Exegetical Studies in Zechariah Part 1 -- By: Charles Lee Feinberg

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 097:386 (Apr 1940)
Article: Exegetical Studies in Zechariah Part 1
Author: Charles Lee Feinberg


Exegetical Studies in Zechariah
Part 1

Charles Lee Feinberg

Introduction.

If any portion of the Old Testament has come in for undeservedly scant attention, it has been the minor prophets. In the Hebrew Testament these books are called simply The Twelve and form a part of the נביאים אחרונים, the latter prophets. Among the major messages of the minor prophets Zechariah is probably pre-eminent. He is undoubtedly the greatest of the postexilic prophets. In the introductory word we purpose to treat the book from several angles.

I. The Prophet Zechariah.

Of the personal history of Zechariah very little is known. His name, “he whom Jehovah remembers,” or “Jehovah remembers,” is a common one in the Scriptures, for more than twenty different persons in the Old Testament had the same name. Attempts have been made to identify our prophet with Zechariah mentioned in Isaiah 8:2, but to our mind, without sufficient evidence. Like his predecessors, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, he was of priestly lineage, the son of Berechiah and grandson of Iddo (1:1, 7). He was born in Babylon and with his grandfather was in the company of exiles who returned to Palestine with Joshua and Zerubbabel (Neh 12:4). His father evidently died young, for Zechariah is named as the immediate successor of Iddo in the priestly office under Joiakim, who succeeded Joshua (Neh 12:12–16). This may explain why the prophet is called the son of Iddo in Ezra 5:1 and 6:14. (This argument cannot be conclusive in itself, because, as is known, there is no specific word in Hebrew for grandson, the same word as for son being used.) Zechariah began his prophetic ministry in the second year of Darius Hystaspes, two months after Haggai, his contemporary (cf. Hag 1:1 with Zech 1:1).

The length of his ministry is uncertain, but the final prophecies of the book are of a later period. Jewish tradition credits him with being a member, along with Haggai, Malachi, Ezra, and Nehemiah, of the Great Synagogue; but though not contrary to the probabilities of the case, there is no clear testimony for it. It has been inferred by many from 2:8 (Hebrew) that he was not a full-grown man at the beginning of his prophetic ministry. The term You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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