Zechariah 1; Zechariah 2; Zechariah 3; Zechariah 4; Revelation 18

1 In the eighth month of the second year that Darius was emperor of Persia, the Lord gave this message to the prophet Zechariah, the son of Berechiah and grandson of Iddo. 2 The Lord Almighty told Zechariah to say to the people, "I, the Lord, was very angry with your ancestors, 3 but now I say to you, "Return to me, and I will return to you. 4 Do not be like your ancestors. Long ago the prophets gave them my message, telling them not to live evil, sinful lives any longer. But they would not listen to me or obey me. 5 Your ancestors and those prophets are no longer alive. 6 Through my servants the prophets I gave your ancestors commands and warnings, but they disregarded them and suffered the consequences. Then they repented and acknowledged that I, the Lord Almighty, had punished them as they deserved and as I had determined to do.' " 7 In the second year that Darius was emperor, on the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month (the month of Shebat), the Lord gave me a message in a vision at night. 8 I saw someone riding a red horse. He had stopped among some myrtle trees in a valley, and behind him were other horses - red, dappled, and white. 9 I asked him, "Sir, what do these horses mean?" He answered, "I will show you what they mean. 10 The Lord sent them to go and inspect the earth." 11 They reported to the angel: "We have been all over the world and have found that the whole world lies helpless and subdued." 12 Then the angel said, "Almighty Lord, you have been angry with Jerusalem and the cities of Judah for seventy years now. How much longer will it be before you show them mercy?" 13 The Lord answered the angel with comforting words, 14 and the angel told me to proclaim what the Lord Almighty had said: "I have a deep love and concern for Jerusalem, my holy city, 15 and I am very angry with the nations that enjoy quiet and peace. For while I was holding back my anger against my people, those nations made the sufferings of my people worse. 16 So I have come back to Jerusalem to show mercy to the city. My Temple will be restored, and the city will be rebuilt." 17 The angel also told me to proclaim: "The Lord Almighty says that his cities will be prosperous again and that he will once again help Jerusalem and claim the city as his own." 18 In another vision I saw four ox horns. 19 I asked the angel that had been speaking to me, "What do these horns mean?" He answered, "They stand for the world powers that have scattered the people of Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem." 20 Then the Lord showed me four workers with hammers. 21 I asked, "What have they come to do?" He answered, "They have come to terrify and overthrow the nations that completely crushed the land of Judah and scattered its people."
1 In another vision I saw a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 "Where are you going?" I asked. "To measure Jerusalem," he answered, "to see how long and how wide it is." 3 Then I saw the angel who had been speaking to me step forward, and another angel came to meet him. 4 The first one said to the other, "Run and tell that young man with the measuring line that there are going to be so many people and so much livestock in Jerusalem that it will be too big to have walls. 5 The Lord has promised that he himself will be a wall of fire around the city to protect it and that he will live there in all his glory." 6 The Lord said to his people, "I scattered you in all directions. But now, you exiles, escape from Babylonia and return to Jerusalem. 8 Anyone who strikes you strikes what is most precious to me." So the Lord Almighty sent me with this message for the nations that had plundered his people: 9 "The Lord himself will fight against you, and you will be plundered by the people who were once your servants." When this happens, everyone will know that the Lord Almighty sent me. 10 The Lord said, "Sing for joy, people of Jerusalem! I am coming to live among you!" 11 At that time many nations will come to the Lord and become his people. He will live among you, and you will know that he has sent me to you. 12 Once again Judah will be the special possession of the Lord in his sacred land, and Jerusalem will be the city he loves most of all. 13 Be silent, everyone, in the presence of the Lord, for he is coming from his holy dwelling place.
1 In another vision the Lord showed me the High Priest Joshua standing before the angel of the Lord. And there beside Joshua stood Satan, ready to bring an accusation against him. 2 The angel of the Lord said to Satan, "May the Lord condemn you, Satan! May the Lord, who loves Jerusalem, condemn you. This man is like a stick snatched from the fire." 3 Joshua was standing there, wearing filthy clothes. 4 The angel said to his heavenly attendants, "Take away the filthy clothes this man is wearing." Then he said to Joshua, "I have taken away your sin and will give you new clothes to wear." 5 He commanded the attendants to put a clean turban on Joshua's head. They did so, and then they put the new clothes on him while the angel of the Lord stood there. 6 Then the angel told Joshua that 7 the Lord Almighty had said: "If you obey my laws and perform the duties I have assigned you, then you will continue to be in charge of my Temple and its courts, and I will hear your prayers, just as I hear the prayers of the angels who are in my presence. 8 Listen then, Joshua, you who are the High Priest; and listen, you fellow priests of his, you that are the sign of a good future: I will reveal my servant, who is called The Branch! 9 I am placing in front of Joshua a single stone with seven facets. I will engrave an inscription on it, and in a single day I will take away the sin of this land. 10 When that day comes, each of you will invite your neighbor to come and enjoy peace and security, surrounded by your vineyards and fig trees."
