Not much is known about Zechariah’s life other than what may be inferred from the book. It has been speculated that his ancestor Iddo was the head of a priestly family who returned with Zerubbabel (Nehemiah 12:4), and that Zechariah may himself have been a priest as well as a prophet. This is supported by Zechariah's interest in the Temple and the priesthood, and from Iddo's preaching in the Books of Chronicles.
In the New TestamentGospel of Matthew,1Jesus is quoted as stating that Zechariah son of Barachiah was killed between the altar and the temple. A similar quotation is also found in the Gospel of Luke.2 Although there is an indication in Targum Lamentations that "Zechariah son of Iddo" was killed in the Temple,3 scholars generally understand this as a reference to the death of a much earlier figure, Zechariah ben Jehoiada.4 As Abel was the first prophetic figure killed in the Hebrew Scriptures, and Zechariah ben Jehoiada was the last figure killed in those Scriptures, which conclude with 1 and 2 Chronicles, they represent the full historical scope of prophetic martyrdom. By using their names Jesus brings to bear on the Jewish establishment of his day the cumulative guilt for killing those prophets, to which within a few days they would add his own death. The logic of the accusation means that the reference is almost certainly to Zechariah ben Jehoiada.
The Qur'an mentions only 25 prophets by name, including a differentZechariah, the father of John the Baptist. Muslims believe that many prophets were sent to mankind to spread the message of God, including many not mentioned in the Qur'an. Therefore, although this particular Zechariah is not mentioned by name in the Qur'an, some scholars, including Abdullah Yusuf Ali6 and Muhammad Asad, have suggested that Qur'anic verses mentioning the martyrdom of prophets and righteous men are a reference to the slaying of, among others, Zechariah son of Berechiah.
^Matthew 23:35: "that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of Abel the righteous unto the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom ye slew between the sanctuary and the altar." ASV (Public Domain)
^Luke 11:51: "from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zachariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary: yea, I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation." ASV (Public Domain)
^Targum on Lam 2:20: "Is it right to kill priest and prophet in the Temple of the Lord, as when you killed Zechariah son of Iddo, the High Priest and faithful prophet in the Temple of the Lord on the Day of Atonement because he told you not to do evil before the Lord?" Cited with permission from English translation by C.M.M. Brady at http://www.targum.info/meg/tglam.htm.
Note: These are prophets mentioned in Stories of the Prophets, Quranic commentary and exegesis, the Hadith and other Islamic literature; none are mentioned by name in the Quran. Muslims, however, believe that 124,000 prophets were sent to mankind, with twenty-five named in the Quran and the figures above identified in exegesis. Italics denote that the figure's status as a prophet is not accepted by all Muslims.