Zechariah

The triumphs of Cyrus the Great brought the return of Japheth to dominion over the tents of Shem after centuries of Semitic supremacy in the Fertile Crescent. They also brought the return of Israel to her own tents in Canaan after the “seventy years” of exile in Babylonia. Then in 520 B.C. some two decades after the edict of Cyrus launched the reorganization of Israel as the province of Judah within the Persian satrapy of Transpotamia, the prophetic witness of Haggai and Zechariah began. In the name of the God of Israel they called the restored remnant to the reconstruction of the ruined temple and promised them a future of Messianic glory.

Authorship

All fourteen chapters of the book bearing Zechariah’s name have been traditionally recognized as coming from his pen, and that is the position accepted in this article. The Interpreter’s Bible by its very format propagandizes for the dominant attitude in modern higher criticism. For it distinguishes its treatment of chapters 9–14 from that of chapters 1–8 almost as sharply as it would in the case of two separate books. It assigns the last six chapters to a different pair of scalpel happy commentators who explain the editors’ policy when they in turn assign the authorship of these few chapters to three or possibly more unknowns of the Hellenistic age. This post-Zecharian dating of chapters 9–14 has been the vogue since the end of the nineteenth century, having replaced the pre-exilic hypothesis which was the equally confident persuasion of the earlier negative critics.

Ready access to the detailed linguistic, historical, and ideological arguments is available to all who are interested in the discussions of G. L. Robinson (“Book of Zechariah” in The International Standard ...

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