Zechariah 1:4

4 Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, "Thus says the Lord of hosts, Return from your evil ways and from your evil deeds." But they did not hear or heed me, says the Lord.

Zechariah 1:4 Meaning and Commentary

Zechariah 1:4

Be ye not as your fathers
Who lived before the captivity, and misused the prophets and messengers of the Lord, and despised his word, and fell into gross idolatry; the evil examples of parents and ancestors are not to be followed: unto whom the former prophets have cried:
such as Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others: saying, thus saith the Lord of hosts, Turn now from your evil ways,
and [from] your evil doings;
by their "evil ways" may be meant their idolatrous worship; and by their "evil doings" their immoralities; or, by both, their wicked lives and conversations, both before God and men; from whence they were exhorted by the former prophets to turn, and to reform; even "now", at that present time they prophesied to them, immediately, lest destruction come upon them: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the Lord;
speaking by his prophets, who were sent by him, and came and spoke in his name; so that not hearing them was not hearing him who sent them, and whom they represented.

Zechariah 1:4 In-Context

2 The Lord was very angry with your ancestors.
3 Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord of hosts: Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts.
4 Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, "Thus says the Lord of hosts, Return from your evil ways and from your evil deeds." But they did not hear or heed me, says the Lord.
5 Your ancestors, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever?
6 But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not overtake your ancestors? So they repented and said, "The Lord of hosts has dealt with us according to our ways and deeds, just as he planned to do."