The modern practice of dismantling the Bible into a shambles of documents authored in response to disparate historical events rather than viewing it as a unified testimony inspired by God is a surefire way to miss what is actually going on in the text. This failure is compounded by an outright refusal to accept Genesis 1-3 as the foundation for the entire metanarrative.
The book of Zechariah takes post-exilic Israel from the founding of a new Jerusalem under Persia to its destruction under Rome. For the saints, however, for whom judgment is a blessing, the prophecy works from glory to glory, from Jerusalem below to the unshakeable one above, from an earthly Sabbath to an eternal one.
The Covenant-literary shape of Psalm 8 allows David to make allusions to some surprising parts of the Torah as well as predicting the Temple of Solomon and even a crucial event in the ministry of Jesus.
The prophecies in the final chapters of Zechariah, taken in isolation, are extremely confusing. They seem to describe, very darkly, some events which took place in the first century. Yet they also describe some things which clearly did not take place. Or did they?
The key to interpreting the prophecy is its structure. It follows a formula which is second nature to Jewish people: the process of Israel’s annual feasts. If they had their wits about them, the Jews would hear these words and be able to say, “I see what you did there.” Once they are recognised as literary art, these words are not only completely intelligible, they are also brilliant and beautiful. And terrifyingly ironic.
The significance of the prophet Daniel for the “death and resurrection” of the nation of Israel becomes clear when the sacrificial “matrix” is discerned in the process.
The ministry of Daniel among Gentiles recapitulates that of Joseph. The Lord sent Joseph into Egypt as a forerunner, established a new house for him and integrated the old house of Jacob into it. Pharaoh was converted under the ministry of Joseph, humbled himself before Jacob and requested his blessing. Likewise, Daniel was taken to Babylon before the destruction of Jerusalem to mediate for the preservation of Israel. The Jewish captives were not slaves but were given their own houses. But the ministries of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel also allowed the rulers of Judah to fill up their sins as “Egyptians.” By the time Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon were destroyed, the nation was entirely without excuse.