These further notes on Zechariah fill in some of the details on The Visions, The Coronation, The Messages, The Burdens and The Messianic Predictions of Zechariah. I trust these will be a help in understanding this substantial prophecy.
ZECHARIAH! (Expanded notes to the outline of Part 1).
The Introduction: Chapter 1:1-6.
A call to repentance. Notice the references to Turn! "Turn ye unto me saith the Lord of hosts". A present message. "I will turn unto you. A Divine promise". "Turn ye now from your evil ways and your evil doings". This past message to the fathers went unheeded.
The Visions: Chapter 1:7-6:8.Eight visions all in a night!
F. Duane Lindsey points out in his commentary on Zechariah in the Bible Knowledge Commentary that the visions follow a regular fourfold pattern:
A description of the things seen.
A question by Zechariah to the angel for the meaning.
The explanation by the angel of the meaning.
(Note: Zechariah has no questions in the fourth or sixth visions).
First Vision (1:7-17).
A man riding a red horse among the myrtle trees. Question from Zechariah! "What are these?" Question from the angel! "O Lord how long?" Seventy years have passed! Answer! "Good words and comfortable words". The Lord is Jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion. God is sore displeased with the heathen, the nations. Why? Because He was a little displeased with Israel, and the nations were the instrument of His correction, in their pride and arrogance they overstepped the mark and must now experience God’s judgment. The Lord returning to Jerusalem with mercies.
Second Vision (1:18-21).
Four horns. Question from Zechariah! "What be these?" Israel’s enemies, four horns of the Gentiles. Described as scattering Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. Four carpenters or craftsmen. Question from Zechariah! "What come these to do?" To fray or destroy the enemy. Cast out the horns of the Gentiles.
Third Vision (2:1-13).
A man with a measuring line. Question from Zechariah! "Whither goest thou?" Jerusalem to be measured. Jerusalem to be populated and safe. The Lord will be her protector and His glory will be in the midst. Deliverance assured. Israel “The apple of His eye”. God promises to dwell in the midst of His people again.
Fourth Vision (3:1-10).
Joshua the High Priest. Satan standing to resist but rebuked. Filthy garments? Not Joshua personally, but here a representative of the state of the nation. Priesthood cleansed and restored. Angel of the Lord standing by. The LORD's charge to Joshua… "to walk in My ways… keep My charge" or ordinance (Lev 22:9). This symbolic cleansing of the nation is looking forward to a future day when Christ, The Servant, The Branch, The Stone, will come.
Fifth Vision (4:1-14).
Golden candlestick or lampstand, seven lamps and seven pipes, two olive trees. Question from Zechariah! "What are these my lord?" Answer, "the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel". Verse six one of the better-known verses in the prophecy. Zerubbabel having laid the foundation of the house will also finish it. Note: "the day of small things"! What does it mean in this context? Question from Zechariah! "What are these two olive trees?" "What be these two branches…?" Notice movement from trees to branches. Two anointed ones. Is this a prophetic link to the two witnesses in Revelation chapter 11?
Sixth Vision (5:1-4).
Flying roll or scroll. Two sides. Curse… stealing… swearing falsely. God judging individuals.
Seventh Vision (5:5-11).
God judging or cleansing the nation. Question from Zechariah! "What is it?" An ephah, talent of lead, a woman. Ephah/dry measurement. Lead/weight measurement. Wickedness to be removed from the land. Taken out of the land and back to Shinar! Is this where it came from? What was it? Captivity dealt with idolatry. Is this another sin that beset the nation that they brought back from Babylon? Commercialism?
Eighth Vision (6:1-8).
God judging the nations. Four chariots and horses. Question from Zechariah! "What are these my lord?" Notice the horses and their sphere of service. Result! Earth at peace… subdued.
The Climax of the Visions: Chapter 6:9-15.
The Coronation. The High Priest, Joshua, crowned. Promise of the Branch. "He shall build the Temple of the Lord... and bear the glory". A priest upon the throne? The Branch, Christ, will wear the Mitre of Priesthood and the crown of Kingly glory, with peace between them both.
The Messages: Chapter 7:1-8:23.
These messages have to do with questions about fasting (7:1-3). The NASB and JND versions, give perhaps the better rending of v 2. They indicate that they of Bethel or the town of Bethel sent the delegation to inquire about fasting.
First Message (7:4-7).
A message of Rebuke. Fasting ritual and formal. Insincere. Fasting for themselves.
