8Then the word of the LORD came to Zechariah saying, 9“Thus has the LORD of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; 10and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’
Treat others with kindness and compassion. These are common themes that we should not have to repeat, but, being in this modern world, with so many more demands on our time, energy, and thoughts, we do often have to stop and let the Lord’s influence take over. Like the Sunday School acronym many of us learned: JOY= Jesus. Others. You.
The Golden Lampstand and Olive Trees
1Then the angel who was speaking with me returned and roused me, as a man who is awakened from his sleep. 2He said to me, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it; 3also two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl and the other on its left side.” 4Then I said to the angel who was speaking with me saying, “What are these, my lord?” 5So the angel who was speaking with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” 6Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts. 7‘What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”
8Also the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 9“The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. 10“For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel—these are the eyes of the LORD which range to and fro throughout the earth.”
11Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right of the lampstand and on its left?” 12And I answered the second time and said to him, “What are the two olive branches which are beside the two golden pipes, which empty the golden oil from themselves?” 13So he answered me, saying, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” 14Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth.”
The Flying Scroll
1Then I lifted up my eyes again and looked, and behold, there was a flying scroll. 2And he said to me, “What do you see?” And I answered, “I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits.” 3Then he said to me, “This is the curse that is going forth over the face of the whole land; surely everyone who steals will be purged away according to the writing on one side, and everyone who swears will be purged away according to the writing on the other side. 4“I will make it go forth,” declares the LORD of hosts, “and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of the one who swears falsely by My name; and it will spend the night within that house and consume it with its timber and stones.”
5Then the angel who was speaking with me went out and said to me, “Lift up now your eyes and see what this is going forth.” 6I said, “What is it?” And he said, “This is the ephah going forth.” Again he said, “This is their appearance in all the land 7(and behold, a lead cover was lifted up); and this is a woman sitting inside the ephah.” 8Then he said, “This is Wickedness!” And he threw her down into the middle of the ephah and cast the lead weight on its opening. 9Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and there two women were coming out with the wind in their wings; and they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heavens. 10I said to the angel who was speaking with me, “Where are they taking the ephah?” 11Then he said to me, “To build a temple for her in the land of Shinar; and when it is prepared, she will be set there on her own pedestal.”
The Four Chariots
1Now I lifted up my eyes again and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming forth from between the two mountains; and the mountains were bronze mountains. 2With the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot black horses, 3with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot strong dappled horses. 4Then I spoke and said to the angel who was speaking with me, “What are these, my lord?” 5The angel replied to me, “These are the four spirits of heaven, going forth after standing before the Lord of all the earth, 6with one of which the black horses are going forth to the north country; and the white ones go forth after them, while the dappled ones go forth to the south country. 7“When the strong ones went out, they were eager to go to patrol the earth.” And He said, “Go, patrol the earth.” So they patrolled the earth. 8Then He cried out to me and spoke to me saying, “See, those who are going to the land of the north have appeased My wrath in the land of the north.”
9The word of the LORD also came to me, saying, 10“Take an offering from the exiles, from Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah; and you go the same day and enter the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah, where they have arrived from Babylon.
The Symbolic Crowns
11“Take silver and gold, make an ornate crown and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12“Then say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD. 13“Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the LORD, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.”’ 14“Now the crown will become a reminder in the temple of the LORD to Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen the son of Zephaniah. 15“Those who are far off will come and build the temple of the LORD.” Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And it will take place if you completely obey the LORD your God.
Hearts like Flint
1In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. 2Now the town of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regemmelech and their men to seek the favor of the LORD, 3speaking to the priests who belong to the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, “Shall I weep in the fifth month and abstain, as I have done these many years?” 4Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, 5“Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months these seventy years, was it actually for Me that you fasted? 6‘When you eat and drink, do you not eat for yourselves and do you not drink for yourselves? 7‘Are not these the words which the LORD proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous along with its cities around it, and the Negev and the foothills were inhabited?’”
