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zechariah Summary and Overview

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zechariah in Easton's Bible Dictionary

Jehovah is renowned or remembered. (1.) A prophet of Judah, the eleventh of the twelve minor prophets. Like Ezekiel, he was of priestly extraction. He describes himself (1:1) as "the son of Berechiah." In Ezra 5:1 and 6:14 he is called "the son of Iddo," who was properly his grandfather. His prophetical career began in the second year of Darius (B.C. 520), 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, (1) chapters 1 to 8, inclusive, and (2) 9 to the end. It begins with a preface (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 (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 (6:9-15), describes how the kingdoms of the world become the kingdom of God's Christ. Chapters 7 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 (ch. 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 (ch. 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 (ch. 12-14) points out the glories that await Israel in "the latter day", the final conflict and triumph of God's kingdom. (2.) The son or grandson of Jehoiada, the high priest in the times of Ahaziah and Joash. After the death of Jehoiada he boldly condemned both the king and the people for their rebellion against God (2 Chr. 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" (24:21). Christ alludes to this deed of murder in Matt. 23:35, Luke 11:51. (See ZACHARIAS T0003862 [2].) (3.) A prophet, who had "understanding in the seeing of God," in the time of Uzziah, who was much indebted to him for his wise counsel (2 Chr. 26:5). Besides these, there is a large number of persons mentioned in Scripture bearing this name of whom nothing is known. (4.) One of the chiefs of the tribe of Reuben (1 Chr. 5:7). (5.) One of the porters of the tabernacle (1 Chr. 9:21). (6.) 1 Chr. 9:37. (7.) A Levite who assisted at the bringing up of the ark from the house of Obededom (1 Chr. 15:20-24). (8.) A Kohathite Levite (1 Chr. 24:25). (9.) A Merarite Levite (1 Chr. 27:21). (10.) The father of Iddo (1 Chr. 27:21). (11.) One who assisted in teaching the law to the people in the time of Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 17:7). (12.) A Levite of the sons of Asaph (2 Chr. 20:14). (13.) One of Jehoshaphat's sons (2 Chr. 21:2). (14.) The father of Abijah, who was the mother of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29:1). (15.) One of the sons of Asaph (2 Chr. 29:13). (16.) One of the "rulers of the house of God" (2 Chr. 35:8). (17.) 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 Neh. 8:4, (18.) Neh. 11:12. (19.) Neh. 12:16. (20.) Neh. 12:35,41. (21.) Isa. 8:2.

