The Prophecy of Zechariah – Part 2, Jesus and Satan
Presenting the first two chapters of Zechariah, we saw that the prophet began writing around the start of the building of the second temple in the days of Zerubbabel, about 520 BC. While his prophecy had a meaning with an immediate application in his own time, regarding the building of the temple, it also has far-reaching implications related to the very purpose of the 70-weeks kingdom, which is what we call Judaea as it was in the inter-testamental period. We hope to further establish the proofs of that assertion here, presenting Zechariah chapter 3.
This period which we prefer to describe as the 70-weeks kingdom, from another prophecy which describes it in Daniel chapter 9, is also referred to as the second temple period. However that label is not quite accurate. According to Ezra, the second temple took only four years to build. The temple of the time of Christ was actually the third temple, Herod’s temple, as the second temple was rebuilt from the foundations up. That is how the Judaean historian Flavius Josephus described it, and the building of that third temple is mentioned in John chapter 2 where it is said that the project took 46 years to complete.
As Josephus wrote in Book 15 of his Antiquities of the Judaeans, “391 So Herod took away the old foundations, and laid others, and erected the temple upon them, being in length a hundred cubits, and in height twenty additional cubits, which [twenty], upon the sinking of their foundations fell down; and this part it was that we resolved to raise again in the days of Nero. 392 Now the temple was built of stones that were white and strong, and each of their length was twenty-five cubits, their height was eight, and their breadth about twelve; 393 and the whole structure, as also the structure of the royal cloister, was on each side much lower, but the middle was much higher, till they were visible to those who dwelt in the country for a great many miles, but chiefly to such as lived opposite them, and those who approached to them.” The building project having taken 46 years, and the foundations of the second temple being completely replaced, where Josephus said that new foundations were laid and Herod then “erected the temple upon them”, we cannot imagine that the resulting edifice was still the second temple. Rather, it could only be counted as a third temple, and that is a fact ignored by both Jews and Judaized Christians alike.