Zechariah urged rebuilding of temple

At least 29 people mentioned in the Old Testament had the name Zechariah. The prophet Zechariah was the son of Berechiah, who was "the son of Iddo the Prophet." (Zech. 1:1.) Iddo was head of a priestly family that was among some 50,000 Jews who returned from exile in Babylon (Neh. 12:4) under the leadership of Zerubbabel, who rebuilt the temple at Jerusalem.

Before the Jews were taken captive, they had been blessed with the magnificent and costly temple Solomon had built. However, because of the wickedness of Israel, the temple was destroyed within 40 years, at the time the Jews were taken captive into Babylon.One of Zechariah's main concerns was the rebuilding of the temple. Zechariah and Haggai motivated the people to resume and complete the work. "And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia." (Ezra 6:14.)

Elder James E. Talmage, in The House of the Lord, wrote of this partially restored temple:

"In many respects the Temple of Zerubbabel appeared poor in comparison with its splendid predecessor and in certain particulars, indeed, it ranked lower than the ancient Tabernacle of the Congregation - the sanctuary of the nomadic tribes. Critical scholars specify the following features characteristic of the Temple of Solomon and lacking in the Temple of Zerubbabel: the Ark of the Covenant; the sacred fire; the Shekinah, or glory of the Lord, manifested of old as a Divine Presence; the Urim and Thummim, by which Jehovah made plain His will to the priests of the Aaronic order; the genius or spirit of prophecy, indicative of the closest communion between mortals and their God. Notwithstanding these differences the Temple of Zerubbabel was recognized of God and was undoubtedly the site or seat of Divine revelation to duly constituted prophets."

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed