasing to the God of heaven and pray for the well-being of the king and his sons.

11 Furthermore, I decree that if anyone defies this edict, a beam is to be pulled from their house and they are to be impaled on it. And for this crime their house is to be made a pile of rubble. 12 May God, who has caused his Name to dwell there, overthrow any king or people who lifts a hand to change this decree or to destroy this temple in Jerusalem.

I Darius have decreed it. Let it be carried out with diligence.

Completion and Dedication of the Temple
13 Then, because of the decree King Darius had sent, Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates carried it out with diligence. 14 So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo. They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia. 15 The temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.

16 Then the people of Israel—the priests, the Levites and the rest of the exiles—celebrated the dedication of the house of God with joy. 17 For the dedication of this house of God they offered a hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred male lambs and, as a sin offering[b] for all Israel, twelve male goats, one for each of the tribes of Israel. 18 And they installed the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their groups for the service of God at Jerusalem, according to what is written in the Book of Moses.

The Passover
19 On the fourteenth day of the first month, the exiles celebrated the Passover. 20 The priests and Levites had purified themselves and were all ceremonially clean. The Levites slaughtered the Passover lamb for all the exiles, for their relatives the priests and for themselves. 21 So the Israelites who had returned from the exile ate it, together with all who had separated themselves from the unclean practices of their Gentile neighbors in order to seek the Lord, the God of Israel. 22 For seven days they celebrated with joy the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because the Lord had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.

Ezra 6:3 That is, about 90 feet or about 27 meters

Ezra 6:17 Or purification offering

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Bible Project

Overview: Zechariah

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Zechariah is specific about dating his writing (520–518 BC).

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Dead Sea Scrolls Bible Translations

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Commentary on Zechariah 6

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How to Read the Bible: The Prophets

Bible Project

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Hugh C. Wood, Atlanta, Georgia

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Zechariah 4:5". 1854-1889.

No claim to (c) owned by Steve Rudd: November 2017

17 USC § 107 Fair Use. No claim of monetary remuneration on same.

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"Hugh C. Wood", "Hugh Wood", Peachtree Church, Who was the Prophet Zechariah4Q80, 4Q76, Prophet Zechariah by Michelangelo for the Sistine Chapel Circa 1512, 

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