Second Message (7:8-14).
A message about their Responsibilities. A need for true judgment, mercy, and compassion. Oppression and imagination of evil had become the normal. Habakkuk was concerned about these matters before the captivity (Hab 1:2-4). This was one of the reasons for the captivity (7:13-14).
Third Message (8:1-17).
A message of Restoration. Old men and old women, young boys, and young girls in the streets of Jerusalem. Jerusalem a city of truth, mountain of the Lord of hosts, the holy mountain. "Marvellous in the eyes of the remnant". Marvellous in the eyes of the Lord. "And they shall be my people and I will be their God..." Encouraged to build and their hands to be strong. Once a curse… now they were to be a blessing.
Fourth Message (8:18-23).
The answer to the fasts. A message of Rejoicing. Fast of the 10th month… Marking the siege of Jerusalem. Fast of the 4th month… Marking the capture of Jerusalem. Fast of the 5th month… Marking the destruction of Jerusalem/Temple. Fast of the 7th month… Marking the killing of Gedaliah. These feasts self-imposed, marking occasions of destruction and sorrow, would be turned into seasons of joy and gladness, cheerful feasts. Notice ch 8 v 23. In those days of Millennial glory, the outlook of the nation will be changed and the attitude toward its people transformed.
The Burden of the Word of the Lord: Chapter 9:1-11:17.
The emphasis in these three chapters, 9-11, The Messiah - His Coming and Rejection. As these are only 'notes' the reader is referred to the chapters for further meditation and study. Chapter 9. Between (9:9-9:10), the King coming into Jerusalem, and the King reigning, there is no mention of the Church. This should teach us that it is not the subject of Typology or the subject of Prophecy, but the subject of Divine Revelation (Eph 3:1-12). Chapter 10. Redemption in v 8. Chapter 11. Beauty and Bands (11:7,10). A little homework here as to what they mean or represent. The price weighed (11:12).
The Burden of the Word of the Lord: Chapter 12:1-14:21.
The emphasis in these three chapters, 12-14, The Messiah - His Coming and Reception. Again, as these are only 'notes', the reader is referred to the relevant chapters for further meditation and study. Note: change in style, "In that day"! In that day! (12:3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11). In that day! (13:1, 2, 4). In that day! (14:4, 6, 8, 9, 13, 20, 21). Chapter 12. "Jerusalem a cup of trembling" (12:2), horse and rider smitten (12:4). The nation of Israel looking upon Me/Him whom they pierced. A looking of repentance, faith, and acceptance (12:10; John 19:37). Chapter 13. "A fountain opened" (13:1), false prophets (13:2-6). Christ the smitten one (13:7). The people owned as His by the Lord; the Lord owned in return by them as their God (13:9). Chapter 14. "Day of battle" (14:1-3), Christ descending on the Mount of Olives (14:4-11). Feast of Tabernacles kept (14:16, 18, 19). The only other feast kept in the Millennium is the Passover according to Ezekiel. Redemption will never be forgotten, hence the Passover. The Millennium will not be Israel’s final goal. The eighth day in the Feast of Tabernacles, a Sabbath, anticipates an Eternal Sabbath of rest. Holiness will be the dominant feature (14:20-21).
He shall build, building the Temple at the commencement of the Millennium (6:12-13). The Royal Priesthood of Christ in the Millennial Kingdom (6:13). King coming… "Lowly... riding... upon the colt the foal of an ass". His entry into Jerusalem (9:9) Valued and rejected for "thirty pieces of silver (11:12). Look upon Me [Him], whom they have pierced, at His appearing in Glory (12:10). Piercing past at Calvary (John 19:37; Rev 1:7). Shepherd smitten by God at Calvary (13:7). King coming in glory to reign, Mount of Olives, world dominion (14:4, see also 9:10).
The chronological order would be as follows… The entry of Christ into Jerusalem. Valued and rejected for thirty pieces of silver. At Calvary, smitten by God that His righteous requirements might be met. Pierced, an act attributed to the nation. These have all been fulfilled. Christ will come again, defeating His enemies. His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives and world dominion will be His. They, the Nation of Israel, will look upon their Messiah in faith and acceptance; “And they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced”, or strictly “to Me” (12:10). John quotes this scripture as “They shall look on Him whom they pierced” (John 19:37). The piercing was done at the Cross; the looking in that future day. He will build the Temple, have the Glory and the Rule and wear the Mitre and the Crown. Priesthood and Kingship united in Him!