Exegetical Studies in Zechariah Part 2 -- By: Charles Lee Feinberg
BSac 97:387 (Jul 40) p. 318
Exegetical Studies in Zechariah
(Continued from the April-June Number, 1940)
I. An Exhortation to Repentance, 1:1-6.
The first six verses of the book are an introduction, not only to the first chapter or the series of eight night-visions, but to the entire prophecy of Zechariah. The gist of the message is: do not repeat the disobediences of your fathers, but rather learn from past experience. Is not this the burden of the apostle Paul’s recital of the disobediences of Israel in the wilderness as recorded in 1 Corinthians 10? He says plainly: “Now these things happened unto them by way of example; and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come” (v. 11). Especially is this true in the study of the remnant in Israel of the restoration period, because they so often portray morally the position of believers now awaiting the return of the Lord.1
Since the book is mainly one of consolations and hope, some may be inclined to ask: Why does it begin with a charge to repent? The purpose, no doubt, is to preclude any false security on the part of the ungodly in Israel who might think themselves to be the recipients of the blessings and promises of God regardless of their spiritual condition. To the superficial student of Old Testament prophecy the transitions of the prophets-often quite abrupt-from promises of blessings to threats of judgment and vice versa, these changes, I say, strike them as unnecessary and uncalled for. Divine wisdom, however, is here, for while the prophet pours out condemnation and warning of judgment, he takes care lest the godly be overcharged with misgivings and despair. So he passes on to the prediction of future blessings for the godly. On the other hand, while delineating the surpassing glories of the future, he is diligent to give the ungodly no ground for baseless and false security, so he warns of the
BSac 97:387 (Jul 40) p. 319
righteous judgment of God upon the wicked. The understanding of this great principle will aid, not only in the interpretation of the introduction and entire message of this prophecy, but of all the revelation of the prophets.
Zechariah’s first word places his prophecy as to time and assures of its divine origin: “In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of Jehovah came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, the prophet, saying” (v. 1). By a comparison of this verse with
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