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The Holy Prophet Zacharias (8 February)

The Prophet Zacharias was the son of Barachias, and a contemporary of the Prophet Aggeus (Dec. 16). In the days of the Babylonian captivity, he prophesied, as it says, in the book of Ezra, “to the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem” (Ezra 5: 1); he aided Zerubbabel in the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. In the book of Ezra he is called “Zacharias the son of Addo (or Iddo)” but in his own prophetic book he is called more fully “Zacharias, the son of Barachias, the son of Addo the Prophet” (Zach. 1:1). When the captives returned from Babylon, he came to dwell in Jerusalem in his old age. His book of prophecy is divided into fourteen chapters and has the eleventh place among the books of the minor Prophets; his name means “Yah is renowned.” Sozomen reports that under the Emperor Honorius, Zacharias’ holy relics were found in Eleutheropolis of Palestine. The Prophet appeared in a dream to a certain Calemerus, telling him where he would find his tomb. His body was found to be incorrupt (Eccl. Hist., Book IX, 17).

Zechariah was the eleventh of the [twelve] minor prophets. Together with the Prophet Haggai, he persuaded Prince Zerubbabel to restore the Temple of Jerusalem. Zechariah prophesied the solemn entrance of Christ into Jerusalem on a colt, the foal of an ass (Zechariah 9:9). He also prophesied Judas’s betrayal of Christ for thirty pieces of silver: And they counted out my wages, thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12), as well as the abandoning of Christ by the apostles during the time of His passion: Strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be dispersed (Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 26:3; Mark 14:27). The Prophet Zechariah is called the “beholder of the sickle” because he saw, in a vision, a sickle coming down from heaven to mow down the unjust, especially thieves and blasphemers of the Name of God. Zechariah reposed during the latter half of the reign of Darius Hystapes, in about the year 520 B.C.

Apolytikion of Prophet Zacharias

Second Tone

As we celebrate the memory of Thy Prophet Zacharias, O Lord, through him we beseech Thee to save our souls.

Kontakion of Prophet Zacharias

Fourth Tone

As a brightly-shining lamp that was illumined with the Spirit’s fiery beams, O Zacharias most renowned, thou didst prefigure with clarity the Savior’s great and untold condescension toward us.