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New Defender's Study Bible Notes

11:50 foundation of the world. It is important to note that the blood of God’s prophets (beginning with Abel) has been shed “from the foundation of the world,” not beginning four billion years after the foundation of the world. This is an incidental, yet striking, confirmation that the world was created from start to finish in six literal days. See also Mark 10:6, etc.

11:51 blood of Abel. Abel, son of Adam, was thus the first prophet—that is, a man who supernaturally receives and then proclaims inspired words from God. Evidently, Abel was speaking God’s words to Cain, when the latter slew him in jealous wrath. The Zacharias mentioned is probably “Zechariah the son of Jehoida the priest,” who was stoned when he prophesied against the people under King Joash (II Chronicles 24:20-24). Thus the period encompassed by the Lord’s statement was the entire Old Testament period, since this Zechariah is the last prophet mentioned as having been executed for his testimony before John the Baptist. There may have been others (in Matthew 23:35, Jesus called Zacharias the son of Barachias, rather than Jehoida) but, if so, their martyrdoms have not been reported in the Old Testament. Barachias is not mentioned elsewhere in Scripture. It is possible that either Barachias or Jehoida could have been Zechariah’s father, the other being the grandfather.

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