Lessing, R. Reed & Andrew E. Steinmann. Prepare the Way of the Lord: An Introduction to the Old Testament. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2014. Chapter 38, “Zechariah” pp. 541-550.
Lessing begins this chapter by observing that Zechariah is both lengthy and obscure. Among the Minor Prophets, this is both the longest and the most difficult book (Lessing 2014, 541). We do know that Zechariah returned from Babylon with Joshua the priest in 533 B.C.
There is some debate in the scholarly community about authorship. Because in matthew 27:9 a quote from Zechariah 11:12 is apparently attributed to Jeremiah, there have been continued questions about the identity of the author. Lessing considers that the quote is from Zechariah but an allusion is also made to Jeremiah, which is a larger and better known book. This could have led to the ascription. The structure of Zechariah is coherent and the text does not seem to be written by Jeremiah (Lessing 2014, 541).
The text of Zechariah reflects the understanding of events we would expect of a priest (Lessing 2014, 542). The visions largely look to an apocalypse. The visions are organized in a chasm rather than a chronolgoical arrangement (Lessing 2014, 544). There are three statements of dates, placing the prophecies about 520-518 B.C. Lessing summarizes the historical setting in some detail.
Important theological themes in Zechariah include divine justice (Lessing 2014, 545). In this view of justice, God’s people are active socially and politically for the good of God’s people. God’s holiness also features prominently in zechariah (Lessing 2014, 546). God’s glory will spread from a localized presence to the entirety of Jerusalem. Christ is portrayed in the guise of a divine messenger (Lessing 2014, 547). He serves as a king and priest, but as a messenger is also a prophet. Especially chapters 9-14 foreshadow the passion of Christ. Throughout Zechariah the sinful actions of the nations who reject God will be confronted in God’s judgment (Lessing 2014, 548). By his grace, God prepares a city of holiness and safety for his people