Obedience Better than Fasting

Now in the fourth year of King Darius it came to pass that the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, on the fourth day of the ninth month, Chislev, when [a]the people sent [b]Sherezer, with Regem-Melech and his men, to [c]the house of God, [d]to pray before the Lord, and to (A)ask the priests who were in the house of the Lord of hosts, and the prophets, saying, “Should I weep in (B)the fifth month and [e]fast as I have done for so many years?”

Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, “Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: ‘When you (C)fasted and mourned in the fifth (D)and seventh months (E)during those seventy years, did you really fast (F)for Me—for Me? (G)When you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and drink for yourselves? Should you not have obeyed the words which the Lord proclaimed through the (H)former prophets when Jerusalem and the cities around it were inhabited and prosperous, and (I)the [f]South and the Lowland were inhabited?’ ”

Disobedience Resulted in Captivity

Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts:

(J)‘Execute true justice,
Show [g]mercy and compassion
Everyone to his brother.
10 (K)Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless,
The alien or the poor.
(L)Let none of you plan evil in his heart
Against his brother.’

11 “But they refused to heed, (M)shrugged[h] their shoulders, and (N)stopped[i] their ears so that they could not hear. 12 Yes, they made their (O)hearts like flint, (P)refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. (Q)Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. 13 Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so (R)they called out and I would not listen,” says the Lord of hosts. 14 “But (S)I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they had not known. Thus the land became desolate after them, so that no one passed through or returned; for they made the pleasant land desolate.”

Jerusalem, Holy City of the Future

Again the word of the Lord of hosts came, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts:

(T)‘I am [j]zealous for Zion with great [k]zeal;
With great [l]fervor I am zealous for her.’

“Thus says the Lord:

(U)‘I will return to Zion,
And (V)dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem (W)shall be called the City of Truth,
(X)The Mountain of the Lord of hosts,
(Y)The Holy Mountain.’

“Thus says the Lord of hosts:

(Z)‘Old men and old women shall again sit
In the streets of Jerusalem,
Each one with his staff in his hand
Because of [m]great age.
The streets of the city
Shall be (AA)full of boys and girls
Playing in its streets.’

“Thus says the Lord of hosts:

‘If it is [n]marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days,
(AB)Will it also be marvelous in My eyes?’
Says the Lord of hosts.

“Thus says the Lord of hosts:

‘Behold, (AC)I will save My people from the land of the [o]east
And from the land of the [p]west;
I will (AD)bring them back,
And they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.
(AE)They shall be My people
And I will be their God,
(AF)In truth and righteousness.’

“Thus says the Lord of hosts:

(AG)‘Let your hands be strong,
You who have been hearing in these days
These words by the mouth of (AH)the prophets,
Who spoke in (AI)the day the foundation was laid
For the house of the Lord of hosts,
That the temple might be built.
10 For before these days
There were no (AJ)wages for man nor any hire for beast;
There was no peace from the enemy for whoever went out or came in;
For I set all men, everyone, against his neighbor.

11 (AK)But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,’ says the Lord of hosts.

12 ‘For(AL) the [q]seed shall be prosperous,
The vine shall give its fruit,
(AM)The ground shall give her increase,
And (AN)the heavens shall give their dew—
I will cause the remnant of this people
To possess all these.
13 And it shall come to pass
That just as you were (AO)a curse among the nations,
O house of Judah and house of Israel,
So I will save you, and (AP)you shall be a blessing.
Do not fear,
Let your hands be strong.’

14 “For thus says the Lord of hosts:

(AQ)‘Just as I determined to [r]punish you
When your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’
Says the Lord of hosts,
(AR)‘And I would not relent,
15 So again in these days
I am determined to do good
To Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
Do not fear.
16 These are the things you shall (AS)do:
(AT)Speak each man the truth to his neighbor;
Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace;
17 (AU)Let none of you think evil in [s]your heart against your neighbor;
And do not love a false oath.
For all these are things that I hate,’
Says the Lord.”

18 Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, 19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:

(AV)‘The fast of the fourth month,
(AW)The fast of the fifth,
(AX)The fast of the seventh,
(AY)And the fast of the tenth,
Shall be (AZ)joy and gladness and cheerful feasts
For the house of Judah.
(BA)Therefore love truth and peace.’

