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1 And then,#Literally “and it happened” in the fