English Revised Version
A Call to Justice and Mercy
1And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, that the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chislev. 2Now they of Beth-el had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech, and their men, to entreat the favour of the LORD, 3and 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? 4Then came the word of the LORD of hosts unto me, saying, 5Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and in the seventh month, even these seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me? 6And when ye eat, and when ye drink, do not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves? 7Should ye not hear the words which the LORD hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited?
8And the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah, saying, 9Thus hath the LORD of hosts spoken, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassion every man to his brother: 10and oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. 11But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. 12Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by his spirit by the hand of the former prophets: therefore came there great wrath from the LORD of hosts. 13And it came to pass that, as he cried, and they would not hear; so they shall cry, and I will not hear, said the LORD of hosts; 14but I will scatter them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they have not known. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.