Zechariah - Glimpses of Revelation and the Messiah

Sept. 6, 2015 version

 

Dating of Zechariah: The only dating we have is when the visions in Zechariah occurred. Zechariah 1:1 was Oct/Nov 520 B.C.. Zechariah 1:7 was revealed February 15, 519 B.C..

 

Pre-Nicene writers who referred to Zechariah

Jewish writer Philo of Alexandria (15/20 B.C.-50 A.D.)

Origen (225-254 A.D.) (allusion)

Letter of Barnabas (100-150 A.D.)

Novatian (250-254-256/257 A.D.)

Justin Martyr (c.138-165 A.D.)

Treatise Against Novatian (c.246-256 A.D.)

Shepherd of Hermas (c.160 A.D.) (allusion)

Cyprian of Carthage (c.246-258 A.D.)

Melito of Sardis (160-177/180 A.D.) (Implied)

Adamantius (c.300 A.D.)

Theophilus of Antioch (168-181/188 A.D.)

Victorinus of Petau (martyred 304 A.D.)

Irenaeus (182-188 A.D.)

Methodius (270-311/312 A.D.)

Clement of Alexandria (192-217/220 A.D.)

Lactantius (c.303-c.325 A.D.)

Tertullian (198-220 A.D.)

 

 

Early Bible manuscripts of Zechariah, including three copies among the Dead Sea Scrolls

4Q76 (4QXIIa) Zechariah 14:18

The Syriac translation

4Q80 (=4QXIIe) Zechariah 1:4-6,9-10,13-14; 2:10-14; 3:2-10; 4:1-4; 5:8-11; 6:1-5; 8:2-4,6-7; 12:7-12

Vaticanus (325-250 A.D.) (entire book)

4Q82 (=4QXIIg) Zechariah 10:11-12; 11:1-2; 12:1-3

Sinaiticus (340-350 A.D.) (entire book)

Nahal Hever (50 B.C. - 50 A.D.) Zechariah 1:1-4,12-14; 2:2-4,7-9,11-12,16-17 (=LXX 1:19-21; 2:3-5, 7-8, 12-13); 3:1-2,4-7; 8:19-21,23; 9:1-5.

Alexandrinus (c.450 A.D.) (entire book)

The wadi Murabb'at scroll (Mur XII) is from c.132 A.D. Zechariah 1:1-4

 

 

Here is an outline of Zechariah.

A. Zech 1:1-1:6 Return to the LORD and turn from evil

B. Zech 1:7-6:8 Eight visions of the future

1. Four horsemen among the myrtles. Zech 1:7-17

2. Four horns and four craftsmen. Zech 1:18-21

3. The man with the measuring line. Zech 2

4. Clean clothes for the high priest. Zech 3

5. The golden lamp stand and two olive trees. Zech 4

6. The flying scroll. Zech 5:1-4

7. The woman in the basket in Babylon. Zech 5:5-11

8. The four chariots. Zech 6:1-8

C. Zech 6:9-15 Crowning Joshua the high priest

D. Zech 7-8 Fasting

1. Justice and compassion, not just fasting

2. The promise of a jealous God

E. Zech 9-11 The First Oracle: the King is rejected

1. Nations north and west vs. Israel. Zech 9:1-13

2. The promise of spring rain. Zech 9:14-10:12

3. The foolish shepherds and the good shepherd. Zech 11

F. Zech 12-14 The Second Oracle : the king is enthroned

1. Israel will return to God, though two-thirds will perish. Zech 12-13

2. The LORD's future fighting for Jerusalem. Zech 14

 

Mention in other books of the Bible: Relative to its size, Zechariah is mentioned more often than any other book. Part of the reason is that Zechariah is much smaller than the major prophets. Even so, the Believer's Bible Commentary p.1157 mentions that the New Testament quotes from this book about forty times. There are a number of other people mentioned in the Bible also named Zechariah. However, the Zechariah who was the author of this book is mentioned in Nehemiah 12:4,16 and Ezra 5:1; 6:14.

 

Similarities with the book of Revelation

While Revelation has many things that are not in Zechariah, much of the prophecy in Zechariah is later echoed in Revelation. Here is a list.

Concept or phrase

Revelation

Zechariah

Sevenfold Spirit

Rev 1:4

Zech 3:9; Isa 11:2

The wicked pierced Jesus and will mourn

Rev 1:7

Zech 12:10-14

Four destructive angels

Rev 7:1

Zech 6:1-8; ~Jer 49:36

The great silence

Rev 8:1

Zech 2:13; Hab 2:20

Two olive trees and two lamp stands

Rev 11:4

Zech 4:3,11-14

The future evil of Babylon

Rev 17

Zech 5:5-11; 1 Pet 5:13

Gog and Magog killed, battle outside of Jerusalem

Rev 20:7-9

Zech 12:7-11; 14:2-8,12; Ezek 38-39

River flowing out of Jerusalem

Rev 22:1-2

Zech 14:8

 

Semi-similarities

Four horses roaming throughout the earth (Zech 1:8-11)

Destruction of the four horsemen (Rev 6:1-8)

Flying scroll of curses (Zech 5:1-4)

Seven seals on a scroll and their curses (Rev 6:1-7:17)

Flying scroll of curses (Zech 5:1-4)

Eagle flying with three woes (Rev 8:13)

Measuring the city but then don't measure it.) Zech 2:1-3)

Measuring the Temple but not the outer court (Rev 11:1-2)

 

Similarities with the book of Haggai

The prophets were both contemporaries with Ezra, and they undoubtedly knew each other, so one might expect some similarities. Scholars have counted eighteen similarities between Zechariah and Haggai.

1. The phrase "LORD Almighty" is prominent, used 90 times, in Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. It is used 14 times in Haggai: Hag 1:2,5,7,9,14; 2:4,6,7,8,9 (2x),11,23 (2x)

2. Both books date some of their prophecies. This was generally not done in literature prior to this time, but became common during the neo-Babylonian and Persian Empire.

3. Both focus on Zerubabbel the governor, Joshua the high priest, and the people.

4. Zechariah 3:10 and Haggai 2:3 acknowledge that the temple might seem like nothing but they should not despise it.

There are other similarities too.

 

 

Zechariah 1 - Returning to the Lord and the Four Horses

 

1. In Zech 1:1, was Zechariah the Son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo, or just the son of Iddo in Ezra 5:1 and 6:14?

 

 

 

2. In Zech 1:3-5 why are people affected by their parents' sins, since people are not responsible for the sins of their fathers as Ezek 18 says?

 

 

 

3. In Zech 1:5b, why would God ask if the prophets lived forever?

 

 

 

4. In Zech 1:5,12; 4:5,7,10,13; 5:2; 7:5,6, why did God ask so many questions?

 

 

 

5. In Zech 1:6, what was commendable about what they said here?

 

 

 

6. In Zech 1:8, were these eight visions on different nights or all on the same night?

 

 

 

7. In Zech 1:8, why myrtles? Why did it no say some other genus of tree, or just "trees" in general?

 

 

 

8. In Zech 1:8-11, what is the meaning of the red horse and the other red, speckled, and white horses?

 

 

 

9. In Zech 1:9.19.21; 2:1; 4:4,11; 5:6; 6:4, why did Zechariah ask so many questions, and why are there no more questions after chapter 6?

 

 

 

10. In Zech 1:10, what does walking to and fro on the earth mean?

 

 

 

11. In Zech 1:11, how is there peace everywhere, when Hag 2:6-9, 20-23 says that God will shake the earth and uproot kingdoms?

 

 

 

12. In Zech 1:11-15, why is God displeased that the other nations are at ease?

 

 

 

13. In Zech 1:18-21, what are the four horns and the four carpenters?

 

Zechariah 2-3 - Blessing without Measure and Clean Priestly Garments

 

1. In Zech 2:1-7, what is the meaning of the man with the measuring line?

 

 

 

2. In Zech 2:1-7, does the measuring line here have the same meaning as in 2 Ki 21:13?

 

 

 

3. In Zech 2:2-4 is the young man mentioned here Zechariah, or the surveyor?

 

 

 

4. In Zech 2:3-5, what is the difference between depending on something such as a wall for protection, versus only depending on God?

 

 

 

5. In Zech 2:3-5, when should we trust God and "build a wall" as Nehemiah did, versus trusting God and not building a wall?

 

 

 

6. In Zech 2:8, Dt 32:10; Ps 17:8; Pr 7:2; what does the phrase "apple of his eye" mean?

 

 

 

7. In Zech 2:11, when will many nations be joined to the Lord?

 

 

 

8. In Zech 2:13, why was all the earth commanded to be silent?

 

 

 

9. In Zech 3:1, was this evidence that Persian dualism had influenced Jewish religion, as Asimov's Guide to the Bible p.665 claims?

 

 

10. In Zech 3:1-3, what is the meaning of Joshua and Satan here?

 

 

11. In Zech 3:3 what do the filthy rags represent? In Rev 3:5, 6:11, 19:8, white robes are mentioned in Heaven as representing the righteous acts of the saints.

