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Zechariah and Malachi

Flight Plan:


We are about to take our forty-forth flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet, journeying over the final two books of the Old Testament. In ending the Minor Prophets, we'll first look at the expanded message of rebuilding the temple as Zechariah encourages the people to look to the future reign of the Messiah. We will then speed forward 100 years after the temple was rebuilt to the book of Malachi, where God's chosen people had once again slid back into their sinful practices. After 400 years of prophetic silence, Malachi brings a message of exhortation to the people who had resettled in Jerusalem. The key chapters to review are Zechariah 9-14 and Malachi 1-4.

Detailed Notes:

DESTINATION: Zechariah

Zechariah means "Jehovah my righteousness" or "remembered of the Lord." The book of Zechariah is the 11th book of the twelve minor prophets. It was written by Zechariah the Prophet, son of Berechiah and grandson of Iddo, born in Babylonia to the Jews who had returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple.
Whereas Haggai’s short book exhorts the people to complete the work on the second temple, Zechariah expands on the message and encourages the people to look to the future reign of the Messiah from that very temple.


CALENDAR OF EVENTS:

c. 875 – 600 B.C. Assyrian Empire at its strength

722 B.C. Fall of the Northern Kingdom

710 B.C. Sennacharib’s invasion of Judah

c. 742-681 B.C. Ministries of Micah and Isaiah in Judah

605 B.C. First exile of Jews to Babylon

586 B.C. Fall of Jerusalem

536 B.C. Zerubbabel leads 50,000 Jews back to Jerusalem

520 B.C. Haggai prophesies

520-518 B.C. Zechariah prophesies

457 B.C. Ezra leads second group of Jews back to Jerusalem

445 B.C. Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem; rebuilds the walls


TRIP PLANNER:

The first eight chapters relate to the rebuilding of the temple while the
remaining chapters, nine through fourteen, look to the future and are
thought to have been written thirty years later. This book outlines God’s
program for His people during the Times of the Gentiles and as a
preparation for their deliverance through the coming Messiah.

  • Chapter 1-6 - Zechariah’s eight visions encouraging the rebuilding of the Temple
  • Chapter 7-8 - Requirement of the Law and the Restoration and Enlargement of Israel
  • Chapter 9-14 - Two burdens and visions of the Messianic Kingdom

PEOPLE OF INTEREST:

Zechariah, the prophet - He was the son of Berechiah and grandson of Iddo, born in Babylonia. With Haggai, he was instrumental in inspiring his fellow Jews to rebuild the Temple (see Ezra 6:14). After rebuilding the Temple foundation the first two years, construction came to a standstill for 17 years, because of, among other things, opposition from settlers in Samaria. He was a member of the Great
Synagogue. Zechariah was a contemporary of Haggai the prophet,
Zerubbabel the Governor and Joshua the high priest -- and also of Confucius (557-479 B.C). Matthew 23:35 records that he was "murdered between the temple and the altar."

Joshua – The high priest; son of Jehozadak. With the blessing of Cyrus (Ezra 1:1-2), Zerubbabel and Joshua led the first band
of captives back to Jerusalem. They also returned the gold and silver vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had removed from the Temple. Zechariah makes a crown for Joshua, which is but a figure of one to come - a typification of the Great High Priest.
Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah - Three of the returning exiles from
Babylon who brought with them silver and gold as an offering for the
house of the Lord, from which Zechariah was instructed to make a
crown "and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua."

Zerubbabel - He was the son of Shealtiel and governor of the tribe of Judah during the time of the return from the Babylonian exile. He was the grandson of Jehoiachin, the last king of Judah taken captive to Babylon (1 Chr. 3:17). A descendant of David, he was in the direct line of the ancestry of Jesus (Luke 3:27; Matt. 1:12). He led the first group of captives back to Jerusalem and was the prime builder of the second Temple, "having laid the foundation." The Lord said of him, "and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you" (Haggai 2:21). A key prophecy often quoted: "This is the word of the LORD
to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the
LORD Almighty."


PLACES OF INTEREST:

Jerusalem - The most famous city in the world. It is located in the Judean Hills of Israel, with the Hinnom and Kidron valleys as part of its borders. Its elevation is 2600 feet above sea level. Also known as the "city of David." It was the capital city for the Southern Kingdom until 586 B.C. when the city was conquered and the Temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian army.

The Temple - The first Temple was built by King Solomon, after his father King David had acquired most of the materials needed. The construction of the Temple was started in the fourth year of
Solomon’s reign and completed in the eleventh year. The Babylonians
destroyed the Temple in 586 B.C. The second Temple was constructed
by Zerubbabel, and re-consecrated in 516 B.C., but was profaned by the Syrians in 167 B.C. The Temple was finished in four years, and dedicated with great pomp and rejoicing (Ezra 6:19). Historians designated the second Temple as "Zerubbabel’s Temple." However, it was destroyed a second time by the Roman army in 70 A.D. This time it was completely destroyed, "With not one stone left on top of another," as prophesized by Jesus, in Matthew 24:2.


FUN FACTS:

Zechariah is known as the "major Minor Prophet" and is the longest of the Minor Prophets, with 14 chapters (or 211 verses). It is second only to Isaiah among the prophets in messianic passages.

