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An Argument of the Book of Zechariah

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MESSAGE STATEMENT:1

Even through Yahweh warns the postexilic community and recounts their faithlessness, he encourages them through prophetic visions and messages of ultimate victory in order that they might presently trust and obey him who is faithful2

I. Divine Messages and Visions: Through messages and visions the Lord encourages His people to repent of their evil, be faithful and obey Him because He has a certain, restored, central future for Jerusalem among the nations with Him dwelling among her 1:1--8:23

A. Opening Exhortation: Yahweh calls the people in Jerusalem to repent in order that they will not be judged as their ancestors were for disobeying the word which lasts forever 1:1-6

1. Setting: The word of the Lord came to Zechariah the prophet who was the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo in September/November 520 B.C. (the eighth month of the second year of Darius) 1:1

2. A Call to Repentance: Yahweh urges the postexilic generation not to be like their ancestors, but to return to Him and He will return to them because unlike their ancestors, Yahweh’s just word goes on forever 1:2-6

a. Sin of Their Ancestors: 1:2-3

1) Angry with sin of the Ancestors: 1:2

2) Exhortation to People to Return to Yahweh: Yahweh exhorts the people to return to Him and He will return to them 1:3

b. Truth of Yahweh’s Word: 1:4-6

1) Exhortation--Do Not Emulate Ancestors: 1:4

a) Exhortation: 1:4a

b) Did Not Listen to Prophets: 1:4b

2) Yahweh’s Just Word Outlived Their Ancestors: 1:5-6

B. Night Visions:3 Zechariah recounts a series of eight night visions and the coronation of Joshua in order to encourage the nation that He is not finished with them but--has plans for them and will fight for them, bless them, take away their sins, enable them to build the temple, bring true worship, and unite them, if they will repent and obey Him 1:7--6:15

1. Setting:4 The word came to Zechariah on the 15 February 519 B.C. (the 24th day of the 11th month (Shebat) in the 2nd year of Darius) 1:7

2. Vision One--A Horseman Among the Myrtle Trees--God’s Devotion to Jerusalem: The Lord proclaims that His riders are patrolling the earth which is at peace, and that He will restore Jerusalem because He cares deeply for her 1:8-17

a. The Vision Proper: 1:8

1) Setting--A Vision in the Night: 1:8a

2) The Vision: Zechariah saw a man on a red horse among myrtle trees in a ravine with red, sorrel, and white horses behind him 1:8b

b. Dialogue--Explanation of the Vision--Those Who Patrol the Earth: 1:9-10

1) Request for an Explanation: 1:9a

2) Explanation: The angel who was standing among the myrtle trees explained that the three other horses/riders patrol the earth for Yahweh 1:9b-10

c. Expansion of the Vision: The riders affirm that in their patrol the earth is quiet and at rest, and Yahweh comforts Judah and Jerusalem 1:11-13

1) Affirmation of the Riders: The three riders affirmed that they patrol the earth and that it is at rest and quiet 1:11

2) Pleading of the Angel:5 The angel plead for compassion upon Judah and Jerusalem 1:12

3) Yahweh Comforts: 1:12

d. Divine Oracle: 1:14-17

1) The Lord Cares for Israel among the Nations: 1:14-15

2) The Lord Will Return Worship to Himself to Jerusalem: 1:16

3) The Lord will Bless and Comfort Jerusalem: 1:17

3. Vision Two--Four Horns & Four Craftsmen--Judgment on Judah’s Oppressors:6 Through the vision of the horns and craftsmen, Zechariah proclaims that divine agents are going to overthrow those powers who have overcome Israel, Judah, and Jerusalem 1:18-21 [Hebrew 2:1-4]

a. Vision Proper: Zechariah saw a vision of four horns (powers) 1:18

b. Dialogue--Explanation of the Vision: The angel explains that the horns are the powers7 which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem 1:19

c. Expansion of the Vision: Zechariah sees four craftsmen 1:20

d. Dialogue--Explanation of the Expanded Vision: The Lord explains that the craftsmen are going to destroy the horns 1:21