 

 

 

12. In Zech 3:8, Zech 6:12, Isa 4:2, Isa 11:1, Jer 23:5, and Jer 33:15, who is the branch?

 

 

 

13. In Zech 3:9 and Zech 4:10b, what is the meaning of the stone with seven eyes?

 

 

14. In Zech 3:9, how would the iniquity of the land be removed in one day?

 

 

15. Are Zech 3:9 and 3:10 messianic?

 

 

 

16. In Zech 3:10, what does it mean that every man will sit under his vine and fig tree?

 

Zechariah 4-5 - What is Big and Small, and Two Kinds of Flying Curses

 

1. In Zech 4:2-7, what do the two olive trees and menorah represent?

 

 

 

2. In Zech 4:2-7, what is the relation between the two olive trees and the menorah?

 

 

 

3. In Zech 4:6b, what does "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit" mean here?

 

 

 

4. In Zech 4:7, how does a "mighty mountain" turn into "level ground"?

 

 

 

5. In Zech 4:7, do you sometimes find obstacles to serving God? When you pray to God to take them away, why does He often not remove them right away?

 

 

 

6. In Zech 4:10, what does the plumb line represent?

 

 

 

7. In Zech 4:10, what are the "small things" spoken of here?

 

 

8. In Zech 4:10, why do God and people have such different perspectives on what is big and what is small?

 

 

9. In Zech 4:11-12, how would a Christian's life, characterized by being filled by others, be different from a Christian's life who supplied oil to others?

 

 

10. In Zech 4:11-12, while we need to provide oil for others, ultimately believers need to learn to get their "oil" from God. How do we get our "oil" from God?

 

 

 

11. In Zech 5:1-4, what is the meaning of the flying scroll?

 

 

 

12. In Zech 5:5-11, what is the meaning of the woman in the basket, and Babylon?

 

Zechariah 6-7

 

1. In Zech 6:1-8, what do the four chariots represent?

 

 

 

2. In Zech 6:5, are these four "spirits", or "winds"?

 

 

 

3. In Zech 6:8, how was God's Spirit quieted in the north country?

 

 

 

4. In Zech 6:9-15, what is unusual about the structure of this passage?

 

 

 

5. In Zech 6:11, why were two crowns made here?

 

 

 

6. In Zech 6:12-13, the Branch was the one to build the Temple of the Lord, but who is the Branch?

 

 

 

7. In Zech 7:1-2, why were they fasting in the fifth and seventh months?

 

 

 

8. In Zech 7:3-6, when does God accept weeping and fasting, and when does He not?

 

 

 

9. In Zech 7:4-6, how were the people fasting for themselves?

 

 

 

10. In Zech 7:8-10, how is justice, mercy, and compassion better than a fast?

 

 

Zechariah 8-9 - Turning Punishment into Blessing; - or Not

 

Jerusalem was punished with destruction and her people scattered. But Zechariah 8 shows that God can turn a curse into a blessing for Jerusalem, and for his people in general.

 

1. In Zech 8:1, Ex 20:5; 34:14; Dt 4:24; 5:9; 6:15; Josh 24:19; Nah 1:2; 1 Cor 10:22; why is God jealous, since 1 Cor 13:4 says love is not envious, and God is love?

 

 

 

2. In Zech 8:3, Jerusalem once was the place for Solomon's Temple, but since that time, with idolatrous worship and the destruction of the temple by the Babylonians, Jerusalem did not seem like a very holy place anymore. But Zech 8:3 says that God would make it be called Holy again. How can God "re-holify" a person's life?

 

 

 

3. In Zech 8:4-5, people have defined joy as a happiness that exists in relationship with God regardless of the circumstances, but regular happiness is just based on the circumstances? Is Zech 8:4-5 speaking about joy or just regular happiness?

 

 

 

4. In Zech 8:4-5, Jerusalem had a lot of sad memories, first of rebellion against God, and then of the sadness of the siege, destruction, and exile. But God promises it will be a happy place again. When someone who wanders away from God wants to come back, can God make them be in a happy place again?

 

 

 

5. In Zech 8:9-13, why is this message bracketed with "let your hands be strong"?

 

 

 

6. In Zech 8:10, how and why does God sometimes set everyone against their neighbor?

 

 

 

7. In Zech 8:13, how can a curse, even a curse from God, turn into a blessing?

 

 

 

8: In Zech 8:14, why does God show no pity sometimes, and why did God now decide to show pity here?

 

 

 

9. In Zech 8:14, why would God punish for their fathers provoking God, since Ezekiel 18 says that God does not put to death sons for the sins of their fathers?

 

 

 

10. In Zech 9:1, where is the land of Hadrach?

 

 

 

11. In Zech 9:5, when would Ashkelon not be inhabited?

 

 

 

12. In Zech 9:5-7, Am 1:6-8, Zeph 2:4-5, why are only four of the five principle Philistine cities mentioned, and Gath is not?

 

 

 

13. In Zech 9:1-9, exactly why would God be angry with these two lands, Syria/Lebanon, and Philistia, as well as with Babylon in Zech 2:7-10?

 

 

 

14. In Zech 9:1-9, why does God seem to withhold His peace from these nations today?

 

 

 

15. In Zech 9:13, when would the Jews and Greeks fight?

 

 

Zechariah 10 - Caring for Deserted Sheep

 

1. In Zech 10:1-2, sometimes people sin in not asking God for things, but in this case God contrasts people asking idols for the things that God provides. What are things that God provides, that people today often ask from another?

 

 

 

2. In Zech 10:2b-3, who exactly are the shepherds God is angry with here?

 

 

3. In Zech 10:4, Isa 22:23-25, Ezek 15:3, what does a peg represent?

 

 

 

4. In Zech 10:4, how do the strength of a cornerstone, tent peg, and bow differ from each other? What kind of strength best describes your spiritual strength?

 

 

 

 

5. In Zech 10:6, God gives a precious promise that He will answer them. What are ways that God does not answer us, because we fail to ask?

 

 

 

 

6. In Zech 10:6-10, what reasons can you see for God strengthening and restoring His people?

 

 

 

 

7. In Zech 10:6-10, how would you as a leader of encourager care for someone who felt let down by their pastor, or by God? What can we promise them?

 

 

 

8. In Zech 10:11, when will the future pride of Assyria be brought down?

 

 

 

9. In Zech 10:11, when will the scepter of Egypt depart?

 

 

 

10. In Zech 10:12, how can God strengthen someone in the LORD?

 

 

Zechariah 11 - Sins of Shepherds

 

1. In Zech 11:1-3, why would it say fire would devour Lebanon's mighty cedars and destroy the trees?

 

 

 

2. In Zech 11:5, what are characteristics of shepherds who cared for their sheep, vs. shepherds who do not?

 

 

 

3. In Zech 11:7, what are the two staffs?

 

 

 

4. In Zech 11:7, do these two staffs relate to the two sticks in Ezek 37:15-23?

 

 

 

5. In Zech 11:8, what is the significance of the firing of three shepherds in one month?

 

 

 

6. In Zech 11:8-9, when a leader is good, why do followers still grow weary or detest him or her?

 

 

 

7. In Zech 11:10, when has God broken covenants?

 

 

 

8. In Zech 11:12-13, what is the significance of thirty pieces of silver?

 

 

 

 

9. In Zech 11:14; 1 Ki 11:11-13, 12:22-24, who broke the unity between Judah and Israel, and why?

 

 

 

10. In Zech 11:16-17, who is this worthless shepherd?

 

 

 

Zechariah 12 - Standing Repentant at the End

 

1. In Zech 12:1, exactly how does God form the spirit of man within him?

 

 

 

2. In Zech 12:1, what is poetic about the heavens and the earth?

 

 

 

3. In Zech 12:2, where else would God make a "cup" that sends people reeling, and why?

 

 

 

4. In Zech 12:1-4, to what extent, for good or for evil, are we influenced or controlled by our genetics, parental upbringing, environment/society, and our own free will?

 

 

 

5. In Zech 12:3-4, why is it that so many have wanted to attack the Jews?

 

 

 

6. In Zech 12:7-11; 14:2-8,12, when will the nations besieging Jerusalem be destroyed?

 

 

 

7. In Zech 12:8, how have Hebrew manuscripts rendered this?

 

 

 

8. In Zech 12:8-9, what are two ways that God can shield people, and how will God do it here?

 

 

 

9. In Zech 12:10, who is the one they have pierced as one mourns an only child?

 

 

 

10. In Zech 12:10, does this prophesy two comings of Christ?

 

 

11. In Zech 12:11, how was there great weeping in Hadad Rimmon on the plain of Megiddo?

 

 

12. In Zech 12:11-13, what is distinctive about this mourning?

 

 

Zechariah 13 - The Telescope of Cleansing

 

1. In Zech 13:1, when will this fountain of cleansing be opened?

 

 

 

2. In Zech 13:2, when will there be no more idols in the land?

 

 

 

3. In Zech 13:2, what is the difference between sin and impurity?

 

 

 

4. In Zech 13:2, idols obviously have to do with sin, but what is the relationship between idols and impurity?

 

 

 

5. In Zech 13:3-6, when will prophesy pass away?

 

 

 

6. Does Zech 13:7 is this good shepherd Christ, and when will the good shepherd be struck?

 

 

 

7. In Zech 13:8-9, when will the prophecy of two-thirds dying be fulfilled?

 

 

Zechariah 14 - The Lord's Future Fighting for Jerusalem

 

1. In Zech 14:1-2, why do you think God allow events like this to happen?

 

 

 

2. In Zech 14:3-5 where else does God come, with all of His holy Ones with him?

 

 

 

3. In Zech 14:4-5, where else does the Mount of Olives fit in the end times?

 

 

 

4. In Zech 14:6-8, what other passage discusses this?

 

 

 

5. In Zech 14:10, since the Arabah was a very dry and flat region, what does this mean?

 

 

 

6. In Zech 14:12-15, when will this plague occur?

 

 

 

7. In Zech 14:12-21 when will this terrible time, followed by all nations observing the Feast of Booths occur?

 

 

 

8. In Zech 14:14, since God alone is doing the fighting at first, why is Judah fighting here?

 

 

 

9. In Zech 14:21, how do pots apply metaphorically?

 

 

 

10. In Zech 14:21, when were the Canaanites in God's house?

 

 

 

11. In Zech 14:21, how do you think this applies metaphorically?

 

 

 

 

 

Zechariah 1 - Returning to the Lord and the Four Horses - my brief answers

 

1. In Zech 1:1, was Zechariah the Son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo, or just the son of Iddo in Ezra 5:1 and 6:14?

