zechariah a man of vision ezra tears his hair out
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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.

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zechariah a man of vision ezra tears his hair out

Zechariah, A Man of VisionEzra Tears His Hair Out

The Book of Zechariah

The Book of Ezra, Chapters 7 - 10

the prophet zechariah
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
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 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
Understanding a Chiastic Structure
  • 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)

Vision 1

Vision 2

Vision 3

Vision 4

Vision 5

Vision 6

Vision 7

Vision 8

the eight visions of zechariah
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 zechariah1
The Eight Visions of Zechariah


  • 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 zechariah2
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
Looking Ahead ToThe 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
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

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

What did the leaders report to Ezra?

turn to and read ezra 9 1 41

With extreme grief and distress.

Ezra tore his clothes, tore hair from his hard and beard and sat down in shock and disbelief.

Turn to and Read Ezra 9:1 - 4

How did Ezra respond?

  • 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

Protective alliances, wanting to find a wife, convenience.

Turn to and Read Ezra 9:10 -15
  • What happened to life and worship in Israel when pagan gods came along with pagan wives?

Why do you think the exiles intermarried with the other tribes living in Judah?

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 10 151

The distinctiveness of the remnant would disappear. They would become indistinguishable from everyone else.

Turn to and Read Ezra 9:10 -15

What was Ezra’s fear about the situation in Judah?

  • 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

For the Lord’s guidance to model for all His people how they ought to reform their ways and live.

Read Ezra 10:1 – 4, 16 - 17
  • How did the people respond?

What did Ezra pray?

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
Isn’t This A Bit Harsh?

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
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
The Reforms of Ezra

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.

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.