Zechariah 1(Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 516)

Zechariah 1New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 1

Call for Obedience. In the second year of Darius,[a] in the eighth month, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah, son of Berechiah, son of Iddo: The Lord was very angry with your ancestors.[b]Say to them: Thus says the Lord of hosts, Return to me—oracle of theLord[c] of hosts—and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. Do not be like your ancestors to whom the earlier prophets[d] proclaimed: Thus says the Lord of hosts: Turn from your evil ways and from your wicked deeds. But they did not listen or pay attention to me—oracle of the Lord.— Your ancestors, where are they? And the prophets, can they live forever? But my words and my statutes, with which I charged my servants the prophets, did these not overtake your ancestors? Then they repented[e] and admitted: “Just as the Lord of hosts intended to treat us according to our ways and deeds, so the Lord has done.”

First Vision: Horses Patrolling the Earth. In the second year of Darius, on the twenty-fourth day of Shebat, the eleventh month,[f] the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah, son of Berechiah, son of Iddo:

[g]I looked out in the night,[h] and there was a man mounted on a red horse standing in the shadows among myrtle trees; and behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses. I asked, “What are these, my lord?”[i] Then the angel who spoke with me answered, “I will show you what these are.” 10 Then the man who was standing among the myrtle trees spoke up and said, “These are the ones whom the Lord has sent to patrol the earth.” 11 And they answered the angel of the Lord,[j] who was standing among the myrtle trees: “We have been patrolling the earth, and now the whole earth rests quietly.” 12 Then the angel of the Lord replied, “Lord of hosts, how long will you be without mercy for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah that have felt your anger these seventy years?”[k]13 To the angel who spoke with me, the Lord replied favorably, with comforting words.

Oracular Response. 14 The angel who spoke with me then said to me, Proclaim: Thus says the Lord of hosts:

I am jealous for Jerusalem
    and for Zion[l] intensely jealous.
15 I am consumed with anger
    toward the complacent nations;[m]
When I was only a little angry,
    they compounded the disaster.
16 Therefore, thus says the Lord:
I return to Jerusalem in mercy;
    my house[n] will be rebuilt there—oracle of the Lord of hosts—
    and a measuring line will be stretched over Jerusalem.
17 Proclaim further: Thus says the Lord of hosts:
My cities will again overflow with prosperity;
    the Lord will again comfort Zion,
    and will again choose Jerusalem.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1 Darius: Darius I, emperor of Persia from 522 to 486 B.C. The second year…eighth month: October/November 520 B.C., i.e., prior to the latest date in Haggai (Dec. 18, 520 B.C., Hg 2:10). Unlike other prophets, Haggai and Zechariah 1–8 contain specific chronological information, probably because they were sensitive to the imminent end of the expected seventy years of exile. See note on Zec 1:12.
  2. 1:2 Your ancestors: refers to the preexilic people of Judah, who were subjected to Babylonian destruction and exile.
  3. 1:3 Oracle of the Lord: a phrase used extensively in prophetic books to indicate divine speech.
  4. 1:4 Earlier prophets: preexilic prophets of the Lord. There are many allusions to them in Zechariah, indicating their influence on the postexilic community (see 7:7, 12).
  5. 1:6 Repented: the Hebrew word shub literally means “turn back.” This term is often used to speak of repentance as a return to the covenantal relationship between Israel and the Lord.
  6. 1:7 The second year…eleventh month: February 15, 519 B.C. The largest set of visions (1:7–6:15) is dated to a time just prior to the beginning of the new year in the spring.
  7. 1:8–11 Four riders on horses of three different colors are sent by God to patrol the four corners of the earth. Compare the four chariots of the seventh vision, 6:1–8.
  8. 1:8 In the night: nighttime, or this night. This setting of darkness is meant only for the first vision.
  9. 1:9 My lord: this expression in Hebrew (‘adoni) is used as a polite form of address. Angel who spoke with me: angelic being (not identical to the angel of the Lord who is one of the four horsemen) who serves as an interpreter, bringing a message from God to the prophet, who himself is a messenger of God.
  10. 1:11 Angel of the Lord: chief angelic figure in God’s heavenly court, and perhaps the “man” of 1:8.
  11. 1:12 These seventy years: allusion to the period of divine anger mentioned in Jer 25:11–12 and 29:10. Here the symbolic number seventy is understood to mark the period without a Temple in Jerusalem. Since these seventy years would have been almost over at this point, this symbolic number would have provided motivation for rebuilding the Temple as a sign of the end of the exile.
  12. 1:14 For Jerusalem and for Zion: rather than the usual order, Zion and Jerusalem, elsewhere in the Bible. The reversal highlights the centrality of Jerusalem, which is mentioned in all three of the brief oracles of 1:14–17.
  13. 1:15 Complacent nations: probably a reference to the Persian empire, which in its imperial extent included many national groups that maintained separate identities.Compounded the disaster: the surrounding nations took advantage of the Lord’s anger against Judah to further their own interests.
  14. 1:16 My house: the Temple. See note on Hg 1:4. Measuring line: a builder’s string, not for devastation, as in Is 34:11, but for reconstruction.
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Book of the Prophet Zechariah (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 515)

