The book of Zechariah is the lengthiest of the so-called Minor Prophets and one of the most difficult books in the Old Testament. The historical context of the book is identical to that of Haggai. The first eight chapters of Zechariah contain date references ranging from October of 520 BC to December of 518 BC. Chapters 9–14 do not contain any date references. Zechariah deals with a number of important themes, the most significant being the restoration of Israel. He encourages the people with the promise that Jerusalem and the temple will be rebuilt and that this rebuilding will have worldwide significance. God will once again manifest His presence among His people and cleanse them from their sin. He will overcome their sin and rebellion through a coming Messiah. Zechariah’s visions and oracles teach the people that although the restoration from exile has already begun, it has not yet reached its full consummation. There are a number of helpful commentaries on the book of Zechariah, and the following are five of the best.
1. Anthony R. Petterson — Haggai, Zechariah & Malachi (Apollos Old Testament Commentary, 2015).
I had to place Petterson’s commentary in the second spot for Haggai because of Alec Motyer, but here, I believe, he should take the top spot. His commentary on Zechariah in this volume is an exceptional work on a very difficult book of Scripture.
2. Mark J. Boda — The Book of Zechariah (New International Commentary on the Old Testament, 2016).
I first became aware of Mark Boda through his little book The Heartbeat of Old Testament Theology. It is a well-written and interesting little book. His commentary on Zechariah is well-written, but it is anything but little. Weighing in at a massive 936 pages, it is not for the faint of heart. It can be somewhat technical at times, but for those doing in-depth work on the book of Zechariah, it is a must-read. Boda has also written a less technical commentary on Zechariah for the NIVAC series.
3. Thomas E. McComiskey — The Minor Prophets (2009 ).
The commentary on Zechariah in this volume was written by Thomas McComiskey himself. As with the other commentaries in this volume, it is fairly technical, and parts of the commentary require some knowledge of Hebrew. Very helpful.
4. Iain Duguid — Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi (EP Study Commentary, 2010).
Anything written by Iain Duguid is worth reading, and this commentary is no exception. Here he brings exceptional insight to these neglected biblical books.
5. Barry G. Webb — The Message of Zechariah (The Bible Speaks Today, 2003).
In the first version of this Top 5 list, I had Barry Webb’s commentary among the Runners-Up. After further consideration, I believe his introductory-level commentary belongs in the Top 5. This one is well worth reading.
There are a number of other helpful commentaries on the book of Zechariah including those by Joyce Baldwin, Andrew Hill, John Mackay, Ralph Smith, T.V. Moore, Michael Bentley, James Boice, and George Klein.
Helpful Related Works
Pastors should consider Bryan Gregory’s Longing for God in an Age of Discouragement: The Gospel According to Zechariah. Although not a commentary on the entire book, Glory in Our Midst by Meredith Kline is also well worth consulting.
This article is part of the Top 5 Commentaries collection.