Luke records Zechariah singing about being "saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us" (1:71) and "being delivered from the hand of our enemies" (1:74).
But who are these enemies? It is common to say that Zechariah speaks for the Jews and that their enemies are the Romans. But is that right? It doesn't seem correct to me.
First, even if some of the Jews thought the Romans were their enemies, they were in fact appointed by God as their guardians. The book of Daniel makes that clear. And at this point in their history Rome wasn't really oppressing Jews. And they didn't appear to "hate" the Jews. Many of the Jews may have hated being ruled by the Jews, but that's a different matter altogether.
Second, if you look at the Gospel of Luke (or any of the Gospels for that matter) the Romans are not portrayed as enemies. Neither do they act like enemies of the faithful. Even Pilate has to be manipulated into condemning Jesus by the Jews.
Third, Zechariah's prophesy is not in fact fulfilled by the Jews being set free from the Romans. As it turns out the Romans are the instrument of God's judgment on the Jews! When the judgment that Jesus continually talks about in his ministry comes, it is the Jewish leaders and Jerusalem, not Rome, that is destroyed.
I'm taking the "us" and "our" pronouns in Zechariah's song to refer to the remnant of faithful believers in Israel. Their enemies
were the Herods, the Pharisees, and the chief priests, scribes, and lawyers of their own people. At least, that's how it turns out in the story. And the faithful people of God who cling to Jesus and form a new community are indeed freed from those enemies. Later, of course, Rome becomes hostile to the Christians, but it's mainly the Jewish leadership that are the enemies until the mid-60's AD. That's how Jesus sees it, too.
Fifth, NT Wright makes a big deal about Rome being the enemy of the Jews, but I just don't see it in the story of the Gospels or even the first part of the story of the church. It was the powerful troublemakers in authority in Israel that deflected attention from their own oppressive actions in order to demonize Rome as the big enemy of Israel. The powerful wicked in Israel, the enemies of the small faithful remnant in the land, saw Rome as an enemy because they related to Rome as a mimetic rival. They loved to hate Rome. They hated to love Rome.
I think N.T. Wright needs Rome to be the enemy because his big thing is that Israel is still in exile. It doesn't work. Isreal is not in exile in the first century. They returned from exile centuries ago. After they returned to the land being under Persian, Greek, and then Roman authority was not the same thing as being in exile. According to the prophesy of Daniel, living under these world emperors was God's new way of guarding them.
I believe this is one of the problems with the "new" way of reading the Gospels that NTW and others are now advocating. All this talk about the exile never being over and whatnot ignores what Daniel, Ezekiel, and others say about Israel's new role after the exile. The simple remnant of faithful believers actually lived like Daniel and the prophets instructed - submitting to Persia, Greece, and Rome and being faithful to the calling of Israel to serve the world. The enemies of the godly remnant were themselves rebels against God's order and therefore Roman overlordship. They are the leaders of Israel at the time of Jesus ministry. They are the true enemies Zechariah prophesies against.