A Call to Return to the Lord
1In November[a] of the second year of King Darius’s reign, the Lord gave this message to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah and grandson of Iddo:
2 “I, the Lord, was very angry with your ancestors. 3 Therefore, say to the people, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.’ 4 Don’t be like your ancestors who would not listen or pay attention when the earlier prophets said to them, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Turn from your evil ways, and stop all your evil practices.’
5 “Where are your ancestors now? They and the prophets are long dead. 6 But everything I said through my servants the prophets happened to your ancestors, just as I said. As a result, they repented and said, ‘We have received what we deserved from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. He has done what he said he would do.’”
A Man among the Myrtle Trees
7 Three months later, on February 15,[b] the Lord sent another message to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah and grandson of Iddo.
8 In a vision during the night, I saw a man sitting on a red horse that was standing among some myrtle trees in a small valley. Behind him were riders on red, brown, and white horses. 9 I asked the angel who was talking with me, “My lord, what do these horses mean?”
“I will show you,” the angel replied.
10 The rider standing among the myrtle trees then explained, “They are the ones the Lord has sent out to patrol the earth.”
11 Then the other riders reported to the angel of the Lord, who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have been patrolling the earth, and the whole earth is at peace.”
12 Upon hearing this, the angel of the Lord prayed this prayer: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, for seventy years now you have been angry with Jerusalem and the towns of Judah. How long until you again show mercy to them?” 13 And the Lord spoke kind and comforting words to the angel who talked with me.
14 Then the angel said to me, “Shout this message for all to hear: ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: My love for Jerusalem and Mount Zion is passionate and strong. 15 But I am very angry with the other nations that are now enjoying peace and security. I was only a little angry with my people, but the nations inflicted harm on them far beyond my intentions.
16 “‘Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I have returned to show mercy to Jerusalem. My Temple will be rebuilt, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and measurements will be taken for the reconstruction of Jerusalem.[c]’
17 “Say this also: ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: The towns of Israel will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem as his own.’”
Four Horns and Four Blacksmiths
18 [d]Then I looked up and saw four animal horns. 19 “What are these?” I asked the angel who was talking with me.
He replied, “These horns represent the nations that scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.”
20 Then the Lord showed me four blacksmiths. 21 “What are these men coming to do?” I asked.
The angel replied, “These four horns—these nations—scattered and humbled Judah. Now these blacksmiths have come to terrify those nations and throw them down and destroy them.”
Notas al pie
- 1:1 Hebrew In the eighth month. A number of dates in Zechariah can be cross-checked with dates in surviving Persian records and related accurately to our modern calendar. This month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred within the months of October and November 520 B.c.
- 1:7 Hebrew On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius. This event occurred on February 15, 519 B.c.; also see note on 1:1.
- 1:16 Hebrew and the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem.
- 1:18 Verses 1:18-21 are numbered 2:1-4 in Hebrew text.
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.