Summary: Zechariah reveals God as a Mighty Savior and describes seven aspects of His salvation.
This morning we’ll embark on our final examination of the Old Testament prophets as we look at a portion of the Book of Zechariah. You’ll find that book near the end of your Old Testament right before the Book of Malachi. We’ll look at chapter 12 this morning and then spend two more weeks in the book after celebrating the resurrection of Jesus next Sunday. Before we read chapter 12, let’s go ahead and put this passage in its proper context by looking at the background of the book:
Fortunately, Zechariah provides us with some needed background information in the first verse of the book:
In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, son of Iddo, saying…
Zechariah 1:1 (ESV)
• Name “Zechariah” = “YHWH has remembered”
• Date: 520 BC
Zechariah begins prophesying in the second year of King Darius of Media-Persia, which would have been in 520 BC. We know from the account in Nehemiah 12 that Zechariah, who was already a priest at that time, had gone to Jerusalem with a group of Jewish exiles who had returned there under the leadership of Zerubbabel in 538 or 537 BC. Zechariah was probably a young man at the time and it is likely that his ministry continued as late as the reign of Artaxerxes, which began in 465 BC.
• Contemporary of Haggai
See Haggai 1:1
o Chapters 1-8 – Historical
Although there are prophetic elements in this section, this primarily deals with the events of Zechariah’s day. His purpose was to encourage the people who had become discouraged in their task of rebuilding the Temple.
o Chapters 9-14 – Futuristic
Chapters 9-11 – First coming of the Messiah
Chapters 12-14 – Second coming of the Messiah
• Key phrase = “on that day” (17 times)
This same phrase is also used frequently by Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel to refer to the “Day of the Lord”, and particularly the period of time around the return of Jesus, the Messiah.
With that background in mind, we are now ready to read our passage for this morning:
1 The burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus declares the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him: 2 “Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. 3 On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it. 4 On that day, declares the Lord, I will strike every horse with panic, and its rider with madness. But for the sake of the house of Judah I will keep my eyes open, when I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. 5 Then the clans of Judah shall say to themselves, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through the Lord of hosts, their God.’