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Bas-relief of Cyrus in SydneyBas-Relief found in Pasargade, the capital city of Persia founded by Cyrus. It depicts Cyrus the Great (580-529 BCE).


God remembers and God blesses at the Appointed Time

The Prophet Zechariah’s Prophecies on the “Time of the End” for the

Redemption and Restoration of Jerusalem and Israel

Translation by the New King James Version

Commentary by Robert D. Mock MD

January, 2001

Reedited August, 2005

Zechariah 1



The Decree of Cyrus I to Restore and Rebuild Jerusalem

The Return of the House of Judah

Medo-Persian Empire

Royal Family Tree of the Medes and the Persians

Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo

At the Appointed Time, God blesses and God remembers

God’s Concern for Jerusalem

Vision One – Man on a Red Horse

God’s Anger on Jerusalem and Judah for Seventy Years

God is zealous and will return to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem

Vision Two – The Horns that God used to Scatter Judah

The Craftsmen that God used to scatter Judah’s enemies


The Decree of Cyrus I to Restore and Rebuild Jerusalem


The year was October 539 B.C., Cyrus the Great (Kurush or Koresh in Persian) of Persia had conquered what was recognized as the greatest city on earth, Babylon, the capital of an empire covering modern Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel.  An ancient capital of science and scholarship, it was one of the most powerful religious centers in the world. The fall of Babylon meant the collapse of the capital of modern techno-science of the ancient world, and opened of a new era of globalism and diplomacy.


A wise diplomat and statesman, Cyrus, lord of the peoples of modern Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iran plus regions bordering on Pakistan and India, began an era of nation rebuilding to begin around the then known world.  In 536 B.C., the Jewish people were invited to return to the land of their forefathers and begin the rebuilding of their city, Jerusalem.


Ezra 1:1-4 - "Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and A view over the ruins of Persepolisput it also in writing, saying:


A view over the ruins of Persapolis from the Tomb of Artaxerses II, which is

Carved into the rock of the mountain known as Kuh-e Rahmat.

( Photo by Henri Stierlin)



'Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord, the God of heaven, given me; and he hath charged me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whosoever there is among you of all His people – his God be with himlet him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord, the God of Israel, He is the God who is in Jerusalem. And whosoever is left in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill-offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.'"


The wording on this decree appears to be authentic as it depicts the God of Israel as the God who lives in Jerusalem, wording that was atypical of a Jewish writer, who believed that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was the God of the whole earth.


PersepolisThis great monarch became the first great multiculturalists, a ruler pledged to the coexistence and peaceful cohabitation of people from every region of the world, while retaining and preserving their own unique cultural and religious identitiesNot since the emergence of the United States, the charter of the United Nations and now the theme of the 21st century War on Terror have the emergence of an empire dedicated to multiculturalism and globalism occurred.


The Palace Gate at Persapolis


Admired as a liberator, Cyrus the Great became the founder the first empire dedicated to ethical government in human history, a government based on moral excellence on the fundamental philosophy of “Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds.”  After conquering three other empires, the Medes, the Lydians and the Babylonians, a global community was inaugurated from the Mediterranean to India


Grandson of the emperor of the Medes, Astyages, in the province of Persia (modern day Fars) in southwest Iran about 590 B.C., he lived a life of the hunted.  Similar to Abraham, whose life as a babe was threatened to be snuffed out by Nimrod in ancient Sumer (Book of Jasher), or Moses, whose life as a babe was destined to die at the hands of the Egyptian Pharaoh, yet as a prince, he was later driven into exile. Cyrus’ death was ordered by his grandfather, who in a dream saw that his grandson would overthrow him someday in the future.  He ordered the execution of the babe Cyrus to a court official, who in mercy gave him to a shepherd and his wife with orders to put him to deathInstead they reared him as their son, and the rest was history when Cyrus later did return to conquer and overthrow his own grandfather and absorbed the empire of the Medes with the Persian Empire.


Clearly a military leader par excellence, what thrust Cyrus to the ranks of the all time admired leaders of the world was the exceptional toleration of religions and customs of other peoples and the tendency to avoid the brutality and cruelty that characterized the PERSEPOLISAssyrian and Babylonian rulers that preceded him. 


Persapolis, the Capital of Cyrus’ Persian Empire


Here we see the massacre of thousands of Israelites and the genocide and deportation of whole populations of peoples by the Assyrian, with the exile and deportation of the people of Jerusalem, and the brutal massacre of the sons of the king of Jechoniah, just prior to gouging out his eyes. 


So along comes Cyrus, who within fifty years after the fall of Jerusalem, sets into motion the restoration of the House of Judah and the elevation of the Jewish prime minister of Babylon, Daniel, to be one of his chiefs of stateTwo hundred fifty years later, when Alexander the Great carrying the torch of Greek Idealism, he went forth to conquer and when he met the Persians, he not only destroyed, but obliterated the capital city of Persapolis, until its ruins were uncovered by the archeologists within the past two centuries.


 Compared with the religious toleration of Cyrus the Great (280-337 A.D.), we also see Constantine the Great, the great British general, became the Roman emperor and imperialized the Christian Church.  In doing so, he set off the greatest and the longest official religious persecution of any national and religious body of people in the history of mankind, the Jews. 


Modern Reenactment of the Culture of Persapolis


The persecution, genocide, pogroms of the Romans, the Roman Papal Church, the European Crusades, the Russians, the Christian German Nazis, the Islamic nations, and now the world community in the United Nations, have now been imprinted in the psychic of all mankind in what is called anti-Semitism.   Yet Cyrus was unique, he did not conquer and destroy, he conquered and restored.  Maybe this is the reason the prophets proclaimed:


Isaiah 44:28“Who says to Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, You shall be built,’ and to the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’” 


Isaiah 45:1 – Thus sayest the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held – to subdue nations before him (Luristan and Elam at Susa, Lydia of the famed King Croesus, Media at Ecbatana (now Hamadan) and with it Uratu (present day Armenia), Cappadocia and Cilicia in central Turkey, the fabled city of Babylon), and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut;


‘I will go before you (like HaShem did to the children of Israel coming out of Egypt) and make the crooked places straight; I will break the pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron. (The city of Babylon had one hundred gates of bronze)  I will give you the treasure of darkness and hidden riches of secret places (allusion to the fabled wealth of Sardis captured in 546 BCE), that you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, am the God of Israel.


For Jacob My servant’s sake (to reestablish the children of Jacob back into Jerusalem), and Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named your name (called by name in the time of Isaiah about 750 BCE, about 150 years prior to the birth of Cyrus 11), though you have not known Me (Cyrus was aware of the oracles of Isaiah, but was a monotheistic believer in the prophet Zarathustra who worshipped the one god Ahuramazda).  I am PERSEPOLISthe Lord, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me.  I will gird you, though you have not known Me, that they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.”’


Re-construction of the Palace at Persapolis


What is so unique about the Oracles of Zechariah and its prophetic implications to the world community during the time of the end?  To the BibleSearchers, not only does it appear that the events in the time of the end will walk step by step as commanded or foretold to the returning Jews in the time of the Persian kings, but where the prophecies were not totally fulfilled in the 6th century BCE, there is a distinct possibility that they will be totally fulfilled at the time of the end. 


The first unique feature is the nature of the geopolitical world of the Persian Empire and the parallels with the present world global community led by the United States in what many believe to be the time of the end


A study of this great statesman and ruler, Cyrus the Great initiated mini-drama in the ancient world and impelled us to ask the question, “What if we can now see through the writings of the Prophet Zechariah the literal unfolding of the geo-politics of the modern world.  This was a world, 2500 years ago that was promoting a world and global community based on ethics, a government of ethics with the goal of peace and global harmony we see espoused by the very charter of the United Nations.  Is this but an illusion?  Probably not.  The biblical prophets envisioned that at the time of the end there would be an era in which all the nations of the world would cry, Peace, Peace, yet then sudden destruction would come over the face of the earth. 


