Then the word of the LORD Almighty came to me:
"Ask all the people of the land and the priests, 'When you fasted1 and mourned in the fifth and seventh2 months for the past seventy years,3 was it really for me that you fasted?
And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves?47
Are these not the words the LORD proclaimed through the earlier prophets5 when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were at rest6 and prosperous, and the Negev and the western foothills7 were settled?' "8