"Zechariah’s prophecies were delivered when God’s people had returned to the promised land after their exile in Babylon. Although the messages address a specific situation, they also are timeless. Zechariah encouraged the leaders of Jerusalem and called the Jewish people to rebuild the temple—and he looked forward to the ultimate fulfillment of Yahweh’s promise to restore and save.
Like the prophet Haggai, Zechariah appears in 520 BC as a prophet to the Jewish exiles who returned to the promised land. Zechariah’s efforts are set against the backdrop of a trying time for God’s people. The story of Zechariah really begins back in 586 BC, when the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and took most of its people back to Babylon (2 Kgs 25:1–21). In 538 BC the Persian king Cyrus allowed these deported Jews to return to their land and to begin rebuilding the temple (2 Chr 36:22–23; Ezra 1:1–4). The Historical Book of Nehemiah identifies Zechariah as part of a priestly family that returned to Jerusalem under the leadership of Zerubbabel the governor and the high priest Joshua (Neh 12:4, 16)."
—Faithlife Study Bible, Lexham Press
Best Commentaries on Zechariah
Joyce G. Baldwin, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (TOTC), InterVarsity Press, 1972, 202 pp.
Three neglected but important prophets receive a fresh and penetrating analysis in this introduction and commentary. For each prophet's work, Joyce Baldwin first considers the general issues of author, text, and message, then offers a passage-by-passage commentary. "Considerable attention has been given in the book to background material, and proper consideration is accorded to the views of those from whom the author differs," writes reviewer R. K. Harrison. "In expounding the text, Baldwin produces evidence of balanced scholarship and a high degree of spiritual insight."
- Level: Basic
- Type: Devotional
Carol Meyers and Eric M. Meyers, Anchor Yale Bible (AYB), Yale University Press, 2008, 552 pp.
Haggai and Zechariah were written during a critical period in Israel’s history, the momentous return of the Jews from Babylonian exile. Following the conquest of Babylon by the Persian Empire, the Israelites sought to reestablish their ethnic and religious legacy in Judah. This was a time of profound turmoil and uncertainty, and Haggai and Zechariah provided a crucial measure of support and inspiration. They rallied Israel’s energies and exhorted their fellow countrymen to heed the word of God. Under their guidance, the Jews restored the temple at Jerusalem, which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar's armies. Together the two prophets guided Israel through an important transitional epoch and reconciled the influences of Persia’s dominion with the sacred traditions of the Hebrew people.
- Level: Advanced
- Type: Technical
George Klein, New American Commentary (NAC), B&H, 2008, 464 pp.
Though a plethora of works on Zechariah have been issued in the past several years, few have advanced their arguments with the exegetical and literary excellence that marks this offering by George Klein. Clearly written and skillfully crafted, it will almost certainly rank among the top two or three commentaries that scholars, pastors, and laity alike will find to be reliable and useful in clarifying the message of this rich prophetic book, one particularly relevant to the present day and age of the Church.
- Level: Intermediate
- Type: Expository
Mark J. Boda, NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC), Zondervan, 2004, 576 pp.
The books of Haggai and Zechariah represent a golden period in Old Testament history, but they are often overlooked. These two minor prophets speak a major message to the Church today. It’s one that calls us as a community of faith to the priority of God’s house and inspires us with glimpses of its future glory.
- Level: Intermediate
- Type: Devotional
Barry G. Webb, Bible Speaks Today (BST), InterVarsity Press, 2003, 188 pp.
Barry G. Webb explores the kingdom of God as the prophet Zechariah apprehended it. The study of the book of Zechariah is bound to be enriching, for it is imbued from beginning to end with the same heart-cry that Jesus turned into a prayer for all of us: “Your kingdom come.”
