Wouldn’t it be easy if we just had direct revelation and audible words from God in our day.
A Call to Return to the Lord
Zec 1:1 In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
Zec 1:2 The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers.
Zec 1:3 Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.
Zec 1:4 Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD.
Zec 1:5 Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?
Zec 1:6 But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.
A Vision of a Horseman
Zec 1:7 Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
Zec 1:8 I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.
Zec 1:9 Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be.
Zec 1:10 And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.
Zec 1:11 And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.
Zec 1:12 Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?
Zec 1:13 And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.
Zec 1:14 So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.
Zec 1:15 And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.
Zec 1:16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.
Zec 1:17 Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.
A Vision of Horns and Craftsmen
Zec 1:18 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.
Zec 1:19 And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.
Zec 1:20 And the LORD shewed me four carpenters.
Zec 1:21 Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.
Gill introduces it…
INTRODUCTION TO ZECHARIAH
This book is in the Hebrew copies called “the Book of Zechariah”; in the Vulgate Latin version, “the Prophecy of Zechariah”; and, in the Syriac and Arabic versions, the Prophecy of the Prophet Zechariah. His name, according to Jerom, signifies “the memory of the Lord”: but, according to Hillerus (a), “the Lord remembers”: either us, or his covenant; his promises of grace, and concerning the Messiah, of which there are many in this book.
The writer of this prophecy could not be, as some have imagined, Zacharias the father of John the Baptist; since there must be some hundreds of years difference between them; nor the Zacharias, the son of Barachias, slain between the temple and the altar, our Lord speaks of in Mat 23:35 for though their names agree, yet it does not appear that this prophet was slain by the Jews; indeed the Jewish Targumist, on Lam 2:20, speaks of a Zechariah, the son of Iddo, a high priest, slain in the temple; but it could not be this Zechariah, since he was no high priest; Joshua was high priest in his time; nor could he be slain in such a place, seeing the temple and altar were not yet built; nor was this prophet Zechariah the son of Jehoiada, slain in the court of the Lord’s house, 2Ch 24:20 for, as their names do not agree, so neither their office, he being a high priest, this a prophet; nor the times in which they lived, Zechariah the son of Jehoiada lived in the times of Joash king of Judah, two or three hundred years before this;
but this was one of the captivity of Babylon, and who came up from thence with Zerubbabel, Neh 12:16 and was contemporary with the Prophet Haggai; so that the time of his prophecy was after the Babylonish captivity, and was delivered to the Jews that were returned from thence;
and the design of it is to stir them up to build the temple, and restore the pure worship of God; and to encourage their faith and hope in the expectation of the Messiah;
for the book consists of various visions and prophecies relating to him, and to the times of the Gospel; and the visions are, as some Jewish writers (b) observe, very obscure, and like the visions of Daniel, and difficult of interpretation.
There are several passages cited out of this book in the New Testament, as Zec 8:16 in Eph 4:25, Zec 9:9 in Mat 21:5 in Mat 27:9 in Joh 19:37 in Mat 26:31 which abundantly confirm the authenticity of it.
This prophet seems to have lived and died in Jerusalem; and, according to Pseudo-Epiphanius (c), was buried near Haggai the prophet; and with which agree the Cippi Hebraici (d), which inform us that Haggai was buried in a cave in the downward slope of the mount of Olives; and at the bottom of that mount was a large statue called the hand of Absalom, near to which was the grave of Zechariah the prophet, in a cave shut up, and over it a beautiful monument of one stone: and Monsieur Thevenot (e) tells us, that now is shown, near the sepulchres of Absalom and Jehoshaphat, on the descent of the mount of Olives, the sepulchre of the Prophet Zacharias.—It is cut in a diamond point upon the rock, with many pillars about it. Sozomen (f) the historian, indeed, makes mention of Caphar Zechariah, a village on the borders of Eleutheropolis, a city in Palestine, where it is pretended the body of this prophet was found in the times of Theodosius, to which no credit is to be given; nor is there any dependence to be had on the former accounts.
(a) Onomastic. Sacr. p. 508, 957, 958. (b) Aben Ezra & Jarchi in loc. & R. Abendana in Miclol Yophi in loc. & Kimchi in ver. 8. (c) De Prophet. Vita & Interitu, c. 21. (d) P. 29. Ed. Hottinger. (e) Travels, par. 1. B. 2. ch. 37. p. 184. (f) Hist. Eccles. l. 9. c. 17.