“Unit 32: Day 2, Zechariah 9–14,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)
“Unit 32: Day 2,” Old Testament Study Guide
In a vision, Zechariah saw the first coming of the Messiah to earth and His people’s rejection of Him. In a subsequent vision, he saw the Messiah return to the earth to deliver His people from all the nations gathered to fight them. At that time the Jews will recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah and worship Him.
Read Matthew 21:6–9, looking for how people felt when Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem.
Why do you think the people rejoiced?
When Jesus Christ rode in triumph into Jerusalem, He fulfilled a prophecy given by the prophet Zechariah hundreds of years earlier.
Read Zechariah 9:9, looking for a reason why the Jews of Jerusalem would have rejoiced during Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry.
Zechariah 9:9 is one of the most widely quoted prophecies about the Messiah in the Bible.
Elder James E. Talmage of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote: “That the occasion [of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem] was no accidental or fortuitous happening, of which He took advantage without preconceived intention, is evident. He knew beforehand what would be, and what He would do. It was no meaningless pageantry; but the actual advent of the King into His royal city, and His entry into the temple, the house of the King of kings. He came riding on an ass, in token of peace, acclaimed by the Hosanna shouts of the multitudes; not on a caparisoned steed [a majestic horse with a decorative covering] with the panoply [impressive display] of combat and the accompaniment of bugle blasts and fanfare of trumpets. … The ass has been designated in literature as ‘the ancient symbol of Jewish royalty,’ and one riding upon an ass as the type of peaceful progress” (Jesus the Christ, 3rd ed. , 516–17).
In the New Testament times, “many Jews were looking only for a deliverer from the Roman power and for a greater national prosperity” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Messiah”; scriptures.lds.org). When Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem, many Jews cheered for Him as a messiah, or a political deliverer, not necessarily as the Messiah, who would bring them eternal salvation. Although some people believed that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, many were disappointed that He did not overthrow the Roman rule. Some of the Jewish leaders envied Him and rejected Him as both a messiah and the Messiah, so they plotted His death and persuaded the multitude at Pilate’s court to demand that Barabbas be released instead of Jesus Christ, which resulted in the Savior’s Crucifixion (see Matthew 27:17–20).
Read Zechariah 9:10–12, looking for what the Lord said He would do for the individuals described in these verses as “the heathen,” or people who do not believe in Him, and as “prisoners of hope.”
Consider the extent of Jesus Christ’s power to save. He can save and free not only people who are bound by sin in mortality but also people who are bound in the spirit world. According to verse 11, what makes it possible for the prisoners to be freed?
Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: “[Zechariah] gives the Messianic message in these words: ‘By the blood of thy covenant’—that is, because of the gospel covenant, which is efficacious because of the shedding of the blood of Christ—‘I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.’ (Zech. 9:11–16.) ‘Wherein is no water’—how aptly and succinctly this crystallizes the thought that the saving water, which is baptism, is an earthly ordinance and cannot be performed by spirit beings while they dwell in the spirit world” (The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ , 241).
In other words, those who have died without having been baptized and are bound in spirit prison can be delivered from their sins through ordinances performed by the living.
One truth we can learn from Zechariah 9:11 is that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, salvation is available to all mankind, and those who have died without having been baptized can be freed from spirit prison.
To understand how Jesus Christ made it possible for those who died without the gospel to be delivered from spirit prison, read the following statement by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“While yet in life, Jesus prophesied that He would also preach to the dead. Peter tells us this happened in the interval between the Savior’s Crucifixion and Resurrection (see 1 Peter 3:18–19). President Joseph F. Smith … witnessed in vision that the Savior visited the spirit world and ‘from among the righteous [spirits], he organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness. …
“‘These were taught faith in God, repentance from sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins, [and] the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands’ (D&C 138:30, 33). …
“… Jesus Christ is the divine Redeemer of all mankind. His grace and promises reach even those who in life do not find Him. Because of Him, the prisoners shall indeed go free” (“Why Do We Baptize for the Dead?” New Era, Mar. 2009, 2, 5).
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
How can you help your deceased ancestors receive ordinances necessary for salvation?
What feelings have you had as you have performed family history and temple work? If you have not yet participated in family history and temple work, how do you feel knowing that you can help your deceased ancestors receive ordinances necessary for their salvation?
Zechariah 10 contains Zechariah’s prophecy that the Lord’s people would be scattered and then gathered in the last days. Zechariah 11 contains his prophecy that some of the Jews would reject Jesus Christ.
- Read the following scripture passages. In your scripture study journal, explain how Zechariah’s prophecies were fulfilled.
After prophesying about the Lord’s mortal ministry, Zechariah prophesied about His Second Coming. Like many prophecies, the specific details regarding how Zechariah’s prophecies will be fulfilled will not be clear until after their fulfillment. As you study Zechariah 12–14, consider how the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will be different from His mortal ministry.
As recorded in Zechariah 12, Zechariah prophesied of a great battle that will precede the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. We know this as the battle of Armageddon and have discussed it in previous lessons (see Ezekiel 38–39; Joel 2–3). Read Zechariah 12:2–3, looking for whom all nations would gather against in this battle.
To learn more about this great battle, study the following scripture passages and look for answers to their corresponding questions. You may want to mark what you find in your scriptures.
What will the Lord do for the people of Jerusalem?
What will happen to the inhabitants of Jerusalem before they are delivered?
What will happen that will allow the people of Jerusalem to be delivered?
What will the Jews at Jerusalem notice about Jesus Christ’s appearance when He comes to deliver them from their enemies?
What do you think this moment will be like for the Jews?
Why do you think the Jews will mourn?
Read Zechariah 14:6–9, looking for events that will take place as part of the Lord’s Second Coming.
As recorded in Zechariah 14:10–19, the great battle will end, many of those who have fought against Jerusalem will be destroyed, and those who remain will “worship the King, the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 14:16) or suffer droughts and plagues.
- Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: How can you benefit now from knowing that one day Jesus Christ will reign over all the earth?
As you read the following statement by Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, ponder on what you can do to prepare for the time when the Savior comes again: “If you sense that one day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord, why not do so now? For in the coming of that collective confession, it will mean much less to kneel down when it is no longer possible to stand up!” (“Why Not Now?” Ensign, Nov. 1974, 13).
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Zechariah 9–14 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: