ZECHARIAH - Chapter 1 - PROPHET OF THE MESSIAH Print E-mail

ZECHARIAH, Prophet of the Messiah

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

June 18, 2019, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

“An amazingly composite and complete portrait of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, was painted five hundred years before His actual birth!  The artist who portrayed Him with such superb skill beheld this glorious King and His coming Kingdom in a series of heavenly visions.  To him was given angelic assistance that he might make known unto Judah---and eventually, to the entire world---the Messiah’s power, holiness, beauty, and surpassing glory.  The “oil” he utilized for this portrait was the anointing oil of the Holy Spirit; his brush was the Word of God; the canvas, of course, was the parchment upon which God’s irradiant words were inscribed.” (Frances Metcalfe – Ladies of Gold, Volume 3)

 

This Israel who went into exile a nation was to return again in character as a church.  The moral and spiritual impetus that was necessary to bring about the rebuilding of the Temple came to be provided by two great prophets, who appeared in God’s time, Haggai and Zechariah.

 

  Unchecked Copy BoxEzra 5:1-2: - Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them. Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them.

 

The prophet Zechariah, “The Prophet of the Messiah” is the artist who gave the world this beautiful portrait of the Messiah.

 

“Zechariah shines out like a brilliant morning star, heralding the passing of the night and the dawn of the Daystar, the radiant Son of God.  Not only does he portray Christ’s first coming, but also His great latter-day appearing and world-wide Kingdom.

 

His words spoke dynamically to the remnant in Babylon speak with even greater authority to us in our day.  His book has been appropriately named, “The Apocalypse of the Testament.”  Martin Luther highly prized it and called it “the model, pattern and quintessence of all prophecy.”  

 

The Jews found this book most puzzling, since they were blind to the true Messiah.  Many of the early fathers considered it difficult to interpret.  ‘How thrilling it is to us, therefore that the Holy Spirit has faithfully illuminated it to us for many years, and has recently quickened and impressed it upon our hearts in a new way.’” (Frances Metcalfe)

 

Zech. 1:1 - 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,

 

There is not much revealed in the Scripture concerning Zechariah, although He was honored by Jesus that His righteous blood and Abel’s righteous blood would be the measure of judgment against the Scribes and Pharisees.

 

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:35 - That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

 

His father Barachias, and grandfather, Iddo were priests.  He would have been instructed in Godliness from the time of his youth.  He was born in Babylon and returned to Jerusalem with the first remnant. 

 

Like Jeremiah, he seems to be quite young at the beginning of his office.  We know that he was dedicated to the Lord and was holy in his eyes, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.  (2 Pe. 1:21)

 

Zechariah was a seer and mystic of unusual sensitivity; yet he was a man of action---he did not shun speaking forth boldly concerning sin.  When we put together the meaning of the names recorded in Zech. 1:1, we find them forming a precious message.  Iddo-timely; Berechiah---one whom God blesses; Zechariah---God remembers; At God’s set time He remembers and blesses His people!

 

The words in Zech 1:1 firmly place this section in October-November 520 B.C.

 

It is said, but not recorded that Zechariah lived to be very old and that he prophesied over a long period of time.  Only this one book was written and preserved.  Tradition records that God worked miracles through him, and that all people were in awe of him.  By his writing we can say he had a most unusual communion with saints and angels.  In fact no other prophet speaks of them as he does.

 

He clearly affirms that angels commune with men and men commune with angels.

 

They played an important role in his ministry.  Of course, we know of the activity of angels throughout the Old Testament.  They were active at Jesus’ birth.  The Apostle John speaks of them continually in the Book of Revelation.  In the latter days they are to play a great part in the earth.  Zechariah was transported by vision into the Latter Days and enjoyed the communion and assistance of angels.

 

It is my persuasion we have come into the time when angels are now playing a great part in God’s Kingdom plan in the earth.

 

Zechariah used visions and symbols to portray truths so great and far-reaching they could not have been expressed in everyday language.

 

Just as in the Book of Revelation, the great plan of God is veiled in symbolic language, which cannot be understood unless it is interpreted by the Holy Spirit. 

 

Only the Holy Spirit can reveal the full meaning of this prophecy.  Yet, in some cases, the words are simple and direct with a literal fulfillment.  There were limited, local fulfillments in the age in which it was written; there have been (and will be) personal fulfillments in believing hearts throughout the ages; and there is yet to be a later, universal fulfillment which will expand throughout eternity.   

 

“The spirit moved upon me

In a strange and mysterious way;

It seemed I was transported

Back to Zechariah’s day;

I walked in old Jerusalem

By night, as he did then,

And saw the angels all around

Encamping there again.

O Jerusalem!  O Jerusalem!

Jehovah has set his love on thee.

