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Zechariah 1:1-3


1 In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, 2 The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers. 3 Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.

The book of Zechariah has always attracted my interests, first because of its Messianic prophecies and secondly because of its several mysteries.

While the prophet seems to clearly identify himself, his identity is unknown and has been richly debated. He is called "the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo." Yet it is not clear whether Berechiah was his father and Iddo his grandfather, or whether there were even two Zechariah's, one who wrote the first eight chapters and another who wrote chapters nine through 14. Jerome believed that Berechiah was his father and Iddo was his spiritual father. In the book of Ezra, he is simply called the son of Iddo.

Zechariah prophesied after the return of the Jews from their Babylonian exile, around the same time as Haggai, beginning in October, 520 B.C., about two months after Haggai began and after the rebuilding of the temple had stalled. Together they were responsible for encouraging the work to continue. (see Ezra 4:24-5:2)

The first 8 chapters of the book are very accurately dated and clearly attributed to Zechariah, but chapters nine through fourteen have no dates and no mention of the prophet's name. Of course, scholars have been at odds over the dates and origins, which simply adds more mystery to our study.

With all of its mystery however, Zechariah's importance is recognized in the New Testament. In Mark 14:27 "And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered," Jesus was quoting Zechariah 13:7. The prophet is quoted six more times in the gospels and Revelation and can often be compared to other New Testament passages.

I always believe that if God had wanted us to know certain facts, He would have revealed them to us. The identity and even the name of Zechariah is of little importance here. This is emphasized by the fact that in these first three verses the emphasis is on the name of the LORD. He is called the LORD of hosts three times. Zechariah is simply the messenger, and our attention should be on the One who is speaking.

It is so easy for us to be distracted by worldly things such as dates, names, and historical settings. While these things are sometimes relevant and even necessary to our understanding, in this instance God calls us to hear what He is saying. Yahweh the LORD Almighty has a word for you and I. Zechariah wrote it to the people of Judah, but today it is for you and I. We must listen, understand it, and apply it to our lives in a way that will be consistent with our Christian calling.

Before The Throne:

Ask God to prepare your heart and mind to receive the amazing truths in this prophesy. Pray that you will always be able to separate the message from the messenger, placing God first in all things. Tomorrow you will see how Zechariah began with a call to repentance, but you can begin to answer that call right now by confessing your sins and asking God to cleanse you of all unrighteousness. A clean heart and mind is better able to absorb the wonderful truths of God.

For Further Study:

** the eighth: Zech 1:7, 7:1; Ezr 4:24, 6:15; Hag 1:1, 15, 2:1, 10, 20; ** Zechariah: Ezr 5:1; Mat 23:35; Luk 11:51; ** Iddo: Neh 12:4, 16;


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