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Zechariah 7:1–7

A Call for Justice and Mercy

oIn the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is pChislev. Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men qto entreat the favor of the Lord, rsaying to the priests of the house of the Lord of hosts and sthe prophets, “Should I weep and tabstain in uthe fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”

Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me: “Say to all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in uthe fifth month and in vthe seventh, for these wseventy years, xwas it xfor me that you fasted? yAnd when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves? zWere not these the words that the Lord proclaimed aby the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous, bwith her cities around her, and the bSouth and the blowland were inhabited?’ ”

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Zechariah 7:1–7 — The New International Version (NIV)

In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev. The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melek, together with their men, to entreat the Lord 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?”

Then the word of the Lord Almighty came to me: “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves? Are these not the words the Lord proclaimed through the earlier prophets when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were at rest and prosperous, and the Negev and the western foothills were settled?’ ”

Zechariah 7:1–7 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

And 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 Chisleu; When they had sent unto the house of God Sherezer and Regem-melech, and their men, to pray before the Lord, 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?

Then came the word of the Lord of hosts unto me, saying, Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me? And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves? Should 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, when men inhabited the south and the plain?

Zechariah 7:1–7 — New Living Translation (NLT)

On December 7 of the fourth year of King Darius’s reign, another message came to Zechariah from the Lord. The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regemmelech, along with their attendants, to seek the Lord’s favor. 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?”

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies sent me this message in reply: “Say to all your people and your priests, ‘During these seventy years of exile, when you fasted and mourned in the summer and in early autumn, was it really for me that you were fasting? And even now in your holy festivals, aren’t you eating and drinking just to please yourselves? Isn’t this the same message the Lord proclaimed through the prophets in years past when Jerusalem and the towns of Judah were bustling with people, and the Negev and the foothills of Judah were well populated?’ ”

Zechariah 7:1–7 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

Now in the fourth year of King Darius it came to pass that the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, on the fourth day of the ninth month, Chislev, when the people sent Sherezer, with Regem-Melech and his men, to the house of God, to pray before the Lord, and to ask the priests who were in the house of the Lord of hosts, and the prophets, saying, “Should I weep in the fifth month and fast as I have done for so many years?”

Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, “Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me—for Me? When you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and drink for yourselves? Should you not have obeyed the words which the Lord proclaimed through the former prophets when Jerusalem and the cities around it were inhabited and prosperous, and the South and the Lowland were inhabited?’ ”

Zechariah 7:1–7 — New Century Version (NCV)

In the fourth year Darius was king, on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is called Kislev, the Lord spoke his word to Zechariah. The city of Bethel sent Sharezer, Regem-Melech, and their men to ask the Lord a question. They went to the prophets and priests who were at the Temple of the Lord All-Powerful. The men said, “For years in the fifth month of each year we have shown our sadness and fasted. Should we continue to do this?”

The Lord All-Powerful spoke his word to me, saying, “Tell the priests and the people in the land: ‘For seventy years you fasted and cried in the fifth and seventh months, but that was not really for me. And when you ate and drank, it was really for yourselves. The Lord used the earlier prophets to say the same thing, when Jerusalem and the surrounding towns were at peace and wealthy, and people lived in the southern area and the western hills.’ ”

Zechariah 7:1–7 — American Standard Version (ASV 1901)

And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, that the word of Jehovah came unto Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chislev. Now they of Beth-el had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech, and their men, to entreat the favor of Jehovah, 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? Then came the word of Jehovah of hosts unto me, saying, Speak 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? And when ye eat, and when ye drink, do not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves? Should ye not hear the words which Jehovah 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?

Zechariah 7:1–7 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, that the word of Jehovah came unto Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chislev, when Bethel had sent Sherezer and Regem-melech, and his men, to supplicate Jehovah, 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? And the word of Jehovah of hosts came unto me, saying, Speak 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 those seventy years, did ye really fast unto me, even unto me? And when ye ate, and when ye drank, was it not you that were eating and drinking? Are not these the words that Jehovah cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and at peace, and her cities round about her, when the south and the lowland were inhabited?

Zechariah 7:1–7 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

On the fourth day of the ninth month (the month of Chislev) in Darius’ fourth year as king, the Lord spoke his word to Zechariah. Now, the people from Bethel sent Sharezer and Regem Melech with their mento ask the Lord for a blessing. 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?”

Then the Lord of Armies spoke his word to me. He said, “Tell all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months these past 70 years, did you really do it for me? When you ate and drank, didn’t you do it to benefit yourselves? Aren’t these the same words that the Lord announced through the earlier prophets, when Jerusalem and its surrounding cities were inhabited and undisturbed and the Negev and the foothills were still inhabited?’ ”

Zechariah 7:1–7 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer, Regem-melech, and their men to plead for the Lord’s favor 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?”

Then the word of the Lord of Hosts came to me: “Ask all the people of the land and the priests: When you fasted and lamented in the fifth and in the seventh months for these 70 years, did you really fast for Me? When you eat and drink, don’t you eat and drink simply for yourselves? Aren’t these the words that the Lord proclaimed through the earlier prophets when Jerusalem was inhabited and secure, along with its surrounding cities, and when the southern region and the Judean foothills were inhabited?”

Zechariah 7:1–7 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men, to entreat the favor of the Lord, and to ask the priests of the house of the Lord of hosts and the prophets, “Should I mourn and practice abstinence in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?” Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me: Say to all the people of the land and the priests: When you fasted and lamented in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted? And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and drink only for yourselves? Were not these the words that the Lord proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, along with the towns around it, and when the Negeb and the Shephelah were inhabited?

Zechariah 7:1–7 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

And then, in the fourth year of King Darius, the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Kislev. And the people of Bethel sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech, and their men, to entreat the favor of Yahweh, saying to the priests of the house of Yahweh of hosts and to the prophets, “Should I mourn in the fifth month and keep myself separate as I have done for these many years?” And the word of Yahweh of hosts came to me, saying, “Say to all the people of the land and to the priests: ‘When you fasted and lamented in the fifth and seventh months for these seventy years, did you really fast for me? And when you eat and drink, are you not eating and drinking for yourselves? Are not these the words that Yahweh proclaimed through the former prophets, when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were inhabited and at ease, and the Negev and the Shephelah were inhabited?’ ”

Zechariah 7:1–7 — New International Reader’s Version (NIrV)

During the fourth year that Darius was king, a message came to me from the Lord. It was the fourth day of the ninth month. That’s the month of Kislev.

The people of Bethel wanted to ask the Lord to show them his favor. So they sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech and their men. They went to the prophets and priests at the Lord’s temple. They asked them, “Should we sob and go without eating in the fifth month? That’s what we’ve done for many years.”

Then the message came to me from the Lord who rules over all. He said, “Ask the priests and all of the people in the land a question for me. Say to them, ‘You sobbed and fasted in the fifth and seventh months. You did it for the past 70 years. But did you really do it for me? And when you were eating and drinking, weren’t you just enjoying good food for yourselves?

“ ‘Didn’t I tell you the same thing through the earlier prophets? That was when Jerusalem and the towns around it were at rest and enjoyed success. People lived in the Negev Desert and the western hills at that time.’ ”

Zechariah 7:1–7 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev.

Now the town of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regemmelech and their men to seek the favor of the Lord,

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?”

Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying,

Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months these seventy years, was it actually for Me that you fasted?

When you eat and drink, do you not eat for yourselves and do you not drink for yourselves?

‘Are not these the words which the Lord proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous along with its cities around it, and the Negev and the foothills were inhabited?’ ”