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And then,[a] in the fourth year of King Darius, the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Kislev. And the people of Bethel sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech, and their[b] men, to entreat the favor[c] of Yahweh, saying to the priests of the house of Yahweh of hosts[d] and to the prophets, “Should I mourn in the fifth month and keep myself separate[e] as I have done for these many years?” And the word of Yahweh of hosts came to me, saying, “Say to all the people of the land and to the priests: ‘When you fasted and lamented in the fifth and seventh months for these seventy years, did you really fast for me? And when you eat and drink, are you not eating and drinking for yourselves? Are not these the words that Yahweh proclaimed through[f] the former prophets, when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns[g] were inhabited and at ease, and the Negev[h] and the Shephelah[i] were inhabited?’”

And the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus says Yahweh of hosts: ‘Judge with trustworthy justice, and show[j] steadfast love and compassion to one another.[k] 10 You must not oppress the widow, the orphan, the foreigner, and the needy. You must not devise evil in your heart against one another.’[l] 11 But they refused to listen, and turned[m] a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from listening.[n] 12 They made their hearts adamant[o] in order not to hear the law[p] and the words that Yahweh of hosts had sent by his spirit through[q] the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from Yahweh of hosts. 13 ‘Thus, just as I[r] called and they would not hear, so they will call and I will not hear,’ says Yahweh of hosts. 14 ‘And I scattered them with a wind among all the nations that they had not known; the land was made desolate behind them— no one crossing through it or returning—and they made the desirable land[s] a desolation.’”


  1. Zechariah 7:1 Literally “and it happened”
  2. Zechariah 7:2 Hebrew “his”
  3. Zechariah 7:2 Literally “the face”
  4. Zechariah 7:3 Literally “priests who are for the house of Yahweh of hosts”
  5. Zechariah 7:3 Or “abstain”; some interpret this as a reference to fasting
  6. Zechariah 7:7 Literally “by the hand of”
  7. Zechariah 7:7 Literally “her towns around her”
  8. Zechariah 7:7 The Negev is an arid region south of the Judean hills
  9. Zechariah 7:7 The Shephelah is a geographical area on the western edge of the Judean hills
  10. Zechariah 7:9 Literally “do”
  11. Zechariah 7:9 Literally “a man his brother”
  12. Zechariah 7:10 Literally “a man his brother”
  13. Zechariah 7:11 Hebrew “gave”
  14. Zechariah 7:11 Literally “their ears were heavy from hearing”
  15. Zechariah 7:12 Literally “They set their hearts like hard stone”
  16. Zechariah 7:12 Hebrew torah
  17. Zechariah 7:12 Literally “by the hand of”
  18. Zechariah 7:13 Hebrew “he called” (but still referring to Yahweh)
  19. Zechariah 7:14 Hebrew “land of desire,” but this could be understood as a land characterized by desire rather than a desirable land