So are we in a progressive stage of human evolutionary development in which utopian goals will be instituted, such as democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of choice, freedom of expression, human rights, cultural tolerance, freedom of religion, open trade agreements, open borders, cultural exchange programs, economic and political globalism, religious ecumenism, and open communication between all peoples on this earth?  Probably not!  We have been there before yet is it not unique that in the era when the Jewish people were restored back to their homelands in the 6th century BCE, we once again see this same political and cultural world return to the international scene at the same time that the Jewish people are once again restored back to their homeland in 1948 by the charter of the League of Nations and the Articles for the restoration of the Nation of Israel by the United Nations? By all appearances the Persian empire of Cyrus the Great is being resurrected in the modern United States and the United Nations as part of the future One World Order.


There is also a unique feature of Hebrew history in how they view the progression of historical timeThe Greeks brought to human culture linear time where human life moves forward in time and is progressive. The past is history but we cannot return back in timeIran - Gilan & Mazandaran - Masule VillageThe culmination of this is the modern concepts of the evolutionary advances of mankindHumanism, modernism, and New Ageism all promote the progressive advances of human society and development


Masule Village in Gilan and Mazandaran


The Eastern (Hindus, Buddhists, Confucius’s philosophies) depict a cyclical time, the Grand Periods, or the Great Cycles of Time.  These cycles may take up to 25,000 years to complete, but eventually, where you came from you will eventually returnTime always returns back to the origin, the beginning of time.  This is the philosophic goal of the New Age, with the blending tentacles of Gnosticism, Buddhism and Hinduism


The Hebrew concept of time is cyclical and progressive.  Life to them returns over and over in grand patterns of life, like a vortex or the spiral of a tornado. It does not go in a circle; neither does it go in a straight linear progressive fashion.  We can see this in the Festivals of the Lord as they were reenacted yearly in the Temple of the Lord.   Imbedded in these festivals were prophetic elements, which predicted the ministry of Jesus in the spring festivals.  Also in these festivals the returning of the Messiah, Yahshua ben Joseph was portrayed in the fall festivals. 


We see this same pattern in the history of the going into Egypt with the House of Jacob and the redemption from Egypt of the children of Israel.  These patterns were replayed over and over in the exiles and restorations of the House of Judah and the predicted future restoration of the House of Israel.  The prophecies of the prophets of old were patterns to be played over and over, a progressive cycle until the time of the end in which all the prophecies will culminate or be replayed in a Grand Finale as the Great Day of the Lord approaches. 


This is the source of research by the BibleSearchers.  We are looking for patterns in the prophecies of the ancients to give us clues to the future in what many feel are the perilous times of the future and present tribulation before the predicted Great and Awful Day of the Lord.


If the biblical prophets are to be believed after an era of peace and global harmony, there will be the restoration of the House of Israel as the House of Joseph or Ephraim.  The building of a Temple of the Lord in the Land of Israel will occur according to the prophets, Iran - Gilan & Mazandaran - forests of Gilanand then a conquering world and global power will take over.  In this context, the Antichrist or the anti-Messiah will take over the Holy of Holiest to be used as his seat of power during the time of the Abomination of Desolation.


Forests of Gilan


Do we once again see a parallel? 


Global Persian One World Order with peace and harmony under Cyrus the Great (a type of messiah) as a global government              

Global One World Order bringing harmony and peace with great security with the Anti-Messiah and a global government.


Greek (Mother of democracy) global dominance under Alexander the Great.

American purveyor of Grecian democracy as a global economic dominant power under the Anti- Messiah.


Antiochus Epiphanies IV, the Greek ruler, desecrating the altar in the Temple of Zerubabbel in Jerusalem.

The Anti-messiah “stopping” the sacrifices of a Tribulation Temple and making his seat of power and authority (“Abomination of Desecration”) in the Holy of Holiest.


For the final era, we will see the resurrection of a global autocrat bent on the destructive forces of power, greed and control.  What was most admired by Cyrus the Great is the comparison of a true global statesman, a messiah, compared with the hundreds of mini-autocrats in our world in the last century, raised to power by the philosophy of the Italian political philosopher, Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) in his book, “The Prince”, which is used as the primer of modern dictators and heads of state, who gain and keep power by deceit, cunning and stealth political gerrymandering, lies, and the ruthless use of power.  When asked in chapter 17, whether the prince should be loved or feared, he gave the reply:


Niccolo Machiavelli - "The reply is that one ought to be both feared and loved, is much safer to be feared than loved, if one of the two has to be wanting ...for love is held by a chain of obligation which, men being selfish, is broken whenever it serves their purposes, but fear is maintained by a dread of punishment which never fails."


Let us visit now the era of Cyrus the Persian and the life of a Jewish Levite, who wrote one of the most poignant and enigmatic prophetic books of the Bible, Zechariah, the son of Iddo. 


On a Clay Cylinder, Cyrus recorded his Charter to the Rights of Nation in the script of the nations, cuneiformDiscovered in 1870, this clay cylinder now resides in The British Museum in London.  It states:“... I am Cyrus, King of the world. When I entered Babylon... I did not allow anyone to terrorize the land... I kept in view the needs of people and all its sanctuaries to promote their well-being... I put an end to their misfortune. The Great God has delivered all the lands into my hand; the lands that I have made to dwell in a peaceful habitation...”


The Clay Cylinder of Cyrus


This great monarch became the first great multiculturalist.   He was a ruler pledged to the coexistence and peaceful cohabitation of every nationalist group of people from every region of the world, while retaining and preserving their own unique cultural and religious identities. 


It was not the Jews alone that were freed and sent back to their homelands, but multiple national groups brought to Babylon were freed to reestablish their own national identity


Not since the emergence of the United States, the charter of the United Nations and now the theme of the 21st century War on Terror have the emergence of an empire dedicated to multiculturalism and globalism occurred. Starting in the early 1920’s, there was a ground swell around the world for the restoration of national identities of dozens of national ethnic groupsThe world of the imperial rule of Britain, France, Spain and Portugal was coming to a close and independence of these various colonial states were reestablished as individual nationsThe British and the French Mandates in the Middle East were responsible in establishing ethnic nations for both the Islamic and the Jewish peoples. 


All the “nation building” was completed prior to World War 2 except the establishment of a home for the JewsAfter the Holocaust of the Jews by the Third Reich and the Nazi regimen of Adolf Hitler, in 1948, the Jews finally were able to see in reality their own homeland, the Land of IsraelOn May 15, 1948, the Nation of Israel was born.


In the 5th century BCE, of about 150,000 Jews living in Babylonia, about a fourth of them eventually were restored back to the city of Jerusalem.  In all, it took four waves of immigrations for the final restoration to be completed


The Return of the House of Judah


In the classical history of the Persians, the first wave of immigrants was under the leader of Sheshbazzar (Sanabassar in 1 Esdras 2), a claimant of the House of David and heir to the Throne of David soon after the decree in 537 or 536 BCE.  The whole company of returning exiles numbered 42,360 plus the 7,336 male and female slaves, and two hundred male and female singers. (Ezra 2:64-66)


Since the Lord of hosts convinced Cyrus I to assist in the building of the House of the Lord in Jerusalem, the first act he did was to deliver the sacred vessels of the Temple of Solomon to Mithradates, the Persian secretary for inventory and to pack them up for delivery back to Jerusalem.  This included:


   Ezra 1:9-11                                                 1 Esdras 2:13-14

30 gold basins                                                 1000 gold cups

1000 silver basins                                           1000 silver cups

29 various vessels                                              29 silver censers,

30 golden bowls                                                  30 gold bowls,

410 silver bowls                                              2410 silver bowls

    1000 other vessels                            1000 articles for the temple services.

