Exegetical Studies in Zechariah Part 9 -- By: Charles Lee Feinberg

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 099:395 (Jul 1942)
Article: Exegetical Studies in Zechariah Part 9
Author: Charles Lee Feinberg

Exegetical Studies in Zechariah
Part 9

Charles Lee Feinberg

(Continued from the April-June Number, 1942)

III. The Question and the Answer concerning Fasting, 7:1-8:23.

a. The Question, 7:1-3.

In the first section of the book (1:1–6) Zechariah occupied himself with an urgent exhortation to Israel to repent; in the second division (1:7–6:15) the prophet set forth a series of night-visions covering the period of Israel’s national history from the then present hour till the climax of Messiah’s coronation; and in the third portion of the prophecy, comprising both chapters seven and eight, the theme revolves around the subject of Israel’s national fasts. In order to understand fully the basis of the question and the perplexity in the minds of the people, we need to review the historical setting of that day. It was the year 518 B.C. Two years had already elapsed since the time of the night-visions, and God was already bringing to fruition the promises relative to the building of the temple. Two years more were to pass before the completion of the temple (Ezra 5:16; 6:15), but the work was progressing now without hindrance. The royal decree of Darius had gone forth permitting the work to proceed without interruption in accordance with the former decree of Cyrus (Ezra 6). The people were aroused to the work and performed it with diligence (Hag 1:14). Jerusalem itself was undergoing a transformation. Splendid private homes were being erected (Hag 1:4). It was a time calculated to make the people forgetful of all the hardships and captivity that they had suffered. Such was the day in which the word of the Lord came to Zechariah.

Perhaps a word should be said with regard to the last eight chapters of the book. The reader is referred to the introduction of these studies for a treatment of these chapters from the standpoint of authorship. From the seventh chapter to the end of the prophecy, Zechariah leaves the language of apocalyptic visions and writes in regular prophetic style. There are those who would divide the last eight chapters to correspond to the visions of the early chapters. To be sure, there are many passages in both sections that bear upon related themes, but the parceling out of portions in this fashion may turn out to be a rather artificial procedure in the end. We do admit, for instance, that a portion of chapter You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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