Presentation on theme: " Zechariah, A Man of Vision Ezra Tears His Hair Out The Book of Zechariah The Book of Ezra, Chapters 7 - 10."— Presentation transcript:
Zechariah, A Man of Vision Ezra Tears His Hair Out The Book of Zechariah The Book of Ezra, Chapters 7 - 10
The Prophet Zechariah Born in Babylon Returned to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel’s leadership A contemporary of Haggai, he encouraged the people to rebuild the Temple. Zechariah is one of the minor prophets. His name means “The Lord Remembers”
The Book of Zechariah Two major sections to the book: Chapters 1 – 8 = Series of eight visions and a two chapter summary of Old Testament prophecy. These are apocalyptic visions of God’s future victory encouraged the exiles that their building project was not in vain—not a waste of time. Chapters 9 – 14 = Oracles about the coming Messiah. Many NT writers refer to these promises of restoration and salvation as fulfilled in Jesus.
Parallelism in Zechariah Parallelism is a common pattern of Hebrew poetry and prophecy. Parallelism is where the second verse, line or part of a section repeats, completes or contrasts with the first section. For example: “Who so sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed.” (Genesis 9:6)
Understanding a Chiastic Structure Vision 1 Vision 2 Vision 3 Vision 4 Vision 5 Vision 6 Vision 7 Vision 8 A chiastic structure is where the parallel pairs come together at a center point. The center point drives home the heart, the focus of the message. In this structure, words or ideas are repeated in an inverted order. (like Genesis 9:6)
The Eight Visions of Zechariah Vision 1: The patrol gives its report. They report that Judah’s enemies are at rest and peaceful because they have destroyed God’s people and their land. Vision 2: The nations are punished. The horns correspond to the empires that attacked the people of Israel. Vision 3: God provides a fiery wall of protection for Jerusalem.
The Eight Visions of Zechariah CENTERPIECE OF THE STRUCTURE Vision 4: The high priest is cleansed and given clean clothes. Vision 5: The high priest is given special resources. The bowl of the lampstand is fueled by oil that symbolizes the Spirit of God.
The Eight Visions of Zechariah Vision 6: Evil is punished by the flying scroll. The flying scroll is like a huge banner snapping in the wind. The two sides of the scroll are a reminder of the two tables of the law (10 Commandments). Vision 7: God removes the sin from Jerusalem. Evil is symbolized by a woman in a measuring basket. Vision 8: God’s patrols go out over the earth. This time the patrol spreads God’s sovereign rule over all the earth. God’s rule brings peace.
Looking Ahead To The Coming Messiah Read Zechariah 9: 9 – 10. How does this point to Jesus? (cf. John 12:12 – 15) Read Zechariah 11:12 - 13. How does this point to Jesus? (cf. Matthew 26 & 27) Read Zechariah 10:2; 13:7. How does this point to Jesus? (cf. Matt. 14:27-31) Read Zechariah 14:9. Read Philippians 2:9 -11
Ezra Comes To Jerusalem We have almost no information about what took place in Judah from the time of the completion of the Temple until Ezra and Nehemiah show up in Jerusalem. All we know is that King Artaxerxes sent Ezra to teach the Law to Jews in Judah and to enforce obedience to it. Disobedience to the Torah was made equivalent to disobeying the laws of King Artaxerxes! All in all, it appears Ezra was only in Jerusalem for a year. His impact however was similar to Moses!
Turn to and Read Ezra 9:1 - 4 What did the leaders report to Ezra? What did the leaders report to Ezra? The people of Israel, including the priests and Levites, had not kept themselves separate from the neighboring people (Edomites, Samaritans). They had intermarried with the people of the region and thus adopted their pagan and wrongful practices and beliefs.
Turn to and Read Ezra 9:1 - 4 How did Ezra respond? How did Ezra respond? With extreme grief and distress. Ezra tore his clothes, tore hair from his hard and beard and sat down in shock and disbelief. Ezra tore his clothes, tore hair from his hard and beard and sat down in shock and disbelief. Was Ezra’s response legitimate? Why? (Hint: Read Deuteronomy 7:1 -4 According to the Torah, intermarriage with pagan neighbors was forbidden. It always created problems for Israel when they ignored this law…do you remember?
Turn to and Read Ezra 9:10 -15 Why do you think the exiles intermarried with the other tribes living in Judah? Why do you think the exiles intermarried with the other tribes living in Judah? Protective alliances, wanting to find a wife, convenience. What happened to life and worship in Israel when pagan gods came along with pagan wives? The people had divided or broken loyalties. They gave their hearts and allegiance to gods who made no moral or ethical demands. Injustice and immorality corrupted their lives.
Turn to and Read Ezra 9:10 -15 What was Ezra’s fear about the situation in Judah? What was Ezra’s fear about the situation in Judah? The distinctiveness of the remnant would disappear. They would become indistinguishable from everyone else. Why was it necessary for the remnant to survive? What prophecy had not yet been fulfilled? The Messiah had not yet come. God promised that a Savior would come from the faithful remnant of David.
Read Ezra 10:1 – 4, 16 - 17 What did Ezra pray? What did Ezra pray? For the Lord’s guidance to model for all His people how they ought to reform their ways and live. How did the people respond? They wept bitterly and confessed their sin. They renewed their commitment to the covenant. They promised to send away their foreign wives and children in order to separate themselves from unclean and unholy practices.
Isn’t This A Bit Harsh? Keep two things in mind… Keep two things in mind… First, Ezra didn’t preach anything new. God’s law was clearly stated from the minute the people entered the Promised Land (Canaan). God warned of the consequences of intermarriage—their identity as a people would be at stake!
The Possibility of Conversion Second, there was an allowance within the Law for welcoming foreigners who separated themselves from unclean practices (see Ezra 6:21). The women and children who honored God and abandoned false gods were probably not sent away!
The Reforms of Ezra Through Ezra, God put the Law back at the center of Israel’s life. Through Ezra, God put the Law back at the center of Israel’s life. Until Ezra’s reforms, the returning Jews had thought of themselves primarily as a remnant of a political nation, with dreams of reviving that nation. Until Ezra’s reforms, the returning Jews had thought of themselves primarily as a remnant of a political nation, with dreams of reviving that nation. Under Ezra’s leadership, the people began to think of themselves as a faith community, with a primary allegiance to their relationship with God. Their identity was defined by this—not by politics. Under Ezra’s leadership, the people began to think of themselves as a faith community, with a primary allegiance to their relationship with God. Their identity was defined by this—not by politics.