O Jerusalem! O Jerusalem!

His angels guard thee faithfully”

Of the gentle evening breeze,

And my eyes beheld a Man

Beneath the fragrant myrtle trees,

I heard Him interceding,

Jerusalem, for thee;

And in answer to His pleading

God spoke most graciously.

O Jerusalem! O Jerusalem!

I, the Lord, am jealous over thee.

O Jerusalem! O Jerusalem!

Thine enemies I’ll vanquish utterly.

As I pondered on this wonder,

O, much to my surprise,

A candlestick made all of gold

Appeared before my eyes!

Two olive trees were flourishing,

Once upon each side,

Pouring forth their golden oil

To keep her lamps supplied.

O Jerusalem! O Jerusalem!

Thy candlestick has burned through the night.

O Jerusalem! O Jerusalem!

The nations soon shall walk in thy light.”

(Frances Metcalfe)

 

Zechariah’s first recorded vision of the Messiah, the Anointed One, reveals Him as both man and “Angel of the Lord of Hosts.” So vividly did the prophet paint this picture of Him that its colors are as bright today as they were in 520 B.C. 

 

But before we fix our eyes upon this portrait, it is imperative that we give careful consideration to the first six verses of this chapter, for these provide the key to the entire book.

 

Zechariah was a true prophet of God and herald of the Kingdom.  He began his message and ministry with a stirring call to repentance and return to the Lord.  He did not fear  or shun declaring the wrath of the Lord against sin and unbelief.  It is said he gave the strongest call to repentance in the Old Testament, and one can readily feel in it the same authority and unction with which John the Baptist later called Israel to repentance and prepared their hearts for the actual physical coming of the Christ. 

 

Zech. 1:2-6: - The LORD has been sore displeased with your fathers.

Therefore you say  unto them, Thus says the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, says the LORD of hosts.

 Do not be as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus says the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, says the LORD.

Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live for ever?

 But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? And they returned and said, like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so has he dealt with us.

 

Had  Judah not listened to Zechariah, and repented and turned to the Lord, all the promises and revelations later given through him would have been withheld, Likewise, it is true in our day that those who desire to behold the Lord and experience the glories of His kingdom must first follow the way of thorough repentance and return to the God the bible.  We live in an age of appeasement and fraternization with evil.  Many of the would-be prophets and ministers of Christ have banished all preaching of the wrath of God---His indignation against and certain judgment of evil, both in His church and in the world.

 

Zechariah’s concern was for the spiritual purity and moral integrity of Judah.  Pure walk, pure worship!  Blessed, oh blessed indeed, are the pure in heart, for they shall see God, and Zachariah did!

 

Zech. 1:7-11 - On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet:

I saw by night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse, and it stood among the myrtle trees in the hollow; and behind him were horses: red, sorrel, and white. Then I said, “My lord, what are these?” So the angel who talked with me said to me, “I will show you what they are.

And the man who stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, “These are the ones whom the LORD has sent to walk to and fro throughout the earth.”

So they answered the Angel of the LORD, who stood among the myrtle trees, and said, “We have walked to and fro throughout the earth, and behold, all the earth is resting quietly.”

 

Again Zechariah is specific on his dates.  I like that!  Shebat is a Babylonian month (used only here in the O.T.) The second year of Darius was 520-519 B.C.  This is the date of all the visions to the end of chapter 6,  the date referred to is February 15, 519 B.C. (according to Victor A.S. Reid) In the Jewish calendar, Shebat is the 11th month and the beginning of spring in Israel.

 

This man who appeared on the red horse was none other than the Messiah, preparing to ride forth against the nations who had been cruelly afflicting Israel.  Red here typifies fiery judgment.  This mysterious “man” is also referred to as the Angel of the LORD (Christ appeared as such in other Old Testament theophanies.)  How beautifully both the human and divine nature of Jesus is combined in this composite picture!   How awesome that Zechariah saw Jesus as the Son of Man interceding to the Lord God for Israel and the people of the earth.

 

Horses symbolize dominance and strength.  These are spirit horses sent forth into the earth to accomplish God’s mission.  They are here acting as God’s scouts that report conditions to Him.  I don’t believe they are symbolic at all; but actual spirit horses which Zechariah saw in his vision.  

 

The myrtle was a symbol of Judah.  It’s fragrant white blossoms are most bridal and it loves to grow in low, well watered places.  Esther’s Jewish name, Hadassah, means myrtle.  Isaiah says that the myrtle is an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off (Isa. 55:13).

 

The Jew, as we know, is indeed an everlasting sign which shall not be cut off.  But, so too is the Church, the Bride of Christ, and her sons are for “signs and wonders.”  Just as the Messiah appeared to vanquish the enemies of Judah (and did, in the following years), so shall He appear among His Bride and vanquish the latter day enemies of the church.