1 The angel who had been speaking to me came again and roused me as if I had been sleeping. 2 "What do you see?" he asked. "A lampstand made of gold," I answered. "At the top is a bowl for the oil. On the lampstand are seven lamps, each one with places for seven wicks. 3 There are two olive trees beside the lampstand, one on each side of it." 4 Then I asked the angel, "What do these things stand for, sir?" 5 "Don't you know?" he asked me. "No, I don't, sir," I replied. 6 The angel told me to give Zerubbabel this message from the Lord: "You will succeed, not by military might or by your own strength, but by my spirit. 7 Obstacles as great as mountains will disappear before you. You will rebuild the Temple, and as you put the last stone in place, the people will shout, "Beautiful, beautiful!' " 8 Another message came to me from the Lord. 9 He said, "Zerubbabel has laid the foundation of the Temple, and he will finish the building. When this happens, my people will know that it is I who sent you to them. 10 a) They are disappointed because so little progress is being made. But they will see Zerubbabel continuing to build the Temple, and they will be glad." b) The angel said to me, "The seven lamps are the seven eyes of the Lord, which see all over the earth." 11 Then I asked him, "What do the two olive trees on either side of the lampstand mean? 12 And what is the meaning of the two olive branches beside the two gold pipes from which the olive oil pours?" 13 He asked me, "Don't you know?" "No, I don't, sir," I answered. 14 Then he said, "These are the two men whom God has chosen and anointed to serve him, the Lord of the whole earth."
1 After this I saw another angel coming down out of heaven. He had great authority, and his splendor brightened the whole earth. 2 He cried out in a loud voice: "She has fallen! Great Babylon has fallen! She is now haunted by demons and unclean spirits; all kinds of filthy and hateful birds live in her. 3 For all the nations have drunk her wine - the strong wine of her immoral lust. The kings of the earth practiced sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the world grew rich from her unrestrained lust." 4 Then I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out, my people! Come out from her! You must not take part in her sins; you must not share in her punishment! 5 For her sins are piled up as high as heaven, and God remembers her wicked ways. 6 Treat her exactly as she has treated you; pay her back double for all she has done. Fill her cup with a drink twice as strong as the drink she prepared for you. 7 Give her as much suffering and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. For she keeps telling herself: "Here I sit, a queen! I am no widow, I will never know grief!' 8 Because of this, in one day she will be struck with plagues - disease, grief, and famine. And she will be burned with fire, because the Lord God, who judges her, is mighty." 9 The kings of the earth who took part in her immorality and lust will cry and weep over the city when they see the smoke from the flames that consume her. 10 They stand a long way off, because they are afraid of sharing in her suffering. They say, "How terrible! How awful! This great and mighty city Babylon! In just one hour you have been punished!" 11 The merchants of the earth also cry and mourn for her, because no one buys their goods any longer; 12 no one buys their gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; their goods of linen, purple cloth, silk, and scarlet cloth; all kinds of rare woods and all kinds of objects made of ivory and of expensive wood, of bronze, iron, and marble; 13 and cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine and oil, flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and carriages, slaves, and even human lives. 14 The merchants say to her, "All the good things you longed to own have disappeared, and all your wealth and glamor are gone, and you will never find them again!" 15 The merchants, who became rich from doing business in that city, will stand a long way off, because they are afraid of sharing in her suffering. They will cry and mourn, 16 and say, "How terrible! How awful for the great city! She used to dress herself in linen, purple, and scarlet, and cover herself with gold ornaments, precious stones, and pearls! 17 And in one hour she has lost all this wealth!" All the ships' captains and passengers, the sailors and all others who earn their living on the sea, stood a long way off, 18 and cried out as they saw the smoke from the flames that consumed her: "There never has been another city like this great city!" 19 They threw dust on their heads, they cried and mourned, saying, "How terrible! How awful for the great city! She is the city where all who have ships sailing the seas became rich on her wealth! And in one hour she has lost everything!" 20 Be glad, heaven, because of her destruction! Be glad, God's people and the apostles and prophets! For God has condemned her for what she did to you! 21 Then a mighty angel picked up a stone the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, "This is how the great city Babylon will be violently thrown down and will never be seen again. 22 The music of harps and of human voices, of players of the flute and the trumpet, will never be heard in you again! No workman in any trade will ever be found in you again; and the sound of the millstone will be heard no more! 23 Never again will the light of a lamp be seen in you; no more will the voices of brides and grooms be heard in you. Your merchants were the most powerful in all the world, and with your false magic you deceived all the peoples of the world!" 24 Babylon was punished because the blood of prophets and of God's people was found in the city; yes, the blood of all those who have been killed on earth.
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