Who was the author? We believe the prophet Zechariah, born of the priestly line while in Babylon, was the Holy Spirit's instrument for the prophecy of the book of Zechariah, although others think there was a second and possibly a third author for the second half of the book.
What is the book? The book contains Zechariah's prophecy in Judah and Jerusalem after the return from exile in Babylon. Although the individual prophecies may not be in strict chronological order, their sequence does not impact their foretelling of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Where was it written? Given Zechariah's interest in Judah and Jerusalem, he likely wrote the book in the kingdom if not its capital city.
When was it written? Given three precise dates in the book, Zechariah is thought to have prophesied around 520-480 B.C., which makes him a contemporary of Haggai, at least for a while. The book was likely completed shortly after the final prophecy.
Why? Like Haggai, Zechariah rebukes the people of Judah and encourages and motivates them to finish rebuilding the Temple, as well as calling for spiritual renewal.
How? Often in rich apocalyptic imagery and language, Zechariah points to the Messiah and the ultimate end of time. Zechariah calls the people to repent and encourages them on account of the glorious future awaiting the people of God.
For further reading on the book of Zechariah:
- Keil, C.F. and F. Delitzsch. Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, Volume X: Minor Prophets , translated by James Martin and published as two volumes in one. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, reprinted March 1986. (There are some 205 pages on Zechariah.)
- Kretzmann, Paul E. Popular Commentary of the Bible: The Old Testament, Volume II, The Poetical and the Prophetical Books. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1924. (This volume, one that is in our Grace library, has 16 pages on Zechariah.)