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In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, the prophet, saying, “Yahweh was very displeased with your fathers. Therefore tell them: Thus says Yahweh of Armies: ‘Return to me,’ says Yahweh of Armies, ‘and I will return to you,’ says Yahweh of Armies. Don’t you be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying: Thus says Yahweh of Armies, ‘Return now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings;’ but they did not hear, nor listen to me, says Yahweh. Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? But my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, didn’t they overtake your fathers?
“Then they repented and said, ‘Just as Yahweh of Armies determined to do to us, according to our ways, and according to our practices, so he has dealt with us.’” On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, the prophet, saying, “I had a vision in the night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in a ravine; and behind him there were red, brown, and white horses. Then I asked, ‘My lord, what are these?’”
The angel who talked with me said to me, “I will show you what these are.”
The man who stood among the myrtle trees answered, “They are the ones Yahweh has sent to go back and forth through the earth.”
They reported to the
angel of Yahweh who stood among the myrtle trees, and said, “We have
walked back and forth through the earth, and behold, all the earth is at
rest and in peace.”
Then the angel of Yahweh replied, “O Yahweh of Armies, how long will you not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which you have had indignation these seventy years?”
Yahweh answered the angel who talked with me with kind and comforting words. So the angel who talked with me said to me, “Proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh of Armies: “I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. I am very angry with the nations that are at ease; for I was but a little displeased, but they added to the calamity.” Therefore thus says Yahweh: “I have returned to Jerusalem with mercy. My house shall be built in it,” says Yahweh of Armies, “and a line shall be stretched forth over Jerusalem.”’
“Proclaim further, saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh of Armies: “My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and Yahweh will again comfort Zion, and will again choose Jerusalem.”’”
I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, four horns. I asked the angel who talked with me, “What are these?”
He answered me, “These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.”
Yahweh showed me four craftsmen. Then I asked, “What are these coming to do?”
He said, “These are the horns which scattered Judah, so that no man lifted up his head; but these have come to terrify them, to cast down the horns of the nations, which lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it.”
I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand. Then I asked, “Where are you going?”
He said to me, “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its breadth and what is its length.”
Behold, the angel who talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him, and said to him, “Run, speak to this young man, saying, ‘Jerusalem will be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. For I,’ says Yahweh, ‘will be to her a wall of fire around it, and I will be the glory in the midst of her. Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,’ says Yahweh; ‘for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the sky,’ says Yahweh. ‘Come, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.’ For thus says Yahweh of Armies: ‘For honor he has sent me to the nations which plundered you; for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye. For, behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they will be a spoil to those who served them; and you will know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me. Sing and rejoice, daughter of Zion; for, behold, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of you,’ says Yahweh. Many nations shall join themselves to Yahweh in that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in the midst of you, and you shall know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me to you. Yahweh will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem. Be silent, all flesh, before Yahweh; for he has roused himself from his holy habitation!”
He showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Yahweh, and Satan standing at his right hand to be his adversary. Yahweh said to Satan, “Yahweh rebuke you, Satan! Yes, Yahweh who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Isn’t this a burning stick plucked out of the fire?”
Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the angel. He answered and spoke to those who stood before him, saying, “Take the filthy garments off of him.” To him he said, “Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with rich clothing.”
I said, “Let them set a clean turban on his head.”
So they set a clean turban on his head, and clothed him; and the angel of Yahweh was standing by. The angel of Yahweh protested to Joshua, saying, “Thus says Yahweh of Armies: ‘If you will walk in my ways, and if you will follow my instructions, then you also shall judge my house, and shall also keep my courts, and I will give you a place of access among these who stand by. Hear now, Joshua the high priest, you and your fellows who sit before you; for they are men who are a sign: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant, the Branch. For, behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes: behold, I will engrave its engraving,’ says Yahweh of Armies, ‘and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day,’ says Yahweh of Armies, ‘you will invite every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.’”
The angel who talked with me came again, and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep. He said to me, “What do you see?”
I said, “I have seen, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps thereon; there are seven pipes to each of the lamps, which are on the top of it; and two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl, and the other on the left side of it.”
