Question: "Who was King Zechariah in the Bible?"

Answer: Not much is known about King Zechariah, as he only reigned in Israel for six months in 753 BC. He was the son of Jeroboam and the contemporary of King Azariah in Judah, who was in the 38th year of his reign when Zechariah took the throne in Israel (2 Kings 15:8).

Sadly, in the little information the Bible provides about this king, we find that he was simply another evil ruler in a line of wicked kings. When God’s people first asked for an earthly king, rejecting Him as their King, God had warned them that earthly kings would bring them trouble (1 Samuel 8:10–18). This was indeed the case in King Zechariah and his predecessors. The sin the evil kings brought into Israel would eventually result in God’s judgment.

King Zechariah’s short reign came to an end when he was assassinated by Shallum son of Jabesh right in front of the people (2 Kings 15:10). It is possible that Zechariah had been such a poor king that his assassination was a welcome one—which would explain why no one arrested Shallum for regicide. In any case, Shallum took over as king. His rule turned out to be even shorter than Zechariah’s, however, as he was himself assassinated just one month later (verses 13–14).

One final thing to note about Zechariah is that he was the final king in the dynasty of King Jehu. Because Jehu had obeyed the Lord and destroyed the wicked King Ahab’s family (2 Kings 9–10), God had promised Jehu that his descendants would rule in Israel for four generations (2 Kings 10:30; 15:12). King Zechariah was the last of the line.