zechariah in Smith's Bible Dictionary

1. The eleventh in order of the twelve minor prophets. He is called in his prophecy the son of Berechiah and the grandson of Iddo, whereas in the book of Ezra, #Ezr 5:1; 6:14| he is said to have been the son of Iddo. It is natural to suppose as the prophet himself mentions his father's name, whereas the book of Ezra mentions only Iddo, that Berechiah had died early, and that there was now no intervening link between the grandfather and the grandson. Zechariah, like Jeremiah and Ezekiel before him, was priest as well as prophet. He seems to have entered upon his office while yet young, #Zec 2:4| and must have been born in Babylon whence he returned with the first caravan of exiles under Zerubbabel and Jeshua. It was in the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, that he first publicly discharged his office. In this he acted in concert with Haggai. Both prophets had the same great object before them; both directed all their energies to the building of the second temple. To their influence we find the rebuilding of the temple in a great measure ascribed. If the later Jewish accounts may be trusted, Zechariah, as well as Haggai, was a member of the Great Synagogue. The genuine writings of Zechariah help us but little in our estimate of his character. Some faint traces, however, we may observe in them, of his education in Babylon. He leans avowedly on the authority of the older prophets, and copies their expressions. Jeremiah especially seems to have been his favorite; and hence the Jewish saying that "the spirit of Jeremiah dwelt in Zechariah." But in what may be called the peculiarities of his prophecy, he approaches more nearly to Ezekiel and Daniel. Like them he delights in visions; like them he uses symbols and allegories rather than the bold figures and metaphors which lend so much force and beauty to the writings of the earlier prophets. Generally speaking, Zechariah's style is pure, and remarkably free from Chaldaisms. 2. Son of Meshelemiah or Shelemiah a Korhite, and keeper of the north gate of the tabernacle of the congregation, #1Ch 9:21| (B.C. 1043.) 3. One of the sons of Jehiel. #1Ch 9:37| 4. A Levite of the second order in the temple band as arranged by David, appointed to play "with psalteries on Alamoth." #1Ch 15:18,20| (B.C. 1043.) 5. One of the princes of Judah in the reign of Jehoshaphat. #2Ch 17:7| (B.C. 910.) 6. Son of the high priest Jehoiada, in the reign of Joash king of Judah #2Ch 24:20| and therefore the king's cousin. After the death of Jehoiada, Zechariah probably succeeded to his office, and in attempting to check the reaction in favor of idolatry which immediately followed he fell a victim to a conspiracy formed against him by the king, and was stoned in the court of the temple. He is probably the same as the "Zacharias son of Barachias" who was slain between the temple and the altar. #Mt 23:35| [ZACHARIAS, No. 2] (B.C. 838.) 7. A Kohathite Levite in the reign of Josiah. #2Ch 34:12| (B.C. 628.) 8. The leader of the sons of Pharosh who returned with Ezra. #Ezr 8:3| (B.C. 450.) 9. Son of Behai. #Ezr 8:11| 10. One of the chiefs of the people whom Ezra summoned in council at the river Ahava. #Ezr 8:16| He stood at Ezra's left hand when he expounded the law to the people. #Ne 8:4| (B.C. 459.) 11. One of the family of Elam who had married a foreign wife after the captivity. #Ezr 10:26| (B.C.458.) 12. Ancestor of Athaiah or Uthai. #Ne 11:4| 13. A Shilonite, descendant of Perez. #Ne 11:5| 14. A priest, son of Pashur. #Ne 11:12| 15. The representative of the priestly family of Iddo in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua. #Ne 12:16| (B.C. 536.) possibly the same as Zechariah the prophet, the son of Iddo. 16. One of the priests, son of Jonathan, who blew with the trumpets at the dedication of the city wall by Ezra and Nehemiah. #Ne 12:36,41| (B.C. 446.) 17. A chief of the Reubenites at the time of the captivity by Tiglath-pileser. #1Ch 5:7| (B.C. 740.) 18. One of the priests who accompanied the ark from the house of Obed-edom. #1Ch 15:24| (B.C. 1043.) 19. Son of Isshiah or Jesiah, a Kohathite Levite descended from Uzziel. #1Ch 24:25| (B.C. 1043.) 20. Fourth son of Hosah of the children of Merari. #1Ch 26:11| 21. A Manassite. #1Ch 27:21,22| 22. The father of Jahaziel. #2Ch 20:14| 23. One of the sons of Jehoshaphat. #2Ch 21:2| 24. A prophet in the reign of Uzziah who appears to have acted as the king's counsellor, but of whom nothing is known. #2Ch 26:5| (B.C. 807.) 25. The father of Abijah or Abi, Hezekiah's mother. #2Ch 29:1| 26. One of the family of Asaph in the reign of Hezekiah. #2Ch 29:13| (B.C. 727.) 27. One of the rulers of the temple in the reign of Josiah. #2Ch 35:8| (B.C. 628.) 28. The son of Jeberechiah, who was taken by the prophet Isaiah as one of the "faithful witnesses to record," when he wrote concerning Maher-shalal-hash-baz. #Isa 8:2| (B.C. 723.) He may have been the Levite of the same name who in the reign of Hezekiah assisted in the purification of the temple. #2Ch 29:13| Another conjecture is that he is the same as Zechariah the father of Abijah, the queen of Ahaz.

