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Israel Urged to Repent

In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berechiah son of Iddo, saying:(A) “The Lord was very angry with your ancestors. Therefore say to them: Thus says the Lord of hosts: Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts.(B) Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: Return from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.’ But they did not hear or heed me, says the Lord.(C) Your ancestors, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not overtake your ancestors? So they repented and said, ‘The Lord of hosts has dealt with us according to our ways and deeds, just as he planned to do.’ ”(D)

First Vision: The Horsemen

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 Berechiah son of Iddo: In the night I saw a man mounted on a red horse! He was standing among the myrtle trees in the shadows,[a] and behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses.(E) Then I said, “What are these, my lord?” The angel who spoke with me said to me, “I will show you what they are.”(F) 10 So the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered, “They are those whom the Lord has sent to patrol the earth.”(G) 11 Then they spoke to the angel of the Lord who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have patrolled the earth, and the whole earth remains at peace.”(H) 12 Then the angel of the Lord said, “O Lord of hosts, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which you have been angry these seventy years?”(I) 13 Then the Lord replied with gracious and comforting words to the angel who spoke with me.(J) 14 So the angel who spoke with me said to me, “Proclaim this message: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I am very zealous for Jerusalem and for Zion,(K) 15 and I am extremely angry with the nations that are at ease, for while I was only a little angry, they made the disaster worse.(L) 16 Therefore, thus says the Lord: I have returned to Jerusalem with compassion; my house shall be built in it, says the Lord of hosts, and a measuring line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.(M) 17 Proclaim further: Thus says the Lord of hosts: My cities shall again overflow with prosperity; the Lord will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.”(N)

Second Vision: The Horns and the Smiths

18 [b]And I looked up and saw four horns. 19 I asked the angel who spoke with me, “What are those?” And he answered me, “Those are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.” 20 Then the Lord showed me four blacksmiths. 21 And I asked, “What are they coming to do?” He answered, “Those are the horns that scattered Judah, so that no head could be raised, but these have come to terrify them, to strike down the horns of the nations that lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter its people.”[c](O)

Third Vision: The Man with a Measuring Line

[d]I looked up and saw a man with a measuring line in his hand.(P) Then I asked, “Where are you going?” He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to see how wide and how long it is.”(Q) Then the angel who spoke with me came forward, and another angel came forward to meet him and said to him, “Run, say to that young man: Jerusalem shall be inhabited like unwalled villages because of the multitude of people and animals in it.(R) For I will be a wall of fire all around it, says the Lord, and I will be the glory within it.”(S)

Interlude: An Appeal to the Exiles

Up, up! Flee from the land of the north, says the Lord, for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven, says the Lord.(T) Up! Escape to Zion, you who live with daughter Babylon. For thus said the Lord of hosts after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you: Truly, one who touches you touches the apple of my eye.[e](U) For I am going to raise[f] my hand against them, and they shall become plunder for their own slaves. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me.(V) 10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! For I will come and dwell in your midst, says the Lord.(W) 11 Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day and shall be my people, and I will dwell in your midst. And you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. 12 The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem.(X)

13 Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.(Y)

Fourth Vision: Joshua and Satan

Then he showed me the high priest Joshua standing before the angel of the Lord and the accuser[g] standing at his right hand to accuse him.(Z) And the Lord said to the accuser,[h] “The Lord rebuke you, O accuser![i] The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this man a brand plucked from the fire?”(AA) Now Joshua was wearing filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel[j] said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And to him he said, “See, I have taken your guilt away from you, and I will clothe you with festal apparel.”(AB) And he said,[k] “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with apparel, and the angel of the Lord was standing by.(AC)

Then the angel of the Lord warned Joshua, saying “Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here.(AD) Now listen, Joshua, high priest, you and your colleagues who sit before you! For they are an omen of things to come: I am going to bring my servant the Branch.(AE) For on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven facets, I will engrave its inscription, says the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the guilt of this land in a single day.(AF) 10 On that day, says the Lord of hosts, you shall invite each other to come under your vine and fig tree.”(AG)

Fifth Vision: The Lampstand and Olive Trees

The angel who spoke with me came again and wakened me, as one is wakened from sleep.(AH) He said to me, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it; there are seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it.(AI) And by it there are two olive trees, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.”(AJ) I said to the angel who spoke with me, “What are these, my lord?” Then the angel who spoke with me answered me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” 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 of hosts.(AK) What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain, and he shall bring out the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’ ”(AL)

Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.(AM) 10 For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel.

