Some Notes on Israel and the Prophet Zechariah series #1.

1-1:  Zechariah.

Zechariah and Haggai were contemporary Prophets. When king Darius came to the throne of the Persian kingdom in 521 B.C. he confirmed the decree of Cyrus that the temple in Jerusalem of Judah would be rebuilt.  Both Zechariah and Haggai encouraged the people to rebuild the temple which they did in 516 B.C.  The prophecies about the Coming Messiah become more significant in the book of Zechariah than from any other book except Isaiah.  Prophecies about the First Coming of Christ are found in Zechariah in:  (1) Zechariah 3:8; (2) Zechariah 9:9; (3) Zechariah 9:16; (4) Zechariah 11:11-13; (5) Zechariah 12:10; (6) Zechariah 13:1; (7) Zechariah 13:6. On the Second Coming of Christ:  (1) Zechariah 6:12; and (2) Zechariah 14:1-21. NOTE:  By the way, the book of Zechariah with its visions is good preparation for reading and understanding of the book of Revelation.  In Zechariah you will see many of the same subjects of visions as horses and riders, horns, the surveyor, the golden lampstand, the vision of the woman, and the chariots.

1-2:  Israel, A Branch of God’s People Broken Off (From Romans).

The book of Romans is far from being simple; but it is understandable for those who have sufficient meat eating capabilities in the Word, and who also have the courage to face up to the realities of total truth independent of the pressures of the crowd of the world and the extreme tolerance concept of the American Democratic Faith. To start getting your head on Scripture screwed on straight, you might begin to answer the question, “Who Broke off Israel as a Branch?” and the obvious answer is “God”.

Surely Paul says more about His own people of the Hebrew nation, and their fate as the once called {not the same as chosen} people of God; first wrestling with the issue of “what good is it to be a Jew then?” and then by saying “in every way, since to them were committed the oracles of God” (Romans 3:1-2), and making the next logical step {sort of a culmination of how they ceased to be the primary chosen people of God in Romans chapter 11), the reality that “they were the natural branch broken off” (Romans 11:20)

  1. The Jewish people were at the time of Christ and the book of Romans, like a natural branch but broken off from God.

“Because of unbelief THEY WERE BROKEN OFF, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.” (Romans 11:20)

Keys to Bible Understanding:  Topics and Doctrines

NOTE: Paul does not pause to explain why you Christians in churches of Gods people today should “fear”; for Paul is hastening on in his argument to the status, or lack of status, of the Jews {the word “Jew” originated early in the history of the Hebrew nation as short for Jerusalem, of a resident of Jerusalem, and really did not take on any bad connotations until after the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah in 722 B.C. when those passing by shook their head at what it was now as compared to what it use to be} or Hebrews as the people of God, does every now in then remind Gods present people that the same thing could easily happen to them. And of course, we know from the teachings on the great apostasy of Christianity called the Falling Away {II Timothy 4:3,4 and II Thessalonians}, it is right now in the fourth of five stages of the Falling Away.

  1. At any time after the time of Christ and of the writing of Romans, the Jews could be “grafted back in” as part of the people of God, all they have to do in a small group or a large group “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ” as Savior and Lord, the Son of God.

“And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grated in, for God is able to graft them in again.” (Romans 11:23)

NOTE: The emphasis here is on, “God is able to graft them in again”; of course, even God is not able, for He has placed those constraints upon Himself in the nature of His own character, to graft them back in without belief!

  1. You must know that “not all Israel is of Israel” (Romans 9:6)

In the nature of progressive revelation {a little at a time each generation until the most complete from Christ and the Apostles}, it was in the book of Jeremiah that it was finally and clearer identified that Gods chosen people were defunct of acceptance with God; and further that the LORD of hosts of Gentiles and Jews would for generations to come after Christ, chose a people made up of more Gentiles than Jews, that is right up until the time that the fullness of the Gentiles (Romans 11:25) was completed, the time that we are in or approaching right now since surely “the gospel has been preached to every nation”.

  1. Amazingly the Bible Studies of {the official web site of SunGrist_Bible} on Jeremiah during the last 2 years have come together with the well-known “Top 12 Topics of the Bible”. It happened right here on the eighth topic of “What Happened to the Jews as the Chosen People of God.” In short, right here in Jeremiah with the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah as God used Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzar to carry out His plan for Captivity and Destruction. {It was almost complete destruction of Jerusalem with some residents left, and scattered, also destitute in the rest of the nation of Judah.}

(1). As the same time, Daniel over in Babylon was asking and getting an answer to “what is going to happen to my own people”; and with those specifics we will treat them in a section to follow.

