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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Zachariah, Zacharias

ZACHARIAH, ZACHARIAS (the latter uniformly in RV [Note: Revised Version.] except in No. 4). 1 . Esther 1:8 Esther 1:8 = Zechariah (No. 19 ). 2 . Esther 1:15 Esther 1:15 = Heman of 2 Chronicles 35:16 . 2 Chronicles 35:3 . Esther 6:1 Esther 6:1; Esther 7:3 Esther 7:3 = Zechariah (No. 20 ). 4 . 1Es 8:30; 1Es 8:44 = Zechariah (No. 21 ). 5 . 1Es 8:37 = Zechariah (No. 22 ). 6 . 1E Esther 9:27; 1Es 9:44 = Zechariah (No. 24 ). 7 . Father of Joseph, an officer of Judas Maccabæus ( 1Ma 5:18; 1Ma 5:66 ). 8 . Husband of Elisabeth, and father of John the Baptist, a priest of the course of Abijah ( Luke 1:5 ) this was one of the twenty-four courses of priests, but clearly not the high priest, as the Apocryphal Gospel called Protevangelion makes him (§ 8). As he was ministering in his turn in the Temple, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and predicted the birth and future work of his son. His disbelief was punished by dumbness, which was cured only on the child being brought to be circumcised and named; when in obedience to Gabriel’s command he and Elisabeth insisted that he should be called John. Under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Zacharias composed the Benedictus . We know nothing more of him. 9 . The martyr mentioned by our Lord in Matthew 23:35 , Luke 11:51 . The reference is clearly to the death of Zechariah, son of Jehoiada ( 2 Chronicles 24:20-22 ); and as Chronicles was the last book of the Jewish canon, the phrase ‘ from Abel to Zechariah ’ would be equivalent to our ‘from Genesis to Revelation.’ In Mt., however, Zachariah is called ‘son of Barachiah ,’ and there is thus a confusion with Zechariah the prophet, whose father was Berechiah ( Zechariah 1:1 ). Allen (‘St. Matthew’ in ICC [Note: CC International Critical Commentary.] , p. 250) thinks that the confusion was due to the tradition of the age. It is more likely to be due to the Evangelist, or, still more, to a scribe, who perhaps was misled by the mention by Josephus of a ‘Zacharias son of Baruch,’ murdered in the Temple by the Zealots ( BJ IV. v. 4). Origen’s guess that the father of the Baptist is meant is scarcely tenable.

A. J. Maclean.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Zachariah, Zacharias'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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