Zechariah

ZECHARIAH (zĕk'a-rī'a, Heb. zekharyāhû, Jehovah remembers)




1. A Benjaminite of the family of Jeiel (KJV, Jehiel) at Gibeon (1 Chron 9:35, 37); called Zecher (KJV Zacher; in 1 Chron 8:31). The latter is prob. a short form of Zechariah.

2. A Levite of the Kohathites of the house of Izhar through Ebiasaph. He was Meshelamiah’s eldest son. He was porter at the tent of meeting in David’s reign (1 Chron 9:21, 22; 26:2). He was an able counselor (26:14). Another Levite of this name played the psaltery in the procession of the Ark to Jerusalem; afterward he served in the Tabernacle David constructed for the Ark (15:18, 20; 16:5).

3. A priest who was trumpeter in the procession of the Ark from the home of Obededom (1 Chron 15:24).

4. A Levite of the family of Kohath of the house of Uzziel. Son of Isshiah, he lived during the reign of David (1 Chron 24:25).

5. Another Levite of the Merarites and son of Hosah, a doorkeeper in David’s reign (1 Chron 26:10, 11).

6. A Manassite from Gilead and father of Iddo, he lived in the reign of David (1 Chron 27:21).

7. A Levite of the Asaphites and of the family of Gershon (2 Chron 20:14).

8. A prince whom Jehoshaphat sent to teach the people in Judah (2 Chron 17:7).

9. Fourth son of Jehoshaphat (2 Chron 21:2).

10. Son of Jehoiada the high priest in the reign of Joash of Judah. A godly man, he denounced the apostasy of the people from the Lord after his father’s death. Joash ordered him stoned to death in the Temple court (2 Chron 24:20-22). It is generally held that he is meant by the Lord’s reference in Luke 11:51. Scripture mentions no other as slain in this way.

11. A man who understood the visions of God and counseled Uzziah, who heeded him for a time (2 Chron 26:5).

12. King of Israel and last of Jehu’s dynasty. He ruled in Samaria six months. He was the son of Jeroboam II and was murdered at Ibleam by Shallum who succeeded to the throne (2 Kings 14:29; 15:11). His reign fulfilled the prediction that Jehu’s dynasty would rule for four generations (10:30).

13. A chief of the tribe of Reuben (1 Chron 5:7).

14. Son of Jeberechiah, he witnessed Isaiah’s writing of words later illuminated by a prophecy (Isa 8:2).

15. Maternal grandfather of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:1, 2).

16. A Levite of Asaph. He aided in the Temple cleansing in Hezekiah’s reign (2 Chron 29:13).

17. Another Levite of the family of Kohath, who oversaw the workmen who repaired the Temple in Josiah’s reign (2 Chron 34:12).

18. A ruler and priest in the Temple in Josiah’s reign (2 Chron 35:8).

19. A Judean of the family of Shelah (Neh 11:5).

20. Another Judean of the family of Perez (Neh 11:4).

21. A priest from Passhur of the house of Malchijah (Neh 11:12).

22-26. Five contemporaries of Ezra: a descendant of Parosh who returned from Babylon with others under Ezra (Ezra 8:3); a son of Bebai who returned with Ezra (8:11); one of the leaders Ezra sent to obtain Levites and Nethinim to accompany the returning exiles (8:16); one of those who stood beside Ezra at the public reading of the law (Neh 8:4); and a son of Elam, ordered by Ezra to put away his foreign wife (Ezra 10:26).

27. A Levite, son of Jonathan an Asaphite. He led the Levitical musicians at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem (Neh 12:35, 36).

28. A priest trumpeter at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem (Neh 12:41).

29. A priest who was head of the father’s house of Iddo in the time of the high priest Joiakim (Neh 12:16). See below.

30. In the NT Zacharias is the father of John the Baptist (Luke 1:5). He was of the priestly division of Abijah (1 Chron 24:17-19). There is a mention of a Zacharias in Matthew 23:35, who is thought to be the prophet. However, there are some who see here a reference to the slaying of Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada (2 Chron 24:20-22).


International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(zekharyahu, or zekharyah; the Septuagint Zacharia(s)): A very common name in the Old Testament. The form, especially the longer form, of the name would suggest for its meaning, "Yah remembers" or "Yah is renowned," and the name was doubtless understood in this sense in later times. But the analogies with ZACCUR, ZECHER, ZICHRI (which see), etc., make some original ethnic derivation probable.

(1) King of Israel, son of nodetitle (the King James Version "Zachariah"). See the next article.

(2) The grandfather of King Hezekiah, through Hezekiah’s mother Abi (2Ki 18:2, the King James Version "Zachariah" parallel 2Ch 29:1).

(3) A contemporary of Isaiah, taken by Isaiah as a trustworthy witness in the matter of the sign Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Isa 8:1). As his father’s name was Jeberechiah, some support seems to be offered to theories of those who would make him the author of certain portions of Zechariah.

See Book of Zechariah.

(4) A Reubenite of the time of Israel’s captivity (1Ch 5:7).

(5) A Benjamite, living in Gideon (1Ch 9:37; called "Zecher" in 8:31). He was the brother of Kish and hence, the uncle of Saul.

(6) A Manassite of Gilead, at the time of David (1Ch 27:21).

(7) The third son of Jehoshaphat (2Ch 21:2). He was slain by Jehoram (2Ch 21:4).

(8) A "prince" who Jehoshaphat sent to "teach" in the cities of Judah (2Ch 17:7). As this "teaching" was in connection with the establishing of the Law, Zechariah was primarily a judge.

