A Call to Repentance
1In [a]the eighth month of the second year [of the reign] of [b]Darius [the king of Persia], the word of the Lord came to Zechariah (the Lord remembers) the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, the prophet, saying, 2 “The Lord was extremely angry with your fathers. 3 Therefore say to the Jews, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts (armies), “Return to Me,” declares the Lord of hosts, “and I shall return to you. 4 Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Repent [that is, change your way of thinking] and return now from your evil way [of life] and from your evil deeds.”’ But they did not listen or pay attention to Me,” declares the Lord. 5 “Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6 But did not My words (warnings) and My statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, overtake your fathers? Then they repented and said, ‘As the Lord of hosts planned to do to us [in discipline and punishment], in accordance with our ways and our deeds, so has He dealt with us.’”’”
Patrol of the Earth
7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month (Feb 15, 519 b.c.), which is the month of Shebat, in the second year of [the reign of] Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah the prophet, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, as follows: 8 In the night I saw [a vision] and behold, a [c]Man was riding on a red horse, and it stood among the myrtle trees that were in the ravine; and behind Him were horses: red, sorrel (reddish-brown), and white. 9 Then I said, “O my lord, what are these?” And the [d]angel who was speaking with me said, “I will show you what these are.” 10 And the Man who stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, “These are the ones whom the Lord has sent to go throughout the earth and patrol it.” 11 And the men on the horses answered the [e]Angel of the Lord who stood among the myrtle trees and said, “We have gone throughout the earth [patrolling it] and behold, all the earth sits at rest [in peace and free from war].”
12 Then the Angel of the Lord said, “O Lord of hosts, how long will You withhold mercy and compassion from Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, against which You have had indignation and anger these seventy years [of the Babylonian captivity]?” 13 And the Lord answered the angel who was speaking with me with gracious and comforting words. 14 So the angel who was speaking with me said to me, “Proclaim, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “I am jealous [with a burning, fiery passion] for Jerusalem and for Zion [demanding what is rightfully and uniquely mine] with a great jealousy. 15 But I am very angry with the [f]nations who are at ease and feel secure; for while I was only a little angry, they [g]furthered the disaster [against the people of Israel].” 16 Therefore, thus says the Lord, “I have returned to Jerusalem with mercy and compassion. My house shall be built in it,” says the Lord of hosts, “and a [h]measuring line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.”’ 17 Proclaim again, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “My cities shall again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord shall again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.”’”
18 Then I looked up, and saw four horns (powers)! 19 So I asked the angel who was speaking with me, “What are these?” And he answered me, “These are the horns [the powerful Gentile nations] that have scattered Judah (the Southern Kingdom), Israel (the Northern Kingdom), and Jerusalem (capital city of Judah).” 20 Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen. 21 I asked, “What are these [horns and craftsmen] coming to do?” And he said, “These are the horns (powers) that have scattered Judah so that no man raised up his head [because of the suffering inflicted by the Gentile nations]. But these craftsmen have come to terrify them and make them panic, and throw down the horns of the nations who have lifted up their horns against the land of Judah in order to scatter it.”
Notas al pie
- Zechariah 1:1 I.e. Oct/Nov 520 b.c.
- Zechariah 1:1 Darius the Great ruled Persia (capital city, Persepolis) from 522-486 b.c. He was an avid builder who used paid workers for his projects instead of slaves, a concept which at that time was revolutionary. He was a gifted visionary, and an energetic king whose social and economic goals endured and greatly benefited both his subjects and future generations. He developed efficient highways, standardized coinage, weights, measures, and he promoted religious tolerance and human rights.
- Zechariah 1:8 This Man is identified as the Angel of the Lord in 1:11, with capitalization used to indicate Him.
- Zechariah 1:9 This is the interpreting angel, mentioned in vv 9, 13, 14; 2:3; 4:1, 4, 5; 5:5, 10; 6:4, 5, and is not to be confused with the Man in v 8 or the Angel of the Lord in v 11.
- Zechariah 1:11 “Angel” has been capitalized here to reflect the likelihood that it is God appearing in a visible form (see note Gen 16:7).
- Zechariah 1:15 I.e. the powerful Gentile nations whom God used to punish the Israelites for their disobedience.
- Zechariah 1:15 The conquering nations sought to wipe out the children of Israel, an evil which exceeded God’s intended punishment.
- Zechariah 1:16 I.e. Jerusalem shall be rebuilt and restored to even greater glory.
A call to return to the Lord
1In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo:
2‘The Lord was very angry with your ancestors. 3Therefore tell the people: this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Return to me,” declares the Lord Almighty, “and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. 4Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.” But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the Lord. 5Where are your ancestors now? And the prophets, do they live for ever? 6But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors?
‘Then they repented and said, “The Lord Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.” ’
The man among the myrtle trees
7On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo.
8During the night I had a vision, and there before me was a man mounted on a red horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, brown and white horses.
9I asked, ‘What are these, my lord?’
The angel who was talking with me answered, ‘I will show you what they are.’
10Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, ‘They are the ones the Lord has sent to go throughout the earth.’
11And they reported to the angel of the Lord who was standing among the myrtle trees, ‘We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace.’
12Then the angel of the Lord said, ‘Lord Almighty, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah, which you have been angry with these seventy years?’ 13So the Lord spoke kind and comforting words to the angel who talked with me.
14Then the angel who was speaking to me said, ‘Proclaim this word: this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I am very jealous for Jerusalem and Zion, 15and I am very angry with the nations that feel secure. I was only a little angry, but they went too far with the punishment.”
16‘Therefore this is what the Lord says: “I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,” declares the Lord Almighty.
17‘Proclaim further: this is what the Lord Almighty says: “My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.” ’
Four horns and four craftsmen
18Then I looked up, and there before me were four horns. 19I asked the angel who was speaking to me, ‘What are these?’
He answered me, ‘These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.’
20Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen. 21I asked, ‘What are these coming to do?’
He answered, ‘These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no-one could raise their head, but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter its people.’1:21 In Hebrew texts 1:18-21 is numbered 2:1-4.