1) Terrify the Horns: 1:21a

2) Throw down the Horns Who Were against Judah: 1:21b

4. Vision Three--A Man with a Measuring Line--Jerusalem’s Future:8 Through the vision of the surveyor the Lord proclaimed that a time is coming when Jerusalem will be a secure city with many inhabitants, the Lord will dwell among them, the nations will be judged, and the people should rejoice 2:1-13 [Hebrew 2:5-7]

a. Vision Proper: Zechariah saw a man with a measuring line 2:1

b. Dialogue--Explanation of the Vision: The purpose of the man is to “measure” the width and length of Jerusalem 2:2

c. Expansion of the Vision--Divine Oracle to Surveyor: In some future time Jerusalem will be a secure city with many inhabitants 2:3-5

1) Jerusalem--Secure and Inhabited:9 2:3-4

2) Yahweh--Security and Glory of Jerusalem: 2:5

d. Divine Oracle--Vengeance upon the Nations and Instructions for His People: 2:6-13

1) Escape from Babylon:10 2:6-7

2) Vengeance upon the Nations: 2:8-9

3) People Rejoice--Yahweh Will Dwell among Them: 2:10-13

5. Vision Four--Clean Garments for the High Priest--The Cleansing and Restoration of Joshua/Israel: Although Israel is defiled (as is pictured through Joshua), Yahweh will cleanse her, restore the Davidic throne, bring about a time of peace and prosperity 3:1-10

a. Vision Proper--The Clothing of Joshua the High Priest: 3:1-5

1) Joshua and the Accuser (Satan) Standing: 3:1

2) Yahweh Rebukes the Accuser: 3:2

3) Joshua Clothed in Clean Garments:11 3:3-5

b. Divine Oracle to Joshua: Yahweh will introduce the Branch in a time of blessing 3:6-10

1) Obedience Leads to Continuance as a Priest: 3:6-7

2) Bringing of Yahweh’s Servant--the Branch--Restoration of the Davidic Throne:12 3:8

3) Removal of Iniquity:13 A stone with seven eyes will have an inscription on it and the iniquity of the land will be removed in one day 3:9

4) A Time of Blessing: 3:10

6. Vision Five--The Golden Lampstand and Two Olive Trees--The Temple, Joshua & Zerubbabel: The Lord proclaimed that His Spirit would empower Joshua and especially Zerubbabel to complete the temple so that the people would know of His presence among them 4:1-14

a. Vision Proper: 4:1-3

1) Zechariah’s Trance State: 4:1

2) The Vision: 4:2-3

a) A Lampstand of Gold: 4:2a

b) A Bowl on Top of the Lampstand 4:2b

c) Seven Lamps with Seven Spouts Each (49 in all) 4:2c

d) On Olive Tree on Each Side of the Bowl14 4:3

b. Dialogue: Zechariah requests and interpretation from the angel who is surprised that he does not already know the meaning 4:4-5

c. Divine Oracles: 4:6-10a

1) Zerubbabel Spirit Enabled: Zerubbabel will complete the task before him, but not in his own power, and the people will recognize this 4:6-7

a) The Spirit of Yahweh Will Complete the Task:15 4:6

b) People’s Recognition of Zerubbabel’s Ability and Call for Grace: 4:7

2) Task Completed through Zerubbabel: Zerubbabel will complete the temple causing the people to know that the angel of Yahweh is present 4:8-10

d. Resumption of Dialogue--Explanation of Vision: 4:10b-14

1) Request of Interpretation and Surprise of the Angel: 4:10b-13

2) Olive Trees Represent Two anointed ones “Sons of Oil” beside Yahweh:16 4:14

7. Vision Six--The Flying Scroll--Purification of the Land:17 In the vision of the flying scroll Zechariah learned that the Lord will curse those (and the households of those) who disrupt the building of the temple (steal and lie) 5:1-4

a. Vision Proper: Zechariah had a vision of a flying scroll 5:1

b. Dialogue--Explanation of the Vision: 5:2-3

1) Rectangular Scroll--Twenty Cubits by Ten Cubits: 5:2

2) Scroll is a Curse on the Land:18 The one who steals (from the temple construction site) and swears (to donate) will come under judgment 5:3

c. Divine Oracle: The curse will consume the one who does evil and his household 5:4

