Zechariah 14:1-15 – That Day is a New Day

May 15, 2012

The “behold” of Zechariah 14:1 (untranslated by the NIV) begins the second section of Zechariah’s second “oracle” (Zechariah 12-14). The first Section (Zechariah 12-13) was structured around the “day of the Lord” when God will renew covenant with Israel, defend Jerusalem, pour out the divine Spirit of grace, and cleanse the house of David from […]

Zechariah 13:7-9 – Strike the Shepherd!

May 2, 2012

This poem climaxes the message of Zechariah 12:2-13:6. The voice of God announces judgment and mercy; Yahweh speaks into the situation. The shepherd and people of Israel, Yahweh says, will experience judgment but a remnant will emerge from the refining fire. Zechariah 9-14 has already used shepherd imagery. Israel’s shepherds (leaders) have led their people […]

Zechariah 13:2-6 – Impurity Removed

April 30, 2012

“On that day” God will defeat the nations that assail Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:3-8). “On that day” God will grace Israel with the ability to mourn the one they pierced (Zechariah 12:9-13:1). “On that day” God will cleanse the land from idols and false prophets (Zechariah 13:2-6). This is the eschatological hope of Israel. It envisions […]

Zechariah 12:10-13:1 — Mourning the Pierced One

April 25, 2012

The first section of Zechariah 12 (verses 2-8) promises Israel a new Exodus as the Angel of Yahweh will lead them into the safety of their land free from the oppression of the nations. This is the eschatological hope of Israel. Zechariah 12:9 functions as a segway between this hopeful proclamation and the spiritual renewal of Israel. “On […]

Zechariah 11:1-17 – Tale of Two Shepherds

April 11, 2012

The idyllic description of a restored (enlarged borders) and united (Judah and Ephraim reunited) Israel in Zechariah 10:4-12 under a peacemaking king (9:9-10) is shattered by an opening lament in Zechariah 11:1-3. The shepherds of Israel lament the destruction of the land of Lebanon and Bashan (or Gilead). While some think the lament envisions the […]

Zechariah 10:1-12 — Hope for Ephraim

April 10, 2012

Judah, presently a small backwater province of the Persian Empire, is promised that its future borders will spill over into Philistia, Lebanon and Syria (Zechariah 9:1-8). The land will yield grain and new wine as God restores Judah (Zechariah 9:16-17). God will accomplish this through a king who will bring peace to the nations (Zechariah […]

Zechariah 9:1-17 – The King Cometh

March 31, 2012

The first half of Zechariah concluded with the climactic announcement that the nations will recognize that “God is with” Judah (Zechariah 8:23). Zechariah 1-8, with the eight visions (Zechariah 1:7-6:15) that promise the rebuilding of the temple and the four messages that announce God’s transformation of their fasts into feasts (Zechariah 7-8), assures Judah that […]

Zechariah 8:18-23 – Rejoice, O Israel, God is with You!

March 22, 2012

For the fourth time the “word of the Lord” comes to Zechariah in response to the question asked by the representatives of Bethel (Zechariah 7:1-3). They had asked whether they should continue their lament fasts. Finally, Zechariah answers their question. Zechariah, however, did not give them a quick answer. Rather, he took them through their […]

Zechariah 8:1-17 – God Remembers Jerusalem

March 16, 2012

In December 518 representatives from Bethel came to Judah and asked the leaders whether they should continue their lament fasts over the fall of Jerusalem (Zechariah 7:1-3). Zechariah responded with four distinct oracles (identified by the phrase the “word of the Lord came to me/Zechariah” in7:4, 8; 8:1, 18). He first questioned their motives for […]

Zechariah 7:1-6: Why Do You Fast?

March 1, 2012

On December 7, 518 BCE, almost two years after Zechariah’s eight visions on February 15, 519 assure Judah that the temple will be rebuilt (Zechariah 1:7) and two years before the dedication of the temple on March 12, 516 (Ezra 6:15-18), a delegation from Bethel comes to Jerusalem to ask Yahweh a question. They ask […]