Time Period: First 8 chapters written in 520 B.C. and the remaining chapters were written in 480 B.C.
Why this Time Period:
Evidence to support the dates are in seven points. First, Zechariah is the claimed author according to the whole book. Second, similarities include phrase styles across both sections. However, forty years can account for the differences that occur. Third, Haggai is comparable with the message of Zachariah. The sixth century is the time when Haggai wrote the book. Fourth, one of the ingredients of the whole book is the evangelist. Fifth, insufficient reasons are given by critics for a few reasons. I will give one. The Salamis, Platea, and Mycale battles between Greece and Xerxes are dated a little too early for the writing of Zachariah. Sixth, Geisler feels that because critics are in a disagreement among most critics and their dates are many, this “later date” is not something that they are incorrect. Lastly, “Alexander’s victory at Tyre is the prime object of the critics’ antisupernatureal bias. “…Chapter 9:1-4 could not have been written about one hundred fifty years before the event happened.”
Author: The book of Zechariah was written by the prophet Zechariah
Significance: Zechariah wrote this book to the remnant who returned from exile. They had lost faith in God and were not devoted to building the temple, so they needed to learn the law of God again.
In chapters 1-8, Zechariah recorded his visions, encouraged the people to reinstate the priesthood, and other religious laws that were forgotten during the 70-year exile. Zechariah gives great hope and encouragement about the coming Messiah Jesus Christ, who will set up His throne and rule as the mighty Branch, the High Priest, who will offer up the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. “Then say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD. “Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the LORD, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices” (6:12-13).
• Chapters 9-14 are difficult passages to understand, many are prophetic and apocalyptic. Zechariah writes judgment against the neighboring enemies. Most importantly he declared the first coming of the Messiah who would be mounted on a donkey (9:9), His betrayal (11:12), and His crucifixion (12:10). Finally, he writes about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ descending from heaven the same way He had left in Acts 1:11, in the clouds. “In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south” (14:4).
Why Was Zechariah Written?
The historical purpose was to show Zechariah's intent to encourage the returned remnant by showing that God was still at work restoring Israel to their spiritual inheritance in preparation for the coming Messiah. (Geisler)
Doctrinal teachings that stand out in Zechariah are: 1) the centrality of the Temple in God's spiritual restoration of Israel; 2) the providence of God in bringing His people back to their land; 3) the importance of the Messiah in the future restoration of Israel. (Geisler)
The Christological purpose is how Zechariah presents Christ as the angel of the Lord (3:1), the Righteous Branch (3:8), the Crucified Savior (12:10) and the coming King (9:9).
Practical Applications: God expects sincere worship and moral living of us today. Zechariah's example of breaking through national prejudice reminds us to reach out into all areas of our society. We must make sure we extend the invitations of salvations to all people we come in contact with no matter the national origin, language, race or culture. Jesus breaks through all of these barriers and we should to. We cannot be reconciled to God outside of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross, who died in our place to atone for our sin. There is no other way for us to be reconciled to God. There is no other name under heaven by which men are saved (Acts 4:12).