The book of Zechariah.
Counted among the prophets.
None on site.
CCEL: Zechariah (Hebrew only).
Swete LXX (Greek only).
Gateway (English only).
HTML Bible: Zechariah (Hebrew and English).
HTML Bible: Zechariah
(Latin Vulgate only).
Zhubert (Greek and English).
Kata Pi BHS: Zechariah (Hebrew and English).
Kata Pi LXX: Zechariah (Greek and English).
Sacred Texts: Zechariah (polyglot).
Zechariah at the OT Gateway.
Zechariah in the Jewish Encyclopedia.
EJW (Peter Kirby).
Zechariah at Kata Pi (Oesterly and Robinson).
Zechariah from the Plymouth Brethren.
Introduction to Zechariah (David Malick).
Outline of Zechariah (David Malick).
Life and Literature of the Early Period
The book of Zechariah ranks among the
latter prophets in the Jewish scriptures.
The book was originally written in Hebrew, but the ancient Greek
translation known as the Septuagint
(abbreviated LXX) is also a very important witness to the text.
Peter Kirby (Early Jewish Writings).
Peter Kirby surveys scholars writing on the book of Zechariah:
Ralph L. Smith writes: "The first part of the book of Zechariah (chaps.
1-8) is well dated. The first date is 'the eighth month of the second year of
Darius' (1:1) which would be October, 520 B.C. This is the only place among
the seven dates given in Haggai and Zechariah 1-8, where the day of the month
is omitted. The Syriac version supplies the day by adding the phrase 'in the
first day of the month,' which may or may not be correct. At any rate, 'the
eighth month of the second year of Darius' puts the beginning of Zechariah's
ministry one month before Haggai delivered his last two oracles (cf. Hag 2:18,
20). The second date in Zechariah is 'the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh
month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius' (1:7). This
date corresponds to February 15, 519 B.C. This second date seems to suggest
that Zechariah saw his eight visions in one night. But Rex Mason, following
W. A. M. Beuken and P. R. Ackroyd, notes that the verse (1:7) is editorial and
in the third person, whereas most of the vision accounts that follow are in
the first person. . . . The third and last date in Zechariah is in 7:1, 'in
the fourth year of King Darius, in the fourth day of the ninth month which is
Chislev.' Our equivalent would be December 7, 518 B.C. This verse too is editorial
and introduces Zechariah's ethical and eschatological oracles aout the true
meaning of fasting (chaps. 7-8). Chaps. 7 and 8 seem to be made up of a number
of short sayings introduced by 'thus says Yahweh' (7:9; 8:1, 4, 7, 9, 14, 18,
20). These sayings probably were delivered over a period of several months or
even years." (Micah-Malachi, p. 169)
J. Alberto Soggin writes: "Zechariah's preaching relates to the new situation
which has been created following the victory of Darius and the collapse of the
messianic dreams of Judah. Its aim is to demonstrate that the unexpected turn
of events did not in the least compromise the realization of the divine plans.
Despite everything, the end-time was near and the kingdom was at hand. So the
work on the rebuilding of the temple continued, through all kinds of difficulties,
until one day the Persian governor (satrap) of Syria came to Jerusalem for an
inspection. He believed, probably on the basis of tendentious information similar
to that which had been received by the Persian authorities some years before,
that the messianic hopes of Israel and the rebuilding of the temple posed a
danger to the solidarity of the empire (Ezra 5). There are some scholars (cf.
Pfeiffer, Introduction, 603 n. 26) who have thought that hopes to this
effect will have been cherished at least among some groups and that 6.9-15 refers
to them; moreover, the prophet will have protested against such tendencies in
4.6-10. In any case, the inhabitants of Jerusalem succeeded in demonstrating
their innocence, producing as one of their arguments the fact that it had been
Cyrus himself who had authorized the rebuilding of the temple. A full authority
to proceed was followed by an edict in which Darius I confirmed the validity
of the decree of Cyrus, also ordaining that sacrifices were to be offered in
the temple for himself and his house (Ezra 5.3-6.18). This is probably the origin
of the practice attested in late Judaism before the destruction of the temple
of offering a periodic sacrifice for the emperor. To be on the safe side, the
Davidic descendant Zerubbabel was removed from the governorship: he disappears
from the scene in mysterious circumstances and the last visions of Zechariah
no longer mention him. As we shall see later, however, there is a passage that
probably shows traces of a revision which removes the mention of Zerubbabel
from the text." (Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 330)
David L. Petersen writes: "Zechariah 9-14 has been dated by biblical scholars
to widely varying settings, from the pre-exilic to the Greco Roman periods.
Several recent studies have suggested the fifth-fourth centuries B.C. as the
most likely context. This was a time when the stability, even the identity of
the Judahite community was at issue. The problems of the community were so severe
thta the authors of 9-14 thought it necessary for Yahweh to intervene directly."
(Harper's Bible Commentary, p. 747)
Jay G. Williams writes: "As has already been said, the last five chapters
are highly enigmatic and difficult to interpret and thereofre will be reviewed
very briefly. Chs. 9:1-11:3 contain a series of oracles which, though not all
written at one time or for one situation, are difficult to separate one from
another. Ch. 9:9 is significant for it pictures the Messiah as entering Jerusalem
'on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass.' This was taken to be a prediction
of Jesus by Matthew, who pictures him as riding on two animals at once! (21:1-7)
Zechariah, himself, probably meant that the Messiah would ride on a pure-bred
ass." (Understanding the Old Testament, p. 259)
Carroll Stuhlmueller writes: "Chapters 9-14 are further subdivided into
two major sections (9-11, 12-14), each of which is introduced by the succinct
formula, massa, 'a burden.' The original portion of the first section
included 9:1-8,11-17; 10:3b-12; 11:4-16; the other verses comprising chs. 9-11
would have been added at the same time that chs. 12-14 were joined and the entire
ensemble of chs. 1-14 put together. The first massa is usually dated
very soon after the invasion of Alexander the Great (332); its general attitude
is favorable toward the foreigner. In the second, a violent antagonism has built
up toward non-Jewish culture. A dependency upon Jl places it after that book.
The latest dependency upon Jl places it after that book. The latest date for
this second section would be 200, because Jesus ben Sira, author of the Book
of Sirach, explicitly mentions 'the twelve minor prophets,' as though this part
of sacred Scriptures were complete (Sir 49:10). Scholars are rejecting the opinion
of K. Marti, W. Nowack, and B. Duhm that chs. 9-14 originated during the Maccabean
period (167-134)." (The Jerome Biblical Commentary, vol. 1, p. 391)