Zechariah 6–8; Ezra 5:3–6:14

A Vision of Four Chariots

Again I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, four chariots came out from between two mountains. And the mountains were mountains of mbronze. The first chariot had nred horses, the second oblack horses, the third pwhite horses, and the fourth chariot dappled horsesall of them strong.1 Then I answered and said to qthe angel who talked with me, What are these, my lord? And the angel answered and said to me, rThese are going out to the four winds of heaven, after spresenting themselves before tthe Lord of all the earth. The chariot with the black horses goes toward uthe north country, the white ones go after them, and the dappled ones go toward vthe south country. When the strong horses came out, they were impatient to go and wpatrol the earth. And he said, Go, wpatrol the earth. wSo they patrolled the earth. Then he cried to me, Behold, those who go toward uthe north country have set my Spirit at rest in uthe north country.

The Crown and the Temple

And the word of the Lord came to me: 10 Take from the exiles xHeldai, Tobijah, and yJedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon, and go the same day to the house of Josiah, the son of zZephaniah. 11 Take from them silver and gold, and make a crown, aand set it on the head of bJoshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 And say to him, Thus says the Lord of hosts, Behold, the man whose name is cthe Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and dhe shall build the temple of the Lord. 13 dIt is he who shall build the temple of the Lord eand shall bear royal honor, and shall sit and rule on his throne. And there2 shall be a fpriest on his throne, gand the counsel of peace shall be between them both. 14 And the crown shall be in the temple of the Lord as ha reminder to iHelem,3 jTobijah, jJedaiah, and Hen jthe son of Zephaniah.

15 kAnd those who are far off shall come and lhelp to build the temple of the Lord. mAnd you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. nAnd this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God.

A Call for Justice and Mercy

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. Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men qto entreat the favor of the Lord, 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?

Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me: 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? yAnd when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves? 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?

And the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, 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.4 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 mAs I5 called, and they would not hear, mso they called, and I would not hear, says the Lord of hosts, 14 nand 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

And the word of the Lord of hosts came, saying, Thus says the Lord of hosts: sI am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath. 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. 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. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. 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? Thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, aI will save my people bfrom the east country and from the west country, 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.

Thus says the Lord of hosts: eLet 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: pAs 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, bLet 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.


At the same time fTattenai the governor of the province Beyond the River and Shethar-bozenai and their associates came to them and spoke to them thus: gWho gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure? They also asked them this:1 What are the names of the men who are building this building? But hthe eye of their God was on the elders of the Jews, and they did not stop them until the report should reach Darius and then an answer be returned by letter concerning it.

Tattenai's Letter to King Darius

This is a copy of the letter that fTattenai the governor of the province Beyond the River and Shethar-bozenai and his associates, the igovernors who were in the province Beyond the River, sent to Darius the king. They sent him a report, in which was written as follows: To Darius the king, all peace. Be it known to the king that we went to the province of Judah, to the house of the great God. It is being built with huge stones, and timber is laid in the walls. This work goes on diligently and prospers in their hands. Then we asked those elders and spoke to them thus: gWho gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure? 10 We also asked them their names, for your information, that we might write down the names of their leaders.2 11 And this was their reply to us: We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the house that was built many years ago, jwhich a great king of Israel built and kfinished. 12 lBut because our fathers had angered the God of heaven, he mgave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house and carried away the people to Babylonia. 13 nHowever, in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, Cyrus the king made a decree that this house of God should be rebuilt. 14 oAnd the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple that was in Jerusalem and brought into the temple of Babylon, these Cyrus the king took out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to one whose name was pSheshbazzar, whom he had made governor; 15 and he said to him, Take these vessels, go and put them in the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be rebuilt on its site. 16 Then this pSheshbazzar came and qlaid the foundations of the house of God that is in Jerusalem, and from that time until now it has been in building, and it is rnot yet finished. 17 Therefore, if it seems good to the king, slet search be made in the royal archives there in Babylon, to see whether a decree was issued by Cyrus the king for the rebuilding of this house of God in Jerusalem. And let the king send us his pleasure in this matter.

The Decree of Darius

Then Darius the king made a decree, and tsearch was made in Babylonia, in the house of the archives where the documents were stored. And in Ecbatana, the citadel that is uin the province of Media, a scroll was found on which this was written: A record. In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king issued a decree: Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the house be rebuilt, the place where sacrifices were offered, and let its foundations be retained. Its height shall be sixty cubits3 and its breadth sixty cubits, vwith three layers of great stones and one layer of timber. Let the cost be paid from the royal treasury. And also wlet the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that is in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be restored and brought back to the temple that is in Jerusalem, each to its place. You shall put them in the house of God.

Now therefore, xTattenai, governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, yand your4 associates the governors who are in the province Beyond the River, keep away. Let the work on this house of God alone. Let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site. Moreover, zI make a decree regarding what you shall do for these elders of the Jews for the rebuilding of this house of God. The cost is to be paid to these men in full and without delay from the royal revenue, the tribute of the province from Beyond the River. And whatever is neededbulls, rams, or sheep for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, or oil, as the priests at Jerusalem requirelet that be given to them day by day without fail, 10 that they may offer pleasing sacrifices to the God of heaven aand pray for the life of the king and his sons. 11 Also I make a decree that if anyone alters this edict, a beam shall be pulled out of his house, and he shall be impaled on it, and bhis house shall be made a dunghill. 12 May the God cwho has caused his name to dwell there overthrow any king or people who shall put out a hand to alter this, or to destroy this house of God that is in Jerusalem. I Darius make a decree; let it be done with all diligence.

The Temple Finished and Dedicated

13 Then, according to the word sent by Darius the king, xTattenai, the governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their associates did with all diligence what Darius the king had ordered. 14 dAnd the elders of the Jews built and prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. They finished their building by decree of the God of Israel and eby decree of Cyrus and fDarius and gArtaxerxes king of Persia;