I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, “What are these, my lord?”
Then the angel who talked with me answered me, “Don’t you know what these are?”
I said, “No, my lord.”
Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, “This is the word of Yahweh to Zerubbabel, saying, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says Yahweh of Armies. Who are you, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you are a plain; and he will bring out the capstone with shouts of ‘Grace, grace, to it!’”
Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house. His hands shall also finish it; and you will know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me to you. Indeed, who despises the day of small things? For these seven shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. These are the eyes of Yahweh, which run back and forth through the whole earth.”
Then I asked him, “What are these two olive trees on the right side of the lampstand and on the left side of it?”
I asked him the second time, “What are these two olive branches, which are beside the two golden spouts, that pour the golden oil out of themselves?”
He answered me, “Don’t you know what these are?”
I said, “No, my lord.”
Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”
Then again I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, a flying scroll. He said to me, “What do you see?”
I answered, “I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits, and its breadth ten cubits.”
Then he said to me, “This is the curse that goes out over the surface of the whole land; for everyone who steals shall be cut off according to it on the one side; and everyone who swears falsely shall be cut off according to it on the other side. I will cause it to go out,” says Yahweh of Armies, “and it will enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him who swears falsely by my name; and it will remain in the midst of his house, and will destroy it with its timber and its stones.”
Then the angel who talked with me came forward, and said to me, “Lift up now your eyes, and see what is this that is appearing.”
I said, “What is it?”
He said, “This is the ephah basket that is appearing.” He said moreover, “This is their appearance in all the land (and behold, a talent of lead was lifted up); and this is a woman sitting in the midst of the ephah basket.” He said, “This is Wickedness”; and he threw her down into the midst of the ephah basket; and he threw the weight of lead on its mouth.
Then lifted I up my eyes, and saw, and behold, there were two women, and the wind was in their wings. Now they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah basket between earth and the sky. Then I said to the angel who talked with me, “Where are these carrying the ephah basket?”
He said to me, “To build her a house in the land of Shinar. When it is prepared, she will be set there in her own place.”
Again I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, four chariots came out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. In the first chariot were red horses; in the second chariot black horses; in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot dappled horses, all of them powerful. Then I asked the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?”
The angel answered me, “These are the four winds of the sky, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. The one with the black horses goes out toward the north country; and the white went out after them; and the dappled went forth toward the south country.” The strong went out, and sought to go that they might walk back and forth through the earth: and he said, “Go around and through the earth!” So they walked back and forth through the earth.
Then he called to me, and spoke to me, saying, “Behold, those who go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.”
The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, “Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah; and come the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah, where they have come from Babylon. Yes, take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh of Armies, “Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: and he shall grow up out of his place; and he shall build Yahweh’s temple; even he shall build Yahweh’s temple; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on his throne; and he shall be a priest on his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. The crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in Yahweh’s temple. Those who are far off shall come and build in Yahweh’s temple; and you shall know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me to you. This will happen, if you will diligently obey the voice of Yahweh your God.”’”
It happened in the fourth year of king Darius that the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Chislev. The people of Bethel sent Sharezer and Regem Melech, and their men, to entreat Yahweh’s favor, 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?”
Then the word of Yahweh of Armies came to me, saying, “Speak to all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and in the seventh month for these seventy years, did you at all fast to me, really to me? When you eat, and when you drink, don’t you eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves? Aren’t these the words which Yahweh proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and its cities around her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited?’”
The word of Yahweh came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus has Yahweh of Armies spoken, saying, ‘Execute true judgment, and show kindness and compassion every man to his brother. Don’t oppress the widow, nor the fatherless, the foreigner, nor the poor; and let none of you devise evil against his brother in your heart.’ But they refused to listen, and turned their backs, and stopped their ears, that they might not hear. Yes, they made their hearts as hard as flint, lest they might hear the law, and the words which Yahweh of Armies had sent by his Spirit by the former prophets. Therefore great wrath came from Yahweh of Armies. It has come to pass that, as he called, and they refused to listen, so they will call, and I will not listen,” said Yahweh of Armies; “but I will scatter them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they have not known. Thus the land was desolate after them, so that no man passed through nor returned: for they made the pleasant land desolate.”
