Zechariah

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zek-a-rī´a (זכריהוּ, zekharyāhū, or זכריה, zekharyāh, "YHWH is renowned or remembered"; the Septuagint Ζαχαρία(ς), Zacharía(s)):

A prophet of Judah, the eleventh of the twelve minor prophets. Like Ezekiel, he was of priestly extraction. He describes himself (Zechariah 1:1) as “the son of Berechiah.” In Ezra 5:1 and Ezra 6:14 he is called “the son of Iddo,” who was properly his grandfather. His prophetical career began in the second year of Darius (520 BC), about sixteen years after the return of the first company from exile. He was contemporary with Haggai (Ezra 5:1).

His book consists of two distinct parts, Haggai 1:1-15 to 8, inclusive, and 9 to the end. It begins with a preface (Zechariah 1:1-6), which recalls the nation's past history, for the purpose of presenting a solemn warning to the present generation. Then follows a series of eight visions (Zechariah 1:7-6:8), succeeding one another in one night, which may be regarded as a symbolical history of Israel, intended to furnish consolation to the returned exiles and stir up hope in their minds. The symbolical action, the crowning of Joshua (Zechariah 6:9-15), describes how the kingdoms of the world become the kingdom of God's Christ.

Zechariah 7:1-14 and 8, delivered two years later, are an answer to the question whether the days of mourning for the destruction of the city should be any longer kept, and an encouraging address to the people, assuring them of God's presence and blessing.

The second part of the book (Zechariah 9 - 14) bears no date. It is probable that a considerable interval separates it from the first part. It consists of two burdens.

The first burden (Zechariah 9-11) gives an outline of the course of God's providential dealings with his people down to the time of the Advent.

The second burden (Zechariah 12-14) points out the glories that await Israel in “the latter day”, the final conflict and triumph of God's kingdom.

See Zacharias [2].


There is a large number of persons mentioned in Scripture bearing this name of whom nothing is known.


Zechariah (1)

zek-a-rī´a (זכריהוּ, zekharyāhū, or זכריה, zekharyāh, "YHWH is renowned or remembered"; the Septuagint Ζαχαρία(ς), Zacharía(s)):

A very common name in the Old Testament. The form, especially the longer form, of the name would suggest for its meaning, “Yah remembers” or “Yah is renowned,” and the name was doubtless understood in this sense in later times. But the analogies with Zaccur, Zecher, Zichri (which see), etc., make some original ethnic derivation probable.

(1) King of Israel, son of Jeroboam II (the King James VersionZachariah”). See the next article Zechariah (2).

(2) The grandfather of King Hezekiah, through Hezekiah's mother Abi (2 Kings 18:2, the King James VersionZachariah” parallel 2 Chronicles 29:1). He was the father of Abijah, who was the mother of Hezekiah.

(3) A contemporary of Isaiah, taken by Isaiah as a trustworthy witness in the matter of the sign Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz (Isaiah 8:2). As his father's name was Jeberechiah, some support seems to be offered to theories of those who would make him the author of certain portions of Zechariah. See Book Of Zechariah.

(4) A Reubenite of the time of Israel's captivity (1 Chronicles 5:7). He was one of the chiefs of the tribe of Reuben (1 Chronicles 5:7).

(5) A Benjamite, living in Gideon (1 Chronicles 9:37; called “Zecher” in 1 Chronicles 8:31). He was the brother of Kish and hence, the uncle of Saul.

(6) The father of Iddo who was a Manassite of Gilead, at the time of David (1 Chronicles 27:21).

(7) The third son of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 21:2). He was slain by Jehoram (2 Chronicles 21:4).

(8) A “prince” who Jehoshaphat sent to “teach” in the cities of Judah (2 Chronicles 17:7). As this “teaching” was in connection with the establishing of the Law, Zechariah was primarily a judge. He was the one who assisted in teaching the law to the people in the time of Jehoshaphat.

(9) A prophet who was influential in the early days of Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:5). He is characterized as ha-mēbh īn bire'ōth (beyir'ath(?)) hā-'ĕlōhīm, which phrase is usually understood to mean that he had instructed (Revised Version margin) the king in the fear of God. As long as he lived the king profited by his instruction and advice. The prophet had “understanding in the seeing of God,” in the time of Uzziah, who was much indebted to him for his wise counsel (2 Chronicles 26:5).

The following eight are all Levites:

(10) A Levite who assisted at the bringing up of the ark from the house of Obededom (1 Chronicles 15:20-24). He was a doorkeeper at the time of David, who was made a singer “of the second degree” (1 Chronicles 15:18; the text is confused). He was a player on a “psaltery” (1 Chronicles 15:20) and took part in the thanksgiving when the Ark was brought to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 16:5).

(11) A Kohathite Levite. He was a son of Isshiah (1 Chronicles 24:25).

(12) A son of Meshelemiah, a “porter of the door of the tent of meeting” at the time of David (1 Chronicles 9:21; 1 Chronicles 26:2, 1 Chronicles 26:14). He was one of the porters of the tabernacle. In 1 Chronicles 26:14 called “a discreet counselor.”

(13) A son of Hosah, a Merarite, also at David's time (1 Chronicles 26:11).

