Journey Through The Scriptures
The Prophecy of Zechariah
Lesson 6: The Prophet’s First Oracle
(Scripture to Read: Zechariah 9:1–11:17)
The book of Zechariah closes with two remarkable prophetic oracles, or messages, that give a panoramic view of God’s dealings with Israel both in the more immediate of Zechariah’s day, and ultimately in the Messianic age. In 9:1–8, the prophet speaks of various nations that had troubled Israel for many years, including their ancient enemies the Philistines. The destruction described here is usually attributed to Alexander the Great, who conquered these areas, but not Israel. However, Israel was troubled greatly by the rulers who divided Alexander’s kingdom after his death, and many commentators see in 9:11–17 a description of the Maccabees’ victory over the defiler, Antiochus Epiphanes, in 165 BCE, about 350 years after Zechariah’s prophecy.
Zechariah 9:9–10 describes the coming of Messiah to bring peace both to Israel and to the nations. The entirety of chapter 10 is devoted to further blessings that Messiah will bring, including judgment on the false leaders who led Israel astray instead of guarding, guiding, and providing for the people as faithful shepherds. God’s statement that He will bless His people Israel as though He had never rejected them expresses the highest form of blessing, forgiveness, and complete restoration. Chapter 11 gives further details concerning God’s dealings with the greedy and unfaithful shepherd–leaders who had misled Israel and fattened themselves at the people’s expense.
- What promise did God make in 9:8 that would be of great assurance to Israel?
- How will Messiah’s reign be a blessing to the entire earth (9:10)?
- According to Zechariah 10:6, what is the motivating factor in God’s restoration of Israel?
- How do we know that the Lord’s favor to Israel will never end?
Something to Think About
These are troubled days for Israel as the nation faces fanatic enemies on every side. But as we stand for Israel together through The Fellowship, let us take courage in the Bible’s assurance of Israel’s ultimate triumph.These are troubled days for Israel as the nation faces fanatic enemies on every side. But as we stand for Israel together through The Fellowship, let us take courage in the Bible’s assurance of Israel’s ultimate triumph.