About this book
The people of Jerusalem had problems. They had begun to rebuild the temple, but the new temple could never be as great as the original one. There was no king from David's family, and Judah was only a small part of the Medo-Persian empire.
In the first part of this book (1—8) Zechariah tells how the Lord gave him eight meaningful visions to help the people overcome these problems. Some day, the Lord's chosen king would again rule in Jerusalem, and all the nations would turn to the Lord and become his people. But for now, the Lord had chosen Zerubbabel to be the governor and Joshua to be the high priest, and they were to be in charge of the Lord's people.
In the second part of this book (9—11) the Lord promised he would punish many of the nearby nations and also the leaders of Judah who had been unfaithful.
In the third part (12—14) the Lord gave Zechariah messages about a time even further in the future, when Jerusalem and Judah will be attacked by all nations. Many of the people of Judah will be killed, but the Lord himself will appear and rescue his people. They will turn back to him, and he will forgive them. Then mountains around Jerusalem will be flattened, but Jerusalem will remain on the mountain towering high above the land around it. Life-giving streams will flow from Jerusalem, and all people on earth will worship the Lord.
The Lord promised that some day he would again choose a king for his people. In the New Testament both Matthew and John quote part of this verse from the book of Zechariah, to show that God had chosen Jesus to be that king:
Everyone in Jerusalem,
celebrate and shout!
Your king has won a victory,
and he is coming to you.
He is humble
and rides on a donkey;
he comes on the colt
of a donkey.
A quick look at this book
1. First vision: horses and riders (1.1–17)
2. Second vision: animal horns (1.18–21)
3. Third vision: a measuring line (2.1–13)
4. Fourth vision: Joshua and Satan (3.1–10)
5. Fifth vision: a lampstand and olive trees (4.1–14)
6. Sixth vision: a flying scroll (5.1–4)
7. Seventh vision: a woman in a basket (5.5–11)
8. Eighth vision: four chariots (6.1–8)
9. Mourning and celebrating (6.9—8.23)
10. The Lord will rescue his people and punish their enemies (9.1—11.3)
11. Israel's leaders are worthless shepherds (11.4–17)
12. Victory for Jerusalem (12.1–9)
13. The people will mourn and return to the Lord (12.10—13.9)
14. The final war and the Lord's victory (14.1–21)