Bible Teaching Notes
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Omar C. Garcia


Notes by Jerry Perrill, Missionary to Laos and Thailand (Retired)

Zechariah 7 and 8

These chapters contain a question; two short sermons; some encouraging words from ‘the LORD (Yahweh) Almighty’ (NIV), or ‘LORD of Hosts’ (KJV); the answer to their question; and finally a prophetic look at the hunger of many for the Lord. It helps me a lot to see it this way.

I.          Messages prompted by the question on fasting (7:1-8:19)

            a.         The Question (7:1-3)

                        b.         The first sermon (7:4-14)

                                    c.         Relevant sayings (8:1-8)

                        b’.         The second sermon (8:9-17)

            a’.         The Answer (8:18-19)

II.          Conclusion: Universal longing for God (8:20-23)

The question is asked in a (7:1-3), but not answered until a’ (8:18-19). The reason for this may be that a deeper issue is subtly hidden in the question of the people who were weary of the ritual they had been following for years. Thus, hearing b, c and b’ were necessary before they were ready to hear a’.

The Mosaic Law had established only one fast for Israel – the fast of the Day of Atonement, and even then the fast was only a part of that day’s observance. But, and here is the rub, after the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, they – on their own – began observing a series of fasts related to those events.

The people asked about the fast of the 9th day of the 5th month (7:3) which remembered the burning of the city and the destruction of the beautiful temple of Solomon.

The answer given not only mentioned that particular day but also the following (8:18-19):

  • The 17th day of the 4th month, they mourned the capture of the city of Jerusalem 
  • The 3rd day of the 7th month, commemorating the assassination of Gedaliah (Jer. 4:1-10)
  • The 10th day of the 10th month, the day Nebuchadnezzar began his siege of the city.

 Between question and answer came the Word of the Lord.

Note in the sermon in 7:4-14, the Lord calls the people to consider if they have fasted and feasted for the Lord, or was it for themselves? See verses 4-7. When these times of either feasting or fasting become mere ritual, they tend to dissolve into selfish times of pride and self-accomplishment. God is not pleased with that as verses 11-14 show.

Both sermons (7:8-10 in the 1st; 8:16-17 in the 2nd) have a clear call to ethical life style that honors the Lord. For both these sermons, Zechariah has taken his text from places like Deut. 10:12; 14:29; Micah 6:8. All of the Prophets were “insistently ethical because they were so passionately religious!”

My good friends, it is imperative that we be absolutely committed to the whole character, counsel and doctrine of God as found in His Word if we are to ever make an ethical and moral impact on the world!

In chapter 8:1-8 The phrase This is what the Lord Almighty says (verse 3 drops “Almighty”), the people are given a picture of what will happen when the temple is built and they will soon happily settled in the land. It seems to have in view a scene (in terms that the people of that day could understand) of much later as well.

The 1st sermon seems to look back at the stubbornness and rebellion of the past; the 2nd looks to the future and both call for righteous living.

The answer (8:18-19) picks up the theme of true fasting similar to Isaiah chap. 58. And we might ask ourselves, if and when we fast, is it to remember the horrific death of our beloved Savior, focus our whole being on our great God; or is it to try to get God to give us something we selfishly want?

The hunger for God expressed in verses 20-23 looks prophetically to the time when Jesus would come and believers in His as the True Messiah would include people from all peoples, tongues and nations as well as the Remnant. That is the joyous truth of the New Testament and it includes you and me! Praise His Holy Name.

Zechariah 9 — 14

Joyce Baldwin in her commentary Haggai Zechariah Malachi in the Tyndale OT Commentaries has the outline of these six chapters as follows: There are two main oracles, (1) 9:1-11:17, and (2) 12:1-14:21. The sub points form a continuous chiastic outline similar to the form we have already looked at. I think it is helpful.

