Zechariah 7:1-8 (New International Version)

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Justice and Mercy, Not Fasting

1 In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah1 on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev.2 2 The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech, together with their men, to entreat3 the LORD4 3 by asking the priests of the house of the LORD Almighty and the prophets, "Should I mourn5 and fast in the fifth6 month, as I have done for so many years?" 4 Then the word of the LORD Almighty came to me: 5 "Ask all the people of the land and the priests, 'When you fasted7 and mourned in the fifth and seventh8 months for the past seventy years,9 was it really for me that you fasted? 6 And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves?10 7 Are these not the words the LORD proclaimed through the earlier prophets11 when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were at rest12 and prosperous, and the Negev and the western foothills13 were settled?' "14 8 And the word of the LORD came again to Zechariah:
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