- Level: Basic
- Type: Devotional
Best Books on Zechariah
It is generally agreed within Hebrew Bible scholarship that Zechariah 9–14 is filled with allusions to other books within the Hebrew canon. Rex Mason’s doctoral dissertation in the early 1970s contributed significantly to the foundation of this consensus. However, although Mason’s thesis remains a seminal work for those studying Deutero-Zechariah, it has never been published. Bringing out the Treasure contains the first publication of that work together with reflections from leading biblical scholars who have published on Zechariah 9–14. The volume is rounded off with a response by Mason to these scholars and a reflection on his own contribution 30 years ago.Learn more
Find insight into Zechariah’s night visions with this reproduction of a series of articles that appeared in the journal Kerux, designed to serve those preaching on the visions. As indicated by the title of the volume, Meredith G. Kline argues that the glory of the heavenly presence of the triune God is the dominant reality in Zechariah’s visionary world. And central in the message of the night visions is the gospel promise that this glory presence is vouchsafed to God’s people at last in eschatological fullness.Learn more
Adams brings to life the prophet Zechariah, making his works and visions accessible to pastors, teachers, and laity. Adams focuses on Hebrew grammar and writing styles, bringing valuable context to the life of this prophet. He explains chapter by chapter, giving a full spectrum of information such as background, relation to other prophets, and cultural ramifications of the prophecies of Zechariah.Learn more
This synthetic study has two primary tasks. The first is to elucidate the structure of the book of Zechariah. But to do this, a satisfactory method of analysis must be found. Thus the author begins by drawing up suitable literary criteria that will help to frame a reliable way of proceeding. The method is then tested on the book of Zechariah, and the results are compared with those of other biblical scholarship. Although this is a study in “rhetorical criticism,” it approaches the text from the standpoint of the authors’ and redactors’ intentions. The result is a convincing and wide-ranging analysis of the various and complex structural patterns of Zechariah.Learn more
In this volume, Floyd presents a complete form-critical analysis of the last six books in the Minor Prophets: Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. By looking carefully at the literary genre and internal structure of each book, Floyd uncovers the literary conventions that help shape the composition of these prophetic books in their final form. His approach yields fresh views of how the parts of each book fit together to make up the whole—particularly with respect to Nahum, Haggai, and Malachi—and provides a basis for reconsidering how each book is historically related to the time of the prophet for whom it is named. This work will be useful to scholars because it advances the discussion regarding the holistic reading of prophetic books and to pastors and students because it shows how analysis of literary form can lead to a more profound understanding of the messages of the Minor Prophets.Learn more
Best Courses on Zechariah
In an age of international travel and migration, we’re familiar with people who look, sound, eat, and believe differently than we do. To become friends, it’s helpful to understand where they come from and how they do things differently, or the same, as we do. In the same way it is necessary to understand someone who comes from a different place than we do, how much more necessary is it to understand someone who is from not only a different geographical place but also a different time than we are? The Old Testament starts at the beginning of the world. This course will undertake the task of crossing the bridges of geography, climate, time, and a landscape unknown to us: ancient Israel. Throughout the course, David W. Baker will address aspects of life from our own culture and time, as well as family structure and societal systems from ancient Israelite life. As we Learn more about the social world of the Old Testament, we will be struck not only by our differences but also by our common humanity and that we share the same dreams, hopes, and fears as they did.Learn more
Mobile Ed: BI205 Old Testament Exegesis: Understanding and Applying the Old Testament (15 hour course)
Embark on a journey of OT Hebrew exegesis with Jason DeRouchie. The books of the OT were the only Scriptures Jesus had. It was books like Genesis, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, and Psalms that shaped Jesus’ upbringing and that guided his life in ministry as the Jewish Messiah. It was these Scriptures that Jesus identified as God’s Word and he considered to be authoritative; it was these Scriptures he believed called people to know and believe in God and guarded them against doctrinal error and hell. This course will give you the tools you need to access meaning in the OT, then apply it to your life. It will help you to grow in reading God’s living Word for depth and not just distance.Learn more
Join David W. Baker on a whirlwind tour to explore the Old Testament from many different angles and how it relates to ancient Near Eastern literature. From creation accounts and stories of destruction to Wisdom Literature, discover different biblical literary genres that have parallels in ancient Near Eastern literature. Explore extrabiblical historical texts that mention key events and figures from the Old Testament. Understand how Israel fits into and is impacted by its ancient Near Eastern environment but also how it is separate and unique, mainly on a theological level but also by its distinct worldview.Learn more
This course provides a practical foundation for reading the poetry and prophecy of the Old Testament. Dr. David Baker begins by discussing poetic writing in general, then the elements specific to both Hebrew and English poetry. Applying these elements to the text, he examines the content, structure, and themes of the Psalms, Proverbs, Lamentations, Job, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs. Dr. Baker then turns to the prophetic books, providing historical background, theological motifs, and the structure and content of specific books. He shows that these ancient messages remain relevant in modern life.Learn more