Zechariah is a popular name of the Old Testament, shared by at least 29 Old Testament characters.

Headstone - When the Headstone is placed at the top turning point in an arch, it is called a "Keystone." It bears the weight and holds the arch together as all the other stones lean on it. This is an excellent symbol of Christ, who bore the weight of all our sins on the Cross at Golgotha.

Great Synagogue – A group of priests and leaders that collected and preserved the canon of revealed scripture.

Prophecy – A promise about the future. A prophecy is a revelation from God given to a prophet (see Deuteronomy 18:22). Grant Jeffrey, in his book, "The Signature of God," concludes that: "The Bible contains 1,817 individual predictions concerning 737 separate subjects found in 8,352 verses. These numerous predictions comprise 27 percent of the 31,124 verses in the whole of the Scriptures."


DESTINATION: Malachi

The Book of Malachi is the 39th of the 66 books of the Bible and the last book of the Minor Prophets – and of the Old Testament. Malachi means "my messenger." There appears to be some debate as to whether Malachi was a prophet or a title, but it is largely accepted that the prophet Malachi wrote this book of exhortation to people who had resettled in Jerusalem and had slid back into sinful practices. It was written about 100 years after the temple had been completed and sacrifices had been reinstituted, and it is the prelude to 400 years of prophetic silence.


CALENDAR OF EVENTS:

722 B.C. Fall of the Northern Kingdom

605 B.C. First exile of Jews to Babylon

586 B.C. Fall of Jerusalem

536 B.C. Zerubbabel leads 50,000 Jews back to Jerusalem

520 B.C. Haggai & Zechariah prophesy in Jerusalem to rebuild the temple

457 B.C. Ezra leads second group of Jews back to Jerusalem

445 B.C. Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem; rebuilds the walls

432-425 B.C. Nehemiah in Persia

c. 420–400 B.C. Malachi prophesies


TRIP PLANNER:

Malachi picks up where Ezra and Nehemiah left off, with a series of
rebukes to the priests for the neglect of their duties to the LORD, their
carelessness in their worship, and their return to former practices.
The book ends with the prophecy of the coming of the Lord and John the Baptist: "I will send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me." (3:1)
Malachi can be divided into three sections:
  1. The Privilege of the Nation (1:1-1:5)
  2. The Pollution of the Nation (1:6-3:15)
  3. The Promise to the Nation (3:16-4:6)

PEOPLE OF INTEREST:

Malachi - A prophet in the days of Nehemiah. No personal data is known about Malachi. He is also believed to be part of the Great Synagogue - a group of priests and leaders who collected and preserved the canon of revealed scripture.

Esau - A twin son of Isaac and Rebekah; Jacob’s elder twin brother, also a people, the Edomites (and nation) descended from Esau.

Edom - Another name for Esau, son of Isaac and brother of Jacob (Gen. 25:30); the name came to be used for Esau’s descendants and the land where they lived, a rugged mountainous area south and east of the Dead Sea. A "brother" nation to Israel, it represented a classic model of hostility toward Israel and God.

Jacob - The second son of a pair of twins born to Isaac and Rebecca; ancestor of the 12 tribes of the nation of Israel. Purchased Esau’s birthright and blessing with a bowl of porridge and by trickery. He wrestled with God upon his return to his family where God changed his name to Israel – father of many nations – and bestowed on him the promise He had made to Abraham and Isaac.

Israel - Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance lists it as:
  1. The name given to the patriarch Jacob (and borne by him in addition to his former name)
  2. The family or descendants of Israel; the nation of Israel
  3. Christians, the Israel of God (Ga 6:16), for not all those who draw their bodily descent from Israel are true Israelites, i.e., are those whom God pronounces to be Israelites and has chosen to salvation.

In addition, it is the name of the nation until the death of Solomon and the split, the name used and given to the Northern Kingdom consisting of the 10 tribes under Jeroboam (the Southern Kingdom was known as Judah) and the name of the nation after the return from exile.

Levi - The third son of Jacob by Leah. The tribe of Levi was specifically set apart by God as ministers of religion. Being wholly consecrated to the service of the Lord, they had no territorial possessions. Jehovah was their inheritance, and for their support it was ordained that they should receive from the other tribes the tithes of the produce of the land. The Levites and priests were those to whom God directed many of the prophecies and it is of them that Malachi 3:3 prophesies God’s forgiveness and restoration.


PLACES OF INTEREST:

Jerusalem - The most famous city in the world. It’s located in the Judean Hills of Israel, with the Hinnom and Kidron valleys as part of its borders. Its elevation is 2600 feet above sea level. Also known as the "city of David." It was the capital city for the Southern Kingdom until 586 B.C. when the city was conquered and the Temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian army.


FUN FACTS:

Malachi contains 4 chapters and 55 verses.

Curse - The last word of the Old Testament!
The Refiner’s Fire was used to purify metal and refine it by melting it and allowing the dross, which floated to the top, to be scooped off.

Storehouse - refers to a kind of temple warehouse described more fully in Nehemiah (where the term "great chamber" is used) as a place for storing grain, frankincense, temple vessels, wine, and oil (Neh. 13:5).

Plague - "The eater," a general term for any kind of threat to crops and livelihood. This is understood as a reference to a locust plague.