Zechariah in Bite-Sized Pieces: 1:1–6
This is the second in a lengthy series which will explore the book of Zechariah. The first can be found here.
1:1 The date of the letter’s opening verses is November 520 BC.
1:2–6 While this passage can be confusing due to all the quotes withing quotes, with a little review the meaning is clear:
- God is calling his people to return, and not be like their unlistening ancestors.
He adds a sting to his words with a sarcastic question in v6a saying:
“Surely My words and statutes that I commanded to My servants, the prophets, did they not persuade your fathers?” - MEV
The answer to this sarcastic questions is obviously, “No.” Not only “No,” but because they didn’t listen we all suffered and went into captivity. It was a sore spot, and God’s question pokes at it.
(We will see more examples of God’s sarcasm throughout the rest of the book of Zechariah. Many instances more biting than this one.)
v6b sees that the people respond well to the sarcastic question, and they acknowledge, “No, our fathers refused to be convinced, and you have dealt with us accordingly.”
The people are left without another word for three months. This allows them to stew upon their nation’s history and the repercussions of not listening to their prophets.
When Zechariah comes back three months later in v7, the people’s hearts have been primed to be receptive to not make old mistakes. They will listen to their prophet, Zechariah. And he is coming with a hopeful prophecy…