Zechariah 1 Expanded Bible (EXB)
The Lord Calls His People Back
1 In the eighth month [C October/November on our calendar; the Hebrew month of Cheshvan] of the second year Darius was king [C 520 bc; Darius was king of Persia 522–486 bc], the ·Lord spoke his word [L word of the Lord came] to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, who was the son of Iddo [C a priestly family; Neh. 12:4, 16]. The Lord said, 2 “The Lord was very angry with your ·ancestors [fathers]. 3 So tell the people: This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] says: ‘Return to me, and I will return to you,’ says the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts]. 4 Don’t be like your ·ancestors [fathers]. ·In the past the [The former/earlier] prophets said to them: This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] says: ‘·Stop [Turn from] your evil ways and evil actions.’ But they wouldn’t listen or pay attention to me, says the Lord. 5 Your ·ancestors [fathers] ·are dead [L where are they…?], and those prophets ·didn’t [L do they…?] live forever. 6 I commanded my words and ·laws [statutes] to my servants the prophets, and ·they preached to [or they came true to; L did they not overtake…?] your ·ancestors [fathers], who returned to me. They said, ‘The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] did as he ·said he would [determined to do]. He punished us for ·the way we lived and for what we did [L our ways and deeds].’”
The Vision of the Horses
7 It was on the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month [C February 15, 519 bc], which is the month of Shebat, in Darius’s second year as king [v. 1]. The ·Lord spoke his word [L word of the Lord came] to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, who was the son of Iddo.
8 During the night I had a vision. I saw a man ·riding [or sitting on] a red horse. He was standing among some myrtle trees in a ravine, with red, brown, and white horses behind him [Rev. 6].
9 I asked, “What are these, ·sir [or my lord]?”
The ·angel [messenger] who was talking with me answered, “I’ll show you what they are.”
10 Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, “They are the ones the Lord ·sent [L sent to walk/patrol] through all the earth.”
11 Then they spoke to the ·Lord’s angel [or angel of the Lord; C an OT figure closely identified with the Lord himself; Gen. 16:11; 22:11–12], who was standing among the myrtle trees. They said, “We have ·gone [walked; patrolled] through all the earth, and [L look; T behold] everything is calm and quiet.”
12 Then the ·Lord’s angel [angel of the Lord; v. 11] asked, “Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], how long will ·it be before you show [L you withhold] mercy to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah? You have been angry with them for seventy years now.” 13 So the Lord answered the ·angel [messenger] who was talking with me, and his words were comforting and good.
14 Then the ·angel [messenger] who was talking to me said to me, “Announce this: This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] says: ‘I ·have a strong love [am very jealous/zealous; Nah. 1:2] for Jerusalem. 15 And I am very angry with the nations that feel so ·safe [secure; at ease]. I was only a little angry at them, but they ·made things worse [added to/increased the calamity/disaster].’
16 “So this is what the Lord says: ‘I will return to Jerusalem with mercy. My ·Temple [L house] will be rebuilt,’ says the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], ‘and the measuring line will be ·used to rebuild [L stretched out over] Jerusalem.’
17 “Also announce: This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] says: ‘My towns will ·be rich again [L overflow with prosperity]. The Lord will comfort Jerusalem again, and I will again choose Jerusalem.’”
The Vision of the Horns
18 Then I looked up and saw four ·animal horns [L horns; C animal horns symbolized strength]. 19 I asked the ·angel [messenger] who was talking with me, “What are these?”
He said, “These are the horns that scattered the people of Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.”
20 Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen. 21 I asked, “What are they coming to do?”
He answered, “They have come to ·scare [terrify] and throw down the horns. These horns scattered the people of Judah so that no one could even lift up his head. These horns stand for the nations that ·attacked [L lifted up their horns against] the people of Judah and scattered them.”
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