October 12

Zechariah 7:1 — 10:12

7 Furthermore, it came about that in the fourth year of Darius the king the word of Jehovah occurred to Zechariah, on the fourth [day] of the ninth month, [that is,] in Chislev. 2 And Bethel proceeded to send Sharezer and Regem-melech and his men to soften the face of Jehovah, 3 saying to the priests who belonged to the house of Jehovah of armies, and to the prophets, even saying: “Shall I weep in the fifth month, practicing an abstinence, the way I have done these O how many years?”

4 And the word of Jehovah of armies continued to occur to me, saying: 5 “Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, ‘When YOU fasted and there was a wailing in the fifth [month] and in the seventh [month], and this for seventy years, did YOU really fast to me, even me? 6 And when YOU would eat and when YOU would drink, were not YOU the ones doing the eating, and were not YOU the ones doing the drinking? 7 [Should YOU] not [obey] the words that Jehovah called out by means of the former prophets, while Jerusalem happened to be inhabited, and at ease, with her cities all around her, and [while] the Negeb and the Shephelah were inhabited?’”

8 And the word of Jehovah continued to occur to Zechariah, saying: 9 “This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘With true justice do YOUR judging; and carry on with one another loving-kindness and mercies; 10 and defraud no widow or fatherless boy, no alien resident or afflicted one, and scheme out nothing bad against one another in YOUR hearts.’ 11 But they kept refusing to pay attention, and they kept giving a stubborn shoulder, and their ears they made too unresponsive to hear. 12 And their heart they set as an emery stone to keep from obeying the law and the words that Jehovah of armies sent by his spirit, by means of the former prophets; so that there occurred great indignation on the part of Jehovah of armies.”

13 “‘And so it occurred that, just as he called and they did not listen, so they would call and I would not listen,’ Jehovah of armies has said. 14 ‘And I proceeded tempestuously to hurl them throughout all the nations that they had not known; and the land itself has been left desolate behind them, with no one passing through and with no one returning; and they proceeded to make the desirable land an object of astonishment.’”

8 And the word of Jehovah of armies continued to occur, saying: 2 “This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘I will be jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and with great rage I will be jealous for her.’”

3 “This is what Jehovah has said, ‘I will return to Zion and reside in the midst of Jerusalem; and Jerusalem will certainly be called the city of trueness, and the mountain of Jehovah of armies, the holy mountain.’”

4 “This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘There will yet sit old men and old women in the public squares of Jerusalem, each one also with his staff in his hand because of the abundance of [his] days. 5 And the public squares of the city themselves will be filled with boys and girls playing in her public squares.’”

6 “This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘Although it should seem too difficult in the eyes of the remaining ones of this people in those days, should it seem too difficult also in my eyes?’ is the utterance of Jehovah of armies.”

7 “This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘Here I am saving my people from the land of the sunrise and from the land of the setting of the sun. 8 And I shall certainly bring them in, and they must reside in the midst of Jerusalem; and they must become my people, and I myself shall become their God in trueness and in righteousness.’”

9 “This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘Let the hands of YOU people be strong, YOU who are hearing in these days these words from the mouth of the prophets, on the day on which the foundation of the house of Jehovah of armies was laid, for the temple to be built. 10 For before those days there were no wages for mankind made to exist; and as for the wages of domestic animals, there was no such thing; and to the one going out and to the one coming in there was no peace because of the adversary, as I kept thrusting all mankind against one another.’

11 “‘And now I shall not be as in the former days to the remaining ones of this people,’ is the utterance of Jehovah of armies. 12 ‘For there will be the seed of peace; the vine itself will give its fruitage, and the earth itself will give its yield, and the heavens themselves will give their dew; and I shall certainly cause the remaining ones of this people to inherit all these [things]. 13 And it must occur that just as YOU became a malediction among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I shall save YOU, and YOU must become a blessing. Do not be afraid. May YOUR hands be strong.’

14 “For this is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘“Just as I had in mind to do what was calamitous to YOU people because of YOUR forefathers’ making me indignant,” Jehovah of armies has said, “and I felt no regret, 15 so I will again have in mind in these days to deal well with Jerusalem and with the house of Judah. Do not be afraid.”’

16 “‘These are the things that YOU people should do: Speak truthfully with one another. With truth and the judgment of peace do YOUR judging in YOUR gates. 17 And calamity to one another do not YOU scheme up in YOUR hearts, and do not love any false oath; for these are all things that I have hated,’ is the utterance of Jehovah.”

18 And the word of Jehovah of armies continued to occur to me, saying: 19 “This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘The fast of the fourth [month], and the fast of the fifth [month], and the fast of the seventh [month], and the fast of the tenth [month] will become for the house of Judah an exultation and a rejoicing and good festal seasons. So love truth and peace.’

20 “This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘It will yet be that peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will come; 21 and the inhabitants of one [city] will certainly go to [those of] another, saying: “Let us earnestly go to soften the face of Jehovah and to seek Jehovah of armies. I myself will go also.” 22 And many peoples and mighty nations will actually come to seek Jehovah of armies in Jerusalem and to soften the face of Jehovah.’

