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Zechariah 1-7 Common English Bible (CEB)

The people change

In the eighth month in the second year of Darius, the Lord’s word came to Zechariah the prophet, Berechiah’s son and Iddo’s grandson:

The Lord was terribly angry with your ancestors.
But you must say to the people,
    The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims: Return to me,
    says the Lord of heavenly forces,
        and I will return to you, says the Lord of heavenly forces.
Don’t be like your ancestors to whom the former prophets preached:
    The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims: Turn from your evil ways and your evil deeds.
        But they didn’t listen;
            they didn’t draw near to me.
So where are your ancestors?
        Do the prophets live forever?
In fact, didn’t my words and laws,
        which I gave to my servants, the prophets,
            pursue your ancestors?
And then the people changed their hearts, and they said,
    The Lord of heavenly forces has treated us according to
    what we have done,[a]
    exactly as he planned.

First night vision

On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month (the month of Shebat[b]) in the second year of Darius, the Lord’s word came to Zechariah the prophet, Berechiah’s son and Iddo’s grandson:

Tonight I looked and saw a man riding on a red horse,
        which was standing among the myrtle trees in the valley;
        and behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses.
I said, “What are these, sir?”
The messenger speaking with me said,
        “I will show you what they are.”
10 The man standing among the myrtles responded,
        “These are the ones the Lord sent to patrol the earth.”
11 Then they responded to the Lord’s messenger,
    who was standing among the myrtles,
        “We have patrolled the earth. The whole earth is peaceful and quiet.”
12 Then the Lord’s messenger, who was speaking with me, said:
    Lord of heavenly forces,
            how long will you withhold compassion from Jerusalem and the cities of Judah,
                with whom you have been angry these seventy years?”
13 The Lord responded to the messenger who was speaking with me
    with kind and compassionate words.
14 The messenger speaking with me called out,
    “This is what the Lord of heavenly forces says:
        I care passionately about Jerusalem and Zion.
15         And I am exceedingly angry with those carefree nations.
            Though I was somewhat angry, they added to the violence.”
16 Therefore, this is what the Lord says:
    I have returned to Jerusalem with compassion.
    My house will be built in it, says the Lord of heavenly forces.
    Let a measuring line be stretched over Jerusalem.
17 “Call out again,
    The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:
        My cities will again overflow with prosperity.
            The Lord will again show compassion to Zion
                and will again choose Jerusalem.”

Second night vision

18 [c] Then I looked up and saw four horns.
19 I said to the messenger speaking with me,
        “What are these?”
He said to me,
        “These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.”
20 Then the Lord showed me four metalworkers.
21 I said,
    “What are they coming to do?”
And he said,
    “These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise his head.
    The metalworkers have come to terrify them and to destroy the horns of the nations, those who were attacking the land of Judah with[d] their horns to scatter it.”

Third night vision

[e] Then I looked up and saw a man.

In his hand was a measuring line.
I said, “Where are you going?”
He said to me,
    “To measure Jerusalem to see how wide and long it will be.”
As I watched, the messenger speaking with me went ahead and another messenger came to meet him.
He said to him,
    “Run! Say to this young man:
        Jerusalem will be inhabited like open fields
            because of the throngs of people and cattle inside it.
        But I will be a wall of fire around it, says the Lord,
            and I will be glorious inside it.
        Look out; look out! Flee from the land of the north, says the Lord,
            for I will scatter you like the four winds of heaven, says the Lord.
        Look out, Zion.
            Flee, you who dwell with Daughter Babylon!
The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims (after his glory sent me)[f]
        concerning the nations plundering you:
            Those who strike you strike the pupil of my eye.
        But look, I am about to raise my hand against them;
            they will become prey to their own slaves,
                so you will know that the Lord of heavenly forces sent me.
10 Rejoice and be glad, Daughter Zion,
        because I am about to come and dwell among you, says the Lord.
11 Many nations will be joined to the Lord on that day.
        They will become my people,
            and I will dwell among you
            so you will know that the Lord of heavenly forces sent me to you.”
12     The Lord will possess Judah as his inheritance upon the holy land;
            he will again choose Jerusalem.
13 Be silent, everyone, in the Lord’s
        presence, because he has moved from his holy habitation!

