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Chapters 7 to 10
The scope and standpoint of Zechariah
Zechariah is more occupied than either of the other two post-captivity prophets with the Gentile kingdoms under whose yoke the Jews were placed, and with the establishment in its perfection of the glorious system that was to accompany the presence of the Messiah; and, on the other hand, with the rejection of that Messiah by the remnant who had returned from captivity; with the state of misery and unbelief in which the people would be left, and by which they would at length be openly characterised; and, finally, with the last attacks of the enemies of Jehovah upon Israel, and especially those directed against Jerusalem. He announces the destruction of these enemies by the judgment of God, and the glory and holiness of the people after their deliverance by the arm of Jehovah, who should thenceforth reign and be glorified in all the earth. It is the complete history of Israel, and of the Gentiles in relationship with Israel, from the captivity to the end, as far as connected with Jerusalem, the restoration of which especially occupies the prophet. For if the house was the primary object in Haggai, Jerusalem is the central point in Zechariah; although in the course of the prophecy the temple, and still more the Messiah, have the most prominent place in the scene.
The dates of the post-captivity prophets
The date of Zechariah's prophecy is nearly the same as that of the prophecies of Haggai. There are two in Zechariah, besides that of the introduction; in Haggai, four. The first date in Zechariah is only a month or two before the last two in Haggai, which were given on the same day. At the date of the second prophecy in Zechariah (chap. 7) the temple was not finished as a whole, but sufficiently so to serve as a place of worship, although the dedication had not yet been celebrated.