A: Zechariah was the son of Berekiah and grandson of Iddo. According to The Expositor's Bible Commentary vol.7 p.607 says that in Semitic languages the word for "son" can mean descendant.

 

2. In Zech 1:3-5 why are people affected by their parents' sins, since people are not responsible for the sins of their fathers as Ezek 18 says?

A: Ezekiel 18 shows that God does not hold people guilty for their fathers' sins, and God does not make them die for their fathers' sins. However, God not only allows them to suffer consequences for others' sins, God sometimes curses a person's descendants.

Fairness and equity do not always occur in this life. This will not happen until judgment day.

 

3. In Zech 1:5b, why would God ask if the prophets lived forever?

A: The people had time to repent when the prophets were speaking God's offer to them. but God would not wait forever for them to accept His offer before bringing punishment. At this time gave them a gracious invitation to repent, and they need to repent while the offer was being extended. Fortunately they took the offer to repent. As the Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1548 says, "the opportunity for repentance can be brief, and should not be ignored."

 

4. In Zech 1:5,12; 4:5,7,10,13; 5:2; 7:5,6, why did God ask so many questions?

A: Given the number of questions people have asked about the Bible, it might seem more appropriate for God to ask that of us.

Actually, God did not need to ask any questions to learn something new. Rather, here God used what we today call the Socratic method to teach Zechariah and the readers of this book. God might have been raising Zechariah's curiosity, or acknowledging questions about which Zechariah wondered, or anticipating questions about which readers would be curious. Sometimes truth is only learned by pondering questions, and not just by memorizing facts and answers.

 

5. In Zech 1:6, what was commendable about what they said here?

A: They both accepted responsibility for their actions and repented of their evil actions. But each generation is responsible for their own obedience. The temple was destroyed because of the sin of their forefathers. But the temple rebuilding was delayed because of their slowness.

 

6. In Zech 1:8, were these eight visions on different nights or all on the same night?

A: The date given give the first vision, then the "Then I looked up" phrase between visions, indicates that this all transpired on one night. It does not say "dreams" but visions, and Zechariah interrupted and talked back during the visions, so Zechariah was likely awake seeing these visions. It must have been one sleepless night for Zechariah

 

7. In Zech 1:8, why myrtles? Why did it no say some other genus of tree, or just "trees" in general?

A: First let's look at myrtles, and then answer the question. A myrtle can grow like either a tree or a shrub, and the Hebrew does not actually say "myrtle trees", just "myrtles". They are rather pretty, but compared to the majestic cedars of Lebanon, even myrtle trees, 6 to 8 feet high, did not look like much more than large bushes. They produced an edible berry, used in flavoring food and making a wine-like drink. They were not as economically important as olive trees. They are fragrant, though not like the wood from an aloes tree. Myrtles might have been a symbol of peace and prosperity, and divine blessing. The wood was used for furniture, walking sticks, and tool handles. The aromatic leaves were used in spice, perfume, and bridal wreaths for virgins. Babylonians used the myrtle as a symbol for brides. Green myrtle leaves were always on the tree, year round, and myrtle branches were often used in the Feast of Tabernacles, when people had to make their own booths.

Myrtle trees did not really stand out in the Bible. They are one of seven kinds of trees mentioned in Isaiah 41:19. The myrtle, along with the pine tree, are mentioned in Isaiah 55:13 instead of thorns and briars. After Zechariah's time was Esther, whose Hebrew name, Hadasseh, means myrtle. The only other reference to myrtle trees in the Bible is Nehemiah 8:15. There were many myrtle trees in the ravine at the bottom of the Mount of Olives.

In summary, myrtle trees were common, ordinary trees, which could be seen in abundance by the residents of Jerusalem at the foot of the Mount of Olives, which has eschatological significance. Of course soon after this, the Hebrew people would be saved from the brink of near total extinction, by a "myrtle" whom we know as Esther.

See The Anchor Bible Dictionary vol.2 p.807 for more info.

 

8. In Zech 1:8-11, what is the meaning of the red horse and the other red, speckled, and white horses?

A: These horses traveled throughout the earth to see the conditions of the other peoples. They found that the other nations were at ease, while the Jews were not. These seem similar to the four horsemen that were sent out when each of the four seals were opened in Revelation 6:1-8, except that they merely looked about the earth, an they are horses, not horsemen. Some see these four horsemen as the same, metaphorically, as the four chariots in Zechariah 6:1-8.

 

9. In Zech 1:9.19.21; 2:1; 4:4,11; 5:6; 6:4, why did Zechariah ask so many questions, and why are there no more questions after chapter 6?

A: Malachi and Habakkuk asked a lot of questions, too. Questions are a useful way of learning, and it is good for us to respectfully ask questions of God too.

As to why there are no more questions, it could be that, as in Habakkuk, the last part of the book is primarily God giving Zechariah a "burden" of a prophecy, while the first part was more of an "interactive" session with each vision.

Since we can read all of Zechariah in a day or two, some one might naively assume the entire book was written down in a few days. This book spanned Zechariah's adult life, and not only did some of the visions happen years apart, but Zechariah or a scribe might have written different parts of the book of Zechariah years apart, too.

 

10. In Zech 1:10, what does walking to and fro on the earth mean?

A: This implies they had dominion over the earth. The Septuagint says "set forth to go round the earth." The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1550 says the word here implies a military patrolling or reconnaissance.

 

11. In Zech 1:11, how is there peace everywhere, when Hag 2:6-9, 20-23 says that God will shake the earth and uproot kingdoms?

A: Zechariah 1:11 refers to Zechariah's current time, while Haggai 2:6-9, 20-23 contrasts the current time with the future time after the "Desired of nations" (that is, the Messiah) comes, and God's house is filled with God's glory. Of course that would not happen until the exiles rebuilt God's house.

 

12. In Zech 1:11-15, why is God displeased that the other nations are at ease?

A: The last part of verse 15 provides the answer. These nations, "gave help for evil" (Hebrew) or "combined to attack for evil" (Septuagint). The point is that the nations that attacked Jerusalem were prospering well, and they had obviously not yet been judged for attacking Judah. That was going to change.

There were different Persian rulers named Darius, but this was the first one, called Darius Hystapes (522-486 B.C.). He came to power two years before these visions, and immediately after defeating Babylon allowed exiles to return.

Looking at the wars we know about, it was relatively peaceful at this time after the Persians conquered Babylon. Possible years of peace are 538-536, 532, 530-529, 527-526, 523,520,518-514 B.C.. For comparison purposes, the previous period of relative peace was about 592,590 B.C. After this time, the next time of relative peace was about 117-116 B.C. The latest year where there was possibly no war was 149 A.D.

 

13. In Zech 1:18-21, what are the four horns and the four carpenters?

A: In general, horn represents political and military power in Mideastern literature, according to an Exegetical Commentary : Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi p.110. Bows were often made out of horn. Beyond this, there are three views.

Four Empires that ruled the Jews: the Babylonian, the Medeo-Persian, Greek, and Roman. God is saying those empires will be cast down. There are similar prophecies in the book of Daniel.

Four Empires that scattered the Jews: Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and Medeo-Persian. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1532.)

Four disasters: The four horns represent warfare, plague, and pestilence.

See the Believer's Bible Commentary p.1160 for more on these two views.

 

Zechariah 2-3 - Blessing without Measure and Clean Priestly Garments - my brief answers

 

1. In Zech 2:1-7, what is the meaning of the man with the measuring line?

A: According to the Believer's Bible Commentary p.1160 this represents prosperity, a large population, and security. The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1152 says it shows that God was enlarging and protecting Jerusalem.

 

2. In Zech 2:1-7, does the measuring line here have the same meaning as in 2 Ki 21:13?

A: No. As the Believer's Bible Commentary p.1160 observes, here it is used for building, while in 2 Kings 21:13 it is used for destroying. A picture that is a metaphor does not always have the same meaning every time it is used.

 

3. In Zech 2:2-4 is the young man mentioned here Zechariah, or the surveyor?

A: It would likely be the surveyor, and Zechariah was overhearing the conversation in his vision.

 

4. In Zech 2:3-5, what is the difference between depending on something such as a wall for protection, versus only depending on God?

A: There are three states for a believer.

1) A believer can primarily depending on natural protection, such as a wall, but hope that God might help out a little bit too.

2) A believer can depend on God for protection, but build a wall also. A wall could be a physical wall, such as Nehemiah was supposed to build, or some other kind of protection, such as locks on your doors, locking your car, a retirement account, life insurance, or health insurance.

3) A believer can depend on God, and take no additional steps to protect himself.

In this case, Zechariah is saying that in the future God will dwell among them, and there will be no need for a wall. However, in this time, there was a need for the wall that Nehemiah built. Today it is fine to have locks, and insurance. However, insurance can be for three motivations: greed to make a lot of money in a calamity, overwhelming fear of a calamity, and protection. Only the third reason for insurance is a valid one.