(9) A prophet who was influential in the early days of Uzziah (2Ch 26:5). He is characterized as ha-mebh in bire’oth (beyir’ath(?)) ha-elohim, which phrase is usually understood to mean that he had instructed (Revised Version margin) the king in the fear of God. As long as he lived the king profited by his instruction and advice.

The following eight are all Levites:

(10) A doorkeeper at the time of David, who was made a singer "of the second degree" (1Ch 15:18; the text is confused). He was a player on a "psaltery" (1Ch 15:20) and took part in the thanksgiving when the Ark was brought to Jerusalem (1Ch 16:5).

(11) A son of Isshiah (1Ch 24:25).

(12) A son of Meshelemiah, a "porter of the door of the tent of meeting" at the time of David (1Ch 9:21; 26:2,14). In 1Ch 26:14 called "a discreet counselor."

(13) A son of Hosah, a Merarite, also at David’s time (1Ch 26:11).

(14) The father of the prophet, JAHAZIEL (which see) (2Ch 20:14).

(15) A son of Asaph, who assisted in the purification of the Temple at the time of Hezekiah (2Ch 29:13).

(16) A Kohathite, who assisted in the repair of the Temple at the time of Josiah (2Ch 34:12).

(17) A son of Jonathan, an Asaphite, one of the musicians at the dedication of the wall at the time of Nehemiah (Ne 12:35).

The following are all priests:

(18) A trumpeter at the time of David (1Ch 15:24).

(19) A son of Jehoiada, at the time of Joash. He rebuked the people publicly for their apostasy, and was stoned by them, Joash consenting to their act (2Ch 24:20-22). As 2 Chronicles is the last book in the Hebrew Old Testament, Zechariah was regarded as the last of the Old Testament martyrs, and hence, is coupled with Abel (the first martyr) in Mt 23:35 parallel Lu 11:51. The words "son of Barachiah" in Matthew are due to confusing this Zechariah with the prophet.

See Zachariah.

(20) One of the "rulers of the house of God" at the time of Josiah (2Ch 35:8).

(21) A son of Pashhur, 242 of whose descendants as "chiefs of fathers’ houses" dwelt in Jerusalem at the time of Nehemiah (Ne 11:13).

(22) A trumpeter at the dedication of the wall at the time of Nehemiah (Ne 12:41).

(23) The prophet (Ezr 5:1; 6:14; Ne 12:16; Zec 1:1,7; 7:1,8; 1 Esdras 6:1; 7:3).

See nodetitle.

The following are all returned exiles or are mentioned only as ancestors of such:

(24) A son of Parosh (Ezr 8:3; 1 Esdras 8:30 has "Zacharias" here and elsewhere).

(25) A son of Bebai (Ezr 8:11; 1 Esdras 8:37)

(26) One of the "chief men" dispatched by Ezra to bring priests from Casiphia (Ezr 8:16; 1 Esdras 8:44). Doubtless the same as (24) or (25), above.

(27) One of the persons who stood by Ezra at the reading of the Law (Ne 8:4; 1 Esdras 9:44); almost certainly identical with (26).

(28) A son of Elam, who had taken a foreign wife (Ezr 10:26; 1 Esdras 9:27).

(29) A son of Amariah, a Judahite, the ancestor of certain persons dwelling in Jerusalem (Ne 11:4).

(30) A son of "the Shilonite," the ancestor of certain persons dwelling in Jerusalem (Ne 11:5).


(zekharyah, zekharydhu, "Yah has remembered" (2Ki 14:29; 15:8-12); Zacharias, the nodetitle Zachariah): Son of nodetitle, and 14th king of Israel. He was the 4th of the line of Jehu, and reigned six months. Zechariah succeeded to a splendid inheritance, as he was king, not only of the ten tribes of Israel, but of the Syrian state of Damascus, which his father had subdued. In the unusual wealth and dignity of this position lay his peril. Also there were two dark shadows falling across his path, though both probably unseen by him. One was the promise to Jehu, as the reward of his destroying the worship of Baal in Israel, that his sons should sit on the throne of Israel to the 4th generation (2Ki 10:30; 15:12). Zechariah was Jehu’s great-great-grandson. The other was the word of Amos to the priest of Bethel: "Then said the Lord. ... I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword" (Am 7:8,9).

The only brief notice of Zechariah personal to himself is that he gave his support to the worship of the calves, since Jeroboam I established the religion of the state. He hardly had time, however, to identify himself with this or any institution before he was publicly assassinated by Shallum, the son of Jabesh (he "smote him before the people"). The prophet Hosea was then alive, and there is probably allusion to this crime when, addressing Ephraim, he says: "Where is thy king, that he may save thee in all thy cities?. ... I have given thee a king in mine anger, and have taken him away in my wrath" (Ho 13:10,11; compare 1:4).

There has long been difficulty with the chronology of this period. Archbishop Ussher assumed an interregnum of 11 years between the death of Jeroboam II and Zechariah’s accession. This is accepted as probable by a recent writer, who sees "at least 10 years of incessant conflict between rival claimants to the throne on Jeroboam’s death" (see article "Zechariah" in HDB, IV). It seems more likely that there is error in certain of the synchronisms. The year of Zechariah’s accession was probably 759 BC (some put it later), and the 6 months of his reign, with that given to Shallum, may be included in the 10 years of Menahem, who followed them (2Ki 15:17).

See Chronology of the Old Testament.

W. Shaw Caldecott