     5400 vessels of gold and silver                      5469 golden and silver vessels


What is of interest is the apparent increased precision in the temple vessel inventory in the historical text or translation of the Apocryphal book of 1 Esdras as compared to the standard canon book of Ezra. Once the Jews returned to Jerusalem, the first immigration of Jews under the command of Sheshbazzar rebuilt the altar of incense and reestablished the sacrificial system on the former site of Solomon’s Temple.


The second wave of immigrants came with Zerubabbel, about 520 BCE who was appointed governor of Judah, by the king of PersiaWith him also came Joshua called Yehoshua or Jesus (“Jehovah is salvation”) the high priest, son of Jehozadak (“Jehovah the Iran - Gilan & Mazandaran - Dohezar valley, TonekabonRighteous”).(Haggai 1:12)  Finally in 515 BCE, 71 years after the destruction of the Temple of Solomon in 586 BCE, the Temple was restored and dedicatedThus the 70 year prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled.


Forests of Gilan


In the meantime, the Jews in Jerusalem were harassed and persecuted by the leaders in Shomron (Samaria).  Throughout the re-building of the Temple, they had to carry a sword with one hand and build the altar and temple with the otherHere we meet Sanballat the Horonite, the Persian governor of Shomron probably from Beth-Horon, who like Arafat, represented the amalgamated population in the area of the West Bank. 


Image:Gold cup kalardasht.jpgThen there was Tobiah the Ammonite (Jordanian) official, who was probably Sanballat’s secretary or confidential advisor who represented the interest of the Ammonites (Genesis 19:38), who in the time of Nehemiah had pushed west into the land vacated by JudahHow classic are the parallels to this modern era of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, who have sought to maintain defacto control of the West Bank area of Israel, seizing the land given by the League of Nations to the Jews, before the Jewish people actually had time to reclaim the land in 1948. 


Achaemenid golden bowl with lion imagery


And finally we read about Geshem the Arabian, who even in that era may have held the purse strings to the political war chest of the citizens of Shomron (West Bank or Samaria).  He was very much like the late King Faisal and his son, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, keeping the world hostage by their oil, while being the chief financiers of the present day radical Islamic fundamentalist terrorists, and the Palestinians, as Hamas and Fatah continue the present day Intifada.


In 458 BCE, Ezra led an additional 1,800 Jews seeking aliyah in the Land of Israel, returning from Babylon, carrying with them many valuable treasures.  Yet, they refused  military escort. in 440 BCE, Nehemiah became the newly appointed governor of Judah by Artaxerses I, emperor of Persia.  He was the personal cupbearer to King Artaxerses, who by Jewish tradition was the son of Xerses I (Ahasuerus) and the Jewish Queen EstherHere we have a Persian ruler who was Jewish by his mother’s descent and thereby legitimately of the House of Judah, sending back to the Land of Israel one of his royal household officials who was of royal descent of the House of David. Nehemiah was personally sent with the mission to rebuild the fortifications around the city of Jerusalem and to organize a defensible shield against their terrorizing neighbors in the Shomron (West Bank) region.          


A Griffin enbelom, one of the symbols of the Persian Empire founded by Cyrus the Great


The building of a defensive shield was paramount to the security and protection of Jerusalem, for without it, the citizens of Jerusalem could not independently pursue their national agenda with gates open to the enemies and the walls which could be penetrated by the suicidal terrorists who were bent on their destruction. Even so the Upper City remained unprotected. 4:11-12"They that built the wall and they that bore burdens laded themselves, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other held his  weapon; and the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so buildeth. And he that sounded the horn was by me.”


Ezra 6:15 - "And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king."

Achaemenian court art a rhyton from Ecbatana

Tehran, National Museum


Once the fortifications were completed, the governor Nehemiah made a direct order that the city be filled with citizens, which included the nobility class and at least 10% of the rural population. (Nehemiah11:1)  At this time, an entire monetary system was reorganized.  As in the days when the Jubilees were kept, the debts were absolved to free the citizens from the bondage of monetary serfdom


With the restoration of a protective shield about 428 BCE, Ezra the Scribe began a spiritual reformation and reestablished Torah living within the land of Israel.  The Temple was now completed and dedicated, mixed marriages were dissolved and the scribes, teachers, and experts of the Torah, the Mosaic Law, were given equality in professional status with the nobility and priestsAt this time the preeminence of Jerusalem as the spiritual center of Israel and the Jewish people in the Diaspora in Egypt, Babylon and Assyria (Asia Minor) became undisputed.


Within the city of Jerusalem, the exiles returning from the Diaspora had selected centers or buildings to use as a house of prayer (Beit Tefilla), the house of learning (Beit Midrash) and also a house of assembly (Beit Knesset).  By this time the city of Jerusalem was recognized as a city dedicated to universal education, freedom of assembly, and self-government in all Jewish communities and a religion of standardized prayers and liturgy.


 By the end of the Persian imperial age, Jerusalem was once again noted as a thriving metropolis and fully autonomous in the empire.  Even so, with political autonomy, they still did not have a royal house or a king, but they did have a high priest. 


During this era, the rule of the High Priest was balanced by the rule of the Great Assembly called the HaKnesset HaGadola.  All business transactions ceased on the Sabbaths (Shabbats) which also included the Sabbaths of the festivals and feasts.  The Sabbatical Shmitah occurred every seven years with the cessation of agricultural planting and the resting of the landThen there were the Jubilee years every fifty years when the remission of debts was observed.  Also the equal contributions of a third of a shekel tax to the Temple, and to render first fruits to the priest and tithes to the Levites was enforcedBy 350 BCE, Judah was known as Iudea (Judea) and recognized as the Nation of Jews to the Greeks.


In a quick review let us look at a time-table of the events relating to the Jewish people by the Persian rulers that affected their lives and their national identities.     


Medo-Persian Empire.


Traditional Persian Imperial Chronology


The Achaemenians (Hakhâmanišiya) were the royal dynasty of ancient Persia, named after the legendary Achaemenes. (Hakhâmaniš). Their rule lasted until 331 BCE.


Cyaxares                                                                                            628-588 BCE

Astyages                                                                                            588-553 BCE


Cyrus (Ruler of Medes & Persians)                           559/2 to November 530 BCE

(Ruler of Babylon)                                                                539-530 BCE

            First Decree to Return to Israel (Ezra 5:13)                               538 BCE

            First Return to Jerusalem to rebuild Temple                            537 BCE

            50,000 Jews with Zerubabbel (Ezra 1:5, 6; 3:1-10)


Cambyses II                              before August 31, 530 but after April 18, 522 BCE

Bardiya (Smerdis)                                  March 11, 522 to September 29, 522 BCE


Darius I (Hystaspes, the Great)                                      September 29, 522 BCE

Confirmed original decree of Cyrus

Decree to complete the Zerubabbel Temple (Ezra 6:1, 15)      515 BCE

Persian Army defeated by Athenians at Marathon                        490 BCE


Xerses I (Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther)       Before December 1, 486 BCE

The Great Feast (1:3)                                                April 14, 483-Apr 2, 482 BCE

            Command to “gather together all the fair young virgins”        482/481 BCE

            Xerses’ forces were defeated in Greece at the Battle of Salamis 480 BCE

                        General Mardonius defeated at Plataea                             479 BCE

                        Persians leave Europe permanently                                  479 BCE

            Esther summoned (2:12)                            Jan 1, 479 – Jan 30, 479 BCE

            Esther made queen (2:16)                        Dec 22, 479 – Jan 19, 479 BCE

Haman casts lots in the twelfth year (3:7)            Apr 5-May 3, 474 BCE

            Haman’s decree (3:12)                                                    April 17, 474 BCE

            Mordecai’s decree (8:9)                                                 June 25, 474 BCE

            Purim (3:13, 8:12; 9:1, 17-19)                                        March 6, 473 BCE

            Assassination of Ahasuerus was                                               465 BCE

            eight years later by courtier, Artabanus.                                                                                                                    

Artaxerses I Longimanus or Makrocheir

                            Between 4 and 8 August, 465 and after December 24, 424 BCE

            Second Return to Jerusalem under Ezra                                  458 BCE

Letter of protest from the Samaritans from Beshlam, Methredath, Tabel and companions was written and translated in Aramaic.