8. Vision Seven--A Woman in a Basket--Removal of Evil to Babylon: In the vision of the women in the ephah basket Zechariah learned that the Lord is going to take Israel’s idolatrous evil captive to Babylon where it will be honored 5:5-11

a. Vision Proper: When Zechariah looked up he saw a basket (which measured an ephah)19 going forth 5:5-6a

b. Explanation of Vision: This Ephah was the appearance of Israel’s sinful condition 5:6b

c. Expansion of Vision: When a led cover was lifted up, Zechariah saw a women sitting inside the ephah basket 5:7

d. Explanation of Expanded Vision: The angel explained that the woman was a symbol of the wicked behavior of the nation whereupon he places the led cover upon her so that none of it can escape 5:8

e. Expansion of Vision: Two women with wings (God’s Messengers) lifted up the ephah basket and flew away with it 5:9

f. Dialogue--Explanation of Expanded Vision: The ephah is being taken to Shinar (Babylon)20 where it will be honored 5:10-11

9. Vision Eight--Four Chariots--God’s Conquest of the Northern Nations: In a vision of the four chariots Zechariah learned that the Lord sends his spirits out to patrol the earth, and that the nations in the north will be destroyed 6:1-8

a. Vision Proper: Zechariah observes four bronze21 chariots coming out from between two bronze mountains (the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives), the first with red horses, the second with black horses, the third with white horses, and the fourth with dappled and strong horses 6:1-3

b. Dialogue--Explanation of the Vision: The angel explained that the four chariots are the four spirits who go out from the Lord to patrol the earth--black and white horses to the north, and dappled horses to the south 6:4-6

c. Expansion of the Vision: The Lord sends the strong dappled horses to patrol the earth 6:7

d. Explanation of Expanded Vision: The horses which have gone to the north have appeased His wrath22 6:8

10. An Historical Appendix--A Symbolic Crown for Joshua:23 Through placing a crown on the head of Joshua the high priest a symbol was made of the coming Branch who will unite the offices of king and priest 6:9-15

a. Symbolic Act: Zechariah is instructed to make a crown and place it on the head of Joshua the high priest 6:9-11

b. Explanation: The crown symbolized the coronation of the Branch who will build the temple of Yahweh and unite the offices of king and priest 6:12-13

1) Branch Will Branch Out: 6:12a

2) Branch Will Build Temple: 6:12b

3) Branch Will Unite Offices of King and Priest:24 6:13

c. Conclusion: 6:14-15

1) Visible Memorial: The crown is a visible reminder to the Jews coming from Babylon 6:14

2) Universal Significance: When those from far off come and rebuild the temple, then they will know that the Lord has sent the branch to them 6:15

C. Four Divine Proclamations:25 Even though the nation is unfaithful, Yahweh promises that He will be faithful to them in order to encourage them to trust in Him 7:1--8:23

1. Question by the Delegation of Bethel--Fasting: The leaders of the people of Bethel question the legitimacy of continuing with the regular pattern of fasts 7:1-3

a. Setting: The word of the Lord came to Zechariah on 7 December 518 B.C. (fourth day of the ninth month [Chislev], of the fourth year of Darius)26

b. Questions from Bethel about Fasting:27

2. Message One--The Rebuke of the Lord concerning Fasting and Repentance: The Lord rebuked the people because their motives for the fasts and feasts were for themselves rather than for the Lord as the prophets forewarned the earlier generations 7:4-7

3. Message Two--The Command to Repent concerning Social Justice: Yahweh illustrates that judgment came upon the earlier generation because it refused to hear and repent over the exhortations from the former prophets 7:8-14

a. Commandments by the Former Prophets against Social Evils: 7:8-10

b. Refusal of Ancestors to Hear and Repent: 7:11-12a

c. Refusal of the People Brought Judgment: 7:12b-14

4. Message Three--Restoration of Israel: Because of Yahweh’s jealousy for his people, He promises to certainly restore them by regathering them, dwelling in their midst, and blessing them 8:1-17

a. Reason for Restoration: Restoration will occur because Yahweh is jealous for his people 8:1-2

b. Yahweh in Jerusalem: 8:3

c. Restoration of the People: 8:4

d. Encouragement for the Nation in View of Restoration: 8:5-13

e. Restoration Is as Certain as Judgment Was: 5:14-17

5. Message Four--Exchanging Fasts for Celebrations of Joy: Yahweh promises that a time is coming when the time of fasting will be a time of joy and worship for Israel and the nations who will worship Yahweh through Israel 8:18-23

a. Times of Fasting Will Become Times of Joy: 8:18-19

b. The Peoples Will Worship Yahweh with Israel in Jerusalem: 8:20-22

c. Israel Will Be the Mediator to Yahweh for the Nations: 8:23

II. Two Oracles:28 Two oracles (“burdens”) are given Zechariah to reveal Messiah’s coming to judge the nations and gather His people in spite of their faithlessness in order to demonstrate Yahweh’s faithfulness and encourage the nation in history’s conclusion 9:1--14:21

