Zechariah – In Context

To read Zechariah, I think you need to put it in context with the Haggai and Ezra.  I know that Malachi has been put last in the Old Testament because of 4:5, that is about Elijah coming again, but it has no time stamps as to when it was written.  Haggai and Zechariah are time stamped so it is very easy to believe that these were the last two prophets to write their visions and words from the Lord. (Ezra, Esther, and Nehemiah were written after Haggai and Zechariah but they are “historical” books.)

Zechariah is written in two sections, which a course means someone has to say it has two different authors from two times!  The sections are chapter 1 – 8 and 9 – 14; 1 – 8 deal with the building of the Second Temple and 9 – 14 are independent “oracles” that could have come at any time during Zechariah’s time as a prophet.  This second section, to me, could be a recap of many of the Prophets before his time and the Father is restating and adding to words and ideas that have come before. I see Zechariah as a man “standing on the shoulders” of people who have come before him.

This seems to be the order of the time stamps that I was talking about:

  • 2y of Darius – Ezra 4:24 Starts his telling of story about the building and the opposition to the Temple
  • 2y, 1d, 6m – Haggai 1:1; call to restart building the Temple

24d, 6m – Haggai 1:15; building starts again

  • 2y, 21d, 7m – Haggai 2:1; to encourage Zerubbabel
  • 2y, 8m – Zechariah 1:1; call to return to the Lord
  • 2y,24d, 9m – Haggai 2:10; was defiled now blessed

Haggai 2:18; blessings from this day on

Haggai 2: 20; encouraged Zerubbabel

  • 24d, 11m – Zechariah 1:7; various visions for the leaders and people
  • 4y, 4d, 9m – Zechariah 7:1; call to administer true justice and words of encouragement
  • 6y, 3d, 12m – Ezra 6:15 Temple completed
  • 7y, 14d, 1m – Ezra 6:19 Passover celebrated