            Third Jewish Return to Jerusalem under Nehemiah                444 BCE


Xerxes II                                                                                                      423 BCE

Sogdianus                                                                                                   423 BCE

Darius II (Nothus)                                before February 13, 423 to April, 404 BCE

Artaxerses II                                                                                   405/4-359/8 BCE




The Medo-Persian Empire


Traditional Royal Family Tree of the Medes and the Persians


|                                                                   |
Cyrus I                                                       Ariaramnes
|                                                                   |
Cambyses I                                                   Arsames
|                                                                  |
|                                       ____________   |
|                                       |                          |
Cyrus the Great         Pharnaces           Hystaspes
|____________                                          |
|                       |                                          |
Cambyses II       Smerdis                         Darius I
                                                               Xerxes I
                                                               Artaxerxes I
  |                                  |                              |
Sogdianus                 Xerxes II             Darius II
|                                   |                              |
Artaxerxes II           
Cyrus                      Ostanes
|                                                                  |
Artaxerxes III                                            Arsames
|                                                                  |

Artaxerxes IV                                          Darius I



Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo


Iran - Fars (Shiraz) - Ghashghai women weaving carpetGhashghai women weaving a carpet weaving carpet


Zechariah, the next to the last book in the Old Testament canon, is called the “Apocalypse of the Old Testament”.  Its theme is to set forth the program of God, the Plan of Salvation, and its relationship to the remnant of God’s (Hashem’s) chosen people, the Israelites.  This theme is also the same theme of the Book of Revelation by the Apostle John.  Some scholars think that in Zechariah, the children of Israel are the central focus, while in the Book of Revelation the Gentile nations are in the central focus.  Yet, the Book of Revelation appears also to be a literal account of HaShem in the last days with the central focus being Jerusalem and the chosen people, the Jews, as they are assembled in the LandWith this in mind, BibleSearchers, in this study, will relook at the Book of Zechariah as a literal account of the time of the end events with Israel as the central focus. 


According to the traditions of the Hebrews, the names of the authors have a special significanceAnd so in this prophetic book, we see the following meanings unfold:


Zechariah (Zekaryah) is known as Jehovah remembers, orJehovah has remembered.” 


Berechiah, the father of Zechariah, means, God blesses


Iddo, his grandfather’s name means At the appointed time”. 


So what is the message?


God remembers and God blesses at the appointed Time



As Hebrew is translated from right to left, then, we might also consider the meaning:


At the Appointed Time, God blesses and God remembers


The Prophet and builder of the House of the Lord


So who was this Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, son of Iddo?  At the time of the restoration of the Temple of Yahweh in Jerusalem, Ezra exclaimed:


Ezra 5:1 – “The prophet Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophets, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them.” was the catalyst that spurred on the leadership of the restored Jews back to the land.


Ezra 5:2, Nehemiah 12:10 - “So Zerubabbel the son of Shealtiel and Yahshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them, helping them.”


According to the decrees of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerses, kings of Persia, the Temple was completed “on the third day of the month of Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius, about 516 B.C.


Darius II the Great


We also see Zechariah, the son of Iddo again in the Book of NehemiahDuring the reign of the Persian emperor, Artaxerses I Longimanus, the Jews were once against allowed to return to the Land of Israel and not only rebuild and complete the house of the Lord, but to finish the walls around the city of Jerusalem.  


At this time, about 440 BCE, Nehemiah, a prominent courtier in the court of Artaxerses, wrote about Zechariah, son of Iddo, in his memoirs about his aliyah (return to the Land of Israel).  At that time the priests and Levites returned with Zerubabbel and Yehoshua, the High Priest. (Nehemiah 12:12) in the year of 520 BCE, the second year of Darius 1, king of Persia.  This time, Zechariah was recognized as part of the priests and as the head of the fathers’ house of Iddo. (Nehemiah 12:16)


With the fall of Jerusalem in the 586 BCE and the restoration of the Temple to the Lord in 516 BCE, there is a high probability that Zechariah would have been alive prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and participated in the Levitical life in the Temple compound of the Temple of Solomon.  Yet is there any evidence?


Zechariah was a contemporary of Haggai (Zech 1:1, Haggai 1:1), and his works were known to Ezra (Ezra 5:1, 6:14).  It has been assumed that Zechariah was born in Babylonia and that his ministry began about 520/519 BCE or about 16-17 years after the First Degree to Return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple with Zerubabbel in 537 BCE. (Ezra 1:5, 6; 3:1-10)


Zechariah 1:1 – In the eighth month of the Second year of Darius,

the word of the Lord came to Zechariah the son of Berachiah,

the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,


The eighth month was called Bul before the fall of Babylonian captivity. (I Kings 6:38) After the Babylonian exile, it was renamed Marcheshvan or HeshvanSince the religious year began in the month of the Passover, the first month of Abib, the eighth month fell in the months of October-November, 521 BCE.

Outline of the Book of Zechariah


At the beginning of the first chapter we find our first outline of the book.  Here is the first summary of the Book of Zechariah. 


Section One The Lord is very angry with your fathers.” (Zechariah 1:2)  This is a summary of the first six verses


Section TwoReturn to Me (Zechariah 1:3b) this is the theme from chapter 1 verse 7 to chapter 6, verse 15, showing how HaShem will deliver His people.


Section ThreeI will return to you”.  (Zechariah 1:3d)  This theme covers chapters 7 through 14. 


Zechariah 1:2 - “The Lord has been very angry with your fathers.


Yes, God does get angry and when He does, dramatic things begin to happen on this earth.  The word “angry or wroth” in Hebrew Qasaph, literally translated means “to be wroth”.  (Deuteronomy 9:19, Isaiah 47:6)


This historical drama is set in the Persian Empire and is centered over the return “to the Land” and the physical rebuilding of the Temple. The Lord was angry because the Jewish forefathers in the era before the exile had broken their covenant with HaShem.  The reformation that was so powerfully started in the day of good King Josiah was quickly reversed in the era of King Manasseh  thereby resulting in God (HaShem) having to withdraw His protective forces around Jerusalem.  The eventual destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon came in 586 AD.  Does God get angry?  According to mystical Judaism, the most awesome attributes of the Divine are not in the physical attributes, but in the attributes of God’s (Hashem’s) personality.  The wrath of God is seen as the presence of the Divine coming close to His people and providing His protective hand over them and then having to withdraw His presence away from them and removing His protective shield from around His people. 


Zechariah 1:3 – Therefore say to them, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the Lord of hosts, “and I will return to you,”

says the Lord of hosts.


This is the Type is which we will build upon to analyze this Scroll of Zechariah as we try to find the anti-Type or the literal interpretation of the prophecies that will apply to the time of the end. Here we see the real conditional aspects of all prophecies, “Return to Me and I will return to you!”         


