The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), September 13
Zechariah is a Levite, born to captives in Babylon. He was part of the first wave of Jews who returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. His name means “Yahweh remembers.” It is to Zechariah that God gives eight visions in one night:
- The vision of the riders among the myrtles (1:7-17)
- The vision of the four horns and the four craftsmen (1:18-21)
- The vision of the surveyor with the measuring line ( 2)
- The vision of the cleansing and crowning of Joshua the high priest ( 3)
- The vision of the golden lampstand and the two olive trees ( 4)
- The vision of the flying scroll (5:1-4)
- The vision of the woman in a measuring basket (5:5-11)
- The vision of the four chariots (6:1-8)
What a night! Eight visions in one night! God gives these visions to Zechariah to instill hope—hope that God will punish Israel’s enemies, that Israel as the people of God will once again experience His blessing, and that the Branch will come and reign among His people.
The livelihood of the Levites depends on a spiritually minded people and centers around the temple. God’s perspective on Israel’s future therefore gives this Levite—born in captivity, away from the land of his people, away from a destroyed temple—hope.
While in captivity, Israel was the “apple of His eye” (2:8). The priesthood, now disgraced, will be restored and forgiven by the Lord (3:1-5); and Jerusalem, though destroyed, will blossom with life and be walled by the LORD Himself: “‘For I,’ says the LORD, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst’” (2:5). These visions paint a glowing picture of Israel as they serve the Sovereign LORD, governed by the Promised One and protected from all who oppose them.
Zechariah’s final message regarding the judgment against Israel’s enemies includes four promises:
- A messianic promise: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt the foul of a donkey” (9:9)
- A promise of restoration: “I will bring them back, because I have mercy on them. They shall be as though I had not cast them aside; For I am the LORD their God . . . . So I will strengthen them in the LORD, and they shall walk up and down in His name” (10:6; 12)
- The promise of a final battle that will usher in God’s reign on the earth: “And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be—‘The LORD is one,’ and His name one” (14:9)
- And, finally, a promise of a day where Holiness will characterize His people: “In that day ‘HOLINESS TO THE LORD’ shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the LORD’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the LORD of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts” (14:20-21).
How these visions and promises must have encouraged God’s prophet and given him hope!
Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (Zechariah 9:1-14:21):
Zechariah foresaw a fountain for Judah’s cleansing. Describe the effect that this cleansing would have on the house of David. What does this reveal about cleansing? Review 1 John 1:9.
Zechariah’s prophecy ends with the revelation of God’s rule upon the earth. How does his prophecy compare with John’s vision in Revelation 21:22-22:5?