In our study, we will look at the calling of the prophet as well as looking at the meaning of his visions.
"In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo:" NIV translation
The name Zechariah means "God remembers" and he was the son of Berekiah whose name means "God blesses" and the grandson of Iddo which means "appointed".
It is significant to see that this book opens with these three names and to remember that the number three is associated with God's will being revealed.
When you put the three names together you get something like: God remembers his people and blesses them at the appointed time. That is not only true for the Israelites but for us Gentiles as well since we are His adopted people.
"'The Lord was very angry with your forefathers. Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: "Return to me," declares the Lord Almighty, "and I will return to you," says the Lord Almighty.'" NIV translation
The name El Shaddai (Almighty) is used three times in this verse and the name serves to remind us that God can do all things. Here God is calling the people to turn back to Him and be blessed.
"'Do not be like your forefathers, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the Lord Almighty says: "Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices." But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the Lord. Where are your forefathers now? And the prophets, do they live forever?'" NIV translation
Zechariah urges the people to remember what happened to their relatives who had been disobedient. He asks the question: Where are they now? They were actually buried in Babylon where they had been in exile. To the Jews, not being buried in your own land was a very big deal and so this was driving the point home.