A. The First Oracle--The Advent and Rejection of the Messianic King: The first burden proclaims the king/shepherd’s coming to defeat the nations and gather His people only to be rejected by His own people and replaced by a false shepherd who will destroy the people and be destroyed 9:1--11:17

1. The Advent of the Messianic King--Judgment on the Nations & Preservation of Zion: 9:1--10:12

a. Judgment on the Hostile Nations surrounding Judah: Yahweh promises to judge the Syria-Palestine Area 9:1-8

1) Burden on the Syria-Palestine Area (Hadrach, Damascus, Hamath, Tyre, Sidon): 9:1-2

2) Tyre: 9:3-4

3) Fear of Other Cities: 9:5

4) Invaders: 9:6

5) Worship of the Remnant: 9:7

6) Protection for Covenant Nation: 9:8

b. Preservation of Zion--The Blessing of Messiah: 9:9--10:12

1) The Advent of Zion’s King--Rejoice: 9:9-10

a) People Are to Rejoice: 9:9a

b) Their Humble King is Coming with Salvation: 9:9b

c) Their King Will Bring Peace: 9:10

2) The Deliverance and Blessing of Zion’s People: 9:11--10:1

a) Deliverance of Yahweh’s People from Exile: 9:11-12

b) The Victory of Yahweh’s People over Their Enemies (Ionia [Greece]): 9:13-16a

c) Yahweh’s Blessing of the Land--A New Order: 9:16b-17

d) Exhortation--Ask for Necessary Sustenance (Rain)--He Will give It: 10:1

3) Warning (of False Shepherds) and Encouragement (by the Good Shepherd): 10:2-4

a) Oppressive Leaders Denounced (False Shepherds): 10:2-3a

b) The Lord--A Concerned Shepherd Angry with False Shepherds: 10:3b

c) The Lord Energizes His People for Battle: 10:3c-4

4) Israel’s Victory over Her Enemies: 10:5-7

5) Israel’s Complete Deliverance and Restoration--Second Exodus: 10:8-12

a) They Will Be Numerous: 10:8

b) They Will Be Regathered: 10:9-10

c) Yahweh is the Means of Regathering: 10:11-12

2. The Rejection of the Messianic King/Shepherd: 11:1-17

a. Prologue: Destruction is Certain upon the Land of Israel 11:1-3

1) Land Destroyed: 11:1-2

2) The Shepherds (Leaders) Destoyred: 11:3

b. Prophecy--Rejection of the Good Shepherd--Zechariah’s First Commission: 11:4-14

1) Zechariah Commissioned as a good shepherd 11:4

2) Denunciation of Bad Shepherds and Judgment Speech--The Flock is Doomed: 11:5-6

3) Zechariah’s Obedience to His Commission: 11:7-8a

a) Zechariah & Two Staffs--God’s Favor and Union (of the Nation): 11:7

b) The Shepherd Destroys Three Shepherds in One Month:29 11:8a

4) Zechariah’s Rejection of His Commission: 11:8b-14

a) People Reject His Leadership: 11:8b

b) Zechariah Renounces His Commission: 11:9

c) Announcement of Breaking the Covenant30--Breaking of Staff (Favor) and Termination of Employment: 11:10-11

d) Unjust Wages and Breaking of Second Staff (Union): 11:12-14

(1) The Shepherd asks for compensation which completely voluntary 11:12a

(2) The sheep give him 30 shekels of silver31 in return for his service 11:12b

(3) Upon instructions from Yahweh the shepherd throws the silver to the potter 11:13

(4) Shepherd Breaks the Second Staff of Union32 11:14

c. The Worthless Shepherd--Zechariah’s Second Commission: 11:15-17

1) Zechariah Commissioned as a Foolish Shepherd Who is Coming (Anti-Christ): 11:15-16

