THEME: The second temple, the coming of the Messiah, the future glory of Zion.
MESSAGE: God was with the Jews in rebuilding the temple (Ezra 1, 3, 6); but they had to move away from the sins of the past. The priesthood would be cleansed, and the kingdom gloriously established, after the rejection and subsequent victory of the Messiah.
Call to Repentance 1.1-6. The Jews, restored from the Babylonian Exile, should not return to the sins of their fathers, who despised the prophets and suffered the just consequences.
Eight Visions 1.7 - 6.8: All seen on the same night, with explanations by an angel.
Horses and riders 1.7-17; The world at peace. God intends great blessing for Jerusalem.
Horns and craftsmen 1:18-21: The four great people which subjugated Israel (Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome). They themselves would be broken by God.
Jerusalem measured chapter 2: Is will be magnified, protected and glorified by God.
Joshua the high priest chapter 3: This is the Jeshua of Ezra 5.2. He represents the sinful Israel, but now purified and accepted by God, the redemptive work of the "Branch" (Messiah).
The Candlestick chapter 4: Represents the temple that Zerubbabel (Ezra 5.2) would build in the power of the Holy Spirit ("oil"). The two "trees" were Joshua and Zerubbabel, (see Revelation 11.3-12, 1.5, 3.14).
The flying scroll 5:1-4: The curse of the law of God upon the people (Deuteronomy 27.15-26).
The flying basket 5:5-11: sin - idolatry and impurity - taken to Babylon (see Revelation 17.3-5).
The four chariots 6:1-8: The judgments of God upon the world enemy of Israel (see Revelation 6:1-8).
The Branch chapter 6.9-15: The symbolic crowning of Joshua the high priest, prophesied the union of the priesthood and monarchy in the "Branch" (Isaiah 11:1; Matthew 2:23, Jeremiah 23:5). Jesus was a descendant of Zerubbabel, the royal house of David (Matthew 1:12), and is also the High Priest of the redeemed people, the true Temple (Revelation 5:9-10).
Fasting chapters 7 and 8: Religion without morality. The disobedience of the Jews in times past. God still wants to bless them. The future greatness of Jerusalem.
Israel, the Messiah and the Nations chapters 9-14: The fight against the Greeks and Romans. The coming of the Messiah and victory. The restoration of Israel (chapters 9-10). The rejection of the Shepherd; the Antichrist (chapter 11). Salvation and repentance of Jerusalem (chapter 12). The people purified; the final victory, at the coming of the Lord; the millennial glory of Jerusalem (chapters 13-14).
Zechariah, the son of Berechiah and grandson of Ido, was of a priestly family (Nehemiah 12.4,16), who came from Babylon with Zerubbabel and Joshua (Jeshua). He began to prophesy in the year 520 BC, some two months after Haggai, with the motive of encouraging the Jews to build the new temple (Haggai 1.1: Zechariah 1.1). It seems the identification of this prophet with Zechariah mentioned by the Lord in Matthew 23:35 is correct.
While starting with the issue of restoration of the Sanctuary, Zacharias comes to various stages of the spiritual life of the nation, and in the latter part of the book (chapters 9-14), the prophet reveals future events, connected with the first coming of the Messiah, His rejection, His final victory and His glorious kingdom.
Prophetic references to the Messiah are in the following sections:
3:8-9, 13-1 .... His death in atonement for sin - 1st Peter 2:24, 3:18
6.12 ... Builder of the house of the Lord - Matthew 16:18, Ephesians 2:21
6:13, 9:10 ... His universal rule as King and Priest - Hebrews 5:9-10;
9.9 ... His entry into Jerusalem - Matthew 5.21
11:12 .... The 30 pieces of silver - Matthew 27.9-10
12:10 .... The pierced hands - John 19:37
13.7... Injured shepherd... - Matthew 26.31
14.4-5... His triumphant life ... - Revelation 19:11-16