 

Zechariah, who has boldly declared the wrath and judgment of Jehovah, now hears the Messiah, as the Angel of the Lord, intercedes with the Father and calls upon Him for mercy (verse 12).  The priests were still disputing among themselves about when the appointed seventy years of captivity would end exactly.  But the Messiah knew the Father’s timing to the moment, “and called upon Him to intervene and to show mercy and favor unto His remnant.  Christ is indeed the great intercessor (Advocate 1 Jo. 2:1), the Vessel of Mercy unto every age.  The ministry of intercession which He continues at the Father’s right hand is a vital necessity for the deliverance and preservation of His people.  Likewise, through the agency of the Holy Spirit, intercession is being poured out by the Body of Christ on earth.  It is evident that the ministry of the intercessor is always required to bring God’s mercy and power into the world.

 

Zech. 1:12-15:  Then the Angel of the LORD answered and said, “O LORD of hosts, how long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which You were angry these seventy years?”

- And the LORD answered the angel who talked to me, with good and comforting words.

So the angel who spoke with me said to me, “Proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts:

“I am zealous for Jerusalem
And for Zion with great zeal.

I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease;
For I was a little angry,
And they helped—but with evil intent.

 

The portrait of the Messiah seems to be set ablaze with divine jealousy---a word in the Hebrew sometimes translated as “the very flame of Jah.”  The great eternal love of the Lord for Jerusalem and Israel is indeed a consuming fire (Vs. 14).

 

  Zech. 1:16-17:  Therefore thus says the LORD:

“I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy;
My house shall be built in it,” says the L
ORD of hosts,
“And a
surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.” (She shall be enlarged)

 

“Again proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts:

“My cities shall again spread out through prosperity;
The L
ORD will again comfort Zion,
And will again choose Jerusalem
.” ’ ”

 

It is so awesome to me to see this in light of Jesus Christ, the son of Man interceding to the LORD in Zechariah’s vision.  Zechariah saw by vision the ministry of the son of Man on earth. 

 

 

As a faithful Lover and Husband, the Lord returned to Israel,  His House, He declared, would be built in their midst (It was.) His prosperity would be spread abroad throughout her cities (This too came to pass!)  He promised to comfort and bless her; and protect her against all her enemies (and He kept his word!)

 

Mercy gloried over judgment, just as it does in this Latter Day when Jesus Christ appears in our midst, too, as the MAN who rides forth in judgment upon all the enemies of His Spiritual Israel and natural Israel; when He and His consecrated priests pour out intercession, and when His love and divine jealousy flame forth in consuming fire.  So he appeared to Zechariah, and so too, praise God!  He has appeared to us.

 

The prophet was required to proclaim God’s compassion and wrath side by side, coupled with an assertion that the divine purpose would nevertheless succeed to such an extent that the moral and spiritual prosperity of God’s people would overflow among the nations.  This is a re-affirmation of former prophetic messages in which God’s intention for good is extended beyond the national frontiers of Israel.

 

 

Vision of the Horns

Zech. 1:18-21:  - Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there were four horns. And I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these?” So he answered me, “These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.” Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen.

And I said, “What are these coming to do?” So he said, “These are the horns that scattered Judah, so that no one could lift up his head; but the craftsmen are coming to terrify them, to cast out the horns of the nations that lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it.”

 

Horns in metaphorical languages represent power and here they signify specific world powers/kings.  Here the horns are cut-off and represent spoils of victory.

 

Psa. 75:10 - All the horns of the wicked I will also cut off,
But the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.”

 

The prophecy of the scattering of Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem was fulfilled in 749 B.C. by Assyria, 616 B.C. by Babylon and A.D. 70 by Rome. 

 

In Ps. 132:17, they are displayed as a victory symbol.

 

Psa. 132:17 - There I will make the horn of David grow;
I will prepare a lamp for My Anointed.

 

Judah, Israel and Jerusalem collocated here represent the totality of God’s people united in a single place of worship.

 

The four craftsmen are agents of divine intervention.  In the restoration of Judah, Israel and Jerusalem, the powers that defeated them will be defeated by the carpenters.  I believe these carpenters are angels sent to assist men.  I have nothing to base that on, but my own persuasion.  There are many theories, so I will say what I have considered.  Zerubbabel, Jeshua, the High Priest, Ezra and Nehemiah were the ones sent to rebuild the wall and the Temple.  According to Ez. 5: 1-2,  Zechariah went over with Zerubbabel  

 

Ezra 6:14 - And the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgateministries.com

I entered into the labors of Ladies of Gold, Volume 3; Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible and F.F. Bruce Bible Commentary.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.

 
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