 

5. In Zech 2:3-5, when should we trust God and "build a wall" as Nehemiah did, versus trusting God and not building a wall?

A: When God either directly or through scripture tells you "not to build a wall", such as in Joshua 6:26 (1 Kings 16:34), don't build a wall. When God, either directly or through scripture tells you to build a wall, then build it. When God does not say either way, then pray, seek the counsel of other believers, and ask yourself questions such as these:

1) Would I build this wall to depend on it for security instead of God?

2) If I am relying primarily on God, would it still be prudent to build this wall?

3) What would best glorify God?

 

6. In Zech 2:8, Dt 32:10; Ps 17:8; Pr 7:2; what does the phrase "apple of his eye" mean?

A: Today's English slang expression undoubtedly comes from this verse. Today, it means one who is especially favored. However, the original meaning is that the dark part of the eye was considered the "apple". God would be just as careful to protect the Jews in Old Testament times as a person would be careful not to let anyone touch his eye.

 

7. In Zech 2:11, when will many nations be joined to the Lord?

A: Christians believe this happened after Jesus came. I do not know how a person of the Jewish religion would answer this; this is a good question to ask them.

 

8. In Zech 2:13, why was all the earth commanded to be silent?

A: Scripture does not say whether it was out of respect, awe, fear, obedience, being forced to do so, or a combination of these. We can observe three things about this future event, though.

1. It was not just to be silent, but be silent before the Lord.

2. God is raised up out of His Holy place.

3. A great universal silence, likely the same one, is also mentioned in Habakkuk 2:20 and Revelation 8:1.

 

9. In Zech 3:1, was this evidence that Persian dualism had influenced Jewish religion, as Asimov's Guide to the Bible p.665 claims?

A: Not at all. Persian Zoroastrians believed in two gods: a good god of fire and an evil demon. They also believed in many lesser evil demons, and many of these evil demons had the same names as gods of Hinduism. The belief of a good Creator, and a lesser evil tempter goes all the way back to Genesis 3.

 

10. In Zech 3:1-3, what is the meaning of Joshua and Satan here?

A: In Hebrew, Joshua means "Jehovah saves" and is the same name given to Jesus. Satan means the adversary. The actual high priest here, named Joshua, was forgiven of his sins, as shown by removing his filthy garments. Jesus Christ, though he never sinned (Hebrews 4:15) was covered with our sin. "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us..." (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV). See The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1554 for more info.

 

11. In Zech 3:3 what do the filthy rags represent? In Rev 3:5, 6:11, 19:8, white robes are mentioned in Heaven as representing the righteous acts of the saints.

A: This does not represent the personal sins of the high priest, because the high priest is symbolic of Jesus. But the filthy clothes do represent sin, as Jesus was covered with our sin at the cross. but as the high priests, also named Joshua/Jesus was re-clothed in clean, appropriate clothes, so would Jesus be clothed again in righteousness.

 

12. In Zech 3:8, Zech 6:12, Isa 4:2, Isa 11:1, Jer 23:5, and Jer 33:15, who is the branch?

A: This is the Messiah, descended from David, whom we know today to be Jesus Christ. The book by a Jewish skeptic, Asimov's Guide to the Bible p.665 on Zechariah 3:8 also says this was a clear indication of the coming of the Messiah. See The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1554-1555 for more info.

 

13. In Zech 3:9 and Zech 4:10b, what is the meaning of the stone with seven eyes?

A: It is likely these are the same sevenfold Spirit of God mentioned in Isaiah 11:2 and Revelation 1:4.

 

14. In Zech 3:9, how would the iniquity of the land be removed in one day?

A: Our sins were removed on the day Jesus died on the cross for us. This is a good question to ask Jewish people: how do you think God would remove the iniquity of the land in a single day?

 

15. Are Zech 3:9 and 3:10 messianic?

A: In an indirect way, yes. The Expositor's Bible Commentary vol.7 p.619 says there are four types of Messianic prophecies: direct, indirect, typological, and typological-prophetic. This is an indirect prophecy of the Messiah. It does not mention the Messiah directly, but this cannot happen until the Messiah comes.

 

16. In Zech 3:10, what does it mean that every man will sit under his vine and fig tree?

A: This would be a general time of peace, most likely during the Millennium. It takes time for vines and fig trees to grow, thus this peace would be lasting for a long time.

 

Zechariah 4-5 - What is Big and Small, and Two Kinds of Flying Curses - my brief answers

 

1. In Zech 4:2-7, what do the two olive trees and menorah represent?

A: In Solomon's temple the cherubim were made of olive wood and overlaid with gold. The inner sanctuary doors were also made of olive wood with cherubim decorations. The two olive trees likely are the two witnesses mentioned in Revelation 11:4. See the discussion on Revelation 11:4 for the identity of these two men.

 

2. In Zech 4:2-7, what is the relation between the two olive trees and the menorah?

A: While a menorah might burn olive oil, the relationship here is closer than that. The two olive trees are continuously supplying oil to the menorah to burn.

 

3. In Zech 4:6b, what does "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit" mean here?

A: God is saying He will accomplish His will in these things, the gold lampstand, two alive trees, and rebuilding Jerusalem, without using human military, political, or other human forces.

 

4. In Zech 4:7, how does a "mighty mountain" turn into "level ground"?

A: In this context, the mighty mountain is an insurmountable-appearing barrier to accomplishing what God says. It seems God enjoys not just showing He can accomplish His will, but He can accomplish His will overcoming even the biggest obstacles that might be in the way.

 

5. In Zech 4:7, do you sometimes find obstacles to serving God? When you pray to God to take them away, why does He often not remove them right away?

A: Obstacles can be physical (health, money, distance, etc.), internal (discouragement, temptation, laziness, etc.), or other people (family, opposition, etc.). Sometimes God immediately takes barriers away, and sometimes He does not. Sometimes God uses these to develop our character, specifically our perseverance. We often think that God is patient waiting for a long time, but not only waits, but God uses time to develop us, and our patience.

 

6. In Zech 4:10, what does the plumb line represent?

A: The plumb line itself represents nothing. But the plumb line in the hand of Zerubabbel is a sign confirming the prophecy that they will build the temple. The template was completed March 13, 515 B.C..

 

7. In Zech 4:10, what are the "small things" spoken of here?

A: Specifically this refers to the Temple, which will look rather small and plain compared to the temple before the exile. It can also refer to Jerusalem on Mount Zion. In general, while we can get discouraged looking at the small results of our beginning steps of obedience, God is pleased with small steps, as they grow into bigger things and bigger steps. Remember that God does not see things the way people see them, and we should try to see things through God's eyes.

 

8. In Zech 4:10, why do God and people have such different perspectives on what is big and what is small?

A: First let's look at three things: resources, time, and certainty.

Resources: Like a spoiled kid, we often focus on what we lack, and wish we had, instead of what we do have. As Hudson Taylor said, "God's work, done in God's way, will never lack God's supply." We are still to ask both God and others for the resources we need, but we should realized that the battle is the Lord's, not ours.

Time: We think we never have the time we need. God has not given us enough time to do everything we might desire to do, but He has given us enough time to do what He desires us to do. We need to be careful not to squander the time God has given us, but God has given us enough time for what He wants, including time for refreshing and rest too.

Certainty: Like a scared kid, we fear the unknown, and want to minimize all risk. We forget that God knows the future with certainty, even more certainty than we know the past. God does not want us to be foolhardy and risky, but God wants us to step out and leave our comfort zone for Him.

However, none of the preceding are the fundamental root cause of why people often see things with a different perspective than God. Sometimes we have a different perspective than God because we don't know what God's perspective is. But more often, we already have an idea of God's perspective, and we choose to focus on the problems we see of resource things, time, and certainty instead of on God and others.

 

9. In Zech 4:11-12, how would a Christian's life, characterized by being filled by others, be different from a Christian's life who supplied oil to others?

A: A Christian can live a moral life, go to church and learn, and still basically be a "taker" instead of a "giver". They can learn from other Christians, which is good, but they also need to learn from God directly, through prayer and studying His word. We are all to serve each other, and it is fine and good for other Christians to serve you. But do others spend more time serving you, or do you spend more time serving others? There is a time in a Christian's spiritual walk when it is right and proper for them to learn more from others, and be served more by others; it is called being an infant in Christ. But gradually we are to mature into strong young men and women, and then wise counselors, as we walk in the faith.

 

10. In Zech 4:11-12, while we need to provide oil for others, ultimately believers need to learn to get their "oil" from God. How do we get our "oil" from God?

A: We get our filling from spending time with God, in Bible study and prayer. We also experience God's presence throughout the day, as we live for Him.

 

11. In Zech 5:1-4, what is the meaning of the flying scroll?

A: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1556 and the Believer's Bible Commentary p.1162 both point out that these are the same dimensions as the Tabernacle, and that a flying scroll would rapidly bring judgment. The large size of the scroll would cast a shadow over a large area of land.

 

12. In Zech 5:5-11, what is the meaning of the woman in the basket, and Babylon?

A: The woman represents wickedness, and the wind is taking her to her home, in Babylon. The idolatry in the land would involuntarily go to Babylon, and it would remain there for a while. On one hand western astrology came from Babylon. But overshadowing that is the key role the woman Babylon will play in the end times, as a haunt for evil and a place for believers to flee. Babylon is mentioned in Revelation 17-19, Isaiah 21:9; 48:20; and Jeremiah 50:2-8.

