After all the visions from the last post, Zechariah also gets some prophecies.
The people again pray for deliverance but don’t do the basic things that God asks of them. He’s not even asking for giant leaps if faith here, just treat each other well:
9“Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, 10do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”
Peace is coming to the people and there is parity for men and women in the way it is described:
4Thus says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of great age. 5And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.
Again there are contingencies that basically want us to treat each other right:
16These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace; 17do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the LORD.”.
God judges other groups in the beginning of this chapter but then it shifts focus onto Jerusalem and the good to come for Israel, again referring to the people as a collective daughter. There is a promise of a king and then it concludes with an ominous message for Greece. The chapter ends with a message that God will save them. It makes a claim for both men and women flourishing.
A prophecy about restoration with a rather conquering tone.
This chapter returns to referencing the prophets as shepherds and there is some interesting imagery here. Zechariah becomes the one shepherd, but there are harsh words for those before him. There’s more about the people being abandoned too. What I found particularly interesting here was the staff named Union breaking and it will “annul the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.”
Another prophecy, this one focusing on what’s to come for Jerusalem and that it will be from the house of David.
God will make sure the idols the people have had all this time are forgotten and no more prophets would come. I always wondered about that.
This chapter veers into some unknown territory. Yes, there are bad times coming, as there had been for many of the pre-exilic prophets but this goes off when it begins to talk about God as “king over all the earth”. There are only a few things I understand about this chapter. This is some time in the future and the women will be raped before God steps in. Nothing I saw elaborates on that.
Altogether, the book doesn’t have a lot for our discussion. Wickedness is personified as a woman, but women have been several personifications, including Wisdom, as well as any given nation throughout the Old Testament. There is some parity in God’s idea of what a good future looks like. But that’s about it.