Zechariah 7
International Standard Version

A Rebuke about Selfish Fasts

1During the fourth year of the reign ofa King Darius, a message from the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month Kislev.b 2The people ofc Bethel were sendingd Sharezer, Regem-melech, and their men to pray in the LORD’s presence 3and to speak to the priests assignede to the Temple of the LORD of the Heavenly Armies along with the prophets, asking, “Am I to go about mourning, denying myself throughout the fifth month,f as I have these many years?”

4Then this message from the LORD of the Heavenly Armies came to me: 5“Talk to everyone in the land, as well as to the priests. Ask them, ‘When you were fasting and mourning during the fifth and seventh monthsg for the past seventy years, were you really fasting for me? 6And when you eat and drink, you’re eating and drinking for your own benefit, aren’t you? 7Isn’t this what the LORD proclaimed through the former prophets, when a prosperous Jerusalem was inhabited, as were its surrounding cities, the Negev,h and the Shephelah?’”i

The Consequence of Turning from God

8This message from the LORD came to Zechariah again: 9“This is what the LORD of the Heavenly Armies says: ‘Administer true justice, and show gracious love and mercy toward each other.j 10You are not to wrong the widow, orphans, the foreigner, or the poor, and you are not to plan evil against each other.k 11But they refused to pay attention, turned their backs, and stopped listening. 12They made their hearts hard like a diamond, to keep from obeying the Law and the messages that the LORD of the Heavenly Armies sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. 13Therefore, just as when Il cried out and they would not listen, so also they will cry out, and I will not listen,’ says the LORD of the Heavenly Armies. 14‘I will scatter them to all of the nations, which they have not known.’”

Now the earth was left desolate after them. As a result, no one came or went because they had turned a pleasant land into a desert.


Footnotes:
a 7:1 The Heb. lacks the reign of
b 7:1 i.e. c. 7 December 518 BC
c 7:2 The Heb. lacks The people of
d 7:2 Lit. was sending
e 7:3 The Heb. lacks assigned
f 7:3 i.e. the anniversary month of the Jerusalem temple’s destruction
g 7:5 The Heb. lacks months
h 7:7 i.e. the southern regions of the Sinai peninsula; cf. Josh 10:40
i 7:7 i.e. the verdant central lowlands of Israel; cf. Josh 10:40
j 7:9 Lit. toward his brother
k 7:10 Lit. toward his brother
l 7:13 Lit. he



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