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Zechariah 6 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Eighth Vision: Four Chariots

Then I looked up again and saw four chariots coming from between two mountains. And the mountains were made of bronze. The first chariot had red horses, the second chariot black horses, the third chariot white horses, and the fourth chariot dappled horses—all strong horses. So I inquired of the angel who was speaking with me, “What are these, my lord?”

The angel told me, “These are the four spirits[a] of heaven going out after presenting themselves to the Lord of the whole earth. The one with the black horses is going to the land of the north, the white horses are going after them, but the dappled horses are going to the land of the south.” As the strong horses went out, they wanted to go patrol the earth, and the Lord said, “Go, patrol the earth.” So they patrolled the earth. Then He summoned me saying, “See, those going to the land of the north have pacified My Spirit in the northern land.”

Crowning of the Branch

The word of the Lord came to me: 10 “Take an offering from the exiles, from Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon, and go that same day to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah. 11 Take silver and gold, make crowns and place them on the head of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 You are to tell him: This is what the Lord of Hosts says: Here is a man whose name is Branch; He will branch out from His place and build the Lord’s temple. 13 Yes, He will build the Lord’s temple; He will be clothed in splendor and will sit on His throne and rule. There will also be a priest on His throne, and there will be peaceful counsel between the two of them. 14 The crown will reside in the Lord’s temple as a memorial to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen[b] son of Zephaniah. 15 People who are far off will come and build the Lord’s temple, and you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent Me to you. This will happen when you fully obey the Lord your God.”

Footnotes:

  1. Zechariah 6:5 Or winds
  2. Zechariah 6:14 Probably Josiah

Ezra 5:3-6:14 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

At that time Tattenai the governor of the region west of the Euphrates River, Shethar-bozenai, and their colleagues came to the Jews and asked, “Who gave you the order to rebuild this temple and finish this structure?”[a] They also asked them, “What are the names of the workers[b] who are constructing this building?” But God was watching[c] over the Jewish elders. These men wouldn’t stop them until a report was sent to Darius, so that they could receive written instructions about this matter.

The Letter to Darius

This is the text of the letter that Tattenai the governor of the region west of the Euphrates River, Shethar-bozenai, and their colleagues, the officials in the region, sent to King Darius. They sent him a report, written as follows:

To King Darius:

All greetings.

Let it be known to the king that we went to the house of the great God in the province of Judah. It is being built with cut[d] stones, and its beams are being set in the walls. This work is being done diligently and succeeding through the people’s efforts. So we questioned the elders and asked, “Who gave you the order to rebuild this temple and finish this structure?”[e] 10 We also asked them for their names, so that we could write down the names of their leaders for your information.

11 This is the reply they gave us:

We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth and are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished. 12 But since our fathers angered the God of heaven, He handed them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon. 13 However, in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, he issued a decree to rebuild the house of God. 14 He also took from the temple in Babylon the gold and silver articles of God’s house that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem and carried them to the temple in Babylon. He released them from the temple in Babylon to a man named Sheshbazzar, the governor by the appointment of King Cyrus. 15 Cyrus told him, “Take these articles, put them in the temple in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be rebuilt on its original site.” 16 Then this same Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundation of God’s house in Jerusalem. It has been under construction from that time until now, yet it has not been completed.

17 So if it pleases the king, let a search of the royal archives[f] in Babylon be conducted to see if it is true that a decree was issued by King Cyrus to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem. Let the king’s decision regarding this matter be sent to us.

Darius’s Search

King Darius gave the order, and they searched in the library of Babylon in the archives.[g] But it was in the fortress of Ecbatana in the province of Media that a scroll was found with this record written on it:

In the first year of King Cyrus, he issued a decree concerning the house of God in Jerusalem:

Let the house be rebuilt as a place for offering sacrifices, and let its original foundations be retained.[h] Its height is to be 90 feet[i] and its width 90 feet,[j][k] with three layers of cut[l] stones and one of timber. The cost is to be paid from the royal treasury. The gold and silver articles of God’s house that Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and carried to Babylon must also be returned. They are to be brought to the temple in Jerusalem where they belong[m] and put into the house of God.

Darius’s Decree

Therefore, you must stay away from that place, Tattenai governor of the region west of the Euphrates River, Shethar-bozenai, and your[n] colleagues, the officials in the region. Leave the construction of the house of God alone. Let the governor and elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its original site.

I hereby issue a decree concerning what you must do, so that the elders of the Jews can rebuild the house of God:

The cost is to be paid in full to these men out of the royal revenues from the taxes of the region west of the Euphrates River, so that the work will not stop. Whatever is needed—young bulls, rams, and lambs for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, or wheat, salt, wine, and oil, as requested by the priests in Jerusalem—let it be given to them every day without fail, 10 so that they can offer sacrifices of pleasing aroma to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons.

11 I also issue a decree concerning any man who interferes with this directive:

Let a beam be torn from his house and raised up; he will be impaled on it, and his house will be made into a garbage dump because of this offense. 12 May the God who caused His name to dwell there overthrow any king or people who dares[o] to harm or interfere with this house of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, have issued the decree. Let it be carried out diligently.

