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Bible Commentaries
Zechariah 1

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

Verse 1

Zec 1:1. This book begins two months later than the beginning of the preceding one. It takes up the same subject, however, that of the n egltgence of the Jews in the work of the temple, The reader should consult my comments on the first few verses of that book to avoid taking up space at this time. Zechariah, like Haggai, was a true prophet of God and was inspired to write this book we are studying.

Verse 2

Zec 1:2. Fathers is used as referring to the ancestors or other near relatives. The relationship first mentioned is that between the prophet and his older brethren with whom he was then associated.

Verse 3

Zec 1:3, When a man departs rrom serving the Lord, he is the one who must make the first move in belng reunited, hence God here promises to return to his people it they wlll return to Him which means they are to become faithful in their lives.

Verse 4

Zec 1:4. The present fathers are exhorted not to repeat the mistakes that their ancestors had made, The prophets had warned them to turn from their evil ways but the warning was unheeded and even spurned in many instances.

Verse 5

Zec 1:5. These fathers are reminded that the former ones had passed away, and the implication is they had gone down in disfavor in the eyes of the Lord.

Verse 6

Zec 1:6, Take hold of your fathers means that the warnings that God made to them came to pass; that their experiences were according to the threalenings that God had made to them, Indeed. so exactly did they come to be fulfilled that the peopIe realized it and acknowledged it to be as a punishment for their evil ways. Such is the meaning ot the latter part of this verse.

Verse 7

Zec 1:7. Zechariah received another message and it was in the form of a vision. It came in the same year as the first one but in the eleventh month of that year.

Verse 8

Zec 1:8. This vision (which will take up several verses) had to do chiefly with conditions In general in the political world following the Babylonian captivity, For a time the nations were undisturbed and even unconcerned about the dejected morale of the people of Israel. God wished to inform his people of what was in store and concluded to do so in con- nection with the vision. It starts with a group of red horses and a man riding on one of them who will finally be a spokesman for the Lord.

Verse 9

Zec 1:9, This verse reveals one form in which God sometimes appeared to the men who were to be inspired, namely, that of an angel. There Is a number or cases recorded in the Bible where He appeared in that way. Zechariah asked the angel the mean- ing or the vision and was promised an answer.

Verse 10

Zec 1:10. The "man" spoken of in verse 8 gave the prophet the information that was promised by the angel. These horses were used as messengers of the Lord to go to and fro through the earth,

Verse 11

Zec 1:11. Having previously made one at their journeys over the earth, they now report in the hearing of Zechariah what they found out in their tour of inspection. The chief fact they learned was that all the earth was at rost. This is explained in verse 15 to mean tbat the people of the earth were at ease, meanIng that they were unconcerned about the interests of God's People who had been through so much trouble and still were in a state of anxiety as to what they might expect next.

Verse 12

Zec 1:12, These threescore and ten years identifies the whole passage as a complaint or plea addressed to God because of conditions after the Babylonian captivity. Not that the enemy was still trying to hold them In bondage, for the Persians had control of the country previously held by the Babylonians and they had given the Jews their freedom, But there were some of the heathen in Palestine and that was makIng some trouble locally. The people of Israel were anxious about conditions and longed tor the tormer settlement of their own services.

Verse 13

Zec 1:13, The Lord was sympathetic toward the nation and gave the angel a comfortable message of assurance, which he was to give over to the prophet who was in turn to deliver it to his people for their benefit and encouragement of mind.

Verse 14

Zec 1:14. God never lost his love for the nation notwithstanding its waywardness but was jealous over them. He had used the heathen nations as a means of chastisement in the same way that a loving father would administer severe but necessary punishment upon a clliid tor whom he had the sincere parental love.

Verse 15

Zec 1:15. God's feeling against his people is contrasted with that of the heathen by the words little displeased. But He was sore displeased. with the heathen because of their unconcern over the afflictions of Judah. The chastisements that the Lord imposed upon Israel were for their own good, but now the heathen were adding to these afflictions by being "at ease" or indifferent about it.

Verse 16

Zec 1:16. For the enconragement of the dejected people, the Lord gave the assurance that the holy house would be built in Jerusalem. Line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. The first word is from QAV which Strong defines. "Accord (as connecting), especially for measuring: figuratively a rule." The passage shows not only that the city would be rebuilt, but that it would be done accurately and scientifically.

Verse 17

Zec 1:17. This verse adds the promise that other cities throughout the country would prosper and grow in number. Also that the original capital city ot Jerusalem with its particular spot of Zion would be comforted.

Verse 18

Zec 1:18. Horns in symbolic language means governments or other powers. The four that are mentioned here are the same as the four living creatures of Eze 1:5-6, meaning the four world empires beginning with the Babylonian.

Verse 19

Zec 1:19. The angel explained that the four governments were the ones that had scattered the Lord's people. That does not mean that all four of them had a hand in the affair, for two of them were yet in the future when Zechariah was writing. But the four were considered as a unit because they represented the powers that were to be permanently removed from among mankind. And all of them had one characteristic in common, that of absolute domination over people who had a right to be free. It was this phase of them that prompted Babylon to oppress Israel. but the entire regime was destined to be overthrown by the means to be described shortly,

Verse 20

Zec 1:20. Carpenters is from CHARAS n which Strong defines, "A fabricator of any material." The word has a wide range at meanIng and this place is used in reference to some forces that were to erect something in the place of these four horns that had scattered Judah. for they were to be destroyed and replaced by the carpenters' work.

Verse 21

Zec 1:21. The pronoun these is used three times but for different nouns. The first and third refer to the carpenters of the preceding verse, while the second means the four horns that had scattered Judah. The carpenters had come to fray (subdue and destroy) the four horns, In other words, the four world empires were to come to an end , and within their territory and upon their ruins these new builders were to erect another kind of structure. The whole passage including verse 18 through 21 is a prediction with the same meaning as Dan 2:44. That prophecy assures the world that the four world empires were to come to an end and at the same time the God of Heaven would set up a kingdom that was to stand forever. The work of settling in that kingdom was to be accomplished through the agency of these carpenters which would be fulfilled by the labors of the apostles of Christ.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Zechariah 1". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/zechariah-1.html. 1952.
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