 

Zechariah 6-7 - my brief answers

 

1. In Zech 6:1-8, what do the four chariots represent?

A: They are four spirits from Heaven that patrol the earth, since their purpose and effects are different than the four horsemen in Revelation 6:1-4.

 

2. In Zech 6:5, are these four "spirits", or "winds"?

A: The Hebrew word ruah can mean either, but their activity suggests spirits is intended here. However, Zechariah might have deliberately used this word with both meanings.

 

3. In Zech 6:8, how was God's Spirit quieted in the north country?

A: This prophecy says that God's people will have rest in the north. There are four possibilities for the specific fulfillment of this prophecy.

Persia was considered in the north (Isaiah 41:25; Jeremiah 50:3; 51:48). It was actually northeast, but to go to Persia from Israel, one would go straight north first.

Khazars: After about 700 A.D., a Turkish tribe called the Khazars conquered most of the eastern Ukraine. Rather than become Muslims, and alienate the Byzantines, or become Christians and alienate the Muslims, they chose to convert to Judaism. However, some might think this is not a fulfillment of Zechariah 6:8, as some Christians believe that since the crucifixion Jews are no more God's chosen people.

Later in history: On one hand, after Muslim conquests, Christians could emigrate to Europe and be safer. However, throughout the Middle Ages, and even today, in many Muslim countries Christian residents were somewhat safe, as long as they paid the extra tax (jizyah) which was levied on Jews and Christians.

A future time: One could see this fulfilled during the end times. Joel 2:20 also mentions invaders from the north.

 

4. In Zech 6:9-15, what is unusual about the structure of this passage?

A: This is a literary device called a chiasm.

The word of the Lord came to me

..Receive from those of afar

....the house of Josiah

......silver and gold for an elaborate crown

........place the crown on the high priest

..........the Branch shall build the temple

........both rule and be a priest on this throne

......the elaborate crown

....a memorial in the temple of the Lord

..even those from afar shall come and build

Obey the voice of the Lord

See An Exegetical Commentary : Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi p.199 Zech 11b-13c for more info.

 

5. In Zech 6:11, why were two crowns made here?

A: This distinguishes between two kinds of authority on earth: religious and secular. Both will not be rightfully combined until Christ's Second Coming.

 

6. In Zech 6:12-13, the Branch was the one to build the Temple of the Lord, but who is the Branch?

A: The branch is Jesus Christ. Through his death we are included as a part of God's temple. To see more on this, read Hebrews 3:1-6; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Peter 2:5-6; and Zechariah 6:15.

See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.343-344 and The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1558 for more info.

 

7. In Zech 7:1-2, why were they fasting in the fifth and seventh months?

A: This was not commanded anywhere in the Old Testament; they decided to do this on their own, to mourn the loss of their temple and their land. God did not say fasting in general was wrong, but He was displeased that they were focusing on their loss of the temple instead of getting right with Him. Sometimes we can be more focused on either God's work, or what we have lost, than on drawing nearer to God. God did not say their actions were wrong, but their priorities were.

 

8. In Zech 7:3-6, when does God accept weeping and fasting, and when does He not?

A: God always accepts genuine and sincere weeping and fasting for sin. Even if some one is not completely sincere, they can still fast, but be honest to God about their lack of total sincerity.

1. However, God does not accept weeping and fasting that is not honest repentance.

2. He does not accept weeping and fasting as a "deal" to force Him to do something.

3. God does not accept weeping and fasting to other Gods as weeping and fasting to Him.

 

9. In Zech 7:4-6, how were the people fasting for themselves?

A: They were busy mourning their loss of the temple, but God wanted them to draw closer to Him and work to rebuild their temple. Now was not the time to mourn, but the time to rebuild, and they were slow to do so.

 

10. In Zech 7:8-10, how is justice, mercy, and compassion better than a fast?

A: Jesus said the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. Fasting can be good to help you focus your devotion to God. But fasting is about yourself. Justice, mercy, and compassion are primarily to serve God by helping others.

 

Zechariah 8-9 - Turning Punishment into Blessing; - or Not - my brief answers

 

Jerusalem was punished with destruction and her people scattered. But Zechariah 8 shows that God can turn a curse into a blessing for Jerusalem, and for his people in general.

 

1. In Zech 8:1, Ex 20:5; 34:14; Dt 4:24; 5:9; 6:15; Josh 24:19; Nah 1:2; 1 Cor 10:22; why is God jealous, since 1 Cor 13:4 says love is not envious, and God is love?

A: God can be what He wants. God is love, but God is other things too. We should share, in a lesser way, many attributes of God: love, mercy, kindness, truth, wisdom, holiness, etc. But other attributes of God we are not to have, such as taking vengeance, being worshiped, and jealousy. And of course we are to cultivate two characteristics that God in Heaven does not have: faith and hope.

 

2. In Zech 8:3, Jerusalem once was the place for Solomon's Temple, but since that time, with idolatrous worship and the destruction of the temple by the Babylonians, Jerusalem did not seem like a very holy place anymore. But Zech 8:3 says that God would make it be called Holy again. How can God "re-holify" a person's life?

A: Things are only holy, or not, because God declares them that way, and for no other reason. But God has said we would be a holy priesthood and nation in 1 Peter 2:5,9, and God has given us a responsibility for our bodies to be a temple, holy to the Lord in 2 Corinthians 6:16-17, 2 Peter 3:11, and Hebrews 12:14.

 

3. In Zech 8:4-5, people have defined joy as a happiness that exists in relationship with God regardless of the circumstances, but regular happiness is just based on the circumstances? Is Zech 8:4-5 speaking about joy or just regular happiness?

A: Zechariah 8:4-5 speaks of happiness based on circumstances, and that is OK too. It indicates that it will be a peaceful time without fear, and elderly people indicate they could live to an old age, rather than being killed off by war, famine, or disease.

 

4. In Zech 8:4-5, Jerusalem had a lot of sad memories, first of rebellion against God, and then of the sadness of the siege, destruction, and exile. But God promises it will be a happy place again. When someone who wanders away from God wants to come back, can God make them be in a happy place again?

A: Certainly. When a person repents and submits to God, even after they have been disciplined, God can give them joy again. God can "restore the years the locusts have eaten" and regardless of whether the suffering was from discipline or other reasons, like Job God can prosper people again. Of course, some people do not see this restoration in this life; but we will see it in Heaven.

 

5. In Zech 8:9-13, why is this message bracketed with "let your hands be strong"?

A: Besides the content of the message of itself being encouraging, God was explicitly telling them to be strong, diligent, and enthusiastic about their task. Knowing that a task is not in vain, and knowing that it is God's will provides motivation to do a task. However, we are to use that motivation to actually do the tasks God wants.

 

6. In Zech 8:10, how and why does God sometimes set everyone against their neighbor?

A: This might be a judicial hardening, similar to God hardening Pharaoh's heart after Pharaoh himself hardened it. If a person was trying to get as much as they could from others, it would only be fitting that others that others would try to get as much as they could from that person. One punishment for being greedy and taking advantage of others is the strife that occurs when others see how that person really is.

 

7. In Zech 8:13, how can a curse, even a curse from God, turn into a blessing?

A: When an individual or a nation repents and turns back to God, even after they have been disciplined, punished, or ruined, God has a wonderful way of turning even a curse into a blessing. Romans 8:28 says that all things work together for good for those who love Him. That can include punishment, ruin, and curses.

 

8: In Zech 8:14, why does God show no pity sometimes, and why did God now decide to show pity here?

A: Does everyone deserve a second chance? What if they We do not deserve anything from God, not even mercy or pity. If someone does not ask for a second chance, does not want a second chance, if they got a second chance would only want to do what they did before, then why would we think they deserve a second chance, either from God or from us. But these people of God in Zechariah 8 had repented, and God delighted to give them a another chance, and show them grace, pity, and mercy. God brings Himself glory to show mercy to repentant people.

 

9. In Zech 8:14, why would God punish for their fathers provoking God, since Ezekiel 18 says that God does not put to death sons for the sins of their fathers?

A: Nothing in scripture says God would punish them or hold them guilty if the nation repented and they did not walk in their fathers' ways. However, when they live a certain way, as their parents did, they will receive the same punishment. If someone's parents teach them bad things, and they follow the bad things their parents taught them, God will hold them responsible, not just their parents.

 

10. In Zech 9:1, where is the land of Hadrach?

A: This is also called Hatarikka. It is in the northwest part of modern-day Syria north of Hamath on the Orontes river. Of course Damascus in the south-central part of Syria.

 

11. In Zech 9:5, when would Ashkelon not be inhabited?

A: When the Babylonians invaded Palestine, they devastated Philistia as they did Judah. Ashkelon was rebuilt later, because Judas Maccabeus captured it in 1 Maccabees 10:86; 11:60. Of course, Zechariah 9:5 did not say Ashkelon would be abandoned forever. See the International Dictionary of the Bible p.100 and the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.159 for more info.

 

12. In Zech 9:5-7, Am 1:6-8, Zeph 2:4-5, why are only four of the five principle Philistine cities mentioned, and Gath is not?

A: We do not know if the city of Gath was still existing at this time. Assyrian records mention "Gimti in the land of Ashdod", but there are no historical references after that time. A Muslim cemetery on the site restricts further excavation.

 

13. In Zech 9:1-9, exactly why would God be angry with these two lands, Syria/Lebanon, and Philistia, as well as with Babylon in Zech 2:7-10?

A: Here are the reasons given in Zechariah.

