No Canaanites

Zechariah ends with “In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of Yahweh of hosts.” How’d we get Canaanites in the house of the Lord to begin with?  Sweeney points out that the LXX of Zechariah 11:7 assumes a different vowel-pointing than the MT, and thus . . . . Continue Reading »


Zechariah begins and ends with horses.  In the first night vision, the horses are in a glen (1:8ff).  They have returned from patrol, and the world is at peace.  That’s not good; sometimes peace is complacency and established evil, and war needs to begin.  By the end of . . . . Continue Reading »

Donkey theology

Ken Way of Biola University gave a very interesting paper on the various Hebrew terms for donkeys and mules. He focused on Zechariah 9, which, he argued, has long been mistranslated. It has the largest cluster of donkey terms in the Hebrew Bible, refers to the prophecy concerning Judah in Genesis . . . . Continue Reading »

Tyre’s sacrifice

Zechariah predicts that Tyre will be dispossessed and her wealth cast into the sea (v. 4), and then the city will be “consumed with fire.” The verb is the common verb for “eating,” and the picture of an “eating fire” sends the mind back to the sacrificial system, . . . . Continue Reading »

Wisdom of Tyre

Zechariah 9:1-4 focuses on the conquest of Tyre, the “wise” city, shrewd at least in amassing wealth (v. 3). But the celebratory description contains a subversive pun. The Hebrew for Tyre is tsor (“rock”), and Zechariah says that Tyre has built herself a fortress, a word . . . . Continue Reading »

Mountain to plain

Isaiah tells Israel to prepare for the coming of Yahweh by leveling mountains and raising valleys (40:3-5), and when Yahweh comes the mountains melt away (Psalm 97:5; Micah 1:4). But the angel of Yahweh tells Zechariah that the mountains will give way to Zerubabbel (Zechariah 4:7), a true son of . . . . Continue Reading »

Zechariah 5:1-4

A couple of notes on the first vision of Zechariah 5, and then translation. 1) Verse 3 is difficult to translate, and is somewhat surprising. The scroll represents, the angel says, the curse going throughout the land, but the effect of the curse in verse 3 is not negative and destructive but . . . . Continue Reading »

Zechariah 4

Some notes on Zechariah 4, with a rough translation following. 1) Structurally, the passage is most clearly organized around the exchanges between the interpreting angel and Zechariah. Most obvious is the parallel between verses 4-5 and 11-13; together with the angel’s response, these . . . . Continue Reading »

Branch and Stone

The “seven-eyed” stone in Zechariah 3:9 has been variously interpreted - for example, as the crown on the head of the high priest Joshua (the seven eyes being the letters engraved on the crown), as the kingdom of God, as a stone with seven “springs” (in Hebrew, the same word . . . . Continue Reading »

Overthrown by craftsmen

The four horns of Zechariah’s second night vision (1:18) are likely horns of an altar, an altar of false worship that scatters Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. Four craftsmen, horns of power in their own right, appear on the scene to thrown down the threatening horns. The word for . . . . Continue Reading »