Like Haggai, Zechariah took part in the “restoration” of God’s people and the Temple, when the Jews returned from Babylon (520 B.C.).
When they returned from exile, the fabulous promises of the prophets while they were captives in Babylon were not fulfilled (see Is 40:55
). So they continued to hope. Zechariah sees their building of the Temple as a symbol: a new age has begun and the Lord is preparing for the day of his salvation. The visions found in the first six chapters teach the Jews who are gathered round their Temple, that they must be watchful and wait for the Day of the Lord.
The Second Part of the Book of Zechariah
–14 are the work of another prophet who lived two centuries later, possibly when the famous conqueror, Alexander, came to the Eastern countries. He teaches the Jews that they must not be afraid: the victory of God and the coming of his kingdom will take place in the midst of very painful events.
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