New Testament Student Manual, pg 23; “When Herod’s edict went forth to destroy the young children, John was about six months older than Jesus, and came under this hellish edict, and Zacharias caused his mother to take him into the mountains, where he was raised on locusts and wild honey. When his father refused to disclose his hiding place, and being the officiating high priest at the Temple that year, was slain by Herod’s order, between the porch and the altar, as Jesus said.” (Teachings, p. 261. Compare Matthew 23:35.) Zacharias died, then, to save his son; he died a noble martyr, perhaps the first of the Christian era.”
Matthew 23:35; “That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.” You can also find reference to this in Luke 11:52.
Zechariah 1:1; “In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah…”
Lamentations 2:20; “Behold, O LORD, and consider to whom thou hast done this. Shall the women eat their fruit, and children of a span long? shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?”
Today we’re going to take a look at a few things with this subject matter! We want to know about Zechariah and then look at context.
In the Bible there are 27 men with the name Zechariah and more than five of those were prophets. The only way we can tell these men apart is if we’re given the added info “son of” or “ben”.
Another point of interest: the name Zacharias is used interchangeably with Zechariah which is the Hebrew form of Zacharias and could be referring to the Old Testament prophet Zechariah.
Origen, an early church father, was one of the first people to suggest that John the Baptist’s father Zacharias was the person Jesus referred to in Matthew 23:35. According to his theory Zacharias was murdered by King Herod’s tyrannical madmen who were given the order to kill all male children under the age of two.
Origen believed Zacharias hid John in the mountains during this time and the mobs killed him when he was at the temple performing his priestly duties and wouldn’t divulge the whereabouts of his son.
While this is an interesting theory, it must be pointed out there were two other Zechariah’s that should be considered. One is mentioned in 2nd Chronicles who had a father named Johiada and the other of course is the Zechariah mentioned in Zechariah 1:1 I’ve listed above. Many scholars believe this passage in Matthew might be referring to the Zechariah in 2nd Chronicles, thus my inclusion of it here.
The whole reason we’re highlighting this today is to ask why.
Why would the LDS Church believe anything written by early church fathers when they in fact hate them and denounce them at every chance they get?
Why is this information that isn’t corroborated in the Bible acceptable?
And yet the verse from Lamentations isn’t acknowledged?
Origen’s opinion about this is just that – his opinion. It isn’t scripture. There are many traditions and little shrines set up around Jerusalem today inferring this was indeed John the Baptist’s father, but as I said, there’s no proof.
Jesus referred many times to the prophets of the Old Testament, furthermore, you have to look at the sentence structure. Who was killed between the altar and the temple? Was it Zechariah or Barachias?
A reference to Zechariah son of Barachias, son of Iddo (Zech. 1:1) is mentioned as being killed in the temple in Lamentations as well. This Zechariah prophesied circa 520 BC.
As Abel was the 1st prophetic figure murdered and Zechariah ben Johiada was the last from the Pentateuch era it MIGHT be a possibility that Jesus was referring to the earlier Zechariah in 2 Chronicles 24:17-27. This Zechariah was killed circa 796-795 BC in the court of the temple by Joash, the 8th king of Israel. This is mentioned in Hebrews 11:37.
Why are they teaching these things to their youth when they have nothing to back up their misinterpretation of God’s word? Where does it say John was raised on locusts and wild honey?
If John’s dad was killed in 2 AD or whenever it was, this wouldn’t make him a Christian martyr.
There was no Christianity at that point.
These types of things are what makes the Bible fun and interesting to study, however, when you’re teaching a group of young impressionable kids you need to be abundantly clear about who’s who and what the events were with facts, not speculation!