The Blessings and Curses as given by Moses (Moshe Rabbeinu) and later Joshua (Yahshua) were repeated over and over with the prophets in the Houses of Israel and Judah.  All the Lord of hosts asked was to return to a life in harmony with the “image of God” that HaShem, the God of Israel created them to be.  Individually and collectively as a nation, the Lord would shower His blessings upon them. 


Whenever one is in exile physically, there must be an assumed exile spiritually from the Lord of Hosts.  The identity of the Children of Israel is tied up with their identity with ‘the Land of Israel’. Christian commentators have mostly assumed that the return from exile was complete yet unfulfilled due to the lack of faith and repentance of the Jewish peopleThey fail to comprehend that the House of Judah did return yet the Return was not complete because the Lost Tribes of the House of Israel were still in exile. 


One of the conditions of this study is to analyze the Book of Zechariah as a historical mini-drama of God working with His people in the return from exile in Babylon/Persia. This mini-drama is actually a rehearsal of the “Return” at the end of the ages in which the House of Judah would return first and then the full family of the Children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would be reunited by the House of Israel, united under the banner of the House of Joseph/Ephraim.


For this initial return to have succeeded and the Final Return to succeed will depend upon completeness of repentance and reformation (Zechariah 3:7, 6:15, 7:7-10; 8:16, 17)


Zechariah 1:4 - “Do not be like your fathers, to whom the

former prophets preached, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord hosts:

“Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deed.”’ But they did not hear nor heed Me,” says the Lord.


Who were these former prophets?


2 King 17:13 –  "Yet the Lord testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets, every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the laws which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.”


Jeremiah 25:3-9 –  “And the Lord has sent to you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear.  They said, “Repent now every one of his evil way and his evil doing, and dwell in the land that the Lord has given youDo not go after other gods…”


Jeremiah 35:15“I have also sent to you all My servants the prophets rising up early and sending them, saying, “Turn now everyone from his evil way, amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them; then you will swell in the land which I have given you and your fathers.”


Ezekiel 33:11“Say to them, “As I live,’ says the Lord God, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways!  For why should you die O house of Israel?”


Then as is today, will we learn from the experience of those who traveled before us?  If so, the continuous cycle of waiting for the return of the Messiah and the return of the Shekinah, the Glory of HaShem (God) will finally be here and we may witness that return in reality(Ezekiel 43)


Zechariah 1:5 – “Your fathers, where are they? 

And the prophets, do they live forever?


When the Lord inquired, “Where are your fathers”, the answer was Iran - Azarbayejan - Sardashtobvious, they are not here, but God is.  To the people listening to the words of Zechariah, their fathers were no longer living, therefore they did not “turn from their evil ways” nor did they “return to the Lord”.  What a powerful statement to us todayEvery generation that passes without the return of the Messiah, is another generation that has not turned to the Lord.


Sardasht in Iran – Photo by Kerman


So as today, the House of Judah did not fully turn from her “evil ways” neither did they fully “return to the Lord”To have a complete restoration of the original House of Israel, it would depend first upon the faithfulness of the House of Judah and then the House of Israel (Joseph) could be restored.  This was the yearning of Yahshua, to send the message to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.  This was the purpose that the mission of the original twelve apostles was to go ‘to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.’  This was the reason why the original Jerusalem (Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia) Church under the leadership of James the Just, as followers of Jesus (Yahshua), were Torah observant Israelites. Of course, this statement assumes that all of the twelve apostles were not of the House of Judah, such as Nathaniel and possibly Philip.


What about the prophets?  Well they too were human and therefore mortal.  Their memory would have been forgotten completely except the words and writings they left behind were the Words of HaShem (God) and therefore eternal. Being oracles of God (HaShem), they would come to pass even if it is 2500 years later. The oracles of God (HaShem) do not leave room for ‘conditional prophecies’, which is assumed that human action controls the finality of whether the Words of the Lord will actually occurWhat God (HaShem) says He will do, He will do.  The only difference is, which generation of mankind will be the recipients of the blessings of the Lord?


Zechariah 1:6 – Yet surely My words and My statues, 

Which I commanded My servants the prophets,

Did they not overtake (nasag) your fathers?


To effect a return to the Land of Israel, the Torah (Words of HaShem) and the statues which He ordained to live, relive, and fulfill the Teachings of God (Torah), these would “take hold of” (KJV), to “overtake’ (NKJV) or to literally “possess” the people of HaShem (God).  To be an agent of God, you must be possessed by God.


Is this not clear, the Torah, the words and the teachings of God will have to possess us, those who live in the time of the end?  Yet, what is the Torah?  To most of Christianity, it is called the Law, and to them, the Law has been done away with at the cross of Christ. Then we must look again.  This concept may be subject to a fatal deception.  When the Lord of hosts states, “My words and statues” it means all the commands of God were to be believed and lived by his chosen people.  What an awe-ful responsibility it is to be chosen!


“So they returned (shub – repented) and said: 

‘Just as the Lord of hosts determined to do to us,

According to our ways and according to our deeds,


If we are not in alignment with the channels of power from God (HaShem) and thereby in the possession by God, then the universal laws of cause and effect will take place.  HaShem will give to us, the fruits of our ways and deeds.  What we sow, that will be what we will reap.  He will not take control of our lives, until we open ourselves fully to His possession. Yes, free will is the difference between the opening the door or shutting the door to be possessed by the Almighty.  This may frighten some because we must have the full faith and confidence in the God of Abraham to fulfill His will in us.  He has also assured us, if we call out in his name, with faith, then we will not be secretly taken over or possessed by the powers of evil.


God’s Concern for Jerusalem


Zechariah 1:7 – On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month,

which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius,

the Word of the Lord came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah,

the son of Iddo the prophet:


This is the first actual date in the Book of Zechariah, according to Julian time would have been Feb. 15, 519 B.C.  The next or second date is in chapter 7:1 and in the subsequent time sequel; eight different visions were recorded from chapter 1:8 to 6:8. 


Vision One – A Man on a Red Horse


Zechariah 1:8 - I saw by night and behold, a man riding on a red horse,

And it stood among the myrtle trees in the hollow;

And behind him were horses: red, sorrel, and white.

Common Myrtle with Fruit Berries

Common or True Myrtle Tree with Waxy and Scented Leaves

Here we see in vision, a man riding on a red or chestnut Arabian horse among an evergreen tree with white flowers and fruit, which possessed an aroma of such pleasant smells that perfumes were made of it.  The myrtle tree was common in the land of Palestine and it would be assumed that the locale of this vision was the Land of Israel.


This horse and rider were in a hollow (mezuzah = abyss, precipice or valley) and behind them were other horses (and assumed riders) that were chestnut (red), spotted or dappled (sorrel) and grey (white).  These are common colors found in any present day herd of Arabian horses. It is not known if there was a herd of horses or there were only three horses (and riders), one of each color.


Zechariah 1:9 - Then I said, “My lord, what are these?” 

So the angel who talked with me said to me,

“I will show you what they are.”


We are now introduced to two beings in the visionFirst we see the “angel who talked with me” or an angelic guide or messenger that was sent to interpret the vision.  The other being was the rider of the chestnut (red) horse that was standing in the midst of the myrtle trees. 


Zechariah 1:10 - And the man who stood among the myrtle trees

answered and said,

“These are the ones whom the Lord has sent to walk

to and fro throughout the earth.” we begin to see the identity of the horses.  They are represented as courtiers or agents from the Kingdom of the Angelic Realms, whose responsibility is to watch and observe the events on this earth, especially as it related to the “chosen ones”, the Children of Israel.  These angelic agents were observing God’s chosen people who were oppressed either in exile or captivity at the hands of oppressing nations.  In the days of Zechariah, the oppressing powers in their history were threeAssyria, Babylon and Medo-Persia.  In the time of the end, John the Revelator picks up this same theme with now four horses; white (grey), red (chestnut), black, and dappled (sorrel or spotted). (See Seals One to Four in Revelation 6.)


