All the Men of the Bible - Thursday, January 2, 2014

Zechariah, Zecher [Zĕcha rī'ah]—jehovah remembers or jehovah is renowned.

The Man Who Preached Hope and Mercy

1. The prophet in Judah, whose Spirit-inspired book is the eleventh among the Minor Prophets (Ezra 5:1; 6:14; Zech. 1:1; 7:1; 7:8).

Among the many bearing the name of Zechariah, the one who wrote the Book of Zechariah, was, like Haggai, a prophet of the Restoration. As a son of the priest named Iddo (Neh. 12:4), Zechariah was of priestly descent, and likely a priest himself. Doubtless he was born in Babylon and exercised his ministry in times of political turbulence and great unrest. His call was one for righteousness in home life, in the political arena and in worship.

Zechariah’s mission was of a varied nature. He had to:

I. Arouse the people to activity in rebuilding the Temple.

II. Restore the theocratic spirit or recognition of God-government.

III. Rekindle the nation’s faith and hope during the coming desolation.

IV. Reorganize the true worship of God.

V. Remove idolatry from the nation.

As “the prophet of hope and mercy” Zechariah has given us a series of eight night visions which portrayed the final restoration of Israel and the security and blessing which will be their portion when the Lord reigns in their midst. The prophet uses the personal pronoun freely and is always careful to date his oracles. Note:

The scouts of Jehovah; He watches over His own (Zech. 1:7-17).

The four horns; enemies are destroyed (Zech. 1:18-21).

God is surveyor; enlargement and security (Zech. 2:1-8).

Joshua consecrated; righteousness restored (Zech. 3).

The lampstand; the sufficiency of grace (Zech. 4).

The flying roll; sinners judged (Zech. 5:1-4).

The woman; sin removed (Zech. 5-11).

The four chariots; judgment begins (Zech. 6:1-8).

One or two unique features of the Book of Zechariah are worthy of mention. His references to Christ are numerous and detailed. Next to Isaiah, Zechariah carries the most frequent prophecies of the Messiah, especially to Him as the suffering King. The prophet depicts Him as:

The meek King (Zech. 9:9 with Matt. 21:5; John 12:13).

The One sold for thirty pieces of silver (Zech. 11:13 with Matt. 26:15).

The pierced Saviour (Zech. 12:10 with John 19:37).

The smitten Shepherd (Zech. 13:7 with Matt. 26:31; Mark 14:27).

Zechariah is the first of the prophets to mention Satan. He recognized sin as an independent working power and personifies sin in the woman of his vision.

Numerous lessons can be gleaned from this Old Testament prophet who saw Christ’s day and rejoiced.

Calamity should not create despondency but inspire wisdom.

A lost vocation can be restored.

All past guilt can be atoned for.

The will of God abides and prevails.

The servant dies but the Master lives and His work continues.

The supplies of divine grace are continuous and abundant.

Fasting and feasting are nothing in themselves.

Faith and faithfulness are everything.

The key to the eastern situation is the Jew.

Many other Zechariahs are to be found in the Bible’s vast portrait gallery of men.

2. A chief Reubenite when genealogies were prepared (1 Chron. 5:7).

3. A son of Meshelemiah, a Levite, a gatekeeper of the Tabernacle in David’s time (1 Chron. 9:21; 26:2, 14).

4. A brother of Ner and uncle of Saul (1 Chron. 9:37), also called Zacher (1 Chron. 8:31).

5. A Levite musician in David’s reign (1 Chron. 15:18, 20; 16:5).

6. A Tabernacle priest in David’s time (1 Chron. 15:24).

7. A son of Isshiah, a Levite of the family of Kohath (1 Chron. 24:25).

8. A son of Hosah, a gatekeeper of the Tabernacle (1 Chron. 26:11).

9. The father of Iddo and chief of the half tribe of Manasseh (1 Chron. 27:21).

10. A prince of Judah used by Jehoshaphat to teach the law (2 Chron. 17:7).

11. The father of Jahaziel, who encouraged the king’s army against Moab (2 Chron. 20:14).

12. The third son of Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. 21:2).

13. Son of Jehoiada the priest, who was stoned to death for rebuking the people for their idolatry. Announcement of divine judgment was more than the idolaters could stand, so at the bidding of the king in the court of the Lord’s house he died a death similar to that of Stephen. His dying words, “The Lord look upon it, and require it,” were long remembered (2 Chron. 24:20, 21).

14. A person who understood the visions of God (2 Chron. 26:5).

15. A son of Asaph, a Levite who helped to cleanse the Temple (2 Chron. 29:13).

16. A son of Kohath, a Levite, and overseer of temple repairs (2 Chron. 34:12).

17. A prince of Judah in the days of Josiah (2 Chron. 35:8).

18. A chief man who returned with Ezra from exile (Ezra 8:3).

19. A son of Bebai who also returned (Ezra 8:11, 16).

20. A returned captive who put away his wife (Ezra 10:26).

21. A prince who stood beside Ezra (Neh. 8:4).

22. The son of Amariah, a descendant of Pharez (Neh. 11:4).

23. A Shilonite (Neh. 11:5).

24. Son of Pashur, a priest (Neh. 11:12).

25. A priest of Joiakim’s time (Neh. 12:16).

26. An Asaphite, who helped in the purification of the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 12:35, 41).

27. A witness Isaiah used. Perhaps the same Zechariah of 2 Chronicles 26:5 and Isaiah 8:2.

Devotional content drawn from All the Men of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer. Used with permission.

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