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A Call to Return

In the eighth month of the second year[a] of the reign of[b] Darius, this message from the Lord came to Berechiah’s son Zechariah,[c] the grandson of Iddo the prophet: “The Lord was very angry with your ancestors. So tell them, ‘This is what the Lord of the Heavenly Armies says: “Return to me,” declares the Lord of the Heavenly Armies, “and I will return to you.[d] Don’t be like your ancestors, to whom the former prophets proclaimed: ‘This is what the Lord of the Heavenly Armies says: “It’s time to turn from your evil lifestyles[e] and from your evil actions,” ‘but they would neither listen nor pay attention to me,’” declares the Lord.’ “Your ancestors—where are they? And the prophets—do they live forever? But my words and my statutes that I gave as commands to my servants the prophets—did they not overwhelm your ancestors? And they returned to me:[f] ‘The Lord of the Heavenly Armies acted toward us just as he planned to do—in keeping with our lifestyles[g] and in keeping with our actions.’”

The Vision of Horses

On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month (the month Shebat) in the second year of the reign of[h] Darius, this message from the Lord came to Berechiah’s son Zechariah, the grandson of Iddo the prophet: “I stared into the night, and there was a man mounted on a red horse! The horse[i] was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him there were red, brown,[j] and white horses.”

Then I asked, “Who are these, sir?”[k]

The messenger who was talking to me answered, “I will tell you who these are.”

10 The man who stood among the myrtle trees answered, “These are the ones whom the Lord sent out to wander throughout the earth.”

11 Then they reported to the angel of the Lord who stood among the myrtle trees, “We have wandered throughout the earth—and look!—the entire earth is at rest. Everything is quiet and peaceful.”[l]

12 And the angel of the Lord replied, “Lord of the Heavenly Armies, how long will it be until you show mercy to Jerusalem and to the cities of Judah, with whom you have been angry for these past seventy years?”

13 So the Lord answered the angel who was speaking to me with kind and comforting words.

The Lord’s Concern for Zion

14 Then the angel who was speaking to me told me, “Announce this: ‘This is what the Lord of the Heavenly Armies says: “I have a deep concern for Jerusalem, a great concern for Zion. 15 I am deeply angry with the nations who are complacent, with whom I was only a little displeased—but they made things worse!” 16 ‘Therefore this is what the Lord says: “I have returned to Jerusalem with compassionate intentions. My Temple will be rebuilt there,” declares the Lord of the Heavenly Armies, “and the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem.”’”

The Future Prosperity of Zion

17 “Also announce the following: ‘This is what the Lord of the Heavenly Armies says: “My cities will again overflow with prosperity. The Lord will comfort Zion once more and will choose Jerusalem again.”’”

The Vision of Four Horns

18 [m]Then I looked up and saw four horns. 19 I asked the angel who was talking to me, “What are those?”

So he answered me, “Those are the forces[n] that have dispersed Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.”

The Vision of Four Artisans

20 Then the Lord showed me four artisans.

21 Then I asked, “What have they come to do?”

He answered, “Those horns that dispersed Judah—so that no one could lift up his head—those artisans[o] are coming to disrupt the power[p] of nations, tearing them down now that they’ve come to power and dispersed the land of Judah.”

Footnotes

  1. Zechariah 1:1 I.e. sometime from mid-October to mid-November 520 BC
  2. Zechariah 1:1 The Heb. lacks the reign of
  3. Zechariah 1:1 The Heb. name Zechariah means the Lord remembers
  4. Zechariah 1:3 Lit. you,” declares the Lord of the Heavenly Armies
  5. Zechariah 1:4 Lit. paths
  6. Zechariah 1:6 The Heb. lacks to me
  7. Zechariah 1:6 Lit. paths
  8. Zechariah 1:7 The Heb. lacks the reign of
  9. Zechariah 1:8 Lit. He
  10. Zechariah 1:8 Or sorrel
  11. Zechariah 1:9 Lit. My lord
  12. Zechariah 1:11 Lit. is rest and remains
  13. Zechariah 1:18 This v. is 2:1 in MT, 1:19 is 2:2 in MT, and so through v. 21
  14. Zechariah 1:19 Lit. horns
  15. Zechariah 1:21 The Heb. lacks artisans
  16. Zechariah 1:21 Lit. to terrify the horns

A Call to Return to the Lord

In the eighth month of the second year of Darius,(A) the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah(B) son of Berekiah,(C) the son of Iddo:(D)

“The Lord was very angry(E) with your ancestors. Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return(F) to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’(G) says the Lord Almighty. Do not be like your ancestors,(H) to whom the earlier prophets(I) proclaimed: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways(J) and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to me,(K) declares the Lord.(L) Where are your ancestors now? And the prophets, do they live forever? But did not my words(M) and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors?(N)

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

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.(Q)

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

I asked, “What are these, my lord?”

The angel(T) who was talking with me answered, “I will show you what they are.”(U)

10 Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, “They are the ones the Lord has sent to go throughout the earth.”(V)

11 And they reported to the angel of the Lord(W) who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace.”(X)

12 Then the angel of the Lord said, “Lord Almighty, how long(Y) will you withhold mercy(Z) from Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah,(AA) which you have been angry with these seventy(AB) years?” 13 So the Lord spoke(AC) kind and comforting words(AD) to the angel who talked with me.(AE)

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

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

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

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(AP) 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(AQ) against the land of Judah to scatter its people.”[a](AR)

Footnotes

  1. Zechariah 1:21 In Hebrew texts 1:18-21 is numbered 2:1-4.

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