The Structure Of The Book Of Zechariah -- By: Meredith G. Kline

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 34:2 (Jun 1991)
Article: The Structure Of The Book Of Zechariah
Author: Meredith G. Kline


The Structure Of The Book Of Zechariah

Meredith G. Kline*

Canonical Zechariah falls into several fairly distinct divisions: (1) an oracular exhortation (Zech 1:1–6); (2) a series of visions with oracles interlaced (1:7–6:8); (3) a symbolic action performed by the prophet (6:9–15); (4) oracular instruction (chaps. 7–8); (5) a pair of “burdens” (chaps. 9–14; cf. maśśaʾ, 9:1; 12:1).

Our treatment of 6:9–15 as a separate major section calls for comment. The section is set off from 1:7–6:8 by its own introductory formula (6:9; cf. 4:8; 7:4; 8:1, 18) and by the fact that it is not a vision like the preceding material. It is also distinguished from what follows in chaps. 7–8 by the date formula in 7:1, which, like those in 1:1 and 1:7, clearly marks a new division. Addressing the question of the precise role of 6:9–15 in the composition of Zechariah will take us to the heart of our proposal concerning the overall structure of the work.

I. The Three-Hinge Framework

A key structural device of the book emerges with the recognition that 6:9–15 shares with two other passages (3:1–10; 11:1–17) a peculiar set of formal and thematic characteristics. Common to these passages and to them alone in Zechariah is the formal feature of symbolic action in which the prophet personally participates and specific historical individuals are involved.1 Further, these three passages are thematically unified: In each the prophet participates in a coronation, an investiture to theocratic office. Indeed, all three portray Messiah’s commissioning to his royal-priestly task. Moreover, in addition to sharing exclusively this striking set of features, each o...

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