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Ultimately, God’s purpose is redeeming His fallen creation. He initiated His plan of redemption by calling and equipping the children of Abraham to be a light to the nations. Zechariah foresees a day when Jerusalem is the center of the world; when people of every race, creed, and color journey to it; and when the Jews show the rest of the world the way to the one True God.

After chapter 8, the Book of Zechariah changes—its tone, its character, its focus. Chapters 1–8 have been about the people and times immediately after the exile ended, a period when Persia ruled the world. Chapters 9–14 seem removed from that world, its people, and its interests—but just how far removed is uncertain. It is possible that these last chapters were not written by Zechariah, and the debate about who wrote them and when they were written has raged since Jesus died. In 27:9-10 of his Gospel, Matthew identifies the author as Jeremiah, a forerunner of Zechariah. More recent scholarship has further confused the matter because the setting in chapter 9 could describe any time in Jerusalem between Hezekiah’s rule before the exile and the Maccabean revolts 400 years later. This inability to positively identify the author and the audience, along with the lack of historical, contextual markers in the text itself, make these words universally applicable. They may even describe the end time when God judges the nations.

Fourth, this may come as a surprise to the remnant of these people, eking out an existence during these harsh days, but what is surprising to you is not for Me.

Fifth, I will rescue My people from far and wide, from east to west across the land, and I will bring them home to live in peace in Jerusalem where they will be My people once more. I will be truthful and just to them as their God.

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