(Mt. 23:35) Jesus claims that the last Hebrew martyr was Zechariah the son of Berechiah, but this is the wrong Zechariah.

CLAIM: Jesus says that the last martyr was “Zechariah, the son of Berechiah” the prophet. However, Zechariah the prophet was never recorded to be martyred. Instead, another Zechariah of Jehoiada in 2 Chronicles 24:20-22 was the one who was martyred. For this reason, critics claim that Jesus was referring to the wrong Zechariah.

RESPONSE: There are two likely ways to resolve this difficult:

OPTION #1: Jesus is referring to the Zechariah of 2 Chronicles 24:20-22. Since the Hebrew words ab or abba have semantic flexibility, Carson suggests that this could be referring to Zechariah’s grandfather in 2 Chronicles 24:20-22.[1]

OPTION #2: Jesus is referring to the prophet Zechariah. The prophet Zechariah is said to be “the son of Berechiah” (Zech. 1:1). The difficulty here is that no source speaks of Zechariah’s martyrdom. Moreover, why would he be considered the last prophet? While he is toward the end of the prophets, he isn’t the final one.

[1] Carson, D.A. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary with the New International Version. Vol. 8. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984. 485-486.