Zechariah 1; Zechariah 2; Zechariah 3; Zechariah 4; Zechariah 5; Zechariah 6; Zechariah 7

1 A message came to the prophet Zechariah from the Lord. It was the eighth month of the second year that Darius was king of Persia. Zechariah was the son of Berekiah. Berekiah was the son of Iddo. Here is what Zechariah said. 2 The LORD who rules over all was very angry with our people years ago. 3 And now he says to us, "Return to me. Then I will return to you," announces the Lord. 4 "Do not be like your people years ago. The earlier prophets gave them my message. I said, 'Stop doing what is evil. Turn away from your sinful practices.' But they would not listen to me. They would not pay any attention," announces the Lord. 5 "Where are those people now? And what about my prophets? Do they live forever? 6 I commanded my servants the prophets what to say. I told them what I planned to do. But your people refused to obey me. So I had to punish them. "Then they had a change of heart. They said, 'The LORD who rules over all has punished us because of how we have lived. He was fair and right to do that. He has done to us just what he decided to do.' " 7 During the second year that Darius was king, a message came to me from the Lord. It was the 24th day of the 11th month. That's the month of Shebat. 8 I had a vision at night. I saw a man riding a red horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in a valley. Behind him were red, brown and white horses. 9 An angel was talking with me. I asked him, "Sir, what are these?" He answered, "I will show you what they are." 10 Then the man who was standing among the myrtle trees said, "They are the messengers the LORD has sent out. He told them to go all through the earth." 11 They brought a report to the angel of the Lord. He was standing among the myrtle trees. They said to him, "We have gone all through the earth. We've found the whole world enjoying peace and rest." 12 Then the angel of the LORD spoke up. He said, "Lord, you rule over all. How long will you keep from showing your tender love to Jerusalem? How long will you keep it from the towns of Judah? You have been angry with them for 70 years." 13 So the LORD replied with kind and comforting words. He spoke them to the angel who talked with me. 14 Then the angel said, "Announce this message. Say, 'The LORD who rules over all says, "I am very jealous for my people in Jerusalem and Zion. 15 But I am very angry with the nations that feel secure. I was only a little angry with my people. But the nations went too far and tried to wipe them out." 16 " 'So the LORD says, "I will return to Jerusalem. I will show its people my tender love. My temple will be rebuilt there. Workers will use a measuring line when they rebuild Jerusalem," announces the Lord. 17 " 'He says, "My towns will be filled with good things once more. I will comfort Zion. And I will choose Jerusalem again." ' " 18 Then I looked up and saw four animal horns. 19 I spoke to the angel who was talking with me. "What are these horns?" I asked. He said, "They are the powerful nations that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem." 20 Then the LORD showed me four skilled workers. 21 I asked, "What are they coming to do?" He answered, "They are the powerful nations that scattered the people of Judah. That made them helpless. But the workers have come to terrify the horns. They will destroy the power of those nations. They had used their power to scatter Judah's people."
1 Then I looked up and saw a man. He was holding a measuring line. 2 "Where are you going?" I asked. "To measure Jerusalem," he answered. "I want to find out how wide and how long it is." 3 Then the angel who was talking with me left. Another angel came over to him. 4 He said to him, "Run! Tell that young man Zechariah, 'Jerusalem will be like a city that does not have any walls around it. It will have huge numbers of people and animals in it. 5 And I myself will be like a wall of fire around it,' announces the Lord. 'I will be the city's glory.' " 6 "Israel, I have scattered you in all four directions," announces the Lord. "Come quickly! Run away from the land of the north," announces the Lord. 7 "Come, people of Zion who are in Babylonia! Escape, you who live in the city of Babylon!" 8 The LORD rules over all. His angel says to Israel, "The LORD has sent me to honor him. He wants me to punish the nations that have robbed you of everything. After all, anyone who hurts you hurts those the LORD loves and guards. 9 So I will raise my powerful hand to strike your enemies down. Their own slaves will rob them of everything. Then you will know that the LORD who rules over all has sent me. 10 " 'People of Zion, shout and be glad! I am coming to live among you,' announces the Lord. 11 'At that time many nations will join themselves to me. And they will become my people. I will live among you.' says the Lord. Then you will know that the LORD who rules over all has sent me to you. 12 "He will receive Judah as his share in the holy land. And he will choose Jerusalem again. 13 "All you people of the world, be still because the LORD is coming. He is getting ready to come down from his holy temple in heaven."
