Zechariah described an era in which great destruction would befall God’s people. It was characterized by the rule of incompetent leaders. The period in which that destruction would occur is uncertain as there were many times during the history of the Jews that they were persecuted because of the actions of their leaders. Evidence indicates that the time of Christ and the early church could have been the era of Zechariah’s prophecy. Jesus would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, the price of a slave. Those thirty pieces would soon afterward be used to purchase the potter’s field to be used as a burying place for strangers. Not many years later, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A. D.
Jerusalem suffered many hardships caused by their own shortcomings. In turn, their persecutors were also punished. It was God’s plan from the beginning for Christ to eventually reign as King of His kingdom. However, through the turmoil of His day, He was crucified for man’s sins and arose victoriously from the tomb. As the people realized their sinful condition, they mourned for Him whom they had pierced and turned to Him in repentance.
The prophet, Zechariah envisioned a time when a Shepherd from the house of David would arise to save the people. Idol worship and prophets of idols would no longer be present in Judah. That Shepherd would be persecuted and would suffer the sword of punishment deserved by man. Many would fall, but a remnant would survive and be refined also by the fire of persecution. They, however would endure as precious metals survive the fires of the smelter. The Lord would say, “This is my people.” They would confess, “The Lord is my God.”
Zechariah described in highly symbolic and figurative language events that would occur probably during the fall of Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans. There would be a mass exodus of people trying to escape the horrors of that time. Many would perish, but as in previous times, those who fought against God’s people, Rome would also suffer dire consequences. Like wind scatters fire, the church would scatter into many other locations. “And the Lord shall be King over all the earth.” God’s people will center their worship in the heavenly spiritual Jerusalem instead of the earthly city.