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The Hypocrisy of False Fasting

In King Darius’ fourth year, on the fourth day of Kislev, the ninth month,[a] the Lord’s message came to Zechariah. Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech and their companions to seek the Lord’s favor by asking both the priests of the temple[b] of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies and the prophets, “Should we weep in the fifth month,[c] fasting as we have done over the years?”

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Footnotes

  1. Zechariah 7:1 sn The fourth day of Kislev, the ninth month would be December 7, 518 b.c., 22 months after the previous eight visions.
  2. Zechariah 7:3 tn Heb “house” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV).
  3. Zechariah 7:3 sn This lamentation marked the occasion of the destruction of Solomon’s temple on August 14, 586 b.c., almost exactly 70 years earlier (cf. 2 Kgs 25:8).

Justice and Mercy, Not Fasting

In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah(A) on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev.(B) The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melek, together with their men, to entreat(C) the Lord(D) by asking the priests of the house of the Lord Almighty and the prophets, “Should I mourn(E) and fast in the fifth(F) month, as I have done for so many years?”

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