A Call for Justice and Mercy
7 oIn the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is pChislev. 2 Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men qto entreat the favor of the Lord, 3 rsaying to the priests of the house of the Lord of hosts and sthe prophets, “Should I weep and tabstain in uthe fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”
4 Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me: 5 “Say to all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in uthe fifth month and in vthe seventh, for these wseventy years, xwas it xfor me that you fasted? 6 yAnd when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves? 7 zWere not these the words that the Lord proclaimed aby the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous, bwith her cities around her, and the bSouth and the blowland were inhabited?’”
8 And the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, 9 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, cRender true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, 10 ddo not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, eor the poor, and flet none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” 11 But gthey refused to pay attention hand turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear.1 12 iThey made their hearts diamond-hard jlest they should hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent jby his Spirit through kthe former prophets. lTherefore great anger came from the Lord of hosts. 13 m“As I2 called, and they would not hear, mso they called, and I would not hear,” says the Lord of hosts, 14 n“and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all othe nations that they had not known. pThus the land they left was desolate, qso that no one went to and fro, rand the pleasant land was made desolate.”
The Coming Peace and Prosperity of Zion
8 And the word of the Lord of hosts came, saying, 2 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: sI am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath. 3 Thus says the Lord: tI have returned to Zion and uwill dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, vand Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, wand the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the holy mountain. 4 Thus says the Lord of hosts: xOld men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of great age. 5 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. 6 Thus says the Lord of hosts: yIf it is marvelous in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, zshould it also be marvelous in my sight, declares the Lord of hosts? 7 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, aI will save my people bfrom the east country and from the west country, 8 and I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. cAnd they shall be my people, and I will be their God, din faithfulness and in righteousness.”
9 Thus says the Lord of hosts: e“Let your hands be strong, you who in these days have been hearing these words from the mouth of fthe prophets who were present on gthe day that the foundation of the house of the Lord of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built. 10 For before those days hthere was no wage for man or any wage for beast, neither was there any safety from the foe for him who went out or came in, for I set every man against his neighbor. 11 But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as in the former days, declares the Lord of hosts. 12 iFor there shall be a sowing of peace. The vine shall give its fruit, and the ground shall give its produce, jand the heavens shall give their dew. kAnd I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things. 13 And as lyou have been a byword of cursing among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, mso will I save you, and nyou shall be a blessing. oFear not, but elet your hands be strong.”
14 For thus says the Lord of hosts: p“As I purposed to bring disaster to you when your fathers provoked me to wrath, and I did not relent, says the Lord of hosts, 15 so again have I purposed in these days to bring good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah; ofear not. 16 These are the things that you shall do: qSpeak the truth to one another; rrender in your gates judgments sthat are true and make for peace; 17 tdo not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and ulove no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the Lord.”
18 And the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, 19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: The fast of the vfourth month and the fast of the wfifth and the fast of the xseventh and the fast of the ytenth shall be to the house of Judah zseasons of joy and gladness and cheerful feasts. Therefore love atruth and peace.
20 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, even the inhabitants of many cities. 21 The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, b‘Let us go at once cto entreat the favor of the Lord and to seek the Lord of hosts; I myself am going.’ 22 bMany peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and cto entreat the favor of the Lord. 23 Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days dten men efrom the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for fwe have heard that God is with you.’”
Judgment on Israel’s Enemies
9 The oracle of the word of the Lord is against the land of Hadrach
and gDamascus is its resting place.
For the Lord has an eye on mankind
and on all the tribes of Israel,1
2 hand on Hamath also, which borders on it,
iTyre and iSidon, though jthey are very wise.
3 Tyre has built herself ka rampart
and lheaped up silver like dust,
and fine gold like the mud of the streets.
4 But behold, the Lord will strip her of her possessions
and strike down mher power on the sea,
and nshe shall be devoured by fire.
5 oAshkelon shall see it, and be afraid;
Gaza too, and shall writhe in anguish;
Ekron also, because its hopes are confounded.
The king shall perish from Gaza;
Ashkelon shall be uninhabited;
6 pa mixed people2 shall dwell in Ashdod,
and I will cut off the pride of Philistia.
7 I will take away qits blood from its mouth,
and rits abominations from between its teeth;
sit too shall be a remnant for our God;
it shall be like ta clan in Judah,
and Ekron shall be like the Jebusites.
8 Then uI will encamp at my house as a guard,
vso that none shall march to and fro;
wno oppressor shall again march over them,
xfor now I see with my own eyes.
The Coming King of Zion
9 yRejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
zBehold, ayour king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
bhumble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 cI will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
and dthe war horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
and ehe shall speak peace to the nations;
fhis rule shall be from sea to sea,
and from gthe River3 to the ends of the earth.
11 As for you also, because of hthe blood of my covenant with you,
iI will set your prisoners free from jthe waterless pit.
12 Return to your stronghold, O kprisoners of hope;
today I declare that lI will restore to you double.
