Sunday School Bible Survey:      ZECHARIAH

Theme: Has been called "the Apocalypse of the Old Testament."

Key verse: "Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts" (Zech. 4:6).

From the Scofield Study Bible:
Zechariah, like Haggai, was a prophet to the remnant which returned after the 70 years. There is much of symbol in Zechariah, but these difficult passages are readily interpreted in the light of the whole body of related prophecy. The great Messianic passages are, upon comparison with the other prophecies of the kingdom, perfectly clear. Both advents of Christ are in Zechariah's prophecy (Zechariah 9:9 with Matthew 21:1-11 and Zechariah 14:3, 4). More than Haggai or Malachi, Zechariah gives the mind of God about the Gentile world-powers surrounding the restored remnant. He has given them their authority (Daniel 2:37-40), and will hold them to account; the test, as always, being their treatment of Israel. See Genesis 15:18, note 3, clause 6; Zech. 2:8.

Zechariah, therefore, falls into three broad divisions:

  1. Symbolic visions in the light of the Messianic hope (1:1 — 6:15).
  2. The mission from Babylon (7, 8).
  3. Messiah in rejection and afterwards in power (9 — 14).


  1. Zechariah was a common Bible name. There are 28 men with this name in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament we see that it is the name of John the Baptist's father.
  2. The name means, "Whom the Lord Remembers." His father's name was Berechiah, meaning "Whom the Lord Blesses," and his grandfather was Iddo the prophet, meaning "the appointed time."
  3. Therefore, when you put it all together, God's message for the remnant returning after the 70-year Babylonian captivity was: "The Lord remembers and blesses at the appointed time."
  4. Zechariah, like Haggai, was a prophet to the people of Judah, the small remnant, which returned after the captivity. He joined with Haggai in encouraging this remnant to rebuild the temple (cf. Ezra 5:1, 2).
  5. The prophet Zechariah is quoted about 40 times in the New Testament.
  6. Like Jeremiah and Ezekiel before him, he was both prophet and priest (cf. Zech. 1:1; Neh. 12:1-4, 16).
  7. Zechariah was probably born in Babylon during the exile. Nehemiah 12 refers to his arrival at Jerusalem, and Ezra mentions his ministry (Ezra 5:1; 6:14).
  8. Many of Zechariah's prophecies had a partial application or fulfillment in Zechariah's day. However, there are many that are still future.
  9. The first six verses of chapter 1 are an introduction to the entire book of Zechariah.


  1. The Babylonian Empire fell to the Medes and Persians in 539 BC and Cyrus, the king of Persia, decreed that the Jews could return and rebuild the temple in Jerusalem (II Chron. 36:22, 23; Ezra 1:1-4; cf. Isa. 44:28).
  2. During the reign of Cyrus, more than 50,000 Jews returned to Palestine from Babylon in 538 BC. They laid the foundation of the temple in 536 BC, but opposition stalled the work for about 15 years (Ezra 4:1-5).
  3. King Darius came to the throne of Persia in 521 BC, and confirmed Cyrus' decree. The temple was completed in 516 BC.
  4. Therefore, Zechariah's prophecies began "in the second year of Darius" (Zech. 1:1), just two months after Haggai (Hag. 1:1).
  5. Zechariah was a younger man than Haggai and their books are different. It has been said that Haggai was a very practical man whereas Zechariah was a visionary. Oftentimes the visionary is not very practical and the practical man lacks vision. But when you put the two together, you have a happy combination. That is what was happening back in the days when the Jews were returning to Jerusalem from captivity.
  6. The date was 520 BC (Scofield).


  1. It was "the time of the Gentiles." The royal line of King David is now off the throne, and the "times of the Gentiles" are in progress (Luke 21:20-24).
  2. "The `times of the Gentiles' began with the captivity of Judah under Nebuchadnezzar (2 Chron. 36:1-21), since which time Jerusalem has been under Gentile over-lordship" (Scofield, p. 1106) and "The Times of the Gentiles is that long period beginning with the Babylonian captivity of Judah, under Nebuchadnezzar, and to be brought to an end by the destruction of Gentile world-power by the `stone cut out without hands' (Dan. 2:34, 35, 44), i.e. the coming of the Lord in glory (Rev. 19:11, 21), until which time Jerusalem is politically subject to Gentile rule (Luke 21:24)" (Scofield, p. 1345).
  3. There was no longer a king in Judah. Isaiah began his long ministry "in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah" (Isa. 1:1). Jeremiah prophesied "in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah" (Jer. 1:2). But now there was no king on the throne of Judah.
  4. God had judged the people of Israel — they were taken away by the Assyrians, never to return. God had judged the people of Judah — they were taken away by the Babylonians. A small remnant returned (apparently the majority preferred to stay in Babylon), but there would be no more king in Israel.
  5. There will be no more king on the throne in Jerusalem until the King of Kings returns (cf. Zech. 14:9).
  6. God judged them for their wicked ways — according to their ways, and according to their doings, so had He dealt with them (Zech. 1:6).


  1. Zechariah's first message is a call to repentance (1:2-4). We are living in a day when most preachers are minimizing or even attacking the doctrine of repentance.
  2. Repentance was the message of the Old Testament prophets (Isa. 55:6, 7; Jer. 3:12, 13; Ezek. 14:6; Joel 2:12, 13; Amos 4:6-12) and the New Testament preachers as well (Matt. 3:1,2; 4:17; Acts 3:19; 17:30; 20:21; 26:18-20).
  3. In Luke 13:5, our Lord said, "But except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
  4. Merrill Unger says that the theme of repentance "strikes the keynote of the entire book and forms an indispensable introduction to it. The truth it enunciates is one which runs throughout the revealed ways of God with man; namely, the appropriation and enjoyment of God's promises of blessing must be prefaced by genuine repentance."
  5. Charles Feinberg, wrote, "This call to return dare not be passed over lightly, for it is the basic and fundamental plea of God throughout the Bible to all sinful men. Zechariah, then, like John the Baptist and our blessed Lord Himself at a later day, comes with the message: Repent" (Zechariah: God Remembers).


  1. A call to repentance (1:1-6).
  2. A series of eight night visions (1:7—6:8).
  • The man riding upon a red horse (1:7-17).
  • The four horns and smiths (1:18-21).
  • The man with the measuring rod (2:1-13).
  • Cleansing of the high priest (3:1-10).
  • The candlestick and the two olive trees (4:1-14).
  • The flying roll (5:1-4).
  • The woman in the ephah (5:5-11).
  • The four chariots (6:1-8).
  1. The symbolic crowning of the high priest (6:9-15).
  2. Regarding fasts (7:1—8:23).
  3. The first and second coming of Christ (9:1—11:17).
  4. The judgment and future restoration of Israel (12:1--13:9).
  5. The return of Christ in glory (14:1-21).

These are simple Sunday School survey notes. They are not for sale. The author used many outlines from popular Bible teachers such as C.I. Scofield and J. Vernon McGee, and he has tried to give credit when using their material.

—  Pastor James J. Barker  —