The visions of Zachariah pose many challenges, not least in establishing an appropriate method of interpretation. We could study profitably these visions giving a spiritual interpretation, relating each of them to the needs and situation of the church, as the body of Christ either universally or locally, throughout the whole of church history or perhaps even just to our own presenttime. We could consider them with our eyes fixed upon our own individual and personal position and need. However, as I intend doing, we should interpret them in their historical context and original setting. Seeing their original meaning as an encouragement to the people of Jerusalem to be a a renewed and sustained effort to complete the rebuilding of the Temple.
The eight visions we are about to examine, came about three months after Zechariah’s first address, which was comprised mainly of a call to repentance, and only five months have past since Zerubbabel and Joshua and all the people had been stirred to the work of rebuilding the Temple.
Through the preaching of Haggai, when he promised them that God would shake the kingdoms and out of which he would increase the glory of their Temple and State, but they were now growing anxious and impatient asking: “Was this really going to happen?”, “Was God’s word going to be fulfilled?” Was the Temple going to be rebuilt and grow in splendour? Was Jerusalem going to prosper? Was it all ‘castles in the air?’ It is to these people, who were unsure and doubting, that these eight visions are sent to reassure them that Jehovah is at work and his word would be fulfilled.