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:
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:
How these visions and promises must have encouraged God's prophet and given him hope!
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?
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