February 21 - Prophet Zachariah
The Prophet Zachariah the Sickle-Seer is the eleventh of the twelve Minor Prophets. He was descended from the tribe of Levi, and seems to have been a priest (Nehemiah 12:4, 16). He was called to prophetic service at a young age and became, in the wondrous expression of church hymnology, “a spectator of supra-worldly visions.”
The Book of the Prophet Zachariah contains inspired details about the coming of the Messiah (Zachariah 6:12); about the last days of the Savior’s earthly life, about the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem on a young donkey (Zachariah 9:9); about the betrayal of the Lord for thirty pieces of silver and the purchase of the potter’s field with them (Zachariah 11:12-13); about the piercing of the Savior’s side (Zachariah 12:10); about the scattering of the apostles from the Garden of Gethsemane (Zachariah 13:7); about the eclipse of the sun at the time of the Crucifixion (Zachariah 14:6-7).
“Enlightened by dawnings all above,” the Prophet Zachariah, “saw the future as it were the present.” According to Tradition, this “most true God-proclaimer” lived to old age and was buried near Jerusalem, beside his illustrious contemporary and companion, the Prophet Haggai. The title “Sickle-Seer” given Zachariah comes from a vision in which he saw a sickle flying in the air, destroying thieves and perjurers (Zachariah 5:1-3).
The holy Prophet Zachariah died around 520 B.C. His tomb was discovered in 415 in a village near Eleutheropolis. At the prophet’s feet was the body of a child dressed in royal accoutrements. His holy relics were transferred to the church of Saint James the Brother of the Lord in Constantinople.
We celebrate the memory of Your prophet Zachariah, O Lord,
through him we entreat You to save our souls.
Enlightened by the Spirit,
your pure heart became the dwelling place of most splendid prophecy.
For you saw things far off as if they were near.
Therefore, we honor you, O blessed and glorious Prophet Zachariah.
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