Tyre (on the coast) built a stronghold and heaped up silver and gold like dust and dirt in Zechariah 9:3-4.

The Philistines had pride and bloody violence in Zechariah 9:6

Babylon plundered Zion in Zechariah 3:7.

Babylon would be home to the woman of wickedness in Zechariah 5:7-11.

In general, God's curse was on oppressors who overran God's people in Zechariah 9:8b.

 

14. In Zech 9:1-9, why does God seem to withhold His peace from these nations today?

A: The Bible does not explicitly say for certain, but it might be for exactly the same reasons.

 

15. In Zech 9:13, when would the Jews and Greeks fight?

A: This occurred after the time of Alexander the Great, when the Maccabees rebelled against the Seleucids from 175-163 B.C.. The Greeks under Alexander of Macedon were friendly toward the Jews. But even your friends, when they do not now God, over time can turn against you.

 

 

Zechariah 10 - Caring for Deserted Sheep - my brief answers

 

1. In Zech 10:1-2, sometimes people sin in not asking God for things, but in this case God contrasts people asking idols for the things that God provides. What are things that God provides, that people today often ask from another?

A: On a surface level material things, finances, health, fun, and pleasure. On a deeper level, love, respect, security, and significance. Sometimes people do what appears to be crazy things, because of their twisted attempts to achieve these things from others.

 

2. In Zech 10:2b-3, who exactly are the shepherds God is angry with here?

A: It is not just false teachers, because it says the people lack a shepherd. Rather, it is the shepherds who are falling down on the job of leading people. Some of them might be teaching false things, but others might simply be doing nothing?

 

3. In Zech 10:4, Isa 22:23-25, Ezek 15:3, what does a peg represent?

A: In all cases the peg was to be immovable, and things could be hung off of the peg. However, the peg eventually will be sheared off. Ezekiel 15:3 says a peg must be made from strong wood, not just a vine.

 

4. In Zech 10:4, how do the strength of a cornerstone, peg, and bow differ from each other? What kind of strength best describes your spiritual strength?

A: A cornerstone must be strong, because a building rests on it, and it must be the right dimension, because others are measured from it. A peg, whether it is to hold up a tent, or hold things up on a wall, is to be immovable, invariant, and you can trust that what you hang fro the peg will stay there. Anything to anchor to the peg should not shift. In contrast, a bow moves a lot, but only in a certain directions. We are to be like a rock, that people can depend on us, recognizing that our true cornerstone is Christ. We are to be a peg, where people can depend on us for sound teaching and wise counsel, and not advice that changes depending on how the political winds are blowing. But we not just to be vigilant, but also active in defending the flock from attacks.

 

5. In Zech 10:6, God gives a precious promise that He will answer them. What are ways that God does not answer us, because we fail to ask?

A: Sometimes we fail to ask, because we forget, because we are trying to hard on our own. Other times we fail to ask because we think it is too small a thing for God to be concerned about. Other times we don't think God will care to help. But we should still ask and see what God does.

 

6. In Zech 10:6-10, what reasons can you see for God strengthening and restoring His people?

A: Here are some possible reasons given.

God had compassion on them (Zechariah 10:6)

Their hearts will rejoice in the LORD (Zechariah 10:7b)

God redeems them (Zechariah 10:8b)

They will remember God, even though in distant lands (Zechariah 10:9a)

God wants to gather them so that they will be numerous (Zechariah 10:10)

 

7. In Zech 10:6-10, how would you as a leader of encourager care for someone who felt let down by their pastor, or by God? What can we promise them?

A: The trouble with any and every church is that it is led by fallible leaders who are not sinless. If someone looks to their leaders, and not to God, it is almost a guarantee that they will be disappointed at some time, because we all make mistakes, whether in teaching, in actions, or even just in attitudes. But we can be encouraged by what we do see that is good, but look to Jesus as our example, then we can better obey Romans 15:7, that we can accept one another, just as Christ accepted us. We are to put false teachers and the unrepentant out of the church, but we are also to recognize that no one is perfect. A joke with a point says that if you ever find the perfect church body don't join it; because if you do you will ruin it.

 

8. In Zech 10:11, when will the future pride of Assyria be brought down?

A: First what is not the answer, then the answer.

Not the answer: After the Turks conquered the Mideast, they persecuted Armenians and Assyrian Christians. However, there were not that many Assyrians left, and certainly not enough for pride. This is likely a copyist error for Syria.

The answer: After Alexander, the two main empires were the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids of Syria. Since Egypt and [As]syria are mentioned, this was probably a copyist error for Syria.

Either way, the land of the Assyrians was part of the Seleucid Empire.

 

9. In Zech 10:11, when will the scepter of Egypt depart?

A: From the time of the Babylonians onward, there would never be another Pharaoh. Egypt would never be an independent country, except for a brief revolt from the Persians, and under the Greek Ptolemies, and much, much later under the Muslim Fatimids, and of course, modern times.

 

10. In Zech 10:12, how can God strengthen someone in the LORD?

A: Even though we are already saved when we first accept Christ, we have a responsibility to grow strong in the Lord. And we are not able to carry out this responsibility ourselves. But we are still responsible for submitting to the Holy Spirit, that we want not just allow but actively desire Him to change us. Change means we stop doing and thinking things the old way, and start doing and thinking God's way, the way He wants us to. Do you spend enough time praying, reading God's word, being with other believers to both be strengthened and to strengthen them, and doing what you know God wants you to do?

If you look back on your life five years ago, versus now, I hope things have changed. I hope you are closer to God, more obedient to Him, wiser in His word, and better equipped with a passion to serve and share with others. I hope that you plan that five years from now, if the Lord tarries, you expect that you will be closer to God than you are now.

 

Zechariah 11 - Sins of Shepherds - my brief answers

 

1. In Zech 11:1-3, why would it say fire would devour Lebanon's mighty cedars and destroy the trees?

A: The trees are a metaphor for the power and beauty of Lebanon, and this means that the power and beauty of Lebanon would be brought down. Today Lebanon is a country that still ahs beauty, but has had a number of massacres, both by Muslims and by those who call themselves Christians.

 

2. In Zech 11:5, what are characteristics of shepherds who cared for their sheep, vs. shepherds who do not?

A: Zechariah 11:5-6 shows they cared about their sheep solely for the monetary gain it would bring them. They will oppress the people. A shepherd was not supposed to sell some of his master's sheep on the side. He was hired to care for the sheep, protecting them from wolves, falling off cliffs, winter cold, and moving them around to get enough to eat and drink.

 

3. In Zech 11:7, what are the two staffs?

A: Two characteristics of David's Kingdom, union among the north and south, and God's favor, were both broken. There seems to be a relationship between the inward characteristic of being in God's favor and the visible, outward sign of union.

Favor here is primarily God's protection against Israel's enemies. Of course, favor, in the sense of being pleasant in God's eyes, was already missing. Since this was the case, division between Israel and Judah was not only prophesied by God, it was directed by God in 1 Kings 11:29-33; 12:22-24.

 

4. In Zech 11:7, do these two staffs relate to the two sticks in Ezek 37:15-23?

A: No. Ezekiel tells us the two sticks in Ezekiel 37 represent Israel and Judah. Zechariah tells us the two sticks in Zechariah are "favor" and "union".

Every time the word stick is used in the Bible, it does not necessarily symbolize the same thing. For that matter, a third example is a "reed" in Ezekiel 29:6, which is plainly stated to be Egypt. Just as the metaphor of the reed of Egypt, in a different chapter of the Bible has no bearing on the two sticks, the metaphor of the two sticks has no bearing on the two staffs in Zechariah 11:7.

 

5. In Zech 11:8, what is the significance of the firing of three shepherds in one month?

A: These could be

1. Three individuals

2. The office of king, priest, and prophet

3. Priests, teachers, and civil judges

See the Believer's Bible Commentary p.1167 And The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1565 for more on the last two views.

In Jeremiah 25:34-38, God also rebukes the leaders of the people as shepherds.

 

6. In Zech 11:8-9, when a leader is good, why do followers still grow weary or detest him or her?

A: It is often because the followers think they are being held back from getting someone or something better. Sometimes a leader leads people in the direction that they should go, but it might not be the way they wish to go, especially if there is some discomfort or sacrifice involved. A Christian leader might want people to draw closer to God, and the people do not want to do so. Sometimes the leader has a view of how he should direct the people, and the people have a very different view of what the leader should do.

 

7. In Zech 11:10, when has God broken covenants?

A: God has never broken His word. However, when God makes a promise conditioned on the behavior of the people, and the people persist in not meeting the condition, there comes a time when God says the conditional promise will not be fulfilled. One of the more famous conditional promises, which was not always fulfilled, is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14.

 

8. In Zech 11:12-13, what is the significance of thirty pieces of silver?

A: Zechariah himself leaves this as a mystery, at least until a time future to him. Exodus 21:32 sets 30 pieces of silver as the price to pay for an ox injuring a slave. The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1565-1566, the New Geneva Study Bible p.1480, the Believer's Bible Commentary p.1167, and the skeptical Asimov's Guide to the Bible p.669 all say the same. Of course Judas later betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

 

9. In Zech 11:14; 1 Ki 11:11-13, 12:22-24, who broke the unity between Judah and Israel, and why?

A: God did, but there are actually three complementary answers. God promised to, God used people as His agents, and God kept them from getting back together. In 1 Kings 11:11-13, after Solomon disobeyed, God told Solomon that he would take most of Israel away from his house. However, due to his father David, God would not do it in Solomon's lifetime but in his son's lifetime. The active agent of this was the obstinacy of Solomon's son Rehoboam, and the people not wanting any more forced labor. Rehoboam was going to "fix" the problem by assembling the army to re-conquer the northern tribes, but God sent His prophet Shemaiah to tell Rehoboam and all of the people not to reunify, because "this is my doing". A group calling itself the local church says that division among believers is one of the most serious sins, and they give examples of the divided kingdom. Enmity and strife among Christians is a serious sin, but turning away from God was more serious, and God did not want unity of the two kingdoms when they were not whole-heartedly following Him.

