The Book of Zechariah, attributed to the prophet Zechariah, is included in the Twelve Minor Prophets in the Hebrew Bible and is the penultimate book of the Old Testament of the Christian Bible.Historical contextZechariah’s ministry took place during the reign of Darius the Great, and was contemporary with Haggai in a post-exilic world after the fall of Jerusalem in 587/6 BC. Ezekiel and Jeremiah wrote prior to the fall of Jerusalem, while continuing to prophesy in the early exile period. Scholars believe Ezekiel, with his blending of ceremony and vision, heavily influenced the visionary works of Zechariah 1–8. Zechariah is specific about dating his writing (520–518 BC).During the Exile many Judahites and Benjaminites were taken to Babylon, where the prophets told them to make their homes, suggesting they would spend a long period of time there. Eventually freedom did come to many Israelites, when Cyrus the Great overtook the Babylonians in 539 BC. In 538 BC, the famous Edict of Cyrus was released, and the first return took place under Sheshbazzar. After the death of Cyrus in 530 BC, Darius consolidated power and took office in 522 BC. His system divided the different colonies of the empire into easily manageable districts overseen by governors. Zerubbabel comes into the story, appointed by Darius as governor over the district of Yehud Medinata.