This is a brand new translation and commentary of the first six chapters of Zechariah's prophecy. In this section of the Bible, eight dreams are given the young exile pertaining to the future of Israel and the nations. There are many footnotes dealing with the Hebrew text and quotes from leading evangelical scholars. The commentary is written from a dispensational perspective.
I'll call them dreams since they happened at night, but it's debatable if they were really "dreams" or "visions." To understand the usefulness of these dreams you must first consider who Zechariah was and what situation he found himself in. Israel is God's chosen nation. Due to sin the Almighty judged his people through the imperial powers of Assyria and Babylon. These two mighty nations ransacked the land and carried away thousands of captives. At the end of the Babylonian captivity (around 538 B.C.) many Jews stayed put and only a remnant returned to their homeland.
Obviously the situation they found themselves in was disheartening. Their beloved capital had been razed, their beloved Temple burned down, and their protective walls and treasures were things of the past. Added to all this was the fact that foreigners had been inhabiting the land and were out to cause problems for those who returned. Despite these obstacles work on the second Temple began (Ezra 3); however, due to the pressure of the foreigners, the work eventually stopped (Ezra 4:24). Years later God would begin to stir a prophet named Haggai to encourage the people to resume the work (Haggai 1:1-8; Ezra 5:1-2).
Shortly after Haggai began prophesying (in the sixth month of the second year of Darius) God also visited Zechariah. His history can be pieced together from different sources...