Fourth night vision

Then the Lord showed me the high priest Joshua, standing before the messenger from the Lord,
        and the Adversary[g] was standing by his right side to accuse him.
And the Lord said to the Adversary:
        “The Lord rebukes you, Adversary.
    The Lord, the one choosing Jerusalem, rebukes you.
        Is this one not a log snatched from the fire?”
Joshua was wearing filthy clothes and standing before the messenger.
    He responded to those standing before him,
        “Take off his filthy clothes.”
And he said to Joshua,
    “Look, I have removed your guilt from you.
        Put on priestly robes.”
    He[h] said, “Put a clean turban upon his head.”
        So they put the clean turban upon his head,
            and they dressed him in garments while the Lord’s messenger stood by.
Then the Lord’s messenger admonished Joshua:
    “The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:
        If you will walk in my paths,
            if you will keep my charge,
            then you will lead my house and guard my courts,
            and I will allow you to walk among those standing here.
Now listen, High Priest Joshua,
    you and your companions sitting before you—
            for these men are a sign—
        look, I am about to bring my servant, Branch.
        See this stone that I have put before Joshua.
        Upon one stone, there are seven facets.
            I am about to engrave an inscription on it,
            says the Lord of heavenly forces.
        I will remove the guilt of that land in one day.
10     On that day, says the Lord of heavenly forces,
        everyone will invite their neighbors to sit beneath their vines and the fig trees.”

Fifth night vision

The messenger speaking with me returned and woke me like one who awakens someone who is asleep.

Then he said to me, “What do you see?”
I said, “I see a lampstand made entirely of gold.
        It has a bowl on top. The bowl has seven lamps on top
        and seven metal pipes for those lamps.
    It has two olive trees beside the lampstand,
        one to the right of its bowl and one to the left.”
I responded to the messenger speaking with me,
    “What are these, sir?”
The messenger responded to me:
    “Don’t you know what these are?”
    I said, “No, sir. I don’t.”
He answered me:
    “This is the Lord’s word to Zerubbabel:
        Neither by power, nor by strength,
        but by my spirit, says the Lord of heavenly forces.”
        Who are you, great mountain?
            Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain.
        He will present the capstone to shouts of great gratitude.

The Lord’s word came to me:
    The hands of Zerubbabel laid the foundation of this house,
        and his hands will finish it
            so that you will know that the Lord of heavenly forces has sent me to you.
10         Those who despise a time of little things will rejoice when they see the plumb line[i] in Zerubbabel’s hand.
        These are the seven eyes of the Lord, surveying the entire earth.
11 I responded to him,
    “What are these two olive trees on the right and left sides of the lampstand?”
12 Then I responded a second time,
    “What are these two olive branches that empty out golden oil through the two gold pipes?”
13 He said to me, “Don’t you know what these are?”
        I said, “No, sir.”
14 He said,
    “These are the two anointed ones[j] standing beside the Lord of all the earth.”

Sixth night vision

I looked up again and saw a flying scroll.
And he said to me, “What do you see?”
I said, “I see a flying scroll, thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide.”
He said to me, “This is the curse going out across all the land.
        Anyone stealing will be purged according to what’s on one side of the scroll,[k]
        and anyone swearing lies[l] will be purged according to what’s on the other side.
I sent it out, says the Lord of heavenly forces.
        It will come to the house of the thief and the one swearing lies in my name.
        It will lodge in their house and destroy the wood and stones of that house.”

Seventh night vision

Then the messenger speaking with me came forward and said,

“Look up and see what’s approaching.”
I said, “What’s this?”
He said, “This is the basket[m] that is going out.
        This is how it appears[n] throughout the entire land.”[o]
Then a lead cover was lifted,
showing a woman sitting in the middle of the basket.
    He said, “This is wickedness.”
        He shoved her back into the basket,
        and he put the lead stone over its opening.
I looked up again and saw two women going out.
        There was a wind in their wings;
        their wings were like the wings of a stork.
        They carried the basket between the earth and the sky.
10 I said to the messenger speaking with me,
    “Where are they taking the basket?”
11 He said to me,
    “To build a house for it in the land of Shinar.
    It will be firmly placed there on its base.”

