Explore the Bible Series
August 5, 2007
Background Passage: Zechariah 9:1-14:21
Lesson Passage: Zechariah 9:9; 12:10; 13:1, 7-9; 14:3-4; 5-9
scholars agree that the Ninth Chapter of Zechariah marks a major change in the
prophecy.† Since the Seventeenth Century,
questions have arisen concerning the unity of the book, prompting many to
believe that this section was written many years after the first eight
chapters.† Some of the questions revolve
around linguistic differences, and theological distinctives, for others, raise
doubts about the unity of the book.† In
particular, liberal scholars struggle with the mention of
Above all, these chapters center on Messianic themes, just as we have seen in the first portion of the prophecy.† Like Isaiah, Zechariah has a strong evangelical thrust, and the Christocentric nature of the writing provides ample material for teachers and preachers to proclaim the glory of the Savior. This feature of the prophecy knits the entire book together and befits its unity.
The linguistic differences may denote the prophetís intelligence and impressive command of the Hebrew language.† Moreover, careful students will find similarities in vocabulary in the two major sections of the book.† Frankly, I have never understood this kind of argument.† Gifted writers often use archaic terms to draw attention to some aspect of their thought. Furthermore, Zechariah claimed that his thoughts arose from divine inspiration, and, if one takes this claim seriously, even the future is not hidden from the Holy Spirit. The futuristic elements of prophecy only become a problem for literary critics who reject the supernatural nature of these writings.
Young made a final point that deserves consideration. The liberal scholars have found no consensus in their interpretations of Zechariahís prophecy.† If the apparent anomalies do not clearly indicate a particular period of time, then perhaps the contradictions do not exist.
The Book of Zechariah concludes with glorious affirmations of Godís superintendence of human history and wondrous, detailed promises concerning the Messiah.† Focus on these joyous truths as we consider the last five chapters of Zechariah.
Outline of the Background Passage:
I. The First Oracle: Godís Sovereignty Over the Nations of the Earth (9:1-11:17)
A. Godís displeasure with the nations (9:1-8): Like other Old Testament prophets, Zechariah described his message as a ďburdenĒ.† It is a mistake to envision these men as mean-spirited preachers who delighted in their proclamations of judgment; rather, they grieved for the impending destruction of the sinful nations.† In this case, Zechariah highlighted Godís displeasure with the Medo/Persians, the Phoenicians, and the Philistines.
promised King of Zion (9:9-17): Pointing forward to Christís Triumphal Entry
salvation from the foolishness of idolatry (10:1-12): The prophet recounted the
horrific history of idolatry among the Jews.†
Foolishly, the shepherds (leaders) of
Rejection of the Shepherd (11:1-17): This poetic section is difficult to
interpret.† As I understand the material,
Godís dissatisfaction with
II. The Second Oracle: The Salvation of the Lord (12:1-14:21)
defense of his people (12:1-9): The second message, in this latter section of
Zechariah, begins with an affirmation of Godís vindication of
B. The grace of God through the Messiah (12:10-14): The reference to the one who as pierced certainly denotes the Savior. The people will receive the spirit of grace and mercy as they look upon the one who was pierced for them.††
C. The Shepherd struck for the idolatry of the people (13:1-9): This chapter begins with a description of godís hatred for paganism, a sin made more heinous because it surfaced so frequently among Godís people.† The land teemed with false prophets, prophets whom the Lord promised to remove from the people.† Their shameful idolatry, evidenced by their self mutilation (See v. 6), gave unmistakable evidence of the depths of their sin.† Amazingly, the prophecy predicts that God himself will strike his chosen Shepherd, and, in doing so, Jehovah will separate the true believers (the one third) from those who merely pretend at their faith (the two thirds).† Furthermore, God warned that he would test his people in the fires of affliction in order to refine and test them.†
coming day of the Lord (14:1-21): The Prophecy of Zechariah concludes with a
prediction of a final judgment that will come upon the nations.† A great cataclysm will come to