Book summary

Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi are the three books of prophecy in the Old Testament that come after the return of God’s people from exile.

Zechariah was a priest and prophet from the tribe of Levi, and served in Jerusalem. There are two main parts in the book: the first part encouraged people to finish rebuilding the temple, and the second part speaks of the coming Messiah.

Chapters 1-6 — Eight visions

Ch 1:7-17 — First vision: Man among the myrtle trees

  • During the night I had a vision, and there before me was a man mounted on a red horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, brown and white horses. (Zech. 1:8)

Ch 1:18-21 — Second vision: Four horns and four craftsmen

  • Then I looked up, and there before me were four horns… Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen. (Zech. 1:18,20)

Ch 2 — Third vision: Man with a measuring line

  • Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, “Where are you going?” He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.” (Zech. 2:1-2)

Ch 3 — Fourth vision: Clean garments for the high priest

  • Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. (Zech. 3:1)

Ch 4 — Fifth vision: Gold lampstand and two olive trees

  • I answered, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lamps on it, with seven channels to the lamps. Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.” (Zech. 4:2-3)

Ch 5:1-4 — Sixth vision: The flying scroll

  • I answered, “I see a flying scroll, twenty cubits long and ten cubits wide.” (Zech. 5:2)

Ch 5:5-11 — Seventh vision: The woman in a basket

  • Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman! (Zech. 5:7)

Ch 6:1-8 — Eighth vision: Four chariots

  • I looked up again, and there before me were four chariots coming out from between two mountains — mountains of bronze. (Zech. 6:1)

Chapters 7-8 — Two messages

Ch 7 — First message: Justice, mercy and compassion

  • [The people sought an answer from the prophets:] “Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?” (Zech. 7:3)

  • [The word of God came to Zechariah:] “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves?’” (Zech. 7:5-6)

  • “This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’” (Zech. 7:9-10)

Ch 8 — Second message: God’s promise to bless Jerusalem

  • This is what the Lord says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.” (Zech. 8:3)

Chapters 9-14 — Two oracles

Ch 9-11 — First oracle: God’s promise of a Messiah

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zech. 9:9)

Ch 12-14 — Second oracle: God’s promise of restoration

  • On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. (Zech. 12:3)