zechariah in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

ZECHARI'AH (Jehovah remembers). 1. The eleventh of the twelve minor prophets, of priestly descent, and a contemporary of Haggai, returning from exile with Zerubbabel and the high priest Joshua. Ezr 6:1. He was the son of Berechiah, was born in Babylon, and was both a priest and a prophet. Scarcely anything is known of his life. His prophecies may be set down between b.c. 520 and 518. The Book of Zechariah consists of two divisions: I. Chs. 1-8; II. Chs. 9-14. The first division contains visions and prophecies from the second year of the reign of Darius Hystaspes, while the temple was rebuilding, exhortations to turn to Jehovah, and warnings against the enemies of the people of God. About the authorship of this part of the book there is no doubt. The second division gives a prophetic description of the future fortunes of the theocracy in conflict with the secular powers, the sufferings and death of the Messiah under the figure of the shepherd, the conversion of Israel to him, and the final glorification of the kingdom of God. About the authorship of this part of the book doubts have been raised, some ascribing it to Jeremiah because in Matt 27:9-10 a passage is quoted under the name of Jeremiah, while others have put it at a much earlier or much later period on account of the peculiarities of the style. Of all the prophets, Zechariah is the most obscure, owing to the brevity and conciseness of the diction, the predominance of symbolical and figurative language, and the peculiar character of the subject - the suffering Messiah. But he has a profound insight both into the spiritual meaning and object of the Mosaic dispensation as a schoolmaster leading to Christ, and into the character of the Messiah and the universality of his kingdom. The book contains six specific references to Christ: Zech 3:8; Zech 6:12; Zech 9:9; Zech 11:12; Neh 12:10; 2 Kgs 13:7, representing him as a lowly servant, a priest and king building Jehovah's temple, the meek and peaceful but universal monarch, the shepherd betrayed for the price of a slave (thirty pieces of silver), the leader to repentance, and the Fellow of Jehovah smitten by Jehovah himself, at once the Redeemer and the Pattern of his flock. Besides the prophet, twenty-seven other persons of the name Zechariah are mentioned in Scripture, among whom are - 1. Seven Levites. 1 Chr 9:21; 1 Chr 15:18; 1 Chr 24:25; 1 Chr 26:11; 2 Chr 20:14; 2 Chr 29:13; 2 Chr 34:12. 2. Four priests. 2 Chr 35:8; Neh 11:12; Neh 12:16, John 12:35, Ex 12:41. 3. The son of the high priest Jehoiada, stoned in the court of the house of the Lord on the command of Joash, king of Judah. 2 Chr 24:20. 4. Two chiefs who returned with Ezra from Babylon. Ezr 8:3, Rev 1:11. 5. The father of Iddo, ruler of Manasseh in Gilead. 1 Chr 27:21. 6. The son of Jeberechiah, whom the prophet Isaiah took as one of the faithful witnesses when he wrote about Maher-shalal-hash-baz. Isa 8:2.

