New International Reader's Version

Zechariah 1

The Lord Wants His People to Return to Him

1A message from the Lord came to Zechariah the prophet. Zechariah was the son of Berekiah. Berekiah was the son of Iddo. It was the eighth month of the second year that Darius was king of Persia. Here is what Zechariah said.

The Lord who rules over all was very angry with your people of long ago. And now he says to us, “Return to me. Then I will return to you,” announces the Lord. “Do not be like your people of long 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. “Where are those people now? And what about my prophets? Do they live forever? 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.’ ”

A Vision of a Horseman Among Some Myrtle Trees

A message from the Lord came to Zechariah the prophet. Zechariah was the son of Berekiah. Berekiah was the son of Iddo. The message came during the second year that Darius was king. It was the 24th day of the 11th month. That’s the month of Shebat.

I had a vision at night. I saw a man sitting on a red horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in a valley. Behind him were red, brown and white horses.

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 standing among the myrtle trees spoke. He 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 And 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.” ’ ”

A Vision of Four Horns and Four Skilled Workers

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, “The horns are the powerful nations that scattered the people of Judah. That made Judah helpless. But these four skilled workers have come to terrify the horns. The workers will destroy the power of those nations. Those nations had used their power to scatter Judah’s people.”

Amplified Bible

Zechariah 1

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, “The Lord was extremely angry with your fathers. 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. 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. “Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? 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

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: 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. 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

  1. Zechariah 1:1 I.e. Oct/Nov 520 b.c.
  2. 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.
  3. Zechariah 1:8 This Man is identified as the Angel of the Lord in 1:11, with capitalization used to indicate Him.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Zechariah 1:15 I.e. the powerful Gentile nations whom God used to punish the Israelites for their disobedience.
  7. Zechariah 1:15 The conquering nations sought to wipe out the children of Israel, an evil which exceeded God’s intended punishment.
  8. Zechariah 1:16 I.e. Jerusalem shall be rebuilt and restored to even greater glory.