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Zechariah 1-7New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

A call to return to the Lord

In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo:

‘The Lord was very angry with your ancestors. Therefore tell the people: this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Return to me,” declares the Lord Almighty, “and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.” But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the Lord. Where are your ancestors now? And the prophets, do they live for ever? But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors?

‘Then they repented and said, “The Lord Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.”’

The man among the myrtle trees

On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo.

During the night I had a vision, and there before me was a man mounted on a red horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, brown and white horses.

I asked, ‘What are these, my lord?’

The angel who was talking with me answered, ‘I will show you what they are.’

10 Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, ‘They are the ones the Lord has sent to go throughout the earth.’

11 And they reported to the angel of the Lord who was standing among the myrtle trees, ‘We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace.’

12 Then the angel of the Lord said, ‘Lord Almighty, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah, which you have been angry with these seventy years?’ 13 So the Lord spoke kind and comforting words to the angel who talked with me.

14 Then the angel who was speaking to me said, ‘Proclaim this word: this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I am very jealous for Jerusalem and Zion, 15 and I am very angry with the nations that feel secure. I was only a little angry, but they went too far with the punishment.”

16 ‘Therefore this is what the Lord says: “I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,” declares the Lord Almighty.

17 ‘Proclaim further: this is what the Lord Almighty says: “My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.”’

Four horns and four craftsmen

18 Then I looked up, and there before me were four horns. 19 I asked the angel who was speaking to me, ‘What are these?’

He answered me, ‘These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.’

20 Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen. 21 I asked, ‘What are these coming to do?’

He answered, ‘These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise their head, but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter its people.’[a]

A man with a measuring line

[b]Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, ‘Where are you going?’

He answered me, ‘To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.’

While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him and said to him: ‘Run, tell that young man, “Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,” declares the Lord, “and I will be its glory within.”

‘Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,’ declares the Lord, ‘for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven,’ declares the Lord.

‘Come, Zion! Escape, you who live in Daughter Babylon!’ For this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you – for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye – I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them.[c] Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me.

10 ‘Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the Lord. 11 ‘Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. 12 The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.’

Clean garments for the high priest

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan[d] standing at his right side to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, ‘The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?’

Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, ‘Take off his filthy clothes.’

Then he said to Joshua, ‘See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.’

Then I said, ‘Put a clean turban on his head.’ So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.

The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: “If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.

‘“Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes[e] on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.

10 ‘“In that day each of you will invite your neighbour to sit under your vine and fig-tree,” declares the Lord Almighty.’

The gold lampstand and the two olive trees

Then the angel who talked with me returned and woke me up, like someone awakened from sleep. He asked me, ‘What do you see?’

I answered, ‘I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lamps on it, with seven channels to the lamps. Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.’

I asked the angel who talked with me, ‘What are these, my lord?’

He answered, ‘Do you not know what these are?’

‘No, my lord,’ I replied.

So he said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty.

‘What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of “God bless it! God bless it!”’

Then the word of the Lord came to me: ‘The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.

10 ‘Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone[f] in the hand of Zerubbabel?’

11 Then I asked the angel, ‘What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?’

12 Again I asked him, ‘What are these two olive branches beside the two gold pipes that pour out golden oil?’

13 He replied, ‘Do you not know what these are?’

‘No, my lord,’ I said.

14 So he said, ‘These are the two who are anointed to[g] serve the Lord of all the earth.’

The flying scroll

I looked again, and there before me was a flying scroll.

He asked me, ‘What do you see?’

I answered, ‘I see a flying scroll, twenty cubits long and ten cubits wide.’[h]

And he said to me, ‘This is the curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who swears falsely will be banished. The Lord Almighty declares, “I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of anyone who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in that house and destroy it completely, both its timbers and its stones.”’

The woman in a basket

Then the angel who was speaking to me came forward and said to me, ‘Look up and see what is appearing.’

I asked, ‘What is it?’

He replied, ‘It is a basket.’ And he added, ‘This is the iniquity[i] of the people throughout the land.’

Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman! He said, ‘This is wickedness,’ and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed its lead cover down on it.

Then I looked up – and there before me were two women, with the wind in their wings! They had wings like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between heaven and earth.

10 ‘Where are they taking the basket?’ I asked the angel who was speaking to me.

11 He replied, ‘To the country of Babylonia[j] to build a house for it. When the house is ready, the basket will be set there in its place.’

Four chariots

I looked up again, and there before me were four chariots coming out from between two mountains – mountains of bronze. The first chariot had red horses, the second black, the third white, and the fourth dappled – all of them powerful. I asked the angel who was speaking to me, ‘What are these, my lord?’

The angel answered me, ‘These are the four spirits[k] of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world. The one with the black horses is going towards the north country, the one with the white horses towards the west,[l] and the one with the dappled horses towards the south.’

When the powerful horses went out, they were straining to go throughout the earth. And he said, ‘Go throughout the earth!’ So they went throughout the earth.

Then he called to me, ‘Look, those going towards the north country have given my Spirit[m] rest in the land of the north.’

A crown for Joshua

The word of the Lord came to me: 10 ‘Take silver and gold from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon. Go the same day to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah. 11 Take the silver and gold and make a crown, and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of Jozadak.[n] 12 Tell him this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord. 13 It is he who will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he[o] will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.” 14 The crown will be given to Heldai,[p] Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen[q] son of Zephaniah as a memorial in the temple of the Lord. 15 Those who are far away will come and help to build the temple of the Lord, and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the Lord your God.’

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 travelled through it. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.”’

Footnotes:

  1. Zechariah 1:21 In Hebrew texts 1:18-21 is numbered 2:1-4.
  2. Zechariah 2:1 In Hebrew texts 2:1-13 is numbered 2:5-17.
  3. Zechariah 2:9 Or says after . . . eye: ‘I . . . plunder them.’
  4. Zechariah 3:1 Hebrew satan means adversary.
  5. Zechariah 3:9 Or facets
  6. Zechariah 4:10 Or the plumb-line
  7. Zechariah 4:14 Or two who bring oil and
  8. Zechariah 5:2 That is, about 9 metres long and 4.5 metres wide
  9. Zechariah 5:6 Or appearance
  10. Zechariah 5:11 Hebrew Shinar
  11. Zechariah 6:5 Or winds
  12. Zechariah 6:6 Or horses after them
  13. Zechariah 6:8 Or spirit
  14. Zechariah 6:11 Hebrew Jehozadak, a variant of Jozadak
  15. Zechariah 6:13 Or there
  16. Zechariah 6:14 Syriac; Hebrew Helem
  17. Zechariah 6:14 Or and the gracious one, the
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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