Zechariah 1:1-17

Talks for Growing Christians

Zechariah’s First Prophetic Vision

Zechariah 1:1-17

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Lesson Number 1

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The present status of Israel is in the valley of the times of the Gentiles.
  2. The future status of Israel will be on the mountaintop of kingdom prosperity.

Practical Application

  1. Return to the Lord and He will return to you.


  1. What is a post-exilic prophet?
  2. Who were the three post-exilic prophets who prophesied in Israel?
  3. Which king permitted the Jews to return to their homeland?
  4. How many Jews returned to their homeland?
  5. Under whose leadership did the Jews return?
  6. “‘Do not be like your fathers…they did not hear nor heed Me,’ says the Lord” Zechariah 1:4. Who were these “fathers”?
  7. Who is the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament?


  1. A prophet who prophesied after the seventy years the Jews spent in captivity in Babylon.
  2. Zechariah, Haggai, and Malachi
  3. King Cyrus of Persia. He brought the Babylonian Empire to an end and gave a royal edict in 538 B.C., which permitted the Jews to return to their homeland.
  4. About 50,000 Jews returned.
  5. They returned under the leadership of Zerubbabel. You can read about this in the book of Ezra.
  6. They were the generation of Jews sent into exile because of their evil ways and evil deeds.
  7. The Lord Himself – specifically, the pre-incarnate Son of God.


  1. Re-read Zechariah 1:7-11. The vision of the horses and riders was the first of Zechariah’s eight prophetic visions. The rider standing astride the red horse was the Angel of the Lord. He was in the midst of the myrtle trees in the valley. These trees represent the present status of Israel, under Gentile domination of the earth. Discuss the present status of Israel.
  2. The good news comes in the second half of this vision. The Lord knows and cares about Israel, and is only allowing the Gentile nations to afflict Israel at the present time in order to bring them to the point where they will return to the Lord. And they will! The Lord will return to deliver the nation of Israel from the domination of Gentile nations. Consider the future of Israel, especially as you look at their status today.


  1. Israel had turned away from the Lord and had gone their own way, but God still loved them. He pleaded with them and promised them if they would return to Him, He would return to them. Are you out of fellowship with the Lord? Do you know in your heart that things are not right between you and the Lord? Do you want to know the peace and joy of close fellowship with the Lord once again? You can. Return to the Lord and He will return to you.

Key Verses

  • “‘Return to Me,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will return to you…so they returned.” Zechariah 1:3, 6
  • “I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy. My house shall be built in it. The Lord will again comfort Zion, and will again choose Jerusalem.” Zechariah 1:16-17

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