The Horse by the Myrtle Tree in the Ravine


Does the black horse of Revelation represent the last of the oppressive powers of God’s people, Rome?  Bear in mind, the legacy of Rome lives today. The Roman Christian Church and all her children, the Protestants, carry the spiritual legacy of Rome.  The European countries are the governmental legacies of the Roman Empire, and the legislative systems of these countries including the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union are the legal legacy of Rome.


Zechariah 1:11 - So they answered the Angel of the Lord,

who stood among the myrtle trees, and said,

“We have walked to and fro throughout the earth,

and behold, all the earth is resting quietly.”


The horse symbolized angelic courtiers who were inspecting this earth, now reported back to the Angel of the Lord, the ‘earth is resting quietly’. There is peace on earth, at least peace as proclaimed by the human powers and rulers on this earth.  This was appropriate to the era of Cyrus or Darius, which in its early years of Cyrus I, it was a world at peace.  Yet God’s people were still at hostage.  Will this not also be the picture at the time of the end when “men shall cry, Peace, Peace” yet Israel will be surrounded by hostile countries and powers that will later form the alliances of Gog and Magog. The Christian Church has been living in an illusion of safety and security.  On the other hand, there has never been a moment of peace in the Land of Israel.


Let us stand back and look now again at this picture.  Is the “Angel of the Lord”, who is the representative of the Ruler of this Universe, the same as the “Angel who stands before the presence of the Lord” who is recognized by the mystical Judaism as Metatron, or YHVH ELOHIM.  This powerful Being, whose position of authority is in the midst of the World of the Divine, and thereby stands below the ‘Daat’ or veil which shields the Lord of hosts from all other created beings.  As such, according to the mystical sages of Judaism, Metatron is clearly the Being standing before the presence of EHVEH, the Almighty Unseen One. 


In the Sefirot”, or the Image of the Divine World, (which includes the full spectrum of attributes and emanations of the Divine); the central Being of this Divine World is called the TiferetOut of the Tiferet, there flows another “Image” or Sefirot that is created.   


Metatron, the Angel which stands before the presence of the Almighty One of Israel, is the head, the king or the crown of this next angelic world, recognized by the mystic sages as the World of the Archangels and all the angelic hosts of Iran - Azarbayejan - khoyheaven.  This world is called the World of Creation, or to the mystics, Beriyah, the angelic world. 


Khoy in Iran – photo by Kerman


There is something strangely familiar about this concept of the mysterious spirit world of the angelic hosts.  We read of concepts of Yehoshua (Jesus) in his pre-carnate state, who dwelled in the heavenly spheres before He was incarnated or put into the three dimensional being as a human babe in Bethlehem.  We also read of Joshua (Yehoshua or Jesus) who meets the Angel called the “Commander of the Hosts’’, the Captain of the Lord, and another Being called the First Begotten of the Father, or the Only Begotten Son. We begin to suspect that these exalted beings are all the same “Angel who stands in the presence of the Lord”


According to the Jewish concept of the worlds of creation flowing forth from the World of the Divine, Metatron would be the same emanation or Spirit Being (lower seven emanations of the ten emanations of the Divine Sefirot) as the Pre-carnate Christ or Joshua (Yehoshua) has He stood in council with His Father, the Almighty One, at the creation of this world


In Christian theology, this Being was later incarnated into the three dimensional world of this earth in the form of a baby called, Yehoshua ben Joseph, Jesus the son of Joseph and Miriam. 


If so, then the “Angel of the Lord”, who was speaking in this vision to Zechariah was Yehoshua (Jesus), in his other dimensional or heavenly state. 


God’s Anger on Jerusalem and Judah for Seventy Years


Zechariah 1-12 – Then the Angel of the Lord answered and said,

“O Lord of hosts, how long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which You were angry these seventy years?”


Note how the Angel of the Lord addresses the Lord of hosts.  He pleads before the Father, ‘How long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem

and the cities of Judah.”  Is this not the same imagery of Christ, our High Priest, standing before the Mercy Seat, the Shekinah, or the Iran - Fars (Shiraz) - Pasargadvisible presence of HaShem, and pleading, Have mercy!  As we dwell on the hierarchy in heaven, we see the depiction of two beings, one clearly superior and transcendent to the other, yet both clearly in a Divine World transcendent to our three dimensional sinful state.


Pasargadae, capital of Cyrus the Great


Seventy years, as a prophetic number was first introduced in the Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10) in which the people of Judah and Jerusalem were prophesied that they would be in servitude for seventy years under Babylon, and Babylon (now the land of Iraq) would later be punished by making her land desolate.


Seventy Year Prophecy of Jeremiah


Jeremiah 25:11-12“And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.  Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, says the Lord; and I will make it a perpetual desolation. 


Jeremiah 29:10, 12-13 – “For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.  …Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all you heart.


Daniel, the prime minister of Babylon was now the prime minister under Darius I, Hystaspes, the Great, the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes.  The era of the Cyrus the Great was finished when he went to put down a revolt in the east and died in battle.  His body was returned to his capital Pasargadae, and there his body lay in state on a golden bier in a simple tomb with a Nordic gabled roof. Cyrus I is recognized as one of the greatest and most humane emperors, who set one of the highest standards ever for the nobility of kingship.  He did this with benevolence and honor to all his people. would be just over 200 years later that a Macedonian general, Alexander would cross the Murghab plain just after they threaded their way along a steep and wooded gorge of the River Pulvar.  Here Alexander the Great paid homage to his acclaimed predecessor, Cyrus the Great


Tomb of Cyrus the Great at Pasargade


Aristobulus, one his military comrades made an account of this moment that was preserved in the writings of Strabo, a first century BCE Greek geographer.  In describing the funeral monument, Aristobulus recorded, It was “a tower of no great size concealed beneath the thicket of trees, in its lower parts massive, but its upper parts having a roof and shrine with a very narrow entrance.” 


The Macedonian general and his entourage entered this burial chamber and there they beheld, “a golden couch and table with drinking cups, and a golden coffin.”  Nearby was an inscription described “from memory” by Aristobulus: “Oh man, I am Cyrus, who founded the empire of the Persians and was king of Asia. Grudge me not therefore this monument.”  


According to the Greek historian Plutarch, who in writing the memoirs of Alexander stated that Alexander had a Greek translation of the mortuary inscription to be placed alongside the Persian text.  Plutarch also recorded a slightly different account of this Persian text; “Oh man, whosoever thou art and from whencesoever thou comest, for that thou wilt come I know, I am Cyrus, who founded the empire of the Persians.  Grudge me not PASARGADtherefore, this little earth that covers my body.” (Cyrus and Alexander)


The Achaemenian capital of Cyrus the Great at Pasargade


According to traditional history, Cyrus rule was followed by his son, Cambyses II, who was as cruel as his father was benevolent, as brutish as his father was honorable.  Known in history as the emperor who kicked his pregnant wife to death, he did expand the empire of the Persians to the south by overthrowing Egypt and bringing the pharaoh back captive to PersiaAs ignoble as he lived and ruled for almost eight years (August 31, 530 to April 18, 522 BCE), so ignoble he died by suicide.


According to Herodotus, the imperial council formed by seven young nobles met and by common consent, agreed to accept as king, the one whose horse should neigh first at the rising of dawn the next dayAccording to the story, one groom made sure his noble’s stallion the next morning at the crack of dawn, would be teased by an enticing mare as so this noble, Darius I, a Median prince of a collateral branch of the Achaemenes royal family in the House of Ahasuerus became the next rule.


