Zechariah, Or Zachariah, the eleventh of the twelve minor prophets, who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel, and began to prophesy in the second year of Darius, king of Persia, 520 B. C, two months after Haggai. The book of Zechariah consists of four general divisions: 1, the introduction or inaugural discourse (ch. i., 1-6); 2, a series of nine visions, extending to ch. vii., communicated to the prophet in the third month after his installation; 3, a collection of four oracles delivered at various times in the fourth year of Darius, with regard to the solemnities that had been observed on account of the overthrow of the nation (ch. vii.); 4, the following chapters (viii.to xiv.) contain a variety of prophecies, unfolding the fortunes of the people, and tha fate of many of the surrounding nations, Hadrach (by some supposed to designate Persia), Damascus, Tyre, and Philistia. The book concludes with a vision of the prosperity of Jerusalem, the theocratic metropolis. Zechariah is the longest of the minor prophets. His style is broken and unconnected.
The genuineness of the latter portion, from ch. ix. to xiv., the style of which is entirely different from that of the rest, being more archaic and powerful, has been disputed in modern times by Hitzig, Knobel, Davidson, and others, but it has also found defenders. Special commentaries on Zechariah have been written by Forberg (1824), Howard (1824), Baumgarten (1860), Kliefoth (1862), and Pressel (1870).