Zechariah 1–14

Old Testament Teacher Resource Manual, (2003), 213–14


Introduction

Zechariah was a contemporary of Haggai and also addressed the Jews returning from Babylonian captivity. The name Zechariah means “the Lord (Jehovah) remembers.” Zechariah encouraged Israel to repent and rebuild the temple (see Zechariah 1:1–17; see also Ezra 5:1–2; 6:14; and this manual’s introduction to the book of Haggai, p. 211).

The book of Zechariah contains vivid prophecies of Christ’s earthly ministry (see Zechariah 9:9–12; 11:10–14), as well as such latter-day events as the gathering of Israel, the final great battle, and the Second Coming (see Zechariah 3:8–9; 10:6–12; 12–14). Several of the messages Zechariah received from the Lord were in the form of visions (see chapters 1–6), many of whose symbols have not been interpreted by ancient or modern prophets, so their meaning is not clear (see Bible Dictionary, “Zechariah,” pp. 791–92).

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Suggestions for Teaching

Zechariah 1–14. Zechariah prophesied many details of the Savior’s mortal ministry and Second Coming. (20–25 minutes)

Give each student a copy of the accompanying chart with the “Prophecy of the Savior” column left blank.

Reference

Prophecy of the Savior

Zechariah 2:4–5, 10–13

Christ will dwell with His people (see Revelation 22:1–5).

Zechariah 3; 6:10–15

Joshua is a type for the great High Priest (see Hebrews 3:1).

Zechariah 3:8–9; 6:12

Jesus is the Branch who will atone for us (see Jeremiah 23:5–6).

Zechariah 9:9

Jesus will enter Jerusalem triumphantly as King, riding a donkey (see Matthew 21:1–11).

Zechariah 9:11–12

Prisoners will be freed from the pit (see D&C 138:32–35).

Zechariah 11:12–13

The Savior will be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (see Matthew 26:14–16; 27:3–10).

Zechariah 13:6

The Jews will ask Jesus about the wounds in His hands (see D&C 45:51–53).

Zechariah 13:7

The shepherd will be smitten and the sheep scattered (see Matthew 26:31).

Zechariah 14:1–15

The Lord will appear and save the Jews in Jerusalem (see D&C 45:47–50).

Working in small groups or as a class, have students read the references and fill in the “Prophecy of the Savior” column. Discuss their answers. Use the references in parentheses in the “Prophecy” column to help students understand when the events prophesied were or will be fulfilled.

Hold up a dirty rag and ask:

  • Do you think it is possible to get this rag white again?

  • What is necessary for the rag to become clean?

  • What must we do to become clean from sin?

Have students turn to Zechariah 3. Discuss the following questions:

  • In verse 1, what did Zechariah see Satan doing? (One meaning of the name Satan is “accuser.”)

  • What was the high priest Joshua wearing? (see verse 3; note that this is not the Joshua who succeeded Moses).

  • What do you think verse 4 is describing?

  • By what power are we made clean or given clean raiment?

  • What does verse 7 teach about what the Lord expects of us? (see the “if” statements).

  • Who is the Branch spoken of in verse 8?

  • Why will He come? (see verse 9; see also Jeremiah 23:5–6).

Help students understand that because of the coming of Jesus Christ, the power to overcome the sins of this world is available to all. It is a power that will answer the accusations of Satan and make us clean if we seek it in the Lord’s way. If we do what the Lord asks, through His Atonement He can cause our “iniquity to pass from [us]” (see Zechariah 3:4).

Hold up the dirty rag and a clean one. Share your testimony of the Savior’s power to cleanse us.

Zechariah 12–14. The book of Zechariah contains helpful information about the Second Coming. (35–50 minutes)

Write the word Armageddon on the board and ask students to tell what they know about it. Ask:

  • How do you feel when you think about the events of the last days and Christ’s Second Coming?

  • What are some of the events that need to happen before the Savior returns?

List some of those events on the board. For example, the gospel will be preached in every nation (see D&C 133:37) and false Christs will appear and deceive many (see Matthew 24:24–27).

Tell students that the prophet Zechariah saw and described many events associated with the Second Coming. Explain that he used the phrase “in that day” many times in Zechariah 12–14 to indicate events that would be fulfilled in the last days. Have students divide into small groups and search each chapter, looking for that phrase. Have them list on a sheet of paper each event Zechariah described and its reference. (Note: Not all of the events begin with the phrase “in that day.”) Their results might look something like the following chart:

Reference

Prophecy of the Last Days

12:2–3

Jerusalem withstands the siege.

12:4

Her enemies are cursed with insanity.

12:5–7

The governors of Judah are like a fire.

12:8

The weak of Judah are like David.

12:9

Jerusalem’s enemies are destroyed.

12:10–11

The Jews recognize Jesus “whom they have pierced.”

13:1

A fountain is opened to cleanse the people.

13:2–5

Idols are cut off and false prophets cease.

13:6

The Jews look upon Christ’s wounds.

13:7–9

The shepherd is cut off; two thirds of the people die.

14:1–2

All nations gather against Jerusalem.

14:3

The Lord fights for Jerusalem.

14:4–5

Christ stands on the Mount of Olives, which splits in two.

14:6–7

A strange light appears.

14:8

Living waters go from Jerusalem

14:9–11

The Lord is king; Israel is at peace.

14:12–15

A plague consumes Israel’s enemies.

14:16–19

All nations worship at Jerusalem.

14:20–21

Bells and pots are inscribed “Holiness unto the Lord.”

If desired, add additional information from enrichment section I in Old Testament Student Manual: 1 Kings–Malachi (pp. 291–95).

Read Zechariah 13:6 together with Doctrine and Covenants 45:48–53 and 133:17–20 for more information on the Savior’s appearance on the Mount of Olives. Ask students whether we should fear the Second Coming. Read 1 Nephi 22:16–17 and explain that as long as we are righteous we need not fear (see also D&C 38:29–30). Invite several students to express their feelings about what they learned from Zechariah regarding the Second Coming.