Then this message came to Zechariah from the LORD :
“This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another.
Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other.
“Your ancestors refused to listen to this message. They stubbornly turned away and put their fingers in their ears to keep from hearing.
They made their hearts as hard as stone, so they could not hear the instructions or the messages that the LORD of Heaven’s Armies had sent them by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. That is why the LORD of Heaven’s Armies was so angry with them.
“Since they refused to listen when I called to them, I would not listen when they called to me, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
As with a whirlwind, I scattered them among the distant nations, where they lived as strangers. Their land became so desolate that no one even traveled through it. They turned their pleasant land into a desert.”