I.          Triumphant intervention of the Lord: His Shepherd rejected (9:1-11:17)

            a.         The Lord triumphs from the north (9:1-8)

                        b.         Arrival of the king (9:9-10)

                                    c.         Jubilation and prosperity (9:11-10:1)

                                                d.         Rebuke for sham leaders (10:2-3a)

                                    c’.        Jubilation and restoration (10:3b-11:3)

                        b’         The fate of the Good Shepherd (11:4-17)

II.         Final intervention of the Lord and suffering involved (12:1-14:21)

                                    c’’        Jubilation in Jerusalem (12:1-9)

                        b’’        Mourning for the pierced One (12:10-13:1)

                                                d’         Rejection of sham leaders (13:2-6)

                        b’’’       The Shepherd slaughtered, the people scattered (13:7-9)

                                    c’’’       Cataclysm in Jerusalem (14:1-15)

            a’         The Lord worshipped as King over all (14:16-21)

I did the second part a bit different so the sections in each of the two parts can be related. The two a,a’ lines relate to the Lord, victorious and worshipped; the four b lines relate to the Messiah; the four c lines relate to Jerusalem; and the two d lines speak of false leaders. Further, each line of this outline or even a single verse may themselves have an outline of the particular verses. For instance, look at the names of the Philistine cities in 9:5: Ashkelon, Gaza and Ekron. They are arranged in the text like this:

             Ashkelon . . .

                        Gaza . . .

                                    Ekron . . .

                        Gaza . . .

            Ashkelon . . .

Please let me know if this does not make sense to you. If that is the case, the fault is mine for not making clear what I am just now learning about these types of outlines and study. Takes forethought to write like this, thinking of the ending before writing the beginning and then what goes in between! They guys were wise as well as inspired by the Spirit as they wrote Scripture!

We used to us outlines like this:





                                                and so on. Remember those research papers?

The upper outline conforms to the text material;     the second imposes a division from outside the material.

The upper one tries to fit into the author’s original agenda:    the second fits the material into my agenda.

The first type fits with exegesis (reading out of the text what is already there):  the second is subject to eisegesis (reading into the text our own subjective assumptions).

It is a lot easier for us to read into a passage what we think we already know; it is often more painstakingly difficult to read out things that may actually teach us something other than our pet assumptions. Enough on outlines.

The joy of this lesson is in the wonder Scripture provides us as we see with utter amazement how God not only leads history to His predetermined plan, but via the voice of prophecy gives us glimpses of that future. We who cannot see the future, are able to live in a tension of “now ... and not yet,” where “not yet” is certain precisely because of God’s promises and the Word of what is yet to come.

The voice of prophecy began in the garden of Eden with a word of hope coming before the word of judgment (Gen. 3:15). It was in the word of promise as God called Abraham to be the instrument to bless the whole world (Gen. 12:2-3). Moses, some 600 years later, spoke of a prophet to come (Deut. 18:18-19). David wanted to build God a house, but God denied that and promised to build a house (dynasty) of David that would last forever, culminating in the Messiah, Jesus the Son of David/Son of God (2 Sam 7).

There are many more glimpses of this plan along the way – spoken of in terms which the people of each particular age could understand. That plan and promise would ultimately outstrip the wildest dreams and thoughts of mankind. All of this would bring glory and honor to the Sovereign God of the universe and through His Messiah, the Redeemer, our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

Isaiah is full of prophetic promise, Zechariah is a close second and all the prophets have a share in the focus on the coming Messiah. Our lesson covers a few of these. I have listed a few of them below:


3:9 Salvation bought and paid for in a single day

6:13-15 As Zerubbabel built with stones and mortar, Jesus would build with ‘living
stones’ a temple of (1) His resurrection body, and (2) the temple of the Holy Spirit.

9:9 The King would come in lowly demeanor (Mt. 21:5; John 12:15)

11:12-14 The prophecy of the trivial, demeaning payment to the Shepherd

12:10 They will look upon the one they pierced (see Ps. 22:16)

13:7-9 God will strike down the Shepherd – for the remnant’s sake.

14:3-9 The Lord will return to be King over the whole earth.

Prophecies of His first and second coming bring joy to the heart as we see how completely our God has the pages of history in His Hand. Praise the Lord!

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