 

10. In Zech 11:16-17, who is this worthless shepherd?

A: There are two views on this verse.

Antichrist: This probably refers to the antichrist, as the Believer's Bible Commentary p.1168 and The Bible Knowledge Commentary : Old Testament p.1566 both say.

Worthless leaders, such as in the 66 A.D. Jewish revolt against Rome. The New Geneva Study Bible p.1480 suggests this view.

 

Zechariah 12 - Standing Repentant at the End - my brief answers

 

1. In Zech 12:1, exactly how does God form the spirit of man within him?

A: Scripture does not say how. There are two views some Christians have, and it is possible to combine the two views.

Traducian View: One of the two major aspects of Traducianism concerns the formation of people. Just as people's physical bodies are formed from cells of their parents' bodies, this views says that their soul is formed from their parents' souls. However, just as the parents' physical bodies are not diminished when a child is born, parents' souls are not diminished when a child is born either. Traducianism has some ugly aspects, such as babies being guilty for their parents and grandparents sins (contrary to Ezekiel 18), but one can hold to this aspect of Traducianism without the other, ugly aspects. Augustine, Lutheran churches, along with perhaps a minority of Calvinists, historically have held to Traducianism. Greek Orthodox generally holds to a traducian view of where souls came from, but they reject inherited guilt.

Creationist View: (Not related to Creation in Genesis) Just as God created Adam from nothing, God creates each of our spirits today "from scratch". Only our physical bodies, and our mental makeup have a hereditary component, but it is carried through our genes and not anywhere else. Our souls have no hereditary component in this view.

Combination View: Hebrews 4:12 says that the word of God even divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow. According to a Christian medical doctor, with a Masters of Divinity degree, who educated me on this theological view, at the end of the long bones it is almost humanly impossible to separate bone and marrow. The bone is like a lattice, which is filled with marrow. In a similar way, our soul could have characteristics from our parents as Traducianism says, and our spirit could be created from scratch. Many say the soul is the seat of mind, will, and emotions, and many believe that intelligence and emotional makeup often have a hereditary component.

 

2. In Zech 12:1, what is poetic about the heavens and the earth?

A: We can be glad God did not mention every single thing He made, or we would never get to the rest of the chapter. When God speaks that He stretched out the heavens and the earth, He means everything else too. This literary device of using two parts or ends to imply everything in between, is called a "merismus". A merismus is a type of syndeche, where one or more parts stands for the whole.

 

3. In Zech 12:2, where else would God make a "cup" that sends people reeling, and why?

A: Let's understand what scripture says about metaphorical cups.

The Lord said He had a cup of win mixed with spices, for the wicked to drink in Psalm 75:8. Scripture frequently refers to the cup of God's wrath in Isaiah 51:17,22; Jeremiah 25:15-29; Jeremiah 51:7; Lamentations 4:21; Ezekiel 23:31-33; Habakkuk 2:15-16; Revelation 14:10; Revelation 16:19.

The cup of Babylon is in Revelation 17:4; 18:6

On the positive side, David said God assigned David his portion and his cup in Psalm 16:5. David's said his cup overflowed in Psalm 23:5. A cup is a metaphor for salvation in Psalm 116:13.

It has a severe yet positive meaning in Matthew 20:22-23; 26:39-42;

Jesus prayed that this "cup" be taken from Him in Matthew 26:39-42; Mark 14:36. He also mentioned this in John 18:11.

A cup can be for both joy and heartache, and the same cup sometimes both, as it was for the cup in Benjamin's sack in Genesis 44:2-17.

 

4. In Zech 12:1-4, to what extent, for good or for evil, are we influenced or controlled by our genetics, parental upbringing, environment/society, and our own free will?

A: While we do not know the complete answer, here are some general observations to frame the answer.

1. Genetic, parental upbringing, environment/society, etc. are all factors, but they are not separate factors; they interact together.

2. You cannot arrive at a solution without considering a person's own choices. Otherwise you cannot explain the case of identical twins, raised in the same home, where one goes on to be a professor at a college, and the other is in and out of jail because of drugs. They both had the environment with the same potential for drugs, but one fell into that addiction and the other stayed away from it.

3. When there is severe situation, how much does that affect the character of the person involved? The answer to a large degree, is that it is up to the person to decide. Will the person be fixated on that loss or incident the rest of his or her life, or will the person slough it off, pick himself up, and keep on going. When two people put their hands over the piano keys, and press down with the same force, will you get the same volume? It depends: is one pressing the damper pedal, or is the piano keyboard cover down, where he is not even touching the keys? By choosing to dwell on something, or to forget it, mathematically free will can serve as sort of a feedback loop.

 

5. In Zech 12:3-4, why is it that so many have wanted to attack the Jews?

A: The Jews were chosen by God as His people; and Satan seems to have a special hatred of them. This is manifested in the human realm in at least four different ways.

Wealth: One reason is the perceived concentration of wealth by many Jews preferentially trading with each other. Right before World War I started, Germany borrowed a lot of money from some of its wealthier Jewish citizens for the war. Once the war started, some of them were accused of treason, in order that the government would not have to pay them back.

People: For some, like Hitler, he wanted to exterminate the Jews as a people. Whether a Jews was poor or rich, Hitler wanted to do away with all of them, and money, land, or even religion had nothing to do with it. Hitler also tried to exterminate gypsies and homosexuals.

Land: Other others, the issue is the land of Palestine. On one hand, the Jews say it has always been their ancestral land since the time of Joshua, except for the 70-year period of the Babylonian captivity. If someone says it should belong to the previous owner, prior to 1949, then the land should be a part of Great Britain. Or if it should be older than that, then the land should be a part of Turkey, which is all that is left of the Ottoman Empire. On the other hand, some Palestinians still have a key to their house or apartment in Israel, prior to 1949, when during war they were forced out. If Israel wanted all of the land, including the west bank and Gaza strip, then should all of the Palestinians be Israeli citizens with the right to vote? On the other hand, if the West Bank and Gaza strip should be one (or two) separate countries, then why is Israel putting Jewish settlements in there? Other Muslims have said that any land that was ever conquered by Muslim armies, really is the property that should go back to Muslims, whether it be Israel or Spain.

City: One Arabic writer perceptively talked about the mental affliction he called "Jerusalem madness". It is a preoccupation with possession of the city that has caused so many problems. So many care so much about Jerusalem, even more than they care about God. Muslims generally consider Jerusalem the third holiest city in Islam. In the Muslim Qur'an, Sura 17 tells of Mohammed's night journey where he supernaturally was carried to the farthest mosque, and from there rode a buraq (sort of a winged donkey) up to heaven. Muslims 9(including Bukhari vol.5 book 58 ch.40 no.228 p.148-149) say this was Jerusalem. However, there was no mosque in Jerusalem during those times as al-Tabari vol.12 p.195-196; Ibn-i-Majah vol.1 book 4 ch.7 no.753 p.414. It is "tragi-comical" that all of this strife over a city, is due to on sura in the Qur'an about a mosque that could not have existed in Jerusalem then.

 

6. In Zech 12:7-11; 14:2-8,12, when will the nations besieging Jerusalem be destroyed? Will this be at the beginning of the Millennium? At the end?

A: We know this is in the future because Zechariah mentions "Israel", and in his time the exiles of Judah, returned, but there was no nation of Israel at that time. This apparently refers to the battle at the end of the Millennium. It is mentioned in Revelation 20:7-9. Ezekiel 38-39 also discusses this.

 

7. In Zech 12:8, how have Hebrew manuscripts rendered this?

A: There are three ways.

The majority of Hebrew texts have "they will look to Me, the one they have pierced through."

A few Hebrew manuscripts read "to the on whom they have pierce through."

Other Hebrew manuscripts say "they will look on Me in place of him whom they pierced." (i.e. someone besides God is pierced)

An Exegetical Commentary : Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi p.329-330 says that there is no reason not to favor the reading of the majority of the Hebrew manuscripts.

 

8. In Zech 12:8-9, what are two ways that God can shield people, and how will God do it here?

A: God can take us out of a trial, or God can strengthen us to go through a trial. In this case God is strengthening them to go through the trial.

 

9. In Zech 12:10, who is the one they have pierced as one mourns an only child?

A: Yes, it is implied. While some Jews believed in Christ soon after Pentecost, a majority did not. Zechariah 12:10 more likely refers to the end times, when many Jews will come to follow Christ. Other indications of this are in Romans 11:25-26 and probably the second part of the dual fulfillment of Malachi 4:5-6. Amos 8:10 appears to speak of the same event during the end times. See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.345-346 for more info.

 

10. In Zech 12:10, does this prophesy two comings of Christ?

A: At the very least, even a skeptic has to agree that this speaks of two events. The first event is a despising and rejection, and the second event is a mourning over their prior rejection.

