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Hypocritical Fasting Condemned

In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev.(A) Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men to entreat the favor of the Lord(B) and to ask the priests of the house of the Lord of hosts and the prophets, “Should I mourn and practice abstinence in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”(C) Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me: “Say to all the people of the land and the priests: When you fasted and lamented in the fifth month and in the seventh for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted?(D) And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and drink only for yourselves? Were not these the words that the Lord proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, along with the towns around it, and when the Negeb and the Shephelah were inhabited?”

Punishment for Rejecting God’s Demands

The word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another;(E) 10 do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.(F) 11 But they refused to listen and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears in order not to hear.(G) 12 They made their hearts adamant in order not to hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by his spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great wrath came from the Lord of hosts.(H) 13 Just as, when I[a] called, they would not hear, so, when they called, I would not hear, says the Lord of hosts,(I) 14 and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they had not known. Thus the land they left was desolate, so that no one went to and fro, and a pleasant land was made desolate.”(J)

God’s Promises to Zion

The word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: I am zealous for Zion with great zeal, and I am zealous for her with great wrath.(K) Thus says the Lord: I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts shall be called the holy mountain.(L) Thus says the Lord of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of their great age.(M) And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.(N) Thus says the Lord of hosts: Even though it seems impossible to the remnant of this people in these days, should it also seem impossible to me, says the Lord of hosts?(O) Thus says the Lord of hosts: I will save my people from the east country and from the west country,(P) and I will bring them to live in Jerusalem. They shall be my people and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.”(Q)

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: Let your hands be strong—you who have recently been hearing these words from the mouths of the prophets who were present when the foundation was laid for the rebuilding of the temple, the house of the Lord of hosts.(R) 10 For before those days there were no wages for people or for animals, nor was there any safety from the foe for those who went out or came in, and I set them all against one another.(S) 11 But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as in the former days, says the Lord of hosts. 12 For there shall be a sowing of peace; the vine shall yield its fruit, the ground shall give its produce, and the skies shall give their dew, and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.(T) 13 Just as you have been a cursing among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.”(U)

14 “For thus says the Lord of hosts: Just as I purposed to bring disaster upon you when your ancestors provoked me to wrath, and I did not relent, says the Lord of hosts,(V) 15 so again I have purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah; do not be afraid. 16 These are the things that you shall do: speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace,(W) 17 do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these are things that I hate, says the Lord.”(X)

Joyful Fasting

18 The word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying: 19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth shall be seasons of joy and gladness and cheerful festivals for the house of Judah; therefore love truth and peace.”(Y)

Many Peoples Drawn to Jerusalem

20 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, the inhabitants of many cities; 21 the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Come, let us go to entreat the favor of the Lord and to seek the Lord of hosts; I myself am going.’(Z) 22 Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord.(AA) 23 Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days ten men from nations of every language shall take hold of a Jew, grasping his garment and saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’ ”(AB)

Judgment on Israel’s Enemies

An Oracle.

The word of the Lord is against the land of Hadrach
    and will rest upon Damascus.
For to the Lord belongs the capital[b] of Aram,[c]
    as do all the tribes of Israel;
Hamath also, which borders on it,
    Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise.(AC)
Tyre has built itself a rampart
    and heaped up silver like dust
    and gold like the dirt of the streets.(AD)
But now, the Lord will strip it of its possessions
    and hurl its wealth into the sea,
    and it shall be devoured by fire.(AE)

Ashkelon shall see it and be afraid;
    Gaza, too, and shall writhe in anguish;
    Ekron also, because its hopes are withered.
The king shall perish from Gaza;
    Ashkelon shall be uninhabited;(AF)
a mongrel people shall settle in Ashdod,
    and I will make an end of the pride of Philistia.(AG)
I will take away its blood from its mouth
    and its abominations from between its teeth;
it, too, shall be a remnant for our God;
    it shall be like a clan in Judah,
    and Ekron shall be like the Jebusites.(AH)
Then I will encamp at my house as a guard,
    so that no one shall march to and fro;
no oppressor shall again overrun them,
    for now I have seen with my own eyes.(AI)

The Coming Ruler of God’s People

Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!
    Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you;
    triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.(AJ)
10 He[d] will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
    and the war horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
    and he shall command peace to the nations;
his dominion shall be from sea to sea
    and from the River to the ends of the earth.(AK)

11 As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
    I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.(AL)
12 Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;
    today I declare that I will restore to you double.(AM)
13 For I have bent Judah as my bow;
    I have made Ephraim its arrow.[e]
I will arouse your sons, O Zion,
    against your sons, O Greece,
    and wield you like a warrior’s sword.(AN)

14 Then the Lord will appear over them,
    and his arrow go forth like lightning;
the Lord God will sound the trumpet
    and march forth in the whirlwinds of the south.(AO)
15 The Lord of hosts will protect them,
    and they shall consume and conquer the slingers;[f]
they shall drink their blood[g] like wine
    and be full like a bowl,
    drenched like the corners of the altar.(AP)

16 On that day the Lord their God will save them,
    for they are the flock of his people,
for like the jewels of a crown
    they shall shine on his land.(AQ)
17 For what goodness and beauty are his!
    Grain shall make the young men flourish,
    and new wine the young women.(AR)


  1. 7.13 Heb he
  2. 9.1 Heb eye
  3. 9.1 Cn: Heb of Adam (or of humankind)
  4. 9.10 Gk: Heb I
  5. 9.13 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  6. 9.15 Cn: Heb the slingstones
  7. 9.15 Gk: Heb they roared