Book of the Prophet Zechariah (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 515)

ZECHARIAH

Zechariah wrote his book in the Hebrew language. The Hebrew word ‘zechariah’ (or ‘zachariah’) means ‘God
remembers’.

DATE

Zechariah was a prophet from 520 BC to 518 BC in Jerusalem. During that era, many Jews were returning from the
Babylonian Captivity to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple, which had been destroyed by the Babylonians.
In chapters 1-8, Zechariah helped another *prophet, Haggai. Zechariah started to *prophesy just before Haggai
finished.

BIBLE CATEGORY

11th Book of the 12 Minor Prophets (Old Testament)
THE AUTHOR

Prophet ZECHARIAH. Zechariah wrote his book in the Hebrew language.

The Book

The Book of Zechariah, because of its great variation in style, content, and language, is widely believed to be a
composite work. Made up of First Zechariah (chaps. 1–8) and Second Zechariah (chaps. 9–14), the book has
been attributed to at least two different prophets. The prophecies of First Zechariah can be dated to the late sixth
century B.C., contemporary with those of Haggai; the oracles of Second Zechariah are somewhat later.

The most striking feature of First Zechariah is a series of visions in which the prophet describes the centrality of
Jerusalem, its Temple, and its leaders, who function both in the politics of the region and of the Persian empire and
in God’s universal rule. These visions clearly relate to the Temple restoration begun in 520 B.C.

The prophecies of First Zechariah can be divided into three literary units. A brief introductory unit (1:1–6) links the
prophecies of chaps. 1–8 with those of Haggai. The visionary unit (1:7–6:15) consists of seven visionary images
plus an associated vision dealing with the high priest Joshua. The third unit (7:1–8:23) consists of two parts: (1) an
address (7:1–14) to a delegation sent from Bethel in anticipation of the end of the seventy years of exile; (2) a series
of oracles (8:1–23): seven oracles dealing with the restoration of Judah and Zion (vv. 1–17), followed by three
oracles of hope concerning Judah and the nations (vv. 18–23).

Coming nearly a century later, the prophecies of Second Zechariah are extraordinarily diverse. A complex
assortment of literary genres appears in these six chapters, which consist of two distinct parts (chaps. 9–11 and
chaps. 12–14), each introduced by an unusual Hebrew word for “oracle.” Despite the diversity of materials, the
structural links among the chapters along with verbal and thematic connections point to an overall integrity for Zec
9–14.

Second Zechariah draws heavily on the words and ideas of earlier biblical prophets. The prophet is acutely aware
of the devastation that comes from disobedience to God’s word, as had been spoken by God’s prophetic
emissaries. Yet, it was now clear in this century after the rebuilding of the Temple and the repatriation of many of the
exiles, that Judah would not soon regain political autonomy and a Davidic king. So the various poems, narratives,
oracles, and parables of Second Zechariah maintain the hope of previous prophets by depicting a glorious
eschatological restoration. At that time all nations will recognize Jerusalem’s centrality and acknowledge God’s
universal sovereignty. (source: biblegatewaydotcom/passage/intro/?search=Zechariah&version=NABRE)