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.”

King James Version

Zechariah 1

1In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the Lord unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,

The Lord hath been sore displeased with your fathers.

Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.

Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the Lord.

Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?

But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the Lord of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.

Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the Lord unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,

I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.

Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be.

10 And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the Lord hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.

11 And they answered the angel of the Lord that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

12 Then the angel of the Lord answered and said, O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?

13 And the Lord answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.

14 So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.

15 And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.

16 Therefore thus saith the Lord; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.

17 Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.

18 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.

19 And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.

20 And the Lord shewed me four carpenters.

21 Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.