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The Oxford Bible Commentary Line-by-line commentary for the New Revised Standard Version Bible.

The Relation to Older Prophecy.

Zechariah affirms the validity of the words of the ‘former prophets’ ( 1:6 ), either explicitly or implicitly throughout, but particularly in the non-visionary material. A new exegetical principle can be seen to have emerged: that all prophecy should be read as a unity, and that it holds the key to understanding any political situation. For a study of the new character of prophecy in Proto-Zechariah and Haggai see Tollington (1993 ); for Zech 9–14 see Larkin (1994 ). The ultimate outcome of these changes can be seen in the Qumran commentaries or pesharim (see under ‘Interpretation’, OCB) which treat all Scripture as cryptic and its interpretation as requiring a special gift of insight. The motif of the ‘eye’ which is the ancient symbol of the interpreter and seer (e.g. Num 24:3–4 ) now occurs 16 times throughout Zechariah (it is not always apparent in translation, either because it is not idiomatic in English, e.g. at 2:1 , or because the text is corrupt, e.g. 5:6 ; but see 4:10; 9:8; 11:17; 12:4 ), and this is a further sign of the text's editorial unity.

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