Zechariah with Benedictus Scroll Icon

The Prophet Zechariah, early 18th century. Russian Orthodox icon, iconostasis of Kizhi Monastery.

Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, is depicted with a scroll containing the opening words of the Benedictus. Painted by an unknown Russian artist, it was part of the iconostasis at the Kizhi monastery, a 17th century monastery on the island of Kizhi, a UNESCO World Heritage site. An iconostasis is a wall of icons of religious figures, and sometimes depictions of biblical scenes, which separate the nave from the sanctuary, or altar, of an Orthodox church. In its highest form, the iconostasis has five tiers. The fourth tier from the bottom includes the Old Testament Prophets and Patriarchs, where Zechariah would most likely have been found. He is pictured here as an elderly, bearded man, unscrolling the Benedictus.

Zechariah Icon

A religious work of art often depicting a religious figure, as in a painting.

Also called the Hebrew Bible, those parts of the canon that are common to both Jews and Christians. The designation "Old Testament" places this part of the canon in relation to the New Testament, the part of the Bible canonical only to Christians. Because the term "Old Testament" assumes a distinctly Christian perspective, many scholars prefer to use the more neutral "Hebrew Bible," which derives from the fact that the texts of this part of the canon are written almost entirely in Hebrew.

Of or belonging to any of several branches of Christianity, especially from Eastern Europe and the Middle East, whose adherents trace their tradition back to the earliest Christian communities. Lowercase ("orthodox"), this term means conforming with the dominant, sanctioned ideas or belief system.

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