Zechariah 7:3
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New International Version
by asking the priests of the house of the LORD Almighty and the prophets, "Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?"

New Living Translation
They were to ask this question of the prophets and the priests at the Temple of the LORD of Heaven's Armies: "Should we continue to mourn and fast each summer on the anniversary of the Temple's destruction, as we have done for so many years?"

English Standard Version
saying to the priests of the house of the LORD of hosts and the prophets, “Should I weep and abstain in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”

New American Standard Bible
speaking to the priests who belong to the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, "Shall I weep in the fifth month and abstain, as I have done these many years?"

King James Bible
And to speak unto the priests which were in the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
by asking the priests who were at the house of the LORD of Hosts as well as the prophets, "Should we mourn and fast in the fifth month as we have done these many years?"

International Standard Version
and to speak to the priests assigned 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, as I have these many years?"

NET Bible
by asking both the priests of the temple of the LORD who rules over all and the prophets, "Should we weep in the fifth month, fasting as we have done over the years?"

New Heart English Bible
and to speak to the priests of the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, "Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They asked the priests from the house of the LORD of Armies as well as the prophets, "Should we mourn and fast in the fifth month as we have done for so many years?"

JPS Tanakh 1917
and to speak unto the priests of the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying: 'Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?'

New American Standard 1977
speaking to the priests who belong to the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets saying, “Shall I weep in the fifth month and abstain, as I have done these many years?”

Jubilee Bible 2000
and to speak unto the priests which were in the house of the LORD of the hosts and to the prophets, saying, Should we weep in the fifth month? Should we do abstinence as we have done these so many years?

King James 2000 Bible
And to speak unto the priests who were in the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, consecrating myself, as I have done these so many years?

American King James Version
And to speak to the priests which were in the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?

American Standard Version
and to speak unto the priests of the house of Jehovah of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?

Douay-Rheims Bible
To speak to the priests of the house of the Lord of hosts, and to the prophets, saying: Must I weep in the fifth month, or must I sanctify myself as I have now done for many years?

Darby Bible Translation
[and] to speak unto the priests that were in the house of Jehovah of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done now so many years?

English Revised Version
and to speak unto the priests of the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?

Webster's Bible Translation
And to speak to the priests who were in the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?

World English Bible
and to speak to the priests of the house of Yahweh of Armies, and to the prophets, saying, "Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?"

Young's Literal Translation
speaking unto the priests who are at the house of Jehovah of Hosts, and unto the prophets, saying, 'Do I weep in the fifth month -- being separated -- as I have done these so many years?'
Study Bible
A Call to Justice and Mercy
2Now the town of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regemmelech and their men to seek the favor of the LORD, 3speaking to the priests who belong to the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, "Shall I weep in the fifth month and abstain, as I have done these many years?" 4Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying,…
Cross References
Ezra 3:10
Now when the builders had laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the LORD according to the directions of King David of Israel.

Zechariah 7:4
Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying,

Zechariah 8:19
"Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'The fast of the fourth, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth months will become joy, gladness, and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah; so love truth and peace.'
Treasury of Scripture

And to speak to the priests which were in the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?

speak.

Deuteronomy 17:9-11 And you shall come to the priests the Levites, and to the judge that …

Deuteronomy 33:10 They shall teach Jacob your judgments, and Israel your law: they …

Ezekiel 44:23,24 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and …

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected …

Haggai 2:11 Thus said the LORD of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying,

Malachi 2:7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek …

Should.

Zechariah 7:5 Speak to all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, …

Nehemiah 8:9-11 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, …

Nehemiah 9:1-3 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel …

Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Isaiah 22:12,13 And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to …

Joel 2:17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch …

Matthew 9:15 And Jesus said to them, Can the children of the bridal chamber mourn, …

James 4:8-10 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, …

fifth. This was a fast for the burning of the temple, as that of the seventh month was for the death of Gedaliah; and seeing that the city and temple were in part rebuilt, they wished to know whether they should continue the observance of them.

Zechariah 8:19 Thus said the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the …

2 Kings 25:8,9 And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is …

Jeremiah 52:12-14 Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was …

separating.