“These seven are the eyes of the Lord that range through the whole earth.”(AN) 11 Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?” 12 And a second time I said to him, “What are these two branches of the olive trees that pour out the oil[l] through the two golden pipes?” 13 He said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” 14 Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”(AO)


  1. 1.8 Gk Syr: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. 1.18 2.1 in Heb
  3. 1.21 Heb it
  4. 2.1 2.5 in Heb
  5. 2.8 Heb his eye
  6. 2.9 Or wave
  7. 3.1 Heb the satan
  8. 3.2 Heb the satan
  9. 3.2 Heb the satan
  10. 3.4 Heb He
  11. 3.5 Syr Vg Tg: MT I said
  12. 4.12 Cn: Heb gold

The Fall of Babylon

18 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined by his splendor.(A) He called out with a mighty voice,

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!
    It has become a dwelling place of demons,
a haunt of every foul spirit,
    a haunt of every foul bird,
    a haunt of every foul and hateful beast.[a](B)
For all the nations have fallen[b]
    from the wine of the wrath of her prostitution,
and the kings of the earth have engaged in sexual immorality[c] with her,
    and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power[d] of her luxury.”(C)

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,

“Come out of her, my people,
    so that you do not take part in her sins
and so that you do not share in her plagues,(D)
for her sins are heaped high as heaven,
    and God has remembered her iniquities.(E)
Render to her as she herself has rendered,
    and repay her double for her deeds;
    mix a double dose for her in the cup she mixed.(F)
As she glorified herself and lived luxuriously,
    so give her a like measure of torment and grief.
Since in her heart she says,
    ‘I rule as a queen;
I am no widow,
    and I will never see grief,’(G)
therefore her plagues will come in a single day—
    pestilence and mourning and famine—
and she will be burned with fire,
    for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.”(H)

And the kings of the earth, who engaged in sexual immorality[e] and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning;(I) 10 they will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say,

“Alas, alas, the great city,
    Babylon, the mighty city!
For in one hour your judgment has come.”(J)

11 And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo any more, 12 cargo of gold, silver, jewels and pearls, fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet, all kinds of scented wood, all articles of ivory, all articles of costly wood, bronze, iron, and marble,(K) 13 cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, choice flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, slaves—and human lives.[f](L)

14 “The fruit for which your soul longed
    has gone from you,
and all your delicacies and your splendor
    are lost to you,
    never to be found again!”

15 The merchants of these wares, who grew wealthy from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud,(M)

16 “Alas, alas, the great city,
    clothed in fine linen,
        in purple and scarlet,
    adorned with gold,
        with jewels, and with pearls!(N)
17 For in one hour all this wealth has been laid waste!”

And all shipmasters and seafarers, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off(O) 18 and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning,

“What city was like the great city?”(P)

19 And they threw dust on their heads as they wept and mourned, crying out,

“Alas, alas, the great city,
    where all who had ships at sea
    grew rich by her wealth!
For in one hour she has been laid waste.”(Q)

20 Rejoice over her, O heaven, you saints and apostles and prophets! For God has condemned her condemnation of you.(R)

21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,

“With such violence Babylon the great city
    will be thrown down
    and will be found no more;(S)
22 and the sound of harpists and entertainers and of flutists and trumpeters
    will be heard in you no more,
and an artisan of any trade
    will be found in you no more,
and the sound of the millstone
    will be heard in you no more,(T)
23 and the light of a lamp
    will shine in you no more,
and the voice of bridegroom and bride
    will be heard in you no more,
for your merchants were the magnates of the earth,
    and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.(U)
24 And in you[g] was found the blood of prophets and of saints
    and of all who have been slaughtered on earth.”(V)


  1. 18.2 Other ancient authorities read a haunt of every foul and hateful bird
  2. 18.3 Other ancient authorities read all the nations have drunk
  3. 18.3 Or prostitution
  4. 18.3 Or resources
  5. 18.9 Or prostitution
  6. 18.13 Or chariots, and human bodies and souls
  7. 18.24 Gk her