Zechariah - Concordia Commentary

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Dr. Lessing dwells on Zechariah's "day of small things", where Israel languished under the oppression of the Persians, and sees a great rebuilding of Israel's faith in the work of the prophet in his Concordia Commentary on Zechariah.
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In This Volume

In Zechariah’s time, the people complained that theirs was “a day of small things.” (Zechariah 4:10) Israel languished under the rule of the Persians, their ranks thinned and the second temple plain and unadorned. In light of this, Zechariah has sometimes been dismissed as passive and conformist, lacking the fiery words and indictments of Isaiah, Jerimiah, Amos, and other prophets that railed against the disrepair of God’s people. In this commentary, Lessing argues that Zechariah stands among the great prophets, merely taking a different tact. Zechariah is a text of rebuilding: rebuilding God’s law in the nation, rebuilding the hope of the Gospel, and rebuilding the faith of the people. Taking an approach that is Christological, theological, historical, and literary, Lessing receives Zechariah as a whole text, saying, “Zechariah is God’s gift for all living in wreckage and ruin.” Read and be comforted by the Prophet who foretold Christ’s birth in Bethlehem.


  • Discussion of the chapters 9–14 as a visionary template of Christ’s passion
  • Biographical histories on Zechariah, Haggai, Cyrus II, Darius I, and Bablyon.
  • Century by Century overviews of scholarship on Zechariah
  • Comparison of Psalm 126 as a microcosm of Zechariah

Additional Essays

  • Zechariah and Apocalyptic Literature
  • Zechariah and Earlier Texts

About the Author

Reed Lessing was born and raised in Denver, Colo. He received the B.A. in pre-seminary studies from St. John’s College, Winfield, Kans., in 1981. His degrees from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo., are the M.Div. (1985), the S.T.M. (1989), and the Ph.D. (2001). He was ordained into the office of the holy ministry on June 29, 1986. From 1986 to 1999, he served pastorates in West Monroe, La., and Broken Arrow, Okla. Dr. Lessing was also Professor of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, from 1999 to 2013. He served as Senior Pastor at St. Michael Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Ind., from September 2013 to July 2020. He currently serves as Professor of Theology and Ministry at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn.


“Once again Lessing has provided a substantive Old Testament commentary within the Lutheran tradition. This volume offers close study of the Hebrew text of Zechariah and its historical message within the framework of a Christological reading. Lessing also writes in a readable style that will make this very challenging prophetic book accessible to a broad public. He is to be applauded for a fine work.”

—M. Daniel Carroll R. (Rodas), Scripture Press Ministries Professor of Biblical Studies and Pedagogy, Wheaton College and Graduate School, Wheaton, Illinois 

“Building on his previous commentaries on prophetic literature, Reed Lessing turns his keen exegetical skills and close reading of the text to this important post- exilic “prophet of the passion,” who brought hope and vision to the disillusioned and disheartened people of Yehud in this critical time. God’s people had returned but were hardly restored. The rebuilding of the temple had begun with enthusiastic support, but it soon stalled. With a deep grasp of the historical situation, Lessing unpacks the power of prophetic encouragement in light of the great story of God’s salvation from Moses and the Prophets to the passion of our Lord, “my Servant, the Sprout” (Zech 3:8), and through it to the resurrection life that follows, when “death dies and life wins” and we are completely restored.”

—Andrew H. Bartelt, Professor Emeritus of Exegetical Theology, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri 

About the Series

The Concordia Commentary Series: A Theological Exposition of Sacred Scripture is written to enable pastors and teachers of the Word to proclaim the Gospel with greater insight, clarity, and faithfulness to the divine intent of the Biblical text.

The series will cover all the canonical books of the Old and New Testament, with an original translation and meticulous grammatical analysis of the Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek of each text. The foremost interpretive lens centers on the unified proclamation of the person and work of Christ across every Scriptural book.

The Commentary fully affirms the divine inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture; Each passage bears witness to the confession that God has reconciled the world to Himself through the incarnation, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ His Son.

Authors expose the rich treasury of language, imagery, and thematic content of the Scripture, while supplementing their work with additional research in archaeology, history, and extrabiblical literature. Throughout, God’s Word emanates from authors careful attention and inculcates the ongoing life of the Church in Word, Sacrament, and daily confession.

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Books of BibleZechariah
Section of BibleOld Testament, Prophetic Books
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