Monday, February 08, 2010

Prophet Zachariah


Commemorated on February 8

The Prophet Zachariah the Sickle-Seer 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 (Zach 6:12); about the last days of the Savior's earthly life, about the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem on a young donkey (Zach 9:9); about the betrayal of the Lord for thirty pieces of silver and the purchase of the potter's field with them (Zach 11:12-13); about the piercing of the Savior's side (Zach 12:10); about the scattering of the apostles from the Garden of Gethsemane (Zach 13:7); about the eclipse of the sun at the time of the Crucifixion (Zach 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 (December 16). The title "Sickle-Seer" given Zachariah comes from a vision in which he saw a sickle flying in the air, destroying thieves and perjurors (Zach 5:1-3).

The holy Prophet Zachariah died around 520 B.C. His tomb was discovered in 415 in a village near Eleutheropolis (Sozomen, Hist. Eccles. VI:32, IX:17). At the prophet's feet was the body of a child dressed in royal accoutrements. His holy relics were transferred to the church of St James the Brother of the Lord (October 23) in Constantinople.

Troparion - Tone 2

The memory of Your prophet Zachariah
We celebrate today, O Lord.
By his prayers, we beseech You,
O Christ God, save our souls!
And the following from here.

February 8

The Prophet Zachariah 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 "Zachariah the son of Addo (or Iddo)" but in his own prophetic book he is called more fully "Zachariah, 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, Zachariah's 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).

Apolytikion in the Second Tone
As we celebrate the memory of Thy Prophet Zachariah, O Lord, through him we beseech Thee to save our souls.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
As a brightly-shining lamp that was illumined with the Spirit's fiery beams, O Zachariah most renowned, thou didst prefigure with clarity the Savior's great and untold condescension toward us.

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also):

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