The first eight chapters of Zechariah seem to echo Haggai in trying to get the restored temple up and running. This Zechariah was a contemporary of Haggai. And whaddaya know--the historical book of Ezra does indeed mention both Haggai and Zechariah, the temple’s two Tim Gunns who make it work. Like Haggai, Z’s very specific about exactly when he was called to prophesy. These specific dates seem designed to establish his bona fides.
While Haggai’s the preacher pleading for support, the Zechariah of the first part of the book is Judah’s Doctor Strange, offering up a series of surreal visions to provide insight into God’s mystical truth.
Chapter 1 begins with God reminding the people how angry he was with their ancestors, who got what they deserved—death and exile—and had to admit they had it coming.
The visions start with horses of different colors--red, speckled and white.
God had sent these horses out to roam the earth and report back what they saw.
The horses are cute but manly at the same time, saith the ancient rabbinical bronies.
What they saw was that the earth was peaceful and happy.
Uh-oh. We’ve heard this before and it’s never good.
God’s not happy that Judah’s enemies are feeling so complacent, and he’s going to do something about it.
He promises to return to Jerusalem and see that his house will be rebuilt.
God goes all out in reassuring Zion that he’ll return to the city in glory.
Zechariah has a vision of four horns and four blacksmiths and asks God, “Huh?”
The four horns are the four nations that attacked Judah; the blacksmiths are the guys come to take them down.