December 26th Zechariah 1
A. Apocalyptic Visions Introduction
1: In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, 2: The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers. 3: Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. 4: Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD. 5: Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever? 6: But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.
(Ten Visions) 1. Riders under the Myrtle trees
7: Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, 8: I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white. 9: Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be. 10: And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. 11: And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest. 12: Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? 13: And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words. 14: So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. 15: And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction. 16: Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. 17: Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.
2. Four Horns
18: Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. 19: And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.
3. Four Smiths
20: And the LORD shewed me four carpenters. 21: Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.
Zechariah 2 4. Man with the measuring line
1: I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2: Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof. 3: And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him, 4: And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein: 5: For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her. 6: Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD. 7: Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon. 8: For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. 9: For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me. 10: Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. 11: And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee. 12: And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. 13: Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.
Zechariah 3 5. Joshua and Satan
1: And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2: And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? 3: Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 4: And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. 5: And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by. 6: And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, 7: Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.
6. The Branch
8: Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. 9: For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. 10: In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.
In the Prophecy of Zechariah he records the message of the lord to Judah and its message is substantially the same as the message of Haggai. The message of the LORD is - Finish the temple. In this book of 14 chapters Zechariah writes to give hope to Israel regarding the coming of the Messiah. Chapters 1-8 written about 520 BC. Chapters 9–14 about 480 BC. In the first six verses we see Zechariah receiving visions from the Lord at about the same time as Haggai. He says the LORD has not been pleased with your fathers. But he says forget the past and turn unto me and l will turn unto you. This message is in exactly the same track as the Message of John the Baptist, Christ and His Apostles 400 years later when they also call on Judah to turn to the Lord God of their fathers. They are to repent and return to their God because the Kingdom of God is very near. Zephaniah says all through Jewish history the LORD has called on Israel to turn from the evil ways yet they never did. This is the theological background to the OT and the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. God calls on Israel to return to their God. Then in Chapter 1 Zephaniah begins a series of ten visions. The first of eiders under the Myrtle trees. He sees a rider on a red hors and other riders on red horses. And he asks what these mean? The answer he receives is that Jerusalem is down trodden and the Gentile nations are living in ease. Therefore the Lord God will return to Jerusalem and the temple is t be rebuilt. The Lord will bless Jerusalem. Then Zephaniah sees four horns. He again asks what they mean? And he is told that these represent the fours kingdoms that have scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem. Next he sees four smiths or carpenters. After enquiry he is told that these four workers represent the four kingdoms. Next he sees a man with a measuring line. He is a surveyor. Zephaniah asks him what he is doing and he is told that he is going to measure the city of Jerusalem. He is not measuring the existing city but he is measuring the footprint of the City of Zion. It is noticeable that there will be no walls there because the Lord will protect them and the Glory of the Lord will be in the middle of the city. The nations that have spoiled Israel will be judged by God because the one that touches Israel touches the apple of the Lords eye. The Lord will deal with Israel’s enemies. And the Lord encourages Israel to sing and rejoice because the Lord will come a dwell in the middle of Zion. In those days many nations will be converted to the Lord. All human beings are to be silent before the Lord because he will raise up Israel. The next vision is Joshua the high priest who is standing in front of the angel of the LORD and Satan is also present trying to resist him. Then the LORD spoke to Satan saying The LORD rebuke you Satan because l have chosen Jerusalem. Isn’t Jerusalem like a brand plucked from the burning? Joshua was clothed in filthy garments before the angel and the angel demands that he is clothed in holy garments. The Lord promises blessings and responsibilities to Joshua if he will keep the whole law. Lastly Joshua is promised that the Lord will bring forth ‘The Branch’ Because the Lord laid a stone in front of Joshua that had seven eyes and it is engraved on by the Lord himself. Then the Lord will heal the sin of the land of Israel and in that day every man will dwell under his own vine and fig tree. They will have joy and satisfaction in the Lord.
- When did Zechariah dive and who were his contemporaries?
- What is the message of the Prophet Zechariah?
- Describe some of the things that Zechariah says in this passage.