The Prophets: Zechariah
Zechariah, from the Hebrew name pronounced zek-ar-yaw-hoo, meaning the LORD is remembered, was a prophet of the LORD, to Judah, during the return from the Babylonian exile (see The Southern Kingdom) in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah.
Zechariah was a contemporary of Haggai (see The Prophets: Haggai), who together taught and preached as the Temple was being rebuilt, as recorded in the book of Ezra:
"5:1 Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them. 5:2 Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them." (Ezra 5:1-2 KJV)
"6:14 And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia [see Ancient Empires - Persia]. 6:15 And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. 6:16 And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites [see No Levites In The Lost Ten Tribes?], and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy." (Ezra 6:14-16 KJV)
"And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives"
Zechariah's own record of testimony is recorded in the Biblical book named after him (see the Fact Finder question below for detailed studies for each chapter of the book of Zechariah). He begins with a history lesson as to why the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem was not only allowed to happen, but made to happen, by the LORD:
"1:1 In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD [see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM' to understand Who "the LORD God" was and is] unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
1:2 The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers. 1:3 Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. 1:4 Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD. 1:5 Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever? 1:6 But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us." (Zechariah 1:1-6 KJV)
Zechariah's prophecies were moreover about the future, including some that describe things that only exist in our time now. His description of a "flying scroll" is regarded by many to be a nuclear missile (portrayed by a rolled scroll, as shown in the illustration, not an opened scroll like some sort of "flying carpet"). The word usually translated as "woman" in the lead-covered basket was actually written in the ancient Hebrew as fire i.e. a nuclear warhead, covered in lead, enclosed in a rocket.
"5:1 Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll.
5:2 And he said unto me, What seest thou?
And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits.
5:3 Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it. 5:4 I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof.
5:5 Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth.
5:6 And I said, What is it?
And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth.
5:7 And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah. 5:8 And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof." (Zechariah 5:1-8 KJV)
Zechariah also plainly described the return of Jesus Christ and the first resurrection (see Could Christ Return Tonight?):
"14:1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
14:2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
14:3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations [see The Coming World Dictator], as when he fought in the day of battle. 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 14:5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee." (Zechariah 14:1-5 KJV)
Fact Finder: For detailed examination of each chapter of the book of Zechariah, see the studies below from our Bible Reading Plan: