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Biblical People
Zechariah, KJV 4 times Zachariah; KJV of NT Zacharias. [Heb. Zekaryah and ZekaryahuÆ, "Yahweh has remembered." The name occurs on an ancient Hebrew seal and on an inscribed weight. Aramaic Zekaryah. Gr. Zacharias.]

1. A Benjamite of Gibeon, a son of Jeiel (1 Chr 9:35, 37). His shorter name Zecher (ze\'ke]r), KJV Zacher (za\'ke]r), appears in ch 8:31.

2. A descendant of Reuben and a chief of the tribe (1 Chr 5:7).

3. A son of Meshelemiah, a Kohathite Levite; he served as gatekeeper at the sanctuary in David's time (1 Chr 9:21, 22; 26:2), and was a shrewd counselor of the king (ch 26:2, 14).

4. A Levite of the 2d order employed by David, first for the transfer of the ark to Jerusalem (1 Chr 15:18, 20) and later for the service before the ark of the Lord (ch 16:5); possibly identical with Zechariah, 6.

5. A priest who blew the trumpet when the ark was transferred to Jerusalem in the reign of David (1 Chr 15:24).

6. A son of Isshiah, a Kohathite Levite of the time of David (1 Chr 24:25); possibly identical with Zechariah, 4.

7. A Merarite Levite, a son of Hosah; he was employed by David as gatekeeper (1 Chr 26:10, 11).

8. A man whose son, Iddo, was leader of the Manassites of Gilead in the reign of David (1 Chr 27:21).

9. A Gershonite Levite of the family of Asaph, and a son of Benaiah. His son Jahaziel encouraged King Jehoshaphat to fight against Moab (2 Chr 20:14, 15).

10. One of the princes appointed by King Jehoshaphat to teach the Law in the cities of Judah (1 Chr 17:7).

11. A son of King Jehoshaphat of Judah (2 Chr 21:2).

12. A son of Jehoiada, and the high priest in the reign of King Joash of Judah. When a general apostasy of the people occurred after the death of his father Jehoiada, Zechariah was moved by the Spirit of God to rebuke the nation for its transgressions. This aroused such a resentment in certain circles, and so angered the king, who had probably been personally censured, that he had him stoned in the court of the Temple (2 Chr 24:20-22).

This is doubtless the Zechariah referred to centuries afterward in the famous statement of Christ about the righteous blood shed on earth "from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple" (Lk 11:50, 51). Zechariah, son of Jehoiada, is the only person by that name mentioned in the Bible who was slain in the Temple. Abel's death is recorded in the first book of the Scripture, and Zechariah's martyrdom in the last book (Chronicles) of the Hebrew Bible; hence the words of Christ "from" and "to" were intended to cover the sweep of OT Scripture history. That Zechariah is called the son of Barachiah (KJV "Barachias") in the parallel passage of Mt 23:35 poses a problem, for the well-known prophet Zechariah (see Zechariah, 20), who lived and worked after the Exile in the time of Zerubbabel, was a son of *Berechiah. Some explain this difficulty by concluding that the words "the son of Barachiah" in Mt 23:35 are not part of Christ's statement but the mistaken addition of a later scribe, who thought of the prophet when copying this passage. However, this is not the only possible explanation. In Hebrew, "son" often means grandson or descendant; the martyr Zechariah might have been called the *son of both Jehoiada and Barachiah if he was the grandson or descendant in the line of both of them.

13. An adviser of King Uzziah of Judah; his counsel brought Uzziah prosperity as long as the king followed the counsellor's advice (2 Chr 26:5).

14. The 15th king of the northern kingdom of Israel, if Tibni is included in the count; called Zachariah in the KJV. He was the son of Jeroboam II, and with him ended the dynasty of Jehu (see 2 Ki 10:30), when he was assassinated at Ibleam by Shallum after a brief reign that lasted only 6 months c. 753-752 b.c. (chs 14:29; 15:8-12).

15. The maternal grandfather of King Hezekiah of Judah (2 Ki 18:1, 2; 2 Chr 29:1).

16. Son of Jeberechiah. He was one of the witnesses to a tablet written by Isaiah (Is 8:2).

17. A Levite of the house of Asaph; he aided King Hezekiah in cleansing the Temple (2 Chr 29:13).

18. A Kohathite Levite, overseer of the workmen who repaired the Temple in the reign of King Josiah (2 Chr 34:12).

19. A chief officer of the Temple, probably a priest, in the reign of King Josiah (2 Chr 35:8).

20. A prophet, a son of Berechiah, and grandson of Iddo (Ezr 5:1; Zec 1:1); author of the book of Zechariah. His first recorded message was given in the 2d regnal year (520/519 b.c.) of Darius I (Zec 1:1). He was presumably born in Babylonia. Like Jeremiah and Ezekiel he was most likely prophet and priest at the same time. This is concluded from the fact that he belonged to the house of Iddo, and a leading priest named Iddo returned with Zerubbabel (Neh 12:1, 4). It is also possible that the Zechariah, 31, who was the head of the priestly house of Iddo in the days of the high priest Joiakim (v 16) was a descendant of the prophet Zechariah. The book of Zechariah contains messages directed to Zerubbabel, the political head of the nation, Joshua, the high priest, and to the people as a whole, but little information about the prophet himself. With the prophet Haggai, Zechariah was instrumental in stirring up the returned Jews to resume activity in restoring the Temple and to finish the building (Ezr 5:1, 2).

21. A member of the family of Parosh. He returned to Jerusalem under Ezra's leadership, accompanied by 150 male members of his family (Ezr 8:3).

22. A member of the family of Bebai. He returned to Jerusalem in Ezra's time accompanied by 28 male members of his family (Ezr 8:11).

23. One of the prominent men sent out by Ezra to induce Levites and Temple servants to return with him to Jerusalem (Ezr 8:16).

24. A member of the family of Elam; he had married a foreign wife in Ezra's time (Ezr 10:26).

25. A leading Levite or priest, who assisted Ezra in the reading of the Law (Neh 8:4).

26. A Levite, son of Jonathan, of the house of Asaph. He led a group of musicians during the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem in Nehemiah's time (Neh 12:35, 36).

27. A priest who blew a trumpet at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem in Nehemiah's time (Neh 12:41).

28. A man of Judah, son of the Shilonite, or Shilonite (Neh 11:5).

29. A son of Amariah of the Judahite family of Perez (Neh 11:4).

30. A priest, son of Pashhur and father of Amzi (Neh 11:12).

31. A priest, head of the house of Iddo in the days of the high priest Joiakim (Neh 12:16); possibly a descendant of Zechariah, 20, the prophet.

32. The father of John the Baptist (Lk 3:2), a priest who belonged to the division of Abijah (KJV "Abia"; see Abijah, 8) and lived in a city in the hill country of Judea with his wife, Elizabeth (ch 1:5, 39, 40). He and his wife are described as an aged, childless couple, who "were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless" (vs 6, 7).

At one time when the course, or division, to which Zechariah belonged was performing the Temple services, he was chosen by lot to burn incense (Lk 1:9). As he was discharging his duties in the Temple, with a large crowd worshiping outside (v 10), the angel Gabriel suddenly appeared to him, standing by the altar of incense (vs 11, 19). Naturally Zechariah was fearful, but was reassured by the angel, who informed him that his prayers were about to be answered; he was to have a son, who was to be named John (vs 12, 13). The child was to partake of no intoxicants, and would be full of the Holy Spirit from birth. His special work would be to "make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (v 17). Zechariah expressed doubt as to the possibility of this, seeing that he and his wife were so old (v 18), whereupon Gabriel informed him that he would be dumb until the prediction should be fulfilled (v 20). Emerging from the Temple, Zechariah indicated to the waiting people the reason for his delay (vs 21, 22). His period of ministration completed, he returned to his home (v 23), and continued mute until after the birth of the child.

When the baby was to be circumcised, relatives and neighbours decided that he should be named after his father, but the still-dumb Zechariah wrote on a tablet that his name should be John (vs 59-63). At this, his tongue was immediately loosed "and he spake, and praised God" (Lk 1:64), and prophesied of the work of his son, who would be called "the prophet of the Highest" (vs 67-79). As a result of this experience, which became well known over much of Judea, many were cognizant of John and wondered what destiny was in store for him (vs 65, 66) -- Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary

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