(14) The father of the prophet, Jahaziel (which see) (2 Chronicles 20:14). He was a Levite of the sons of Asaph

(15) A son of Asaph, who assisted in the purification of the Temple at the time of Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29:13).

(16) A Kohathite, who assisted in the repair of the Temple at the time of Josiah (2 Chronicles 34:12).

(17) A son of Jonathan, an Asaphite, one of the musicians at the dedication of the wall at the time of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 12:35).

The following are all priests:

(18) A trumpeter at the time of David (1 Chronicles 15:24).

(19) A son of Jehoiada, the high priest at the time of Ahaziah and Joash. He rebuked the people publicly for their apostasy, and was stoned by them, Joash consenting to their act (2 Chronicles 24:20-22). After the death of Jehoiada he boldly condemned both the king and the people for their rebellion against God (2 Chronicles 24:20), which so stirred up their resentment against him that at the king's commandment they stoned him with stones, and he died “in the court of the house of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 24:21). As 2 Chronicles is the last book in the Hebrew Old Testament, Zechariah was regarded as the last of the Old Testament martyrs, and hence, is coupled with Abel (the first martyr) in Matthew 23:35 parallel Luke 11:51. Christ alludes to this deed of murder in Matthew 23:35, Luke 11:51. The words “son of Barachiah” in Matthew are due to confusing this Zechariah with the prophet. See Zachariah.

(20) One of the “rulers of the house of God” at the time of Josiah (2 Chronicles 35:8).

(21) A son of Pashhur, 242 of whose descendants as “chiefs of fathers' houses” dwelt in Jerusalem at the time of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 11:13).

(22) A trumpeter at the dedication of the wall at the time of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 12:41).

(23) The prophet (Ezra 5:1; Ezra 6:14; Nehemiah 12:16; Zechariah 1:1, Zechariah 1:7; Zechariah 7:1, Zechariah 7:8; 1 Esdras 6:1; 1 Esdras 7:3). See Book Of Zechariah.

The following are all returned exiles or are mentioned only as ancestors of such:

(24) A son of Parosh (Ezra 8:3; 1 Esdras 8:30 has “Zacharias” here and elsewhere).

(25) A son of Bebai (Ezra 8:11; 1 Esdras 8:37)

(26) One of the “chief men” dispatched by Ezra to bring priests from Casiphia (Ezra 8:16; 1 Esdras 8:44). Doubtless the same as (24) or (25), above.

(27) One of the persons who stood by Ezra at the reading of the Law (Nehemiah 8:4; 1 Esdras 9:44); almost certainly identical with (26). He was a chief of the people in the time of Ezra, who consulted him about the return from captivity (Ezra 8:16); probably the same as mentioned in Nehemiah 8:4,

(28) A son of Elam, who had taken a foreign wife (Ezra 10:26; 1 Esdras 9:27).

(29) A son of Amariah, a Judahite, the ancestor of certain persons dwelling in Jerusalem (Nehemiah 11:4).

(30) A son of “the Shilonite,” the ancestor of certain persons dwelling in Jerusalem (Nehemiah 11:5).

(31) Ancestor of Adaiah Nehemiah 11:12.


Zechariah (2)

(זכריה, zekharyāh, זכריהוּ, zekharyāhū, “Yah has remembered” (2 Kings 14:29; 2 Kings 15:8-12); Ζαχαρίας, Zacharías, the King James Version Zachariah):

Son of Jeroboam II, and 14th king of Israel. He was the 4th of the line of Jehu, and reigned six months. Zechariah succeeded to a splendid inheritance, as he was king, not only of the ten tribes of Israel, but of the Syrian state of Damascus, which his father had subdued. In the unusual wealth and dignity of this position lay his peril. Also there were two dark shadows falling across his path, though both probably unseen by him. One was the promise to Jehu, as the reward of his destroying the worship of Baal in Israel, that his sons should sit on the throne of Israel to the 4th generation (2 Kings 10:30; 2 Kings 15:12). Zechariah was Jehu's great-great-grandson. The other was the word of Amos to the priest of Bethel: “Then said the Lord.... I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword” (Amos 7:8, Amos 7:9).

The only brief notice of Zechariah personal to himself is that he gave his support to the worship of the calves, since Jeroboam I established the religion of the state. He hardly had time, however, to identify himself with this or any institution before he was publicly assassinated by Shallum, the son of Jabesh (he “smote him before the people”). The prophet Hosea was then alive, and there is probably allusion to this crime when, addressing Ephraim, he says: “Where is thy king, that he may save thee in all thy cities?... I have given thee a king in mine anger, and have taken him away in my wrath” (Hosea 13:10, Hosea 13:11; compare Hosea 1:4).

There has long been difficulty with the chronology of this period. Archbishop Ussher assumed an interregnum of 11 years between the death of Jeroboam II and Zechariah's accession. This is accepted as probable by a recent writer, who sees “at least 10 years of incessant conflict between rival claimants to the throne on Jeroboam's death” (see article “Zechariah” in HDB, IV). It seems more likely that there is error in certain of the synchronisms. The year of Zechariah's accession was probably 759 BC (some put it later), and the 6 months of his reign, with that given to Shallum, may be included in the 10 years of Menahem, who followed them (2 Kings 15:17).

See Chronology Of The Old Testament.

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