2) Woe Oracle against the Foolish Shepherd (Anti-Christ):33 11:17

B. The Second Oracle--The Rejected King Enthroned: The second burden begins with the nation in warfare and mourning over their sin toward the ‘one whom they pierced,’ and ends with God faithfully cleansing His people, going to battle on their behalf, and finally establishing His world-rule from Jerusalem in order that Israel might take courage in God’s faithful plan for them 12:1--14:21

1. The Redemption of Israel--Deliverance and Conversion: 12:1--13:9

a. An Announcement of Jerusalem and Judah’s Future Deliverance and Glory: 12:1-9

1) Siege of Jerusalem: 12:1-3

2) Divine Deliverance: 12:4-9

b. Israel’s Deliverance from Sin: 12:10--13:9

1) The Nation Will Mourn over the “One Whom They Pierced”:34 12:10-14

a) The Spirit of Grace and Supplication Poured Out on the Nation: 12:10a

b) Mourning of the Nation: 12:10b-14

2) Yahweh Will Cleanse the Nation: 13:1-9

a) A Cleansing Fountain Opened: 13:1

b) Cleansing from False Worship: 13:2-6

c) Smitten Shepherd Leads to Refined People: 13:7-9

(1) Sword Strikes the Shepherd: 13:7a

(2) Sheep Are Scattered:35 13:7b

(3) Two-Thirds of People Cut Off: 13:8a

(4) One-Third of the People Remain to Be Refined: 13:8b-9

2. Return of the King and His Kingdom: 14:1-21

a. Siege of Jerusalem: 14:1-2

b. Tokens of Messiah’s Return--Defeat of Enemies, A New Created Order: 14:3-8

c. Messiah’s Kingdom Established in Jerusalem: 14:9-11

d. Israel’s Enemies Punished:36 14:12-15

e. Universal Worship of the King--The Feast of Booths: 14:16-19

1) The Righteous of All Nations Go to Jerusalem to Celebrate the Feast of Booths 14:16

2) No Rain for those Not Celebrating the Feast of Booths--Especially Egypt37

f. No Distinctions Between Holy and Unholy--”Holy to the Lord” 14:20-21


1 This outline is adapted through my own study from the analyses of Kenneth L. Barker, Zechariah, The Expositor's Bible Commentary, VII:603-604; Joyce G. Baldwin, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi: An Introduction & Commentary, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, 35; Robert B. Chisholm, Jr., Interpreting the Minor Prophets, 220-227; Charles L. Feinberg, God Remembers: A Study of Zechariah; F. Duanne Lindsey, Zechariah, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty: Old Testament, 1546-47; John A Martin, An Outline of Haggai, unpublished class notes in 305 postexilic prophets and the gospels, (Dallas Theological Seminary, Spring 1984), 1-16; Ralph L. Smith, Micah-Malachi, Word Biblical Commentary, XXXII:181.

2 Chisholm summaries the theology of the book as follows: The Lord would completely restore His covenant people, delivering the rest of the exiles and bringing them back to their homeland. He would make the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem the center for His worldwide rule and restore the Davidic throne and the priesthood to their former positions of leadership and prominence. Though the realization of these promises would be delayed and seemingly jeopardized by the postexilic community's rejection of God's leadership, the Lord would eventually deliver His people from renewed Gentile oppression, move them to genuine repentance, and restore them to a vibrant covenant relationship with Himself. In that day He would also bring the nations to His kingdom (Robert B. Chisholm, Jr., Interpreting the Minor Prophets, 273).

3 Baldwin sees a chiastic structure here:

A A patrol of the whole earth reports 1:7-17

B The nations meet retribution 1:18-21

B' Jerusalem has a divine protector 2:1-13

C The high priest reinstated 3:1-10

C' Divine resources for high priest and prince 4:1-14

B''Evil meets retribution 5:1-4

B'''Jerusalem is purified 5:5-11

A' God's patrols compass the earth 6:1-15

Joyce G. Baldwin, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi: An Introduction & Commentary, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, 85.

