In the fourthyear of KingDarius, the word of the LORDcame to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninthmonth, which is 1Chislev.
Now the town of Bethel had sentSharezer and Regemmelech and atheir men to b2seek the favor of the LORD,
3speaking to the 3priestswho belong to the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, "Shall I weep in the 4fifthmonthcand abstain, as I have donethesemanyyears?"
Then the word of the LORD of hostscame to me, saying,
5"Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months dthese5seventyyears, was it actually for 6Me that you fasted?
6'When you eat and drink, edo you not eat for yourselves and do you not drink for yourselves?
'Are not these the wordswhich the LORD7proclaimed by the formerprophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and f8prosperous along with its citiesaround it, and the g9Negev and the hfoothills were inhabited?' "
Then the word of the LORDcame to Zechariahsaying,
9"Thus has the LORD of hostssaid, '10Dispensetruejustice and practice11kindness and compassioneach to his brother;
and 12do not oppress the widow or the iorphan, the jstranger or the poor; and do 13not deviseevil in your hearts against oneanother.'
"But they 14refused to payattention and k15turned a stubbornshoulder and l16stopped their ears from hearing.
"They made their 17hearts like m18flintnso that they could not hear the law and the 19wordswhich the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spiritthrough the 20formerprophets; therefore great21wrathcame from the LORD of hosts.
"And just as 22He called and they would not listen, so23they called and I would not listen," says the LORD of hosts;
"but I o24scattered them with a 25stormwindamongall the nationswhom they have not known. Thus the land is 26desolatedbehind them pso that 27no one wentback and forth, for they 28made the pleasantlanddesolate."