The word of Yahweh of Armies came to me. Thus says Yahweh of Armies: “I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath.”
Thus says Yahweh: “I have returned to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called ‘The City of Truth;’ and the mountain of Yahweh of Armies, ‘The Holy Mountain.’”
Thus says Yahweh of Armies: “Old men and old women will again dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, every man with his staff in his hand for very age. The streets of the city will be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.”
Thus says Yahweh of Armies: “If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days, should it also be marvelous in my eyes?” says Yahweh of Armies.
Thus says Yahweh of Armies: “Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; and I will bring them, and they will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and they will be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.”
Thus says Yahweh of Armies: “Let your hands be strong, you who hear in these days these words from the mouth of the prophets who were in the day that the foundation of the house of Yahweh of Armies was laid, even the temple, that it might be built. For before those days there was no wages for man, nor any wages for an animal; neither was there any peace to him who went out or came in, because of the adversary. For I set all men everyone against his neighbor. But now I will not be to the remnant of this people as in the former days,” says Yahweh of Armies. “For the seed of peace and the vine will yield its fruit, and the ground will give its increase, and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things. It shall come to pass that, as you were a curse among the nations, house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you, and you shall be a blessing. Don’t be afraid. Let your hands be strong.”
For thus says Yahweh of Armies: “As I thought to do evil to you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath,” says Yahweh of Armies, “and I didn’t repent; so again have I thought in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Don’t be afraid. These are the things that you shall do: speak every man the truth with his neighbor. Execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates, and let none of you devise evil in your hearts against his neighbor, and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate,” says Yahweh.
The word of Yahweh of Armies came to me. Thus says Yahweh of Armies: “The fasts of the fourth fifth, seventh, and tenth months shall be for the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts. Therefore love truth and peace.”
Thus says Yahweh of Armies: “Many peoples, and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come; and the inhabitants of one shall go to another, saying, ‘Let us go speedily to entreat the favor of Yahweh, and to seek Yahweh of Armies. I will go also.’ Yes, many peoples and strong nations will come to seek Yahweh of Armies in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favor of Yahweh.” Thus says Yahweh of Armies: “In those days, ten men will take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, they will take hold of the skirt of him who is a Jew, saying, ‘We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”
Thus says Yahweh my God: “Feed the flock of slaughter. Their buyers slaughter them, and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, ‘Blessed be Yahweh, for I am rich;’ and their own shepherds don’t pity them. For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land,” says Yahweh; “but, behold, I will deliver the men everyone into his neighbor’s hand, and into the hand of his king. They will strike the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them.”
So I fed the flock of slaughter, especially the oppressed of the flock. I took for myself two staffs. The one I called “Favor,” and the other I called “Union,” and I fed the flock. I cut off the three shepherds in one month; for my soul was weary of them, and their soul also loathed me. Then I said, “I will not feed you. That which dies, let it die; and that which is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let those who are left eat each other’s flesh.” I took my staff Favor, and cut it apart, that I might break my covenant that I had made with all the peoples. It was broken in that day; and thus the poor of the flock that listened to me knew that it was the word of Yahweh. I said to them, “If you think it best, give me my wages; and if not, keep them.” So they weighed for my wages thirty pieces of silver. Yahweh said to me, “Throw it to the potter, the handsome price that I was valued at by them!” I took the thirty pieces of silver, and threw them to the potter, in the house of Yahweh. Then I cut apart my other staff, even Union, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
Yahweh said to me, “Take for yourself yet again the equipment of a foolish shepherd. For, behold, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, who will not visit those who are cut off, neither will seek those who are scattered, nor heal that which is broken, nor feed that which is sound; but he will eat the flesh of the fat sheep, and will tear their hoofs in pieces. Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock! The sword will be on his arm, and on his right eye. His arm will be completely withered, and his right eye will be totally blinded!”
