Zechariah is given four messages. A message of rebuke. A message of repentance.
VERSE 1. In the fourth year of king Darius, the LORD’s word came to Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Chislev.
This date is December 7, 518 BC. It is nearly two years after the night visions.
VERSE 2. The people of Bethel sent Sharezer and Regem Melech and their men to entreat the LORD’s favor,
This delegation comes from Bethel to Jerusalem.
VERSE 3. and to speak to the priests of the house of the LORD of Hosts and to the prophets, saying, “Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?”
Should I weep. That is, “Should I fast.”
VERSE 4. Then the word of the LORD of Hosts came to me, saying,
VERSE 5. “Speak to all the people of the land and to the priests, saying, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and in the seventh month for these seventy years, did you at all fast to me, really to me?
When you fasted and mourned. During the Babylonian Captivity, the people had devised a tradition of fasting in the fifth month and in the seventh month.
The fast in the fifth month was to commemorate the burning of the city and the temple by Nebuchadnezzar.
The fast in the seventh month fast was to commemorate the murder of governor Gedaliah of Judah.
for yourselves. Their fasting had poor motives. They were not doing it not for the LORD God, but for themselves.
Their spiritual practice was done for selfish motives.
In our day, some Christian leaders teach people to do their spiritual practices for their own benefit.
VERSE 7. Aren’t these the words which the LORD proclaimed by the former prophets when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and its cities around her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited?’ ”
VERSE 8. The LORD’s word came to Zechariah, saying,
VERSE 9. “Thus has the LORD of Hosts spoken, saying, ‘Execute true judgment, and show kindness and compassion every man to his brother.
NIV translation. This is what the LORD Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.
True fasting is to endeavor on behalf of other people, especially the most vulnerable people.
How people treat the most vulnerable people is a key benchmark for the health of a nation. If a nation treats them poorly, that nation is already in decline.
VERSE 10. Don’t oppress the widow, the fatherless, the foreigner, nor the poor; and let none of you devise evil against his brother in your heart.’
VERSE 11. But they refused to listen, and turned their backs, and stopped their ears, that they might not hear.
VERSE 12. Yes, they made their hearts as hard as flint, lest they might hear the law and the words which the LORD of Hosts had sent by his Spirit by the former prophets. Therefore great wrath came from the LORD of Hosts.
VERSE 13. It has come to pass that, as he called and they refused to listen, so they will call and I will not listen,” said the LORD of Hosts;
VERSE 14. “but I will scatter them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they have not known. Thus the land was desolate after them, so that no man passed through nor returned; for they made the pleasant land desolate.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.