zechariah in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

1. Eleventh of the 12 minor prophets. Son of Berechiah, grandson of Iddo; Ezra (Ezra 5:1; Exr 6:14) says son of Iddo, omitting Berechiah the intermediate link, as less known, and perhaps having died early. Zechariah was probably, like Ezekiel, priest as well as prophet, Iddo being the priest who returned with Zerubbabel and Joshua from Babylon (Nehemiah 12:4; Nehemiah 12:16). His priestly birth suits the sacerdotal character of his prophecies (Zechariah 6:13). He left Babylon, where he was born, very young. Zechariah began prophesying in youth (Zechariah 2:4), "this young man. In the eighth month, in Darius' second year (520 B.C.), Zechariah first prophesied with Haggai (who began two months earlier) in support of Zerubbabel and Shealtiel in the building of the temple, which had been suspended under Pseudo-Smerdis Artaxerxes (Ezra 4:24; Ezra 5:1-2; Ezra 6:14). The two, "Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo" the priest prophet, according to a probable tradition composed psalms for the liturgy of the temple: Psalms 137; 146 to 148, according to Septuagint; Psalm 125, 126 (See NEHEMIAH) according to the Peshito; Psalm 111 according to Vulgate. The Hallelujah characterizes the post exile psalms, it occurs at both beginning and end of Psalms 146 to 150; these are all joyous thanksgivings, free from the lamentations which appear in the other post exile psalms. Probably sung at the consecration of the walls under Nehemiah; but Hengstenberg thinks at the consecration of the second temple. Jewish tradition makes Zecharia a member of the great synagogue. frontZECHARIAH, BOOK OF.) 2. Firstborn son of Meshelemiah, a Korhite, keeper of the N. gate of the tabernacle under David (1 Chronicles 9:21; 1 Chronicles 26:2; 1 Chronicles 26:14, "a wise counsellor".) 3. One of the sons of Jehiel (1 Chronicles 9:37); in 1 Chronicles 8:31 Zacher. 4. A Levite in the tabernacle choir under David, "with psalteries on Alamoth" (1 Chronicles 15:20); of the second order of Levites (verse 18), a porter or gatekeeper. 5. One of Judah's princes under Jehoshaphat, sent to teach the law of Jehovah in Judah's cities (2 Chronicles 17:7). 6. Son of Jehoiada, and so cousin of king Joash whom Jehoiada saved from Athaliah (2 Chronicles 24:20). (See ZACHARIAS.) 7. A Kohathite Levite under Josiah, an overseer of the temple repairs (2 Chronicles 34:12). 8. Leader of the sons of Pharosh, returned from Babylon with Ezra (Ezra 8:3). 9. Son of Bebai; also returned, leading 28 males, with Ezra (Ezra 8:11). 10. A chief, summoned by Ezra to the consultation at the river Ahava, before the second caravan returned (Ezra 8:16); at Ezra's left, in expounding the law (Nehemiah 8:4). 11. Of Elam's family; married a foreign wife (Nehemiah 10:26). 12. Ancestor of Uthai or Athaiah (Nehemiah 11:4). 13. A Shilonite, ancestor of Maaseiah (Nehemiah 11:5). 14. A priest, son of Pashur, ancestor of Adaiah (Nehemiah 11:12). 15. Representing Iddo the priest's family, in the time of Joiakim, son of Jeshua (Nehemiah 12:16); probably the same as Zechariah the prophet, son (descendant) of Iddo. 16. A priest, son of Jonathan, blew the trumpet at the dedication of the city wall (Nehemiah 12:35; Nehemiah 12:41). 17. A Reubenite chief in Tiglath Pileser's time, at Israel's captivity (1 Chronicles 5:7). 18. A priest who blew the trumpet in the procession of the ark (1 Chronicles 15:24). 19. Son of Isshiah or Jesiah (1 Chronicles 24:25). 20. Hosah's fourth son (1 Chronicles 26:11). 21. A Manassite, father of Iddo, chief in Gilead under David (1 Chronicles 27:21). 22. Father of Jahaziel (2 Chronicles 20:14). 23. Son of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 21:2), slain by Jehoram. 24. Uzziah's prophetical counselor (2 Chronicles 26:5), "who had understanding in the visions of God" ("who had insight into seeing of God"); compare Daniel 1:17; as this phrase is not equivalent to "who had prophetic visions from God," but to such "seeing of God" as was granted to the elders of Israel in Exodus 24:10, it is better to read beyireath for bireoth; so Septuagint, Syriac, Targum Arabic, Raschi, Kimchi, etc., "who was (his) instructer in the fear of God." 25. Father of Abijah or Abi, Hezekiah's mother (2 Chronicles 29:1). 26. One of Asaph's family who joined in purifying the temple under Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29:13). 27..A ruler of the temple under Josiah (2 Chronicles 35:8), "the second priest" next to Hilkiah the high priest (2 Chronicles 34:9; 2 Kings 25:18). 28. Son of Jeberechiah, taken by Isaiah as one of the "faithful witnesses to record" when he wrote concerning Maher-shalal-hash-baz ("hasting to the spoil he hasteth to the prey".) The other witness was Uriah, or Urijah, a priest, whom Urijah used as his tool in copying the Damascus altar. (See URIJAH.) As Isaiah, in order to enforce upon Ahaz' attention the truth symbolized, namely, that Assyria whom Ahaz trusted would soon prey upon Judah, chose one witness from the king's bosom friends, so it is likely Zechariah the other witness was also a bosom friend of Ahaz. Now 2 Kings 18 informs us that the mother of Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, was Abi daughter of Zechariah; hence it appears Ahaz was Zechariah's son in law; Isaiah naturally chose him as the other of the two witnesses. The undesigned coincidence between the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 8:2) and the independent historian (2 Kings 16:10; 2 Kings 18:2) confirms the genuineness of both. (See Blunt's Undesigned Coincidences, 2:2.)