An oracle. The word of Yahweh concerning Israel. Yahweh, who stretches out the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him says: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of reeling to all the surrounding peoples, and on Judah also will it be in the siege against Jerusalem. It will happen in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all the peoples. All who burden themselves with it will be severely wounded, and all the nations of the earth will be gathered together against it. In that day,” says Yahweh, “I will strike every horse with terror, and his rider with madness; and I will open my eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. The chieftains of Judah will say in their heart, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in Yahweh of Armies their God.’ In that day I will make the chieftains of Judah like a pan of fire among wood, and like a flaming torch among sheaves; and they will devour all the surrounding peoples, on the right hand and on the left; and Jerusalem will yet again dwell in their own place, even in Jerusalem. Yahweh also will save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem not be magnified above Judah. In that day Yahweh will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem. He who is feeble among them at that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of Yahweh before them. It will happen in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they will look to me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and will grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for his firstborn. In that day there will be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. The land will mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of the Shimeites apart, and their wives apart; all the families who remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.
“In that day there will be a spring opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. It will come to pass in that day, says Yahweh of Armies, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they will be remembered no more. I will also cause the prophets and the spirit of impurity to pass out of the land. It will happen that, when anyone still prophesies, then his father and his mother who bore him will tell him, ‘You must die, because you speak lies in the name of Yahweh;’ and his father and his mother who bore him will stab him when he prophesies. It will happen in that day, that the prophets will each be ashamed of his vision, when he prophesies; neither will they wear a hairy mantle to deceive: but he will say, ‘I am no prophet, I am a tiller of the ground; for I have been made a bondservant from my youth.’ One will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’
Behold, a day of Yahweh comes, when your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city will be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city will go out into captivity, and the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then Yahweh will go out and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. His feet will stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in two, from east to west, making a very great valley. Half of the mountain will move toward the north, and half of it toward the south. You shall flee by the valley of my mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azel; yes, you shall flee, just like you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Yahweh my God will come, and all the holy ones with you. It will happen in that day, that there will not be light, cold, or frost. It will be a unique day which is known to Yahweh; not day, and not night; but it will come to pass, that at evening time there will be light.
It will happen in that day, that living waters will go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the eastern sea, and half of them toward the western sea; in summer and in winter will it be.
Yahweh will be King over all the earth. In that day Yahweh will be one, and his name one. All the land will be made like the Arabah, from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; and she will be lifted up, and will dwell in her place, from Benjamin’s gate to the place of the first gate, to the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses. Men will dwell therein, and there will be no more curse; but Jerusalem will dwell safely. This will be the plague with which Yahweh will strike all the peoples who have warred against Jerusalem: their flesh will consume away while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will consume away in their sockets, and their tongue will consume away in their mouth. It will happen in that day, that a great panic from Yahweh will be among them; and they will lay hold everyone on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand will rise up against the hand of his neighbor. Judah also will fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered together: gold, and silver, and clothing, in great abundance.
So will be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the donkey, and of all the animals that will be in those camps, as that plague. It will happen that everyone who is left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of Armies, and to keep the feast of tents. It will be, that whoever of all the families of the earth doesn’t go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh of Armies, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt doesn’t go up, and doesn’t come, neither will it rain on them. This will be the plague with which Yahweh will strike the nations that don’t go up to keep the feast of tents. This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations that don’t go up to keep the feast of tents. In that day there will be on the bells of the horses, “HOLY TO YAHWEH”; and the pots in Yahweh’s house will be like the bowls before the altar. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to Yahweh of Armies; and all those who sacrifice will come and take of them, and cook in them. In that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of Yahweh of Armies.
 back to 1:1 “Yahweh” is God’s proper Name, sometimes rendered “LORD” (all caps) in other translations.
 back to 4:14 The word translated “Lord” is “Adonai.”
 back to 5:6 An ephah is a measure of volume of about 22 litres, 5.8 U. S. gallons, or about 2/3 of a bushel.
 back to 5:7 A talent is a weight of about 34 kilograms or 75 pounds.
 back to 6:15 The Hebrew word rendered “God” is “Elohim.”
 back to 12:10 After “me,” the Hebrew has the two letters “Aleph Tav” (the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet), not as a word, but as a grammatical marker.