13 Then Tattenai governor of the region west of the Euphrates River, Shethar-bozenai, and their colleagues diligently carried out what King Darius had decreed. 14 So the Jewish elders continued successfully with the building under the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah son of Iddo. They finished the building according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius, and King Artaxerxes of Persia.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezra 5:3 Or finish its furnishings
  2. Ezra 5:4 One Aram ms, LXX, Syr; MT reads Then we told them exactly what the names of the men were
  3. Ezra 5:5 Lit But the eye of their God was
  4. Ezra 5:8 Or huge
  5. Ezra 5:9 Or finish its furnishings
  6. Ezra 5:17 Lit treasure house
  7. Ezra 6:1 Lit Babylon where the treasures were stored
  8. Ezra 6:3 Lit be brought forth
  9. Ezra 6:3 Lit 60 cubits
  10. Ezra 6:3 Lit 60 cubits
  11. Ezra 6:3 A copyist seemingly overlooked the term for length and inadvertently read the 60 cubits for height and width. Like Solomon’s temple, this temple was probably 90 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet high.
  12. Ezra 6:4 Or huge
  13. Ezra 6:5 Lit Jerusalem, to its place,
  14. Ezra 6:6 Lit their
  15. Ezra 6:12 Lit who stretches out its hand

Zechariah 7-8 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Disobedience and Fasting

In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer, Regem-melech, and their men to plead for the Lord’s favor by asking the priests who were at the house of the Lord of Hosts as well as the prophets, “Should we mourn and fast in the fifth month as we have done these many years?”

Then the word of the Lord of Hosts came to me: “Ask all the people of the land and the priests: When you fasted and lamented in the fifth and in the seventh months for these 70 years, did you really fast for Me? When you eat and drink, don’t you eat and drink simply for yourselves? Aren’t these the words that the Lord proclaimed through the earlier prophets when Jerusalem was inhabited and secure,[a] along with its surrounding cities, and when the southern region and the Judean foothills were inhabited?”

The word of the Lord came to Zechariah: “The Lord of Hosts says this: Make fair decisions. Show faithful love and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor, and do not plot evil in your hearts against one another. 11 But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder; they closed their ears so they could not hear. 12 They made their hearts like a rock so as not to obey the law or the words that the Lord of Hosts had sent by His Spirit through the earlier prophets. Therefore great anger came from the Lord of Hosts. 13 Just as He had called, and they would not listen, so when they called, I would not listen,” says the Lord of Hosts. 14 “I scattered them with a windstorm over all the nations that had not known them, and the land was left desolate behind them, with no one coming or going. They turned a pleasant land into a desolation.”

Obedience and Feasting

The word of the Lord of Hosts came: “The Lord of Hosts says this: I am extremely jealous for Zion; I am jealous for her with great wrath.” The Lord says this: “I will return to Zion and live in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, the mountain of the Lord of Hosts, and the Holy Mountain.” The Lord of Hosts says this: “Old men and women will again sit along the streets of Jerusalem, each with a staff in hand because of advanced age. The streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in them.” The Lord of Hosts says this: “Though it may seem incredible to the remnant of this people in those days, should it also seem incredible to Me?”—this is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts. The Lord of Hosts says this: “I will save My people from the land of the east and the land of the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem. They will be My people, and I will be their faithful and righteous God.”

The Lord of Hosts says this: “Let your hands be strong, you who now hear these words that the prophets spoke when the foundations were laid for the rebuilding of the temple, the house of the Lord of Hosts. 10 For prior to those days neither man nor beast had wages. There was no safety from the enemy for anyone who came or went, for I turned everyone against his neighbor. 11 But now, I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days”—this is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts. 12 “For they will sow in peace: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce, and the skies will yield their dew. I will give the remnant of this people all these things as an inheritance. 13 As you have been a curse among the nations, house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you, and you will be a blessing. Don’t be afraid; let your hands be strong.” 14 For the Lord of Hosts says this: “As I resolved to treat you badly when your fathers provoked Me to anger, and I did not relent,” says the Lord of Hosts, 15 “so I have resolved again in these days to do what is good to Jerusalem and the house of Judah. Don’t be afraid. 16 These are the things you must do: Speak truth to one another; make true and sound decisions within your gates. 17 Do not plot evil in your hearts against your neighbor, and do not love perjury, for I hate all this”—this is the Lord’s declaration.

18 Then the word of the Lord of Hosts came to me: 19 “The Lord of Hosts says this: The fast of the fourth month, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth will become times of joy, gladness, and cheerful festivals for the house of Judah. Therefore, love truth and peace.” 20 The Lord of Hosts says this: “Peoples will yet come, the residents of many cities; 21 the residents of one city will go to another, saying: Let’s go at once to plead for the Lord’s favor and to seek the Lord of Hosts. I am also going. 22 Many peoples and strong nations will come to seek the Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem and to plead for the Lord’s favor.” 23 The Lord of Hosts says this: “In those days, 10 men from nations of every language will grab the robe of a Jewish man tightly, urging: Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”

Footnotes:

  1. Zechariah 7:7 Or prosperous

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