8Then the word of the LORD came to Zechariah saying, 9“Thus has the LORD of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; 10and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’ 11“But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing. 12“They made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the LORD of hosts. 13“And just as He called and they would not listen, so they called and I would not listen,” says the LORD of hosts; 14“but I scattered them with a storm wind among all the nations whom they have not known. Thus the land is desolated behind them so that no one went back and forth, for they made the pleasant land desolate.”
The Coming Peace and Prosperity of Zion
1Then the word of the LORD of hosts came, saying, 2“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes, with great wrath I am jealous for her.’ 3“Thus says the LORD, ‘I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.’ 4“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of age. 5‘And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.’ 6“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?’ declares the LORD of hosts. 7“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; 8and I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.’
9“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Let your hands be strong, you who are listening in these days to these words from the mouth of the prophets, those who spoke in the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, to the end that the temple might be built. 10‘For before those days there was no wage for man or any wage for animal; and for him who went out or came in there was no peace because of his enemies, and I set all men one against another. 11‘But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,’ declares the LORD of hosts. 12‘For there will be peace for the seed: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things. 13‘It will come about that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you that you may become a blessing. Do not fear; let your hands be strong.’
14“For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Just as I purposed to do harm to you when your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and I have not relented, 15so I have again purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear! 16‘These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. 17‘Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the LORD.”
18Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, 19“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘The fast of the fourth, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth months will become joy, gladness, and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah; so love truth and peace.’
20“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘It will yet be that peoples will come, even the inhabitants of many cities. 21‘The inhabitants of one will go to another, saying, “Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts; I will also go.” 22‘So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the LORD.’ 23“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’”
Prophecies against Neighboring Nations
1The burden of the word of the LORD is against the land of Hadrach, with Damascus as its resting place (for the eyes of men, especially of all the tribes of Israel, are toward the LORD),
2 And Hamath also, which borders on it;
Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise.
3 For Tyre built herself a fortress
And piled up silver like dust,
And gold like the mire of the streets.
4 Behold, the Lord will dispossess her
And cast her wealth into the sea;
And she will be consumed with fire.
5 Ashkelon will see it and be afraid.
Gaza too will writhe in great pain;
Also Ekron, for her expectation has been confounded.
Moreover, the king will perish from Gaza,
And Ashkelon will not be inhabited.
6 And a mongrel race will dwell in Ashdod,
And I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.
7 And I will remove their blood from their mouth
And their detestable things from between their teeth.
Then they also will be a remnant for our God,
And be like a clan in Judah,
And Ekron like a Jebusite.
8 But I will camp around My house because of an army,
Because of him who passes by and returns;
And no oppressor will pass over them anymore,
For now I have seen with My eyes.
9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
And the horse from Jerusalem;
And the bow of war will be cut off.
And He will speak peace to the nations;
And His dominion will be from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.
Deliverance of Judah and Ephraim
11 As for you also, because of the blood of My covenant with you,
I have set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.
12 Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope;
This very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you.
13 For I will bend Judah as My bow,
I will fill the bow with Ephraim.
And I will stir up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece;
And I will make you like a warrior’s sword.
14 Then the LORD will appear over them,
And His arrow will go forth like lightning;
And the Lord GOD will blow the trumpet,
And will march in the storm winds of the south.
15 The LORD of hosts will defend them.
And they will devour and trample on the sling stones;
And they will drink and be boisterous as with wine;
And they will be filled like a sacrificial basin,
Drenched like the corners of the altar.
16 And the LORD their God will save them in that day
As the flock of His people;
For they are as the stones of a crown,
Sparkling in His land.
17 For what comeliness and beauty will be theirs!
Grain will make the young men flourish, and new wine the virgins.
Thanksgiving for the LORD’S Favor.
A PSALM OF DAVID.
1 I will give You thanks with all my heart;
I will sing praises to You before the gods.
2 I will bow down toward Your holy temple
And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.
3 On the day I called, You answered me;
You made me bold with strength in my soul.
4 All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O LORD,
When they have heard the words of Your mouth.
5 And they will sing of the ways of the LORD,
For great is the glory of the LORD.
6 For though the LORD is exalted,
Yet He regards the lowly,
But the haughty He knows from afar.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.
8 The LORD will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.