(2). Also the Prophet Zechariah gave us a lot of details and specifics on the numbers that would be both “called and chosen” of the Jews people; that also we will look at in a separate section. {Many of your pastors and Bible teachers do not have the courage to deal with these details, likewise many of the commentator chickens dodge the issues.}

And please do not give up on our Bible Studies through the “Top 12 Topics of the Bible”, especially now that it is coming together with Bible Studies in Jeremiah; for now the Bible moves rapidly to complete the progressive revelations with the last 4 topics:

  1. What Happened to the Jews as the Chosen People of God?
  2. The Salvation of God.
  3. The New King of the New Israel.

1-3:  Israel, A Branch Broken Off.

NOTE: More than even in this Top Topic #9, the Top Topic #11 identifies what the New Israel is; and that part of the Old Testament from the Prophets is what you will find quoted quite often in the book of Romans. Also identifies what the New King, the Lord Jesus Christ, is like; and what kind of kingdom He will establish at His first coming, give a permanent home on the new earth at His Second Coming.

What Happened to Israel as the Chosen People of God?

There are many biblical aspects to this question that make the answer far from simple, but the “troubling of souls” by false prophets and “itching ears” Bible teachers of the Messianic Judaism movement demand that this such a difficult issue be properly tackled according to the Bible.

What happened, just based on the Scripture above of the Word of God, is that the Jews or Hebrews as a total people were broken off from God as the people of God, like a broken branch off the tree of God; of course, there was and was right up until the time of the Apostle Paul “a remnant” of Gods people among the Hebrews, some of the more famous being our forefathers in the faith like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the Apostles. Surely from the first century right up until now, there has been a very small group of believing Jews as part of that generation by generation remnant; in fact, I can think of several like Hyman Appleman, a converted Christian Jew and evangelist, who for years led in Baptist Revivals.

  1. There is to balance to the understanding of this subject, without a simultaneous consideration that ALWAYS IN THE HISTORY OF GOD’S DEALINGS WITH MAN, THERE HAS BEEN A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE “CALLED” OF GOD AND THE “CHOSEN” OF GOD.

“Many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)

The ones who are faithful Christians are both “called and chosen” (Rev 17:12).

  1. Like in this verse above from a parable told by Jesus, it is impossible to understand what happened to the Hebrew people apart from the understanding of parables. That is the reason that parables one way or another dominant the eighth topic of the Top 12 Topics of the Bible, “What happened to the Jews as the chosen people of God?” The OT and Jesus explain the nature of parables (Isaiah 6:9,10, Matthew 13:14,15, and Mark 4:12).

While Isaiah 6 tells of the Prophet’s call to be a Prophet with a vision of God on His throne and in His temple, so awesome that Isaiah knows his people and himself to be unclean that God sends a seraphim to touch the lips of Isaiah, the prime message as echoed by Jesus in Matthew and Mark is what Isaiah is to “Go, and tell this people” (Isaiah 6:9). This is also one of the prime messages that Jesus brought to His own nation hundreds of years later, and is a key to understanding both the way Jesus taught by parables as well as understanding of the whole Bible itself. Jesus, with introductory words before He quotes Isaiah 6:9,10, explains to His twelve disciples the reason for parables is to allow members of the kingdom to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God as given in the OT {and NT}, but how to all “outsiders” all spiritual things come in parables. Then Jesus quotes Isaiah.

“so that seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them.” (Mark 4:12 and Isaiah 6:9,10)

  1. This verse is quoted from Isaiah 6, and before that in Isaiah 5:1,7 is the Scripture Jesus quoted to tell the parable of the wicked vinedresser with Israel as the nation who rejected the rightful owner of the vineyard (Isaiah 5:1,7, Matthew 21:33, and Mark 12:2).

“For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are His pleasant plant. He looked for justice, but behold, oppression; for righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.” (Isaiah 5:7)

Gods complaint against the people through this Prophet as with the other Prophets was consistently a complaint against their justice and righteousness. No wonder when we come to Daniel, and with an answer to Daniel’s prayers about what will happen to his people that at that time are in Chadian Captivity, Daniel through Gabriel and then the Son of Man {a common term for Christ} is informed that shortly after the life of Christ the nation of Israel will become spiritually desolate.

Even as it will be stated often in the LEARN CHRIST commentaries that in each book of the Bible, “the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts”, likewise for the Bible as a whole, the sum total of a parable is more than you see and hear, the addition beyond the sum of the individual parts is perception, understanding, and forgiveness of sins. Disciples are to get the full message beyond the sum of the individual parts, but those outside the kingdom will not. Israel of the first century suspected, but did not know, that soon with the “abomination of desolations” of Daniel would lose forever the ability to see the whole, except for approximately 100,000 Jews that were converted before the cutoff, God and Christ through the Apostle Paul, the Hebrew of the Hebrews, turning to the Gentiles to begin the thousands of years toward the Fullness of the Gentiles.