Hard Sayings of the Bible p.345-346 points out that the straightforwardness of the Hebrew grammar here is masked in the translation by the New Jewish Publication Society's translation Tanakh : The Holy Scriptures (1988), which says, "But I will fill the House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem with a spirit of pity and compassion; and they shall lament to Me about those who are slain, wailing over them as over a favorite son..." However, Walter Kaiser in Hard Sayings of the Bible p.346 says this "breaks the rules of Hebrew grammar to avoid the obvious implications of this Hebrew verse." Specifically

a) it twists the verb "pierce" from active to passive

b) turns one of the subjects "they" into an object

As Kaiser puts it "It is a heroic effort to bypass the logical implication that the one who speaks is the one who was pierced..." Kaiser was probably too kind to the Jewish people who violated the Hebrew rules of grammar to mistranslate this verse in English to fit their theology.

Kaiser goes on to say that other Jewish interpreters do translate this verse correctly, but some of them interpret this to refer to two Messiahs. One Messiah, who suffered, and the other Messiah, who does not suffer, but who is to come in glory.

 

11. In Zech 12:11, how was there great weeping in Hadad Rimmon on the plain of Megiddo?

A: First what is not the answer, and then the answer.

Not the answer: Babylonians, Phoenicians, and others were know to weep for Tammuz, a Babylonian deity, who mythologically was killed by the powers of the underworld every fall, and rose back to life every spring. However, God mentioning weeping for an idol would be strange here. Furthermore, pagans and wicked Jews wept for the Babylonian god Tammuz, not the idol Hadad Rimmon, which means the Semitic god "Hadad the Thunderer".

The answer: Hadad Rimmon was the name of a place on the plain of Megiddo. The battle after the Millennium is there, as it is also called Armageddon. On the plain, at the base of Mount Megiddo, is where Gideon defeated Midian in Judges 6:33, the Philistines killed Saul and Jonathan in 1 Samuel 31, and the evil king Ahaziah's death in 2 Kings 9:27. But the weeping probably refers to the good king Josiah's death fighting Egyptians in 2 Kings 23:29-30. The Egyptians did not want to fight Josiah, and Josiah's death and the defeat of the army of Judah were pointless.

See The New International Dictionary of the Bible p.90 for more info.

 

12. In Zech 12:11-13, what is distinctive about this mourning?

A: It is both deeply emotional and organized. Each clan conspicuously was by itself; so no clan would say "we don't need to mourn", as it was the duty of just the other clans. It was a concerted mourning, mainly for communicating an apology to God.

 

 

Zechariah 13 - The Telescope of Cleansing - my brief answers

 

1. In Zech 13:1, when will this fountain of cleansing be opened?

A: It was opened when Jesus died for our sins. Note that it does not say all will be cleansed, only that it will be open for cleansing. In another sense, it will be open for the Jews spoken to here when they realize that Jesus is the Messiah.

 

2. In Zech 13:2, when will there be no more idols in the land?

A: At this time, there were no idols among the Jews in the land of Palestine. However, since the word "land" also means "earth", this future prophecy probably refers to the time during the Millennium.

 

3. In Zech 13:2, what is the difference between sin and impurity?

A: While these are close to synonyms, there is a slight difference between the two. Sin actually has two meanings; it can refer to sinful acts, but it can also refer to the sinful nature and desires within us. Impurity refers to the unclean state that a sinner is found in from sinning.

An Exegetical Commentary : Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi p.328 says that sin has "to do with lack of conformity to the divine will, and the latter [impurity] with the condition or state of defilement brought about by any breach of the principles of holiness. One is more an active expression of sin and the other a passive result." Thus they are like two sides of the same coin.

 

4. In Zech 13:2, idols obviously have to do with sin, but what is the relationship between idols and impurity?

A: While sin is a cause of worshipping idols, impurity is a consequence of worshipping idols. Impure things, like garbage cans and chamber pots cannot be used for better things, like storing good clothes or cooking food. Romans 3:12 says that a person can become worthless, without specifying how. But 2 Kings 17:15 and Jeremiah 2:5 says that following worthless idols makes a person worthless. Idols provoke God to anger according to Deuteronomy 32:21; 1 Kings 16:13,26.

Idols can be explicit, such as Baal, Ashtarte, Krishna, Buddha, etc. Idols an also be implicit, such as reputation, money, alcohol, sex, greed, or security. Even good things, such as a job, health, a spouse, or children can be an idol if it is considered more important than God. One time I was leading children's church at a Chinese church, and while I don't remember it, apparently I made the statement that following God was even more important than your piano lessons. The next week a mother came up to me, and kind of chuckling, said that her son had come home that day and asked if that was really true. While she assured him that it was, parents in general need to directly verbally tell their kids what is important in life. Your example can speak louder than words, so you should have both example and words to convey what is important.

 

5. In Zech 13:3-6, when will prophesy pass away?

A: Scripture does not say when explicitly, but this section of Zechariah speaks of the future millennium. 1 Corinthians 13:8 also speaks of a time when prophesy and tongues will pass away.

In a lesser sense, prophets and revelation ceased for a while from this just after this time to the time of Christ and John the Baptist. Micah 2:6 also speaks of people not wanting to hear any more prophets of God.

 

6. Does Zech 13:7 is this good shepherd Christ, and when will the good shepherd be struck?

A: Jesus referred to this shepherd in this verse of Zechariah to Himself in Matthew 26:31,56 and Mark 14:27. See the Believers Bible Commentary p.1169 for more info.

 

7. In Zech 13:8-9, when will the prophecy of two-thirds dying be fulfilled?

A: Zechariah does not say. This likely will be during the great tribulation.

 

 

Zechariah 14 - The Lord's Future Fighting for Jerusalem - my brief answers

 

1. In Zech 14:1-2, why do you think God allow events like this to happen?

A: It will look like all is lost when Christ comes in person to defend them. When armies surround Jerusalem in Joel, Micah, and Ezekiel, the city is spared. But in this case the city is savagely taken. The Greek translation of the Hebrew word sara is thlipsis, which is the word Jesus used for the Great Tribulation. Luke 21:24 mentions when the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

This cannot refer to the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., or at the end of the Bar Cochba revolt in 135/136 A.D., because in both those cases only the Romans, and not all nations were against Jerusalem, and they did not permit more than half the population to remain in their homes. See The Expositor's Bible Commentary vol.7 p.689 for more info.

 

2. In Zech 14:3-5 where else does God come, with all of His holy Ones with him?

A: Jesus and the armies of heaven come in Jude 14-15; Revelation 19:11-21

 

3. In Zech 14:4-5, where else does the Mount of Olives fit in the end times?

A: The Mount of Olives is 330 feet higher than the Temple Mount. It is curious that the Mount of Olives is never called that in the Old Testament except for here, and the "Ascent of Olives" in 2 Samuel 15:30.

Grapes Joel 3:9-17; Revelation 14:14-20

Fleeing by the Mount of Olives was the route David took when fleeing from his son Absalom in 2 Samuel 15:16-30.

Mount of Olives/Gethsemane: Matthew 26:36-56; Mark 14:32-50; Luke 19:37; 21:37; 22:39-53

Edom: Joel 3:19; Obadiah; Malachi 1:4-5

Great battle of Gog and Magog Revelation 20:7-10

Jewish people knew this had significance. From the 8th to 11th century A.D. prayers were regularly offered on the Mount of Olives.

See The Illustrated Family Encyclopedia vol.8 p.98 as quoted in The Expositor's Bible Commentary vol.7 p.690 for more info.

 

4. In Zech 14:6-8, what other passage discusses this?

A: Cosmic signs are in Isaiah 13:9-10; Joel 2:31; 3:15; Amos 5:18; Matthew 24:29-30; Revelation 6:12-14; 8:8-12; 9:1-18; 14:14-20; 16:4,8-9

 

5. In Zech 14:10, since the Arabah was a very dry and flat region, what does this mean?

A: Today the Middle East is drier than it was in Biblical times. The is a prophesy of the future might allude to that fact.

 

6. In Zech 14:12-15, when will this plague occur?

A: This will occur when Gog and Magog surround Jerusalem. You can read more about this in Revelation 20:7-9 and Ezekiel 38-39.

 

7. In Zech 14:12-21 when will this terrible time, followed by all nations observing the Feast of Booths occur?

A: This will most likely occur during the Millennium.

 

8. In Zech 14:14, since God alone is doing the fighting at first, why is Judah fighting here?

A: While scripture does not say in this particular case, we can broaden the question to ask why does God ask us to do anything for Him, since He can do everything Himself? God does not need us. But God gives us the privilege of sharing in His work, and accomplishing good things for Him.

 

9. In Zech 14:21, how do pots apply metaphorically?

A: Pots were the lowest things in the temple; there were containers for ashes. This does not just say they will become holy, but everyone's pots will become holy.

See An Exegetical Commentary : Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi p.365 for more info.

 

10. In Zech 14:21, when were the Canaanites in God's house?

A: The Gibeonites were people who lived in Canaan and made a treaty with the Israelites in Joshua 9:23,27. Some temple servants (who were neither priests nor Levites) returned after the exile in Nehemiah 7:26-56 and Ezra 2:43-54. The temple servants would be Gibeonites.

 

11. In Zech 14:21, how do you think this applies metaphorically?

A: Pots were the lowest things in the temple; there were containers for ashes. This does not just say they will become holy, but everyone's pots will become holy.

While the sacred bowls of the past were only in the altar, these holy pots will be used by everyone. The Gibeonites were Canaanites who had made a treaty with Joshua and were temple servants. They were a "compromise" God allowed in the temple worship. But there will be no compromises like this in the future temple. All who come will be sons and daughters of God.


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