23 “This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘It will be in those days that ten men out of all the languages of the nations will take hold, yes, they will actually take hold of the skirt of a man who is a Jew, saying: “We will go with YOU people, for we have heard [that] God is with YOU people.”’”

9 A pronouncement:

“The word of Jehovah is against the land of Hadrach, and Damascus is where it rests; for Jehovah has an eye on earthling man and on all the tribes of Israel. 2 And Hamath itself will also border upon her; Tyre and Sidon, for she is very wise. 3 And Tyre proceeded to build a rampart for herself, and to pile up silver like dust and gold like the mire of [the] streets. 4 Look! Jehovah himself will dispossess her, and into the sea he will certainly strike down her military force; and in the fire she herself will be devoured. 5 Ashkelon will see and get afraid; and as for Gaza, she will also feel very severe pains; Ekron also, because her looked-for hope will have to experience shame. And a king will certainly perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon herself will not be inhabited. 6 And an illegitimate son will actually seat himself in Ashdod, and I shall certainly cut off the pride of the Philistine. 7 And I will remove his bloodstained things from his mouth and his disgusting things from between his teeth, and he himself also will certainly be left remaining for our God; and he must become like a sheik in Judah, and Ekron like the Jebusite. 8 And I will encamp as an outpost for my house, so that there will be no one passing through and no one returning; and there will no more pass through them a taskmaster, for now I have seen [it] with my eyes.

9 “Be very joyful, O daughter of Zion. Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem. Look! Your king himself comes to you. He is righteous, yes, saved; humble, and riding upon an ass, even upon a full-grown animal the son of a she-ass. 10 And I shall certainly cut off [the] war chariot from Ephraim and [the] horse from Jerusalem. And the battle bow must be cut off. And he will actually speak peace to the nations; and his rulership will be from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of [the] earth.

11 “Also, you, [O woman,] by the blood of your covenant I will send your prisoners out of the pit in which there is no water.

12 “Return to the stronghold, YOU prisoners of the hope.

“Also, today [I am] telling [you], ‘I shall repay to you, [O woman,] a double portion. 13 For I will tread as my [bow] Judah. The bow I will fill with Ephraim, and I will awaken your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and I will make you as the sword of a mighty man.’ 14 And over them Jehovah himself will be seen, and his arrow will certainly go forth just like lightning. And on the horn the Sovereign Lord Jehovah himself will blow, and he will certainly go with the windstorms of the south. 15 Jehovah of armies himself will defend them, and they will actually devour and subdue the slingstones. And they will certainly drink—be boisterous—as if there were wine; and they will actually become filled like the bowl, like the corners of [the] altar.

16 “And Jehovah their God will certainly save them in that day like the flock of his people; for they will be as the stones of a diadem glittering over his soil. 17 For O how [great] his goodness is, and how [great] his handsomeness is! Grain is what will make the young men thrive, and new wine the virgins.”

10 “Make YOUR requests of Jehovah for rain in the time of the spring rain, even of Jehovah who is making the storm clouds, and [who] gives a downpour of rain to them, to each one vegetation in the field. 2 For the teraphim themselves have spoken what is uncanny; and the practicers of divination, for their part, have visioned falsehood, and valueless dreams are what they keep speaking, and in vain they try to comfort. That is why they will certainly depart like a flock; they will become afflicted, because there is no shepherd.

3 “Against the shepherds my anger has grown hot, and against the goatlike leaders I shall hold an accounting; for Jehovah of armies has turned his attention to his drove, the house of Judah, and has made them like his horse of dignity in the battle. 4 Out of him is the keyman, out of him is the supporting ruler, out of him is the battle bow; out of him goes forth every taskmaster, all together. 5 And they must become like mighty men stamping down in the mire of [the] streets in the battle. And they must get engaged in battle, for Jehovah is with them; and the riders of horses will have to experience shame. 6 And I will make the house of Judah superior, and the house of Joseph I shall save. And I will give them a dwelling, for I will show them mercy; and they must become like those whom I had not cast off; for I am Jehovah their God, and I shall answer them. 7 And those of Ephraim must become just like a mighty man, and their heart must rejoice as though from wine. And their own sons will see and certainly rejoice; their heart will be joyful in Jehovah.

8 “‘I will whistle for them and collect them together; for I shall certainly redeem them, and they must become many, just like those who have become many. 9 And I shall scatter them like seed among the peoples, and in the distant places they will remember me; and they must revive with their sons and return. 10 And I must bring them back from the land of Egypt; and from Assyria I shall collect them together; and to the land of Gilead and Lebanon I shall bring them, and no [room] will be found for them. 11 And he must pass through the sea [with] distress; and in the sea he must strike down [the] waves, and all the depths of the Nile must dry up. And the pride of Assyria must be brought down, and the very scepter of Egypt will depart. 12 And I will make them superior in Jehovah, and in his name they will walk about,’ is the utterance of Jehovah.”