Zechariah 12:12-14 And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house …

1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud you not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, …

Verse 3. - The priests. They were addressed as interpreters of the Law (see Haggai 2:11, and note there). Which were in; rather, which belonged to. The prophets. Such as Zechariah, Haggai, and perhaps Malachi, through whom God communicated his will. Should I weep in the fifth month? The use of the first person singular to express a community or a people is not uncommon; here it means the Bethelites (comp. Numbers 20:18, 19; Joshua 9:7; 1 Samuel 5:10, 11). Weeping is the accompaniment of fasting (Judges 20:26; Nehemiah 1:4; Joel 2:12). This fast in the fifth month, the month of Ab, had been established in memory of the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. The temple was burnt on the ninth or tenth of the month (see 2 Kings 25:8, 9; Jeremiah 52:12, 13). The only fast-day enjoined by the Law of Moses was the great Day of Atonement on the tenth day of the seventh month, Ethanim (Leviticus 23:26, etc.). But the Jews added others in memory of certain national events (see Judges 20:26; 1 Samuel 7:6; Isaiah 58:3, etc.). In Zechariah 8:19 mention is made of four extraordinary fasts instituted and observed during the Captivity, viz. on the ninth day of the fourth month, in memory of the capture of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans; in the fifth month, in remembrance of the burning of the temple and city; in the seventh month, in consequence of the murder of Gedaliah (Jeremiah 41:1, 2); and in the tenth month, in memory of the commencement of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (see note on ch. 8:19). Separating myself. Abstaining from food and pleasure. Vulgate, vel sanctificare me debeo, such separation or abstinence being regarded as a consecration to the Lord. The LXX. has not understood the passage, rendering, Αἰσελήλυθεν ῶδε ἐν τῷ μηνὶ τῷ πέπτῳ τὸ ἁγίασμα "The sanctification hath come in here in the fifth month." These so many years. All the seventy years of exile. There is, perhaps, some Pharisaical complacency in this assertion. And to speak unto the priests which were in the house of the Lord of hosts,.... That ministered in the sanctuary, as the Targum explains it, who offered sacrifices, &c. and who were to be consulted in matters of religion, Malachi 2:7,

and to the prophets; who were then in being, as Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi:

saying, Should I weep in the fifth month; which is the month Ab, and answers to July: now on the seventh day of this month, according to 2 Kings 25:8, the temple was burnt by the Chaldeans; and, according to Jeremiah 3:12, it was on the tenth of this month, which day was kept by the Jews as a day of fasting and humiliation, in commemoration of it; and by the Misnic doctors (u) afterwards was removed, and kept on the ninth day of the said month; but, seeing the temple was in great forwardness of being rebuilt, the question with those Jews was, whether they should continue any longer mourning and fasting on that account:

separating myself: that is, from eating and drinking, and not taking the lawful pleasures and recreations of life:

as I have done these so many years? for the space of seventy years, as in Zechariah 7:5.

(u) Misn. Taanith, c. 4. sect. 7, 8. T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 29. 1.3. Should I weep in the fifth month—"I" represents here the people of God (compare Zec 8:21). This rather favors Maurer's view, taking "the house of God," the congregation, as nominative to "sent." Their hypocrisy appeared because they showed more concern about a ceremony of human institution (not improper in itself) than about moral obedience. If, too, they had trusted God's promise as to the restoration of Church and State, the fast would have now given place to joy, for which there was more cause than for grief [Pembellus].

to the prophets—Haggai and Zechariah especially. The tenth day of the fifth month was kept a fast, being the anniversary of the destruction of Jerusalem (Jer 52:12-14). They ask, Should the fast be continued, now that the temple and city are being restored?

separating myself—sanctifying myself by separation, not only from food, but from all defilements (compare Joe 2:16) as was usual in a solemn fast.7:1-7 If we truly desire to know the will of God in doubtful matters, we must not only consult his word and ministers, but seek his direction by fervent prayer. Those who would know God's mind should consult God's ministers; and, in doubtful cases, ask advice of those whose special business it is to search the Scriptures. The Jews seemed to question whether they ought to continue their fasts, seeing that the city and temple were likely to be finished. The first answer to their inquiry is a sharp reproof of hypocrisy. These fasts were not acceptable to God, unless observed in a better manner, and to better purpose. There was the form of duty, but no life, or soul, or power in it. Holy exercises are to be done to God, looking to his word as our rule, and his glory as our end, seeking to please him and obtain his favour; but self was the centre of all their actions. And it was not enough to weep on fast days; they should have searched the Scriptures of the prophets, that they might have seen what was the ground of God's controversy with their fathers. Whether people are in prosperity or adversity, they must be called upon to leave their sins, and to do their duty.
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