Sabbath 11/06/36/120

Dear Friends,

This Sabbath we will look at the structure of the Book of Zechariah.  In that work we will try to make sense of what is happening in the Middle East today in Syria and Lebanon and where that fits into prophecy and how it affects Israel. The background of Zechariah is contained in the Introduction in the Commentary on Zechariah (No. 297).

“The prophet Zechariah (Remembered of Yahovah) was son of Berechiah (Blessed of Yahovah) and grandson of Iddo.

He prophesied in the reign of Darius the Persian or Darius II of Persia at the building of the Temple. His prophecies were to cover the period from the building of the Second Temple to its furbishing and over its life and destruction. The prophecy then goes on to the Messiah and the construction of the Church of God, which is the Spiritual Temple, up until the return of the Messiah. It then deals with the construction of the final administration in Jerusalem over the millennial system of Messiah. The work is highly significant to the Last Days and the nations that attack Judah.

The structure of the book runs in sections:

Section 1 A. 1:1-6 Prophecy from Year 2 of Darius
B. 1:7-6:15 Prophecy with Symbols (Eight Visions)
C. 7:1-8:23 Prophecy from Year 4 of Darius
Section 2 A. 9:1-10:12 The First Burden revealed
B. 11:1-17 Prophecy with Symbols
C. 12:1-14:21 The Second Burden revealed

Timing of Darius and the Prophets
Darius II assumed the throne in late 424 or early 423 BCE. The decree was issued to commence construction in 422 BCE (Ezra 6:1 and 4:24) (i.e. his second year). The 70 weeks of years commences from this date. From Ezra 5 it appears that Haggai and Zechariah prophesy in 423 BCE and 422 BCE. 70 weeks of years commences from 423/22 BCE (i.e. first year of the new Jubilee period). Construction was completed in the sixth year of Darius the Persian (Ezra 6:15) in 3 Adar i.e. March 418 BCE. Darius dies in the period from the end 405 to the spring 404 (see the paper The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 13): Bullinger’s chronology is wrong in this regard as are the relevant appendices).

This prophecy is thus tied to the reconstruction of the Temple and forms part of the Key of David system of prophecy and administration leading to the Last Days and the final reconstruction of the Temple (see Rule of the Kings: Part III: Solomon and the Key of David (No. 282C)).

Section one occurs at the commencement of construction and ends in year 2 of the construction at the halfway point. The second section is then given over the last half of the construction. Each section thus covers two of the four years of the construction and is tied in prophecy to the restoration of Israel and Judah under Messiah, and the Church that is mentioned here in the text as ruling with Messiah at Jerusalem.

Haggai also is involved in prophecy over the period as we have noted.

Ezra and Nehemiah have not yet returned, which they do in the reign of Artaxerxes II at the end of the seven weeks of years. Artaxerxes II issues the provisioning decree for the Temple and Nehemiah builds the walls of Jerusalem and fortifies them. Ezra died in 323 BCE in the same year as Alexander the Great. The canon was compiled by 321 and subsequently declared closed.”

The span of the prophecy is examined in the first six chapters. The seventh chapter looked forward to the destruction of the Temple they were then building and their dispersion because they closed their ears to the word of the Lord and the Laws of God and for that reason they were destroyed and dispersed from 70 CE. This was the second section of the First phase.

The wars in the Middle East in the Last Days are covered in part in the text from the sections in the second half from chapters 8 to the end.    God begins by restoring the nation of Israel in stages and bringing them back to Israel.  That is also done to deal with the nations of the world and the Restoration under The Witnesses and then the Messiah. In chapter 9 we now begin the First Burden of the second section. This is now far into the future.

In Zechariah chapters 9 to 11, the fate of Tyre and Sidon and Gaza, Ekron, Ashkelon and Ashdod, and Damascus and the lands adjoining it in Syria, and the whole country of Lebanon, are mentioned and dealt with in explicit terms. 

They will worship God in Jerusalem with Judah, and will be as governors in Israel. They will face destruction and conversion and rehabilitation. God will encamp about Jerusalem against the army that is brought against it (Zech. 9:1-8).

At this time it is written: Rejoice greatly o daughter of Zion; shout o daughter of Jerusalem: behold thy king cometh unto thee: he is just and having salvation; lowly and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass (Zech. 9:9). The events in bold were quotes in the NT and are prophesied in Micah 5:2 and examined in Matthew 2:1 and 21:5. These are dual aspects. Verse 10 goes on to establish the prophecy of the Second Advent where Messiah, in justice and salvation, cuts off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem and the battle bow. Messiah shall speak peace to the heathens and his dominion shall be from sea to sea and from the river even to the ends of the earth. God states that He will take Zion and establish the blood of His covenant and take their prisoners out of the pit wherein there is no water (Zech. 9:11-12). This is the conversion of Judah and Ephraim. The text shows they will be sent against the sons of Javan, which is rendered as Greece in the LXX but the Hebrew says yavan, which was understood to be the ancient Ionian Greeks, not the modern Greeks. They are not simply the residents of modern Greece who are not sons of Javan in any quantity (cf. Gen. 10:2,4; Isa. 66:19; Ezek. 27:13; Dan. 8:21; 11:2; Joel 3:6; see also the Genetic Origin of the Nations (No. 265) and War of Hamon-Gog (No. 294).

They will all be strengthened and the Lord will make them strong and they will subdue their enemies in the Holy Spirit of their conversion.

Lebanon and the pride of Jordan are brought down. The Lord says to feed the flock of the slaughter. In chapter 11 God shows how it is He that intervenes and feeds the flock. In that chapter God warns of the idol shepherd and the punishment for leaving the flock and the destruction of the unity of the people. This is reversion to the First Advent when the staves of Beauty and Bands were broken and the shepherds that grew out of the apostate Church rendered the poor to the hooves (cf. Ezek. 34:1-22).

God is now dealing with the Syrians and the Lebanese and they will destroy themselves in these wars in order to bring them to conversion and repentance. The sequence will proceed to the invasions of the North and then to the Witnesses and the 42 months of the occupation and the Witnesses. That will commence soon and then 1263.5 days after that the Messiah will come.  Then he will subjugate the nations of the world in sequence.

In the last chapter we see that the Temple is restored and all nations will send their representatives to Jerusalem. Pray we are counted worthy to survive.

Wade Cox

Coordinator General Hear O Israel Yahovah our God, Yahovah is one. Eloah is Allah', Allah' is Eloah. We will all be Elohim.
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