The archeology of the area around Persapolis still preserves what is believed to be the tombs of the Achaemenians.  There in the place now called Nakhsh-e Rostam (Picture of Rostam), about seven miles northwest of Persapolis, are preserved four carved out tombs on a perpendicular rock wall.   These Sasanian carvings are felt to represent the Farsian mythical hero called Rostam


In all there are seven tombs, four of which are similar in cut and design.  On one of the tombs in the inscription which identifies this to be the tomb of Darius I.  Persian archeologist feel that the other tombs to be the tombs of Xerses I, Artaxerses I, and Darius II.  Two other completed tombs behind Persapolis it is felt to be the tombs of Artaxerses II and Artaxerses III.  Then there is an unfinished tomb felt to be the tomb of Darius II, the last of the Achaemenians who was overthrown from power by Alexander the Great.


Belteshazzar, also known in Hebrew as Daniel the Prophet, was reflecting on the seventy weeks prophecy. This prophecy by Jeremiah the Prophet stated that Jerusalem would lay in waste.  It was in the first year of the reign of Darius I, when he recognized that the seventy weeks were about to be completed and it NAQSH-E-ROSTAMwas time for God’s people to be returned to their Land. (Daniel 9:1-2)          


The Tomb of Darius I and the Achaemenian royal tombs


To the later Chronicles of the history of Israel, the seventy years was a full Sabbath (Shabbat) for the Land of Israel to fulfill the prophecy of Jeremiah.  Since the days of David, king of Israel, Israel had not kept her covenant with the Lord and allow the land to lie fallow or not cultivated on the Sabbatical Year, or the seventh year. For 490 years, from 1079 BCE to 589 BCE, this commandment of the Lord was not kept.  So the Lord of hosts placed a judgment upon the landSeventy Sabbatical Sabbaths were denied to the land for restoration, and according to the Chroniclers who recorded the history of the Israelites, they stated:


2 Chronicles 36:21 - “Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possession. And those who escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon, where they became servants to him and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths.  As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.”  (586 BCE – 516 BCE)


For seventy years, from the destruction of the Temple of Solomon, to the completion of rebuilding the Temple of Zerubabbel, (586 to 516 BCE) the land was not tilled or produced fruit for the Jewish people. 


Is it any wonder that the prophet Zechariah, three years later in the fourth year of King Darius on the fourth day of the ninth month, was given notice that the seventy years were now completed when, the “word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying’.


Zechariah 7:4,5,7 - “Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me - for Me?  …Should you not have obeyed the words which the Lord proclaimed through the former prophets….”


God is zealous and will return to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem


Zechariah 1:13 - And the Lord answered the angel who talked to me,

with good and comforting words.


The Almighty gives words of comfort and cheer.


Zechariah 1:14 - So the angel who spoke with me said to me,

“Proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts:

“I am zealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with great zeal.

Naghshe Roastam - Persian Kings

Persian Archeology


Jerusalem and Zion is the “apple in the eye of the Lord”.  He was zealous for Jerusalem and Zion in the days of Zechariah and will again be zealous for Jerusalem and Zion at the time of the end. Is it any wonder that those who have a passion for the city which God proclaims over and over to be His chosen city are known to be ‘Zealots’On the other hand that passion of the Zealots must be under the control of God’s will and not as a mechanism to promote power, greed, and control for their own devious ways.


Zechariah 1:15 - I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease;

For I was a littleangry, and they helped – but with evil intent.”


The Almighty One was ‘a little angry’ with His chosen people, and appropriately punished them with limited judgmentHe sent them to exile in Babylon for seventy years and then restored them back to their home.  A “little anger’ resulted in a “little exile”. 


At the same time, He was “exceedingly angry with the nations at ease”.  These nations were the oppressive nations against Judah, because, even though they were agents in the hands of God (HaShem), they went beyond God’s will and sought to put the people of God permanently under their subjection and dominionPower, greed and control in the name of national control always moves beyond the Will of HaShem (God), for the ways of man are against the ways of the Lord.


Later, Hashem’s wrath was dramatized in the death of Haman, his ten sons, and all the Persians who sought to destroy God’s people in the days of Esther and Ahasuerus (Artaxerses I) will be re-dramatized at the time of the end.


Zechariah 1:16 - “Therefore thus says the Lord:

‘ I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy;

My house shall be built in it,

and a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.”’


The rebuilding of the Temple as the House of the Lord is representing the returning presence of HaShem (God) as the Shekinah, is moving closer to our three dimensional worldAs the Jewish remembered their Lord, and they called upon Him and they went and prayed to Him and they sought Him with all their heart, then the Lord of hosts stated, “I will listen to you and…you will find Me.”  (Jeremiah 29:12-13 parts)  


In the year 515 BCE, the Temple of the Lord was dedicated, and here in this text we are witness that on Feb. 15, 519 BCE, Zechariah went into vision and the Lord told him, “I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; My House shall be built in it.”  For the next four years the surveyor’s line was stretched over Jerusalem and the Temple of the Lord was restored.  So again at the time of the end, the Lord of hosts will “return to Jerusalem with mercy” and the Temple will be rebuilt, as it was in the days of Zerubabbel, Ezra, and Nehemiah.


Zechariah 1:17 - “Again proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of Hosts:

My cities shall again spread out through prosperity;

The Lord will again comfort Zion, and will again choose Jerusalem.’”


Here is a beautiful picture of harmony and peaceLike a mother hen protects her chicks, so the protective arm of HaShem, the God of Israel will protect Jerusalem in an era of prosperity, which prophetically has not been fulfilled since the days of David and Solomon. 


Vision Two – the Horns that God used to scatter Judah


Zechariah 1:18-19 - Then I raised my eyes and looked,

And there were four horns.

And I said to the Angel who talked with me,

“What are these?’  So he answered me,

‘These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.’”


Iran - Kerman - Arg e BamThe horns were the imperial powers which had oppressed Israel up to the days of Zechariah, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and Medo-Persia.  As in verse 21, they are the also the “Horns” that scattered Judah, that prevented HaShem’s people from living within their own land, in peace and security.


The Earthen City of “Arg e Bam” in Iran – photo by Kerman


Egypt, Assyria and Babylon truly were oppressive nations, but not Persia. The Empire of Persia was the chosen nation to restore the people of the Jews back to their homelands. Let us not forget, though Cyrus as an “anointed” one of God, or recognized as a messiah, the empire of Persia, was still under the control of the oppressive forces of evil. 


In the third year of Darius I the Great, the prime minister Daniel was mourning for three whole weeks as he sought the ways of the Lord.  (Daniel 10:1-2) He was taken in vision to the Tigris River and there saw a “man clothed in linen with a belt of gold from Ophir”.


Once again we see an image of what many scholars is an image of the pre-carnate Christ, or Jesus as he ministered for His people in the presence of His Father, the Lord of hosts. This linen clothed Man was sent directly to Daniel, but in route was resisted and hindered by the Angel prince of the kingdom of Persia. (Daniel 10: 13)  Here we are seeing a cosmic struggle for supremacy in the continuing war in heaven


Jesus’ pre-carnate mission was for the preservation of the chosen ones of God of the House of Judah.  Yehoshua’s earthly mission was in part to find the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.  In this picture, we see Yehoshua sent to Daniel, directly from the Throne of God, with a message about the future of the people of God and about the time of the end.  This message was to include the prophecies of the King of the North (Daniel 11:13) fulfilled in part by Antiochus Epiphanes IV when he desecrated the Temple of the Lord in the day of the Maccabees. Yet, this vision was also prophesying about the future Antichrist as the Anti-Messiah (the Anti-type of Antiochus Epiphanes IV) at the time of the end.


