Zechariah 7 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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The Message (MSG) New International Version (NIV)
1 On the fourth day of the ninth month, in the fourth year of the reign of King Darius, God's Message again came to Zechariah. 1 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.
2 The town of Bethel had sent a delegation headed by Sarezer and Regem-Melech to pray for God's blessing 2 The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech, together with their men, to entreat the LORD
3 and to confer with the priests of the Temple of God-of-the-Angel-Armies, and also with the prophets. They posed this question: "Should we plan for a day of mourning and abstinence next August, the seventieth anniversary of Jerusalem's fall, as we have been doing all these years?" 3 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?"
4 God-of-the-Angel-Armies gave me this Message for them, 4 Then the word of the LORD Almighty came to me:
5 for all the people and for the priests: "When you held days of fasting every fifth and seventh month all these seventy years, were you doing it for me? 5 "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?
6 And when you held feasts, was that for me? Hardly. You're interested in religion, I'm interested in people. 6 And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves?
7 "There's nothing new to say on the subject. Don't you still have the message of the earlier prophets from the time when Jerusalem was still a thriving, bustling city and the outlying countryside, the Negev and Shephelah, was populated? 7 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?' "
8 [This is the message that God gave Zechariah.] 8 And the word of the LORD came again to Zechariah:
9 Well, the message hasn't changed. God-of-the-Angel-Armies said then and says now: "'Treat one another justly. Love your neighbors. Be compassionate with each other. 9 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.
10 Don't take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor. Don't plot and scheme against one another - that's evil.' 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.'
11 "But did your ancestors listen? No, they set their jaws in defiance. They shut their ears. 11 "But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears.
12 They steeled themselves against God's revelation and the Spirit-filled sermons preached by the earlier prophets by order of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. And God became angry, really angry, 12 They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry.
13 because he told them everything plainly and they wouldn't listen to a word he said. 13 " 'When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,' says the LORD Almighty.
14 I scattered them to the four winds. They ended up strangers wherever they were. Their 'promised land' became a vacant lot - weeds and tin cans and thistles. Not a sign of life. They turned a dreamland into a wasteland." 14 'I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land was left so desolate behind them that no one could come or go. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.' "