There is great tension in Zechariah. On the one hand, God desires and promises to bless His people. But on the other hand, they remain undeserving. Throughout the book, “leadership” has never been far from the mind of Zachariah and the Lord – leadership both good and bad. In chapter eleven, because of poor leaders, God puts Zechariah in charge of His people. But they do not listen to Zechariah. Though the Lord blesses His people in chapter twelve, they turn on Him and pierce His side – a text used later by John to refer to Jesus (John 19:34-37).
Yet, in chapter thirteen, God provides cleansing. In fact, the cleansing is mentioned twice: first from a fountain, and second through the work of another leader, a shepherd whom the Lord Himself strikes (a text used later by Matthew and Mark to refer to Jesus).
These final chapters were intended to be confusing and precisely because of the tension between God and His people, what He wants to do, and what He has to do. God desires to forgive and bless. But the people are determined to live their own way, so God must punish and discipline. God longs for peace. His people long for peace. But each wants a peace of their own design. And so, back and forth it goes, with God blessing and punishing, the people rejoicing and disobeying, and all the while, leaders who are both good and bad.
It would appear that despite the exile, nothing has changed since the days of Moses.