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Zechariah was a prophet and priest who lived in the 6th century BCE. He, along with Haggai, encouraged the Jews to continue rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem, despite opposition from the political state. The work of rebuilding the temple had been stopped for 16 years, but the prophetic urging of Haggai and Zechariah led to its resumption. The enemies of the Jews appealed to King Darius to punish the Jews for violating the law, but the Jews argued that their work was not against the interests of the state, but was legal according to the original decree of King Cyrus. King Darius searched the state archives and found the decree of King Cyrus, which he enforced. The temple was finally completed and dedicated in 516 BCE, with great joy by the Jewish remnant.
Zechariah’s prophecy is generally divided into two parts: Zechariah 1-8 and Zechariah 9-14. The first part consists mainly of a series of visions that relate to the temple and its rebuilding, and the second part is a typical prophetic tone and character. The second part of Zechariah’s prophecy declares vengeance against heathen nations, foretells Christ’s entry into Jerusalem as King, the extension of Kingdom rule earth-wide, the gathering of his people, the betrayal of Christ, the outpouring of God’s spirit upon his remnant, the shame of false prophets, and the fall of two elements of the people and salvation of a third element.
Zechariah’s prophecies have been fulfilled in part, and complete fulfillment of them is imminent. Zechariah was faithful to God and encouraged the doing of God’s work even in the face of imperial ban. He will be remembered by God for his faithfulness and integrity.
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