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Summary: Following 70 years of Babylonian exile, Israel was allowed to return home... a. Precipitated by the decree of Cyrus, they returned to rebuild the temple - Ezra 1:1-5 b. The first group of exiles were led by Zerubbabel - Ezra 2:1-2 c

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"STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS"

Zechariah - I Am Zealous For Zion (1:1-3:10)

INTRODUCTION

1. Following 70 years of Babylonian exile, Israel was allowed to return

home...

a. Precipitated by the decree of Cyrus, they returned to rebuild the

temple - Ezra 1:1-5

b. The first group of exiles were led by Zerubbabel - Ezra 2:1-2

c. While they were quick to build the altar and the foundation of

the temple, resistance by adversaries soon resulted in a long

delay - Ezra 4:1-5

d. To encourage Zerubbabel and the others, God sent two prophets:

Haggai and Zechariah - Ezra 5:1-2; 6:14-15

2. Our previous study looked at the book of Haggai; now we begin our

study of Zechariah...

a. Concerning the MAN

1) His name means "Whom Jehovah Remembers"

2) At least 27 men bear this name in the Old Testament

3) Like Ezekiel, he was of priestly descent

4) He was also called to be a prophet, to stir up the people in

building the temple

a. Concerning the MESSAGE

1) He prophesied around 520-518 B.C. - cf. Zech 1:1,7; 7:1

2) In view of these dates, his book can be thought of as a sequel

to Haggai's book

3) His book is the longest and most obscure of "The Minor

Prophets"

a) Considered by some as the most difficult in the O.T.

b) Apocalyptic in nature; filled with symbolic visions, like

Ezekiel and Daniel

c) Very messianic in nature; comparative to Isaiah

d) Should certainly be approached with humility

4) The basic message and theme seems clear enough: I Am Zealous

For Zion - cf. Zech 1:14

[As we read through the book, we must keep in mind that the primary

purpose of Zechariah's preaching was to encourage the people in

building the temple. This will be especially helpful later on, when we

get into the "visions" of Zechariah. But we notice that the book

begins with...]

I. A CALL TO REPENTANCE

A. ZECHARIAH'S FIRST MESSAGE...

1. Dated in the 8th month of the second year of Darius (520 B.C.)

- Zech 1:1

2. This places his prophecy between Haggai's 2nd and 3rd

prophecies - Hag 2:1,10

3. Comparing this prophecy with Haggai's third suggests that

while the temple was being rebuilt, some repentance was still

necessary - cf. Hag 2:14

B. KEY THOUGHTS IN THIS CALL TO REPENTANCE...

1. The Lord has been angry with their fathers (e.g., Babylonian

captivity) - Zech 1:2

2. The people need to return to the Lord to gain His favor - Zech 1:3; cf. Jm 4:8

3. Don't be like their fathers, who ignored the prophets - Zech 1:4; cf. 2Ch 36:15-18

4. Learn from their fathers, who learned things the hard way

- Zech 1:5-6

[The first message is certainly clear enough, and seems to complement

Haggai's third message. Then three months later, Zechariah had a series

of eight visions that occurred in one night...]

II. VISIONS IN THE NIGHT - Part One

A. THE RIDER AND THE HORSES...

1. Zechariah sees a man riding on a red horse among myrtle trees

in a hollow, followed by red, sorrel, and white horses - Zech 1:7-9

2. The horses are explained as sent by the Lord to walk

throughout the earth, who report (or perhaps those on them)

that the earth is resting quietly - Zech 1:10-11

3. The "Angel of the Lord" asks how long will God not show mercy


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