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Zechariah’s Night Visions

As sphinxlike cherubim, the Prophets dealt in deathly riddles, but the answers to all their enigmas can be found in the books of Moses.

The “two witnesses” – heralds of what might be called the “Restoration Covenant” – were Haggai and Zechariah. They wielded the flaming sword of Eden that the priesthood of Israel might be established once again, mediating before God on behalf of the nations.

Haggai dealt with the visible world, chastising the people for their neglect of the house of God and stirring up their hearts to complete it. Zechariah dealt with the invisible world, the satanic resistance which was going on behind the scenes. In these complementary roles of “forming and filling,” they were Moses and Elijah, forming a temple for Adam from the dust and filling it with the breath of life. As with flesh (Priesthood) and fire (Kingdom), the combination of visible and invisible would result in a revived testimony to the nations, the audible (Prophecy).

Zechariah is considered to be one of the most difficult prophets to interpret, but the key, as always, is his use of Covenant-literary structure. The entire book and each of its parts all use sequences from the books of Moses as a means of allusion. The Bible Matrix is a “meme” repeated with slight variations by all the biblical authors, and without this “insider information” their literary references and jokes are lost on us.

The book of Zechariah follows the fivefold pattern of the Pentateuch, and the night visions comprise the “Genesis” step of that construct.1See The Shape of Zechariah These visions reflect the “forming and filling” progression of Genesis 1, describing the investiture of a revived Aaronic priesthood for service to the Persian empire and its successors, a greater “household” (oikoumene) for the children of Abraham. Although, technically-speaking, there are eight visions, the complete sequence including the prelude and postlude is in fact tenfold. This means that the prophecy is working its way, pictorially, through the pattern of the Ten Words, which works through the fivefold Covenant sequence but gives each step a “forming” and a “filling,” a “one” and a “many,” a “head” and a “body,” an “Adam” (priesthood) and an “Eve” (people).2For more discussion, see God-In-A-Box

Forming
(Head – Adam – Priest)
Filling
(Body – Eve – People)
TRANSCENDENCE 1
Word from God
No false gods
A Call to Return to the Lord
(Zechariah 1:1-6)
2
Word to God
No false oaths
Horsemen: Mercy upon Zion
(Zechariah 1:7-17)
HIERARCHY 3
Man’s Work
Sabbath / Land
Horns and Craftsmen
(Zechariah 1:18-21)
4
Father and Mother
Fruit of Land and Womb
Measuring Line: Bridal Jerusalem
(Zechariah 2:1-13)
ETHICS 5
No Murder
Sons of God / Knife
High Priesthood Cleansed
(Zechariah 3:1-10)
6
No Adultery
Daughters of Men / Fire
A Multiplied Lampstand / Hosts
(Zechariah 4:1-14)
SANCTIONS 7
No Theft
False Blessings
A Flying Scroll: Thieves and Liars
(Zechariah 5:1-4)
8
No False Witness
False Curses
Woman in a Basket: Babylon
(Zechariah 5:5-11)
SUCCESSION 9
Coveting Shelter
Formed House
Four Chariots: Pure Testimony
(Zechariah 6:1-8)
10
Coveting the Sheltered
Filled House
Crown & Temple: Worship Established
(Zechariah 6:9-15)

If you are new to this method of interpretation, please visit the Welcome page for some help to get you up to speed.

References   [ + ]

1. See The Shape of Zechariah
2. For more discussion, see God-In-A-Box

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