1 Then the LORD showed me the high priest Jeshua. He was standing in front of the angel of the Lord. Satan was standing to the right of Jeshua. He was there to bring charges against the high priest. 2 The LORD said to Satan, "May the LORD correct you! He has chosen Jerusalem. So may he correct you! Isn't this man Jeshua like a burning stick pulled out of the fire?" 3 Jeshua stood in front of the angel. He was wearing clothes that were very dirty. 4 The angel spoke to those who were standing near him. He said, "Take his dirty clothes off." He said to Jeshua, "I have taken your sin away. I will put fine clothes on you." 5 I added, "Put a clean turban on his head." So they did. And they dressed him while the angel of the LORD stood by. 6 Then the angel spoke to Jeshua. He said, 7 "The LORD who rules over all says, 'You must live the way I want you to. And you must do what I want you to do. Then you will rule in my temple. You will be in charge of my courtyards. And I will give you a place among these who are standing here. 8 " 'High priest Jeshua, pay attention! I want you other priests who are sitting with Jeshua to listen also. All of you men are signs of things to come. I am going to bring my servant the Branch. 9 Look at the stone I have put in front of Jeshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone. I will carve a message on it,' says the LORD who rules over all. 'And I will remove the sin of this land in one day. 10 " 'At that time each of you will invite your neighbors to visit you. They will sit under your vines and fig trees,' announces the Lord."
1 Then the angel who was talking with me returned. He woke me up. It was as if I had been asleep. 2 "What do you see?" he asked me. "I see a solid gold lampstand," I answered. "It has a bowl on top of it. There are seven lamps on it. Seven tubes lead to each of them. 3 There are two olive trees by the lampstand. One is on its right side. The other is on its left." 4 I asked the angel who was talking with me, "Sir, what are these?" 5 He answered, "Don't you know what they are?" "No, sir," I replied. 6 So he said to me, "A message came to Zerubbabel from the Lord. He said, 'Your strength will not get my temple rebuilt. Your power will not do it either. Only the power of my Spirit will do it,' says the LORD who rules over all. 7 "So nothing can stop Zerubbabel from completing the temple. Even a mountain of problems will be smoothed out by him. When the temple is finished, he will put its most important stone in place. Then the people will shout, 'God bless it! God bless it!' " 8 A message came to me from the Lord. His angel said, 9 "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple. His hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD who rules over all has sent me to you. 10 "Do not look down on the small amount of work done on the temple so far. People will be filled with joy when they see Zerubbabel holding the most important stone. "The seven eyes on the stone are the eyes of the LORD himself. He looks out over the whole earth." 11 Then I said to the angel, "I see two olive trees. One is on the right side of the lampstand. The other is on the left. What are those trees?" 12 I continued, "I also see two olive branches. They are next to the two gold pipes that pour out golden olive oil. What are those branches?" 13 He answered, "Don't you know what they are?" "No, sir," I said. 14 So he told me, "They are Zerubbabel and Jeshua. The Lord of the whole earth has anointed them to serve him."
1 I looked up again and saw a flying scroll. 2 "What do you see?" the angel asked me. "A flying scroll," I replied. "It's 30 feet long and 15 feet wide." 3 He said to me, "A curse sent by the LORD is written on it. It is going out over the whole land. Every thief will be driven out of the land. That is what it says on one side of the scroll. Everyone who lies when taking an oath to tell the truth will also be driven out. That is what it says on the other side. 4 The LORD who rules over all announces, 'I will send the curse out. It will enter the house of the thief. It will also enter the house of anyone who lies when taking an oath in my name. It will remain in that house and destroy it. It will pull down its beams and stones.' " 5 Then the angel who was talking with me came forward. He said to me, "Look at what is coming." 6 "What is it?" I asked. "A measuring basket," he replied. "The sins of the people all through the land are in it." 7 Then the basket's cover was lifted up. It was made out of lead. A woman was sitting in the basket! 8 The angel said, "She stands for everything that is evil." Then he pushed her down into the basket. He put the lead cover back over its opening. 9 I looked up and saw two other women. They had wings like the wings of a stork. A wind sent by the LORD carried them along. They lifted the basket up between heaven and earth. 10 "Where are they taking the basket?" I asked the angel. 11 He replied, "To the country of Babylonia. A temple will be built for it. When the temple is ready, the basket will be set there in its place."