Let us not forget this pictureThe battle of the ages is a cosmic battle in which we are players in this three dimensional world.  Yehoshua was hindered from going to see Daniel for twenty-one days by the evil Prince of Persia, and only until assisted by Michael, the Archangel, was Yehoshua able to continue on with His mission.


The Craftsmen that God used to scatter Judah’s Enemies


Zechariah 1:20-21 - Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen.

And I said, “What are these coming to do?”

So he said, “These are the horns that scattered Judah,

So that no one could lift up his head;

Iran - Khorasan - Neyshabour GardensBut the craftsmen are coming to terrify them to cast out the horns of the nations

That lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it.”


Neyshabour Gardens in Iran

Photo by Kerman


Where as the horns were powers that scattered and put God’s people into oppression so they could not lift up their heads with honor and dignity, so the craftsmen are powers that were sent by Hashem to terrify the horns and to eventually overthrow them and their vast imperial systems.  Some scholars consider the fact that the horns in this prophecy were the nations that scattered Judah (not Israel).  These horns would therefore have been the nations that “scattered Judah”, and humbled them that they “could not lift up their heads”.   Yes, even the land of Judah was scattered by Assyria, though the city of Jerusalem was spared by HaShem’s mercy. 


Who are these craftsmen?  To Egypt, the Angel of the Lord brought the plagues over the lands and eventually overthrew the false religious system of the priests that were the first born of the land. 


To Assyria, the Angel of the Lord, shut down the imperial grasp of Assyria with a vast electrical bolt from heaven which destroyed and vaporized the entire Assyrian army of Sennecharib, outside the walls of Jerusalem


To Babylon, the Angel of the Lord, sent Nebuchadnezzar into exile, until he was willing to call upon the Name of the LordBeltchazzar witnessed the finger of the Lord as his doom was spelled out on the walls of his banquet hall as the impregnable city of Babylon was in the process of being conquered by Cyrus the Mede. The last king of Babylon, Saddam Hussein, was executed by the hangman’s noose while his entire fertile land was showered with depleted uranium armaments that will render the land of Babylon unfit for habitation or the growing of uncontaminated food.  The judgments of the Lord upon Babylon will finally be complete. 


And to the Persians, the Angel of the Lord sent Alexander the Great like a flying conqueror, marching forth to conquer and to conquerDarius 11 Nothus, the last emperor of Persia fell in one of the greatest battle reverses in earth’s history. Yet at the time of the end, the fate of Persia (Iran) as the Ram with Two Great Horns will be conquered by the Western globalists of the United States the Grecian face of NATO’s RomeSubjected to the western powers, Persia (Iran) will meet her final fate in the epic battle of GoguMagog




The Persian Empire


Persian Kings in the Bible by Farsinet

What the Bible say about Persia and Persians by Farsinet

History of Christians and Christianity in Persia by Farsinet

Chronology of the Persian Empire by Farsinet

Rulers and Dynasties of Persia by Farsinet

The Nazarene Iranian Christians by Farsinet

Christ and the Persian Magi by Farsinet

King Darius orders Daniel to the Lion’s Den by Farsinet

Cyrus’ Charter – The First Charter of Human Rights by Farsinet

Cyrus a Just Ruler by Farsinet

Cyrus is called by God to serve Him by Farsinet

Cyrus King of Persia orders Jews to return to Israel by Farsinet

Persians in the Bible – Book by Farsinet (read in English or Farsi)

English Index to Persian in the Bible by Farsinet

Pasargade and the Persian Garden by Persian Gardens

The Achaemenian Dynasty by Persia-Iran

The History of the Iranian Empire by Virtual Tourist



Go to Zechariah 2 – God sets His Sights to Rebuild Jerusalem



History of measuring Jerusalem

Jerusalem inhabited as Towns without walls

The Wall of Fire – the Cherubim of God

The Chariots are the Cherubim of God.

Solomon to make Chariots for the Ark of the Covenant

Cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant in the Temple of Solomon

God arriving to Sinai in his Chariots and the rapture of Israelites

Did Jesus ride in two separate Chariot or Cherubim trips to Heaven?

Satan, the Anointing Cherubim transporting and then abandoning Jesus

Cherubim carried Ezekiel to the River Kebar

Ezekiel sees the Throne of God in Heaven

The Second Coming of Christ with His Chariots of Fire

Flee and Return to the Land of Israel

He who touches Israel touches the Pupil of God’s Eye.


Index for the Commentary on the Prophecies of Zechariah


The Redemption and Restoration of Jerusalem and Israel

Zechariah 1 - God remembers and God blesses at the Appointed Time

Zechariah 2 – God sets His sights to Rebuild Jerusalem

Zechariah 3 – The Priesthood is Re-consecrated for the Temple

Zechariah 4 – God sends Israel His Anointed Ones and His faithful Eyes

Zechariah 5 – The Flying of the Megillah and the Cleansing of the Land

Zechariah 6 – The Four Chariots, Temple is Built and Israel is a Theocracy

Zechariah 7 – Replace Feasts of Fasting with Obedience, Justice and Mercy

Zechariah 8 – Let us Feast with Joy – God returns to Dwell with His People


The Oracles and Judgments of the God of Israel

 Zechariah 9 - Part One – The Burden of the Lord on the Fertile Crescent

Zechariah 9 - Part Two – The God of Israel wants Damascus to be One of His Zions

 Zechariah 9 - Part Three – The Prelude to the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah War – Global News

Zechariah 9 - Part Four The Israeli-Hezbollah War in the Summer 2006

17 Tammuz to the 9th Av 5766 – Global News

 Zechariah 9 - Part Five – The Oracles of HaShem against the Palestinians

Zechariah 10 – Latter Rain - Restoration of the Houses of Judah & Joseph

Zechariah 11 – Part One – The Good Shepherd and the Oracles against Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and the Palestinians

Zechariah 11 – Part Two – The Good Shepherd and the Unification of the Houses of Judah and Israel

Zechariah 12:1 – The Creator and the Throne of the God of Israel

Zechariah 12:1 – The Creator, the Worlds of Creation, the Spirit of God, and the Souls of Man

Zechariah 12:1-2 –    Jerusalem, a Cup of Trembling

Zechariah 12:3-14 – Jerusalem, a Burdensome Stone

Zechariah 13 – The Gihon Fountain flows from the Temple of the Lord

Zechariah 14 - I will gather all Nations to battle at Jerusalem
The Lord’s feet will stand on the Mount of Olives


Message from BibleSearchers


BibleSearchers scans the world for information that has relevance on the time of the end.  It is our prayer that this will allow the believers in the Almighty One of Israel to “watch and be ready”.  Our readiness has nothing to do trying to halt the progression of evil on our planet earth.  In our readiness, we seek to be prepared for the coming of the Messiah of Israel so that goodness and evil will be manifested in its fullest.  Our preparation is a pathway of spiritual readiness for a world of peace.  Our defender is the Lord of hosts. The time of the end suggests that the Eternal One of Israel’s intent is to close out this chapter of earth’s history so that the perpetrators of evil, those that seek power, greed and control, will be eliminated from this planet earth.  The wars of the heavens are being played out on this planet earth and humans will live through it to testify of the might, power, justice and the love of the God of Israel.  In a world of corruption and disinformation, we cannot always know what the historical truth is and who is promoting evil or mis-information.  We cannot guarantee our sources but we will always seek to portray trends that can be validated in the Torah and the testimony of the prophets of the Old and the New Testament.



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