Concerning the themes of these visions Chisholm writes, This series of visions exhibits several recurring themes, including the judgment of the nations, God's election and future blessing of Jerusalem, the purification of the land, the rebuilding of the temple, and the centrality of Joshua and Zerubbabel in God's program. The fourth vision (3:1-10) is thematically pivotal. At its beginning (v. 2) and conclusion (v. 10), themes from visions 1 and 3 appear, namely, God's election of Jerusalem (v. 2; cf. 1:17; 2:12) and the future security and prosperity of the people (v. 10; cf. 1:14, 17; 2:4-5). The themes of verses 3-9 are developed in more detail in the subsequent visions and appendix. The important role of the community's leaders (vv. 3-8) is taken up again in the fifth vision and in the appendix. The cleansing of the land (v. 8) becomes the theme of the sixth and seventh visions.

The concluding statement of this section (6:15b) suggests how the visions relate to the opening call to repentance (cf. 1:1-6). Zion would be restored if the people returned to the Lord (1:3) and diligently obeyed Him (6:15b). Thus the promises and visions appear within a framework that emphasizes the role of human responsibility in the realization of God's purposes (Robert B. Chisholm, Jr., Interpreting the Minor Prophets, 237).

4 Since all of these eight visions follow this introduction, it may be reasonable to imagine that they all came on the same night (kind of an extended Christmas Carol!).

5 Israel sees themselves as low in their national position, and it looks like they are going to stay that way.

6 This vision gives hope as it promises that divine agents will overthrow their enemies.

7 Assyrians, Northern King, Edom and Egypt (individuals). Perhaps the horns are the same as in Daniel (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome) and the craftsmen are the same ones who defeat each other.

8 This vision gives hope because there will be external blessings on Jerusalem; Yahweh will be the protection of Jerusalem.

9 No walls implies a time of ultimate peace!

10 Literally and spiritually!

11 The priest was to be clothed in clean clothes, but Joshua was filthy (vomit, dung, etc.) symbolizing the standing of the nation before Yahweh (66 years since the day of Atonement had been kept). Joshua was reclothed expressing dedication as holy to Yahweh.

12 Yahweh will bring someone greater than Joshua--the Branch. Historically, this may have been considered to be Zerubbabel. Priests are a symbol of the branch who will be the top stone of completion--He will forgive their sins! There is a play on the kingly and priestly function of this one who is to come.

13 As the temple is finished and the capstone is put on, God is watching--observing their sins for which their will be a one time sacrifice (cf. the American Dollar Bill with the Eye on the building symbolizing a temple building).

14 These olive trees would have been the source of oil for the lamps.

15 The Spirit will work through Zerubbabel to accomplish the temple. He will be empowered by the Spirit.

16 The sons of oil were Joshua and Zerubbabel. They were the two most important men of their time; they were the two men to finish the temple; they were the men to make Israel right with God.

17 These are messages of judgment rather than blessing. There is going to be a judgment against the temple law breakers who try not to rebuild the temple.

18 These evils are expressed in the third commandment (not to take the Lord's name in vain) and the eighth commandment (not to steal). The are the middle of each five and thus may represent the whole. These also may have been because the people were stealing from the temple sight and some were vowing to donate to the temple, but were not keeping their vow.

19 This was the largest dry measure in Israel.

20 See Genesis 10:10; 11:2; 14:1; Isaiah 11:11; Daniel 1:2. Shinar is a nickname for Babylon.

21 Bronze speaks of refinement.

22 Babylon and the Persian empire will be destroyed by God.

23 This is really an account of what happened. It is not a vision. It is probably a symbol of the united offices of priest and king.

24 Chisholm writes, According to many commentators, Joshua is here identified as a type of the messianic Branch (cf. 3:8), who would build the temple and rule as a priest (hence Joshua's symbolic value). In this interpretation the statement 'and there will be harmony between the two' (v. 13b) points to a fusing of the royal and priestly offices in the person of the Messiah.

Others prefer to see this statement as referring to two distinct individuals. In this view verses 12-13a contain a prophecy about the Branch, who would be a royal figure responsible for building the temple. In conjunction with this king's rule the high priest (typified by Joshua) would also exercise a rulership function within the covenant community (v. 13b). In this case the statement 'and there will be harmony between the two' emphasizes the unity of purpose that would exist between the Davidic king and the high priest. In favor of this interpretation one may point to the preceding context which predicts that Zerubbabel would complete the temple (4:9), a task accomplished by the Branch, according to 6:12. At the same time, the completion of the temple allows the priesthood to be fully restored (3:1-10). In this connection Joshua is promised a position of leadership in the temple (3:7) and is pictured as ruling with Zerubbabel over the restored community (4:11-14). Thus, according to this view, verses 12-13 do not directly prophesy the Davidic king's priestly role, though they do indicate that the high priest would lend his full support to the kings rule.

