Today’s reading is: Zech. 6-8; Ezra 5:3-6:14
Zechariah Chapter Six
- Night vision #8: four chariots (Zech. 6:1-8).
- The four spirits of heaven are four mighty angels used by the Lord in directing world affairs (Jer. 49:36; Dan. 7:2; Rev. 7:1).
- They are not just patrolling and reporting; they are the agents of the Lord’s wrath upon the north country (prophetic Babylon).
- Following the night-visions, Zechariah’s next work-assignment is to manufacture a crown for High Priest Joshua (Zech. 6:9-15).
- The promised Messiah is revealed as Branch (cf. 3:8; Jer. 23:5; 33:15).
- Messiah will not only be a Davidic King, but also a temple-building Priest.
Zechariah Chapter Seven
- On December 7th, 518BC a delegation from Bethel came to Zechariah and asked about their 5th month fasting tradition (Zech. 7:1-3). The 5th month had become a time for fasting and weeping over the destruction of Jerusalem.
- The Lord doesn’t precisely answer the Bethel delegation until chapter eight. His first word addressed the 5th month and 7th month fasts as being man-centered (Zech. 7:4-7).
- The Lord reminded them how the man-centered ritual of past generations led to the captivity (Zech. 7:8-14).
Zechariah Chapter Eight
- The Lord promised a return from world-wide dispersion, and peace in the land (Zech. 8:1-17).
- The Lord finally provides an answer to the Bethel delegation’s question on fasting by addressing a full spectrum of monthly fasts and prophesying that those very occasions would become occasions for joy (Zech. 8:18-23).
- The 10th month marked the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s siege.
- The 4th month marked the fall of the city.
- The 5th month marked its burning.
- The 7th month marked the assassination of Gedaliah.
Ezra Chapter Five
(Outline continues from yesterday)
- A group of Persian officials observe the temple work and investigate their building permit (Ezr. 5:3-5).
- Tattenai & Shethat-bozenai drafted a letter to Darius I (Hystapes) (the Great) (522-486BC) reporting the matter and requesting guidance (Ezr. 5:6-17).
Ezra Chapter Six
- King Darius ordered an internal investigation of Persian records to research Tattenai’s report (Ezr. 6:1) and found the decree of Cyrus which authorized the temple building (Ezr. 6:2-5).
- Darius orders Tattenai’s full cooperation with the temple project (Ezr. 6:6-12).
(Chapter Six continues on Day 264)