13 For mI have bent Judah as my bow;
I have made Ephraim its arrow.
I will stir up your sons, O Zion,
against your sons, nO Greece,
and wield you like a warrior’s sword.
The Lord Will Save His People
14 Then the Lord will appear over them,
and ohis arrow will go forth like lightning;
pthe Lord God will sound the trumpet
and will march forth in qthe whirlwinds rof the south.
15 The Lord of hosts swill protect them,
and tthey shall devour, uand tread down the sling stones,
and vthey shall drink and roar as if drunk with wine,
and be full like a bowl,
drenched wlike the corners of the altar.
16 On that day the Lord their God will save them,
as xthe flock of his people;
for ylike the jewels of a crown
they shall shine on his land.
17 zFor how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty!
aGrain shall make the young men flourish,
and new wine the young women.
The Restoration for Judah and Israel
10 Ask rain bfrom the Lord
in the season of cthe spring rain,
from the Lord dwho makes the storm clouds,
and ehe will give them showers of rain,
to everyone the vegetation in the field.
2 For fthe household gods gutter nonsense,
and the diviners see lies;
hthey tell false dreams
and give empty consolation.
Therefore ithe people wander like sheep;
they are afflicted for lack of a shepherd.
3 j“My anger is hot against the shepherds,
and kI will punish the leaders;1
for lthe Lord of hosts cares for his flock, the house of Judah,
and will make them like his majestic steed in battle.
4 From him shall come mthe cornerstone,
from him nthe tent peg,
from him the battle bow,
from him every ruler—oall of them together.
5 They shall be like mighty men in battle,
ptrampling the foe in the mud of the streets;
they shall fight because the Lord is with them,
and they shall put to shame qthe riders on horses.
6 r“I will strengthen the house of Judah,
and sI will save the house of Joseph.
tI will bring them back ubecause I have compassion on them,
and they shall be as though I had not rejected them,
for vI am the Lord their God and I will answer them.
7 Then Ephraim shall become like a mighty warrior,
and wtheir hearts shall be glad as with wine.
Their children shall see it and be glad;
their hearts shall rejoice in the Lord.
8 x“I will whistle for them and ygather them in,
for I have redeemed them,
and zthey shall be as many as they were before.
9 aThough I scattered them among the nations,
yet in far countries bthey shall remember me,
and with their children they shall live and return.
10 cI will bring them home from the land of Egypt,
and gather them from Assyria,
and dI will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon,
etill there is no room for them.
11 fHe shall pass through the sea of troubles
and strike down the waves of the sea,
gand all the depths of the Nile shall be dried up.
The pride of Assyria shall be laid low,
and hthe scepter of Egypt shall depart.
12 iI will make them strong in the Lord,
and jthey shall walk in his name,”
declares the Lord.
The Flock Doomed to Slaughter
11 Open your doors, kO Lebanon,
that the fire may devour your cedars!
2 Wail, O cypress, for the cedar has fallen,
for the glorious trees are ruined!
Wail, koaks of Bashan,
for the thick forest has been felled!
3 The sound of lthe wail of lthe shepherds,
for their glory is ruined!
The sound of the roar of mthe lions,
nfor the thicket of the Jordan is ruined!
4 Thus said the Lord my God: o“Become shepherd of the flock doomed to slaughter. 5 pThose who buy them slaughter them and go unpunished, and those who sell them say, ‘Blessed be the Lord, qI have become rich,’ and their own shepherds have no pity on them. 6 For rI will no longer have pity on the inhabitants of this land, declares the Lord. Behold, I will cause each of them to fall into the hand of his neighbor, and each into the hand of his king, and they shall crush the land, and I will deliver none from their hand.”
7 sSo I became the shepherd of the flock doomed to be slaughtered by the sheep traders. And I took two staffs, one I named uFavor, the other I named vUnion. sAnd I tended the sheep. 8 In one month wI destroyed the three shepherds. But I became impatient with them, and they also detested me. 9 So I said, “I will not be your shepherd. xWhat is to die, let it die. What is to be destroyed, let it be destroyed. And let those who are left devour the flesh of one another.” 10 And I took ymy staff Favor, and I broke it, annulling the covenant that I had made with all the peoples. 11 So it was annulled on that day, and the sheep traders, who were watching me, knew that it was the word of the Lord. 12 Then I said to them, “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” And they weighed out as my wages zthirty pieces of silver. 13 Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—athe lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the zthirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord, to the potter. 14 Then I broke bmy second staff Union, annulling the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
15 Then the Lord said to me, “Take once more the equipment of ca foolish shepherd. 16 For behold, I am raising up in the land a shepherd dwho does not care for those being destroyed, or seek the young or heal the maimed or nourish the healthy, but edevours the flesh of the fat ones, tearing off even their hoofs.
17 f“Woe to my worthless shepherd,
gwho deserts the flock!
May the sword strike his arm
and hhis right eye!
Let his arm be wholly withered,
his right eye utterly blinded!”