In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, ... the son of Iddo... (Zechariah 1: 1-2)
The prophet is protrayed on the entrance wall as an old bearded man, with his bust shown in profile, in the act of reading a book. Zechariah, who lived around 500 B.C. worked on sustaining the Israelites on their return from exile in Babylon with the word of God. They were disappointed due to a lack of signs of divine blessing for the hardships suffered. In the first part of his book (Zechariah ch.1-6), eight visions are described that foretell the coming of the Messiah. With these the prophet tries to infuse courage into the disheartened souls of his people. In the following chapters the prophet promises the coming of the day of reward (Zechariah 8: 1-23) and the future restoration of Israel, which will be preceded by wars and calamities (Zechariah ch. 9-14) due to the failure to recognize the Messiah (Zechariah 9: 9-10). The words of Zechariah, foretelling the coming of the Messiah, are repeated in the Gospel according to Matthew to demonstrate the Messianic coming of Christ (Matthew 21: 4-7).