1 I looked up again and saw four chariots. They were coming out from between two mountains. The mountains were made out of bronze. 2 The first chariot was pulled by red horses. The second one had black horses. 3 The third had white horses. And the fourth had spotted horses. All of the horses were powerful. 4 I asked the angel who was talking with me, "Sir, what are these?" 5 The angel answered, "The four spirits of heaven. They are going out to serve the Lord of the whole world. 6 The chariot pulled by the black horses is going toward the north country. The one with the white horses is going toward the west. And the one with the spotted horses is going toward the south." 7 The powerful horses went out. They were in a hurry to go all over the earth. The angel said, "Go all through the earth!" So they did. 8 Then the LORD called out to me, "Look! The horses going toward the north have given my Spirit rest in the north country." 9 A message came to me from the Lord. His angel said, 10 "Get some silver and gold from Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah. They have just come back from Babylonia. On that same day go to Josiah's house. He is the son of Zephaniah. 11 Use the silver and gold to make a crown. Set it on the head of the high priest Jeshua. He is the son of Jehozadak. 12 "Give Jeshua a message from the LORD who rules over all. He says, 'Here is the man whose name is The Branch. He will branch out and build my temple. 13 That is what he will do. He will be dressed in majesty as if it were his royal robe. He will sit as king on his throne. He will also be a priest there. So he will combine the positions of king and priest in himself.' 14 "The crown will be given to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah and Zephaniah's son Hen. The crown will be kept in the LORD's temple. It will remind everyone that the LORD's promises will come true. 15 "Those who are far away will come to Jerusalem. They will help build the LORD's temple. Then his people will know that the LORD who rules over all has sent me to them. It will happen if they are careful to obey the LORD their God."
1 During the fourth year that Darius was king, a message came to me from the Lord. It was the fourth day of the ninth month. That's the month of Kislev. 2 The people of Bethel wanted to ask the LORD to show them his favor. So they sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech and their men. 3 They went to the prophets and priests at the LORD's temple. They asked them, "Should we sob and go without eating in the fifth month? That's what we've done for many years." 4 Then the message came to me from the LORD who rules over all. He said, 5 "Ask the priests and all of the people in the land a question for me. Say to them, 'You sobbed and fasted in the fifth and seventh months. You did it for the past 70 years. But did you really do it for me? 6 And when you were eating and drinking, weren't you just enjoying good food for yourselves? 7 " 'Didn't I tell you the same thing through the earlier prophets? That was when Jerusalem and the towns around it were at rest and enjoyed success. People lived in the Negev Desert and the western hills at that time.' " 8 Another message came to me from the Lord. 9 He rules over all. He says to his people, "Treat everyone fairly. Show faithful love and tender concern to one another. 10 Do not take advantage of widows. Do not mistreat children whose fathers have died. Do not crush strangers or poor people. Do not make evil plans against one another." 11 But they refused to pay attention to the Lord. They were stubborn. They turned their backs and covered up their ears. 12 They made their hearts as hard as the hardest stone. They wouldn't listen to the law. They wouldn't pay attention to the LORD's messages. So the LORD who rules over all was very angry. After all, his Spirit had spoken to his people through the earlier prophets. 13 "When I called, they did not listen," says the Lord. "So when they called, I would not listen. 14 I used a windstorm to scatter them among all of the nations. They were strangers there. The land they left behind became dry and empty. No one could even travel through it. That is how they turned the pleasant land into a dry and empty desert."
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