ZECHARIAH BEN JEHOIADA.
A reforming priest who lived under King Joash of Judah. He reproved the idolaters, announcing God's judgment against them; and a conspiracy was formed against him that resulted in his being stoned in the court of the Temple at the command of the king, who "remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him" (II Chron. xxiv. 22). Zechariah's dying words were: "
According to the Rabbis, Zechariah was the son-in-law of the king, and, being also a priest, prophet, and judge, he dared censure the monarch. He was killed in the priests' courtyard of the Temple on a Sabbath which was likewise the Day of Atonement. Later, when Nebuzar-adan came to destroy the Temple, Zechariah's blood began to boil. The Assyrian asked the Jews what that phenomenon meant, but when they replied that it was the blood of sacrifices, he proved the falsity of their answer. The Jews then told him the truth, and Nebuzar-adan, wishing to appease Zechariah's blood, slew in succession the Great and Small Sanhedrins, the young priests, and school-children, till the number of the dead was 940,000. Still the blood continued to boil, whereupon Nebuzar-adan cried: "Zechariah, Zechariah! for thee have I slain the best of them; wouldst thou that I destroy them all?" And at these words the blood ceased to effervesce (Giṭ. 57b; Sanh. 96b; Lam. R. iv. 13).