As noted earlier (in conjunction with Hag. 2:23 and Zech 3:8), the ideal expressed in verses 12-13 was probably originally attached to the persons of Zerubbabel and Joshua (cf. 4:9 with 6:12). However, this ideal will be fully realized only in conjunction with the eschatological rule of Jesus the Messiah, who is also the High Priest appointed by God. Thus the royal and priestly ideals represented by Zerubbabel and Joshua are both ultimately fulfilled in Him (Robert B. Chisholm, Jr., Interpreting the Minor Prophets, 253-54).

25 Baldwin sees the following chiastic structure for this unit:

A The Question 7:1-3

B The first sermon 7:4-14

C Relevant sayings 8:1-8

B' The second sermon 8:9-17

A' The Answer 8:18-19

Joyce G. Baldwin, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi: An Introduction & Commentary, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, 85; Chisholm sees the following chiastic structure for this unit:

A Messengers from Bethel entreat the Lord 7:1-3

B The Lord denounces ineffective fasts 7:4-7

C An earlier generation rejected social justice 7:8-12

D The Lord sent his people into exile 7:13-14

The Lord promises restoration 8:1-6

D' The Lord will deliver his people from exile 8:7-8

Exhortation to build the Temple for blessing 8:9-15

C' The Lord exhorts social justice 8:16-17

B' Meaningful fasts will be restored 8:18-19

A' All peoples will come to Jerusalem to entreat the Lord 8:20-23

Robert B. Chisholm, Jr., Interpreting the Minor Prophets, 255.

26 This was mid-way in the process of rebuilding the temple. The date commemorates a time of fasting which was done because it coincided with the burning of the temple by Babylon.

27 This city that was in the South of the Northern Kingdom of Israel were calf-worship occurred in history does not want to fast since the Lord is blessing them.

28 Chisholm argues that the two oracles are thematically and structurally related in the following ways:

A1 The Lord's intervention: Deliverance from Exile 9:1-17

B Oppressive leaders (shepherds) denounced 10:1-3a

A1 The Lord's intervention: Deliverance from exile 10:3b--11:3

B The good shepherd rejected 11:5-17

A2 The Lord's intervention: Jerusalem delivered 12:1-9

B People mourn their rejection of the good shepherd and are cleansed 12:10--13:9

A2 The Lord's intervention: Jerusalem delivered 14:1-21

Robert B. Chisholm, Jr., Interpreting the Minor Prophets, 260; Joyce G. Baldwin, offers another chiastic structure:

A The Lord triumphs from the north 9:1-8

B Arrival of the king 9:9-10

C Jubilation and prosperity 9:11--10:1

D Rebuke for sham leaders 10:2-3a

C' Jubilation and restoration 10:3b--11:3

B' The fate of the good shepherd 11:4-11

C''Jubilation in Jerusalem 12:1-9

B''Mourning for the pierced one 12:10--13:1

C'''Cataclysm in Jerusalem 14:1-15

A' The Lord worshipped as King over all 14:16-21

Joyce G. Baldwin, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi: An Introduction & Commentary, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, 85-86; cf. pp. 78-79 for P. Lamarche's structure).

29 Perhaps this was those shepherds mentioned in verse 5. Could this be the Lord's rejection of the religious leaders in Matthew 23--Woes!

30 Perhaps this was the Abrahamic covenant--The Lord would not fulfill all his promises through this rebellious people.

31 A price for a dead slave.

32 In 70 A.D. the genealogical records were lost.

33 Here the defeat of the enemy is described in semitic terms--he will not even have an eye to aim with. This ultimately offers hope to the nation.

34 This will be during the Tribulation.

35 All of the Tribulation will occur because of their not accepting Messiah.

36 Judgment precedes the Kingdom.

37 Egypt's evils were the reason for the first booths.

Related Topics: Introductions, Arguments, Outlines