1-4:  An Outline of Zechariah to be modified:  A jumpstart on Zechariah from the great B. H. Carroll in his interpretation of the English Bible

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PART I – CHAPTERS 1-8 Introduction 1:1-6

  1. The Visions (l:7to 6:8)
  2. The horses under the myrtle trees (1:7-17)
  3. The four horns and four artificers (1:18-21)
  4. The man with the measuring line (2:1-13)
  5. Joshua and Satan (3:1-10)
  6. The candlestick and the olive trees (4:1-14)
  7. The flying book (5:1-4)
  8. The woman and the epha (5:5-11)
  9. The four chariots (6:1-8)
  10. The Memorial Crowns (6:9-15)

III. The True Fast (7-8)


  1. The First Burden of Prophecy (9-11)
  2. The coming king (9)
  3. The great regathering (10:1 to 11:3)
  4. The good shepherd rejected (11:4-14)
  5. The foolish shepherd (11:15-17)
  6. The Second Burden of Prophecy (12-14)
  7. Jehovah’s protection of his people (12:1-9)
  8. Repentance and conversion of many Jews (12:10 to13:6)
  9. Scattering the sheep by smiting the shepherd (13:7-8)
  10. Purification of the remnant (13:9)
  11. Gathering of nations against Jerusalem (14:1-2)
  12. Conversion of the Jews as a nation (14:3-15)
  13. The Millennium (14:16-21)

1-5:  Summary of Zechariah online thanks to Bible Study tools at

Summary of the Book of Zechariah

This summary of the book of Zechariah provides information about the title, author(s), date of writing, chronology, theme, theology, outline, a brief overview, and the chapters of the Book of Zechariah.


Zechariah’s prophetic ministry took place in the postexilic period, the time of the Jewish restoration from Babylonian captivity. For historical details see Introduction to Haggai: Background.

Author and Unity

Like Jeremiah (1:1) and Ezekiel (1:3), Zechariah was not only a prophet (1:1) but also a member of a priestly family. He was born in Babylonia and was among those who returned to Judah in 538/537 b.c. under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua (his grandfather Iddo is named among the returnees in Ne 12:4). At a later time, when Joiakim was high priest (see note on Ne 12:12-21), Zechariah apparently succeeded Iddo (1:1,7) as head of that priestly family (Ne 12:10-16). Since the grandson succeeded the grandfather, it has been suggested that the father (Berekiah, 1:1,7) died at an early age.

Zechariah was a contemporary of Haggai (Ezr 5:16:14) but continued his ministry long after him (compare 1:1and 7:1 with Hag 1:1; see also Ne 12:1-16). His young age (see 2:4 and note) in the early period of his ministry makes it possible that he ministered even into the reign of Artaxerxes I (465-424 b.c.).

Most likely Zechariah wrote the entire book that bears his name. Some have questioned his authorship of chs. 9– 14, citing differences in style and other compositional features, and giving historical and chronological references that allegedly require a different date and author from those of chs. 1 – 8. All these objections, however, can be explained in other satisfactory ways, so there is no compelling reason to question the unity of the book.


The dates of Zechariah’s recorded messages are best correlated with those of Haggai and with other historical events as follows:

1. Haggai’s first message (Hag 1:1-11Ezr 5:1) Aug. 29, 520 b.c.
2. Resumption of the building of the temple (Hag 1:12-15Ezr 5:2)
(The rebuilding seems to have been hindered from 536 to c. 530
[Ezr 4:1-5], and the work ceased altogether from c. 530 to 520
[Ezr 4:24].)
Sept. 21, 520
3. Haggai’s second message (Hag 2:1-9) Oct. 17, 520
4. Beginning of Zechariah’s preaching (1:1-6) Oct./Nov., 520
5. Haggai’s third message (Hag 2:10-19) Dec. 18, 520
6. Haggai’s fourth message (Hag 2:20-23) Dec. 18, 520
7. Tattenai’s letter to Darius concerning the rebuilding of the
temple (Ezr 5:3 — 6:14)
(There must have been a lapse of time between the resumption
of the building and Tattenai’s appearance.)
8. Zechariah’s eight night visions (1:7 — 6:8) Feb. 15, 519
9. Joshua crowned (6:9-15) Feb. 16 (?), 519
10. Repentance urged, blessings promised (chs. 7 – 8) Dec. 7, 518
11. Dedication of the temple (Ezr 6:15-18) Mar. 12, 516
12. Zechariah’s final prophecies (chs. 9 – 14) After 480 (?)

Occasion and Purpose

The occasion is the same as that of the book of Haggai (see Background; Dates). The chief purpose of Zechariah (and Haggai) was to rebuke the people of Judah and to encourage and motivate them to complete the rebuilding of the temple (Zec 4:8-10Hag 1-2), though both prophets were clearly interested in spiritual renewal as well. In addition, the purpose of the eight night visions (1:7 — 6:8) is explained in 1:3,5-6: The Lord said that if Judah would return to him, he would return to them. Furthermore, his word would continue to be fulfilled.


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