Zechariah (Hebrew prophet)

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Zechariah (Hebrew: זְכַרְיָה, Modern Zekharya Tiberian Zəḵaryā, "YHWH has remembered"; Arabic: زكرياZakariya or Zakkariya; Greek: Ζαχαριας Zakharias; Latin: Zacharias) was a person in the Hebrew Bible and the author of the Book of Zechariah, the eleventh of the twelve minor prophets.

He was a prophet of the two-tribe kingdom of Judah, and like Ezekiel was of priestly extraction. He describes himself (Zechariah 1:1) as "the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo." In Ezra 5:1 and 6:14 he is called "the son of Iddo," who was properly his grandfather. His prophetical career began in the second year of Darius, king of Persia (B.C. 520), about sixteen years after the return of the first company from their Babylonian exile. He was contemporary with Haggai (Ezra 5:1).

In the New Testament Gospel of Matthew,[1] Jesus is quoted as stating that Zechariah son of Barachiah was killed between the altar and the temple. A similar quotation is also found in the Gospel of Luke.[2] Although there is an indication in Targum Lamentations that "Zechariah son of Iddo" was killed in the Temple,[3] scholars generally understand this as a reference to the death of a much earlier figure, Zechariah ben Jehoiada.[4]

On the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar, his feast day is February 8. He is commemorated with the other minor prophets in the calendar of saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on July 31.

In Islam

The Qur'an mentions only 25 prophets by name, including Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. Muslims, however, believe that many, many prophets were sent to mankind to spread the message of God, including many not mentioned in the Qur'an. Therefore, although this particular Zechariah is not mentioned by name in the Qur'an, noted translator Abdullah Yusuf Ali, in reference to verses mentioning the martyrdom of prophets and righteous men[5], quotes the Gospel of Matthew and suggests that these verses in the Qur'an are a reference to the slaying of, among others, Zechariah son of Berechiah.

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