20 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:

‘Peoples shall yet come,
Inhabitants of many cities;
21 The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying,
(BB)“Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord,
And seek the Lord of hosts.
I myself will go also.”
22 Yes, (BC)many peoples and strong nations
Shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem,
And to pray before the Lord.’

23 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men (BD)from every language of the nations shall (BE)grasp the [t]sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard (BF)that God is with you.” ’ ”

Israel Defended Against Enemies

The [u]burden of the word of the Lord
Against the land of Hadrach,
And (BG)Damascus its resting place
(For (BH)the eyes of men
And all the tribes of Israel
Are on the Lord);
Also against (BI)Hamath, which borders on it,
And against (BJ)Tyre and (BK)Sidon, though they are very (BL)wise.

For Tyre built herself a tower,
Heaped up silver like the dust,
And gold like the mire of the streets.
Behold, (BM)the Lord will cast her out;
He will destroy (BN)her power in the sea,
And she will be devoured by fire.

Ashkelon shall see it and fear;
Gaza also shall be very sorrowful;
And (BO)Ekron, for He dried up her expectation.
The king shall perish from Gaza,
And Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.

“A[v] mixed race shall settle (BP)in Ashdod,
And I will cut off the pride of the (BQ)Philistines.
I will take away the blood from his mouth,
And the abominations from between his teeth.
But he who remains, even he shall be for our God,
And shall be like a leader in Judah,
And Ekron like a Jebusite.
(BR)I will camp around My house
Because of the army,
Because of him who passes by and him who returns.
No more shall an oppressor pass through them,
For now I have seen with My eyes.

The Coming King(BS)

“Rejoice (BT)greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, (BU)your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I (BV)will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
And the horse from Jerusalem;
The (BW)battle bow shall be cut off.
He shall speak peace to the nations;
His dominion shall be (BX)‘from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.’

God Will Save His People

11 “As for you also,
Because of the blood of your covenant,
I will set your (BY)prisoners free from the waterless pit.
12 Return to the stronghold,
(BZ)You prisoners of hope.
Even today I declare
That I will restore (CA)double to you.
13 For I have bent Judah, My bow,
Fitted the bow with Ephraim,
And raised up your sons, O Zion,
Against your sons, O Greece,
And made you like the sword of a mighty man.”

14 Then the Lord will be seen over them,
And (CB)His arrow will go forth like lightning.
The Lord God will blow the trumpet,
And go (CC)with whirlwinds from the south.
15 The Lord of hosts will (CD)defend them;
They shall devour and subdue with slingstones.
They shall drink and roar as if with wine;
They shall be filled with blood like [w]basins,
Like the corners of the altar.
16 The Lord their God will (CE)save them in that day,
As the flock of His people.
For (CF)they shall be like the [x]jewels of a crown,
(CG)Lifted like a banner over His land—
17 For (CH)how great is [y]its goodness
And how great its (CI)beauty!
(CJ)Grain shall make the young men thrive,
And new wine the young women.


  1. Zechariah 7:2 Lit. they, cf. v. 5
  2. Zechariah 7:2 Or Sar-Ezer
  3. Zechariah 7:2 Heb. Bethel
  4. Zechariah 7:2 Or to entreat the favor of
  5. Zechariah 7:3 Lit. consecrate myself
  6. Zechariah 7:7 Heb. Negev
  7. Zechariah 7:9 Or lovingkindness
  8. Zechariah 7:11 Lit. gave a stubborn or rebellious shoulder
  9. Zechariah 7:11 Lit. made their ears heavy
  10. Zechariah 8:2 Or jealous
  11. Zechariah 8:2 Or jealousy
  12. Zechariah 8:2 Lit. heat or rage
  13. Zechariah 8:4 Lit. many days
  14. Zechariah 8:6 Or wonderful
  15. Zechariah 8:7 Lit. rising sun
  16. Zechariah 8:7 Lit. setting sun
  17. Zechariah 8:12 Lit. seed of peace
  18. Zechariah 8:14 Lit. bring calamity to you
  19. Zechariah 8:17 Lit. his
  20. Zechariah 8:23 Lit. wing, corner of a garment
  21. Zechariah 9:1 oracle, prophecy
  22. Zechariah 9:6 Lit. An illegitimate one
  23. Zechariah 9:15 Sacrificial basins
  24. Zechariah 9:16 Lit. stones
  25. Zechariah 9:17 Lit. His

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