This prophet was colleague with the prophet Haggai, and a worker together with him in forwarding the building of the second temple (Ezra 5:1); for two are better than one. Christ sent forth his disciples two and two. Zechariah began to prophesy some time after Haggai. But he continued longer, soared higher in visions and revelations, wrote more, and prophesied more particularly concerning Christ, than Haggai had done; so the last shall be first: the last in time sometimes proves first in dignity. He begins with a plain practical sermon, expressive of that which was the scope of his prophesying, in the first five verses; but afterwards, to the end of ch. 6, he relates the visions he saw, and the instructions he received immediately from heaven by them. At ch. 7, from an enquiry made by the Jews concerning fasting, he takes occasion to show them the duty of their present day, and to encourage them to hope for God's favour, to the end of ch. 8, after which there are two sermons, which are both called burdens of the word of the Lord (one begins with ch. 9, the other with ch. 12), which probably were preached some time after; the scope of them is to reprove for sin, and threaten God's judgments against the impenitent, and to encourage those that feared God with assurances of the mercy God had in store for his church, and especially of the coming of the Messiah and the setting up of his kingdom in the world.
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