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Zechariah 7 Lexham English Bible (LEB)

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.’”

Footnotes:

  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
Lexham English Bible (LEB)

2012 by Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software

Zechariah 7 New International Version (NIV)

Justice and Mercy, Not Fasting

In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev. The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melek, together with their men, to entreat the Lord by asking the priests of the house of the Lord Almighty and the prophets, “Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”

Then the word of the Lord Almighty came to me: “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves? Are these not the words the Lord proclaimed through the earlier prophets when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were at rest and prosperous, and the Negev and the western foothills were settled?’”

And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah: “This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’

11 “But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears. 12 They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord Almighty was very angry.

13 “‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the Lord Almighty. 14 ‘I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land they left behind them was so desolate that no one traveled through it. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.’”

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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