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Zechariah

Zechariah

Introduction

As Haggai encouraged the returned Jewish exiles to rebuild the temple, Zechariah encouraged them to repent and renew their covenant with God. Such spiritual renewal would be necessary for the people to be ready to worship God once the temple was rebuilt (about 516 b.c.). He accused them of doing the very things their ancestors had done before the exile. He was concerned about social justice for widows, orphans, and foreigners. But as the people endured opposition from the non-Jewish inhabitants of Judea, Zechariah reassured them of God’s abiding comfort and care. God would continue his covenant with Israel. Messianic hope was rekindled during Zechariah’s ministry, and the book ends with the promise that the Lord would establish his rule over all the earth (14:9).

A Call to Return to the Lord

In the eighth month, ain the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet bZechariah, the son of cBerechiah, son of dIddo, saying, e“The Lord was very angry with your fathers. Therefore say to them, Thus declares the Lord of hosts: fReturn to me, says the Lord of hosts, and gI will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. hDo not be like your fathers, ito whom the former prophets cried out, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, fReturn from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.’ But jthey did not hear or pay attention to me, declares the Lord. Your fathers, where are they? And kthe prophets, do they live forever? lBut my words and my statutes, which I commanded mmy servants the prophets, did they not novertake your fathers? So they repented and said, o‘As the Lord of hosts purposed to deal with us for pour ways and pdeeds, so has he dealt with us.’ ”

A Vision of a Horseman

On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet bZechariah, the son of cBerechiah, son of dIddo, saying, “I saw in the night, and behold, qa man riding on a red horse! He was standing among the myrtle trees in the glen, and behind him were rred, sorrel, and white horses. Then I said, ‘What are these, my lord?’ sThe angel who talked with me said to me, ‘I will show you what they are.’ 10 So qthe man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered, t‘These are they whom the Lord has sent to upatrol the earth.’ 11 And they answered sthe angel of the Lord who was standing among the myrtle trees, and said, u‘We have patrolled the earth, and behold, all the earth vremains at rest.’ 12 Then sthe angel of the Lord said, w‘O Lord of hosts, whow long will you xhave no mercy on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, against which you have been angry these yseventy years?’ 13 And the Lord answered zgracious and comforting words to sthe angel who talked with me. 14 So sthe angel who talked with me said to me, ‘Cry out, Thus says the Lord of hosts: aI am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion. 15 bAnd I am exceedingly angry with the nations that are cat ease; dfor while I was angry but a little, ethey furthered the disaster. 16 Therefore, thus says the Lord, fI have returned to Jerusalem with mercy; gmy house shall be built in it, declares the Lord of hosts, and hthe measuring line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem. 17 Cry out again, Thus says the Lord of hosts: iMy cities shall again overflow with prosperity, jand the Lord will again comfort Zion and again kchoose Jerusalem.’ ”

A Vision of Horns and Craftsmen

18 1 And I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, lfour horns! 19 And I said to sthe angel who talked with me, “What are these?” And he said to me, l“These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.” 20 Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen. 21 And I said, “What are these coming to do?” He said, l“These are the horns that scattered Judah, so that no one raised his head. And these have come mto terrify them, to cast down the horns of the nations nwho lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter it.”

A Vision of a Man with a Measuring Line

1 And I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, oa man with a measuring line in his hand! Then I said, “Where are you going?” And he said to me, p“To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length.” And behold, qthe angel who talked with me came forward, and another angel came forward to meet him and said to him, “Run, say to that young man, r‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited sas villages without walls, because of tthe multitude of people and livestock in it. And I will be to her ua wall of fire all around, declares the Lord, and I will be the glory in her midst.’ ”

Up! Up! vFlee from the land of the north, declares the Lord. For I have wspread you abroad as the four winds of the heavens, declares the Lord. xUp! Escape to Zion, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon. For thus said the Lord of hosts, after his glory sent me2 to the nations who plundered you, yfor he who touches you touches zthe apple of his eye: “Behold, aI will shake my hand over them, band they shall become plunder for those who served them. Then cyou will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me. 10 dSing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for ebehold, I come fand I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord. 11 gAnd many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people. fAnd I will dwell in your midst, and cyou shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. 12 hAnd the Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again ichoose Jerusalem.”

13 Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.

A Vision of Joshua the High Priest

Then he showed me jJoshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and kSatan1 standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, l“The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has mchosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this na brand2 plucked from the fire?” Now jJoshua was standing before the angel, oclothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to pthose who were standing before him, q“Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, rI have taken your iniquity away from you, and sI will clothe you with pure vestments.” And I said, t“Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by.

And the angel of the Lord solemnly assured jJoshua, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and ukeep my charge, then you shall vrule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among wthose who are standing here. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for xthey are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring ymy servant zthe Branch. For behold, on athe stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with bseven eyes,3 I will cengrave its inscription, declares the Lord of hosts, and dI will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day. 10 In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come eunder his vine and under his fig tree.”

A Vision of a Golden Lampstand

And fthe angel who talked with me came again gand woke me, like a man who is awakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, “What do you see?” I said, “I see, and behold, ha lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and iseven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it. And there are jtwo olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.” And I said to fthe angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, k“Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to lZerubbabel: mNot by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Who are you, nO great mountain? Before lZerubbabel oyou shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward pthe top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’ ”

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, q“The hands of lZerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also rcomplete it. sThen you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. 10 tFor whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see uthe plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.

v“These seven vare the eyes of the Lord, wwhich range through the whole earth.” 11 Then I said to him, “What are these jtwo olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?” 12 And a second time I answered and said to him, “What are these jtwo branches of the olive trees, which are beside the two golden pipes from which the golden oil1 is poured out?” 13 He said to me, x“Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” 14 Then he said, y“These are the two anointed ones2 who stand by zthe Lord of the whole earth.”

A Vision of a Flying Scroll

Again I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, a flying ascroll! And he said to me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a flying ascroll. Its length is twenty cubits, and its width ten cubits.”1 Then he said to me, “This is bthe curse that goes out over the face of the whole land. For everyone who csteals shall be cleaned out according to what is on one side, and everyone who dswears falsely2 shall be cleaned out according to what is on the other side. I will send it out, declares the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter the house of the thief, and the house of ehim who swears falsely by my name. And fit shall remain in his house and gconsume it, both timber and stones.”

A Vision of a Woman in a Basket

hThen the angel who talked with me came forward and said to me, i“Lift your eyes and see what this is that is going out.” And I said, “What is it?” He said, “This is jthe basket3 that is going out.” And he …

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