Eighth night vision

I looked up again
    and saw four chariots coming out from between two mountains;
            the mountains were made of bronze.
        The first chariot had red horses,
        and the second chariot had black horses.
        The third chariot had white horses,
        and the fourth chariot had horses that were heavily spotted.
I responded and said to the messenger speaking with me,
    “What are these, sir?”
The messenger answered and said to me,
    “These are the four winds of heaven that are going out
        after presenting themselves to the Lord of all the earth.
The one with the black horses is going to the north country;
        the white ones are going to the west;[p]
        and the spotted ones are going south.”
Then the powerful ones approached, intent on going to patrol the earth.
He said, “Go! Patrol the earth!”
    So they patrolled the earth.
Then he called out and said to me,
    “Look, the ones going north have provided rest for my spirit in the north.”

The Lord’s word came to me:
10     Take silver and gold[q] from the exiles who came from Babylon,
        from Heldai, from Tobijah, and from Jedaiah.
        As for you, go that same day to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah.
11     Take silver and gold and make a crown.[r]
        Place it on the head of the high priest Joshua, Jehozadak’s son.
12 Say to him,
    “The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:
        Here is a man.
        His name is Branch, and he will branch out from his place;
            he will build the Lord’s temple.
13         He will build the Lord’s temple.
        He will be majestic;
            he will sit and rule on his throne.
        There will be a priest on his throne,
            and the two of them will share a peaceable plan.
14         The crown will be a memorial in the Lord’s temple
            for Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and for Hen, Zephaniah’s son.
15                 People from far away will come and build the Lord’s temple
                so you might know that the Lord of heavenly forces has sent me to you.
        It will happen if you truly obey the voice of the Lord your God.”

Answering the Bethel delegation

In the fourth year of Darius the king, the Lord’s word came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, Kislev.[s] The people of[t] Bethel sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech,[u] along with his men, to seek the Lord’s favor, saying to the priests who were in the house of the Lord of heavenly forces and to the prophets: “Should I weep in the fifth month and abstain as I have done for a number of years?”

Then the word of the Lord of heavenly forces came to me: Say to all the land’s people and to the priests: When you fasted and lamented in the fifth month and the seventh month for these past seventy years, did you fast for me? When you ate and drank, weren’t you the ones eating and drinking? Weren’t these the words that the Lord proclaimed through the former prophets when Jerusalem was dwelling quietly along with the surrounding cities, and when the arid southern plain and the western foothills were inhabited?

The Lord’s word came to Zechariah:
The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:

Make just and faithful decisions; show kindness and compassion to each other! 10 Don’t oppress the widow, the orphan, the stranger, and the poor; don’t plan evil against each other! 11 But they refused to pay attention. They turned a cold shoulder and stopped listening.

12 They steeled their hearts against hearing the Instruction and the words that the Lord of heavenly forces sent by his spirit through the earlier prophets. As a result, the Lord of heavenly forces became enraged.

13 So just as he called and they didn’t listen, when they called, I didn’t listen, says the Lord of heavenly forces. 14 I scattered them throughout the nations whom they didn’t know. The land was devastated behind them, with no one leaving or returning. They turned a delightful land into a wasteland.

Footnotes:

  1. Zechariah 1:6 Or our ways and our actions
  2. Zechariah 1:7 January–February
  3. Zechariah 1:18 2:1 in Heb
  4. Zechariah 1:21 Or those lifting their horns toward Judah
  5. Zechariah 2:1 2:5 in Heb
  6. Zechariah 2:8 Heb uncertain
  7. Zechariah 3:1 Heb hassatan; cf Job 1:6
  8. Zechariah 3:5 Or I
  9. Zechariah 4:10 Or stone, tin
  10. Zechariah 4:14 Or sons of oil
  11. Zechariah 5:3 Heb lacks of the scroll.
  12. Zechariah 5:3 Heb lacks lies.
  13. Zechariah 5:6 Heb ephah, a basket measuring approximately twenty quarts
  14. Zechariah 5:6 Or their eye
  15. Zechariah 5:6 Heb uncertain
  16. Zechariah 6:6 Or after them
  17. Zechariah 6:10 Heb lacks silver and gold; cf 6:11.
  18. Zechariah 6:11 LXX; Heb crowns, so also 6:14
  19. Zechariah 7:1 November–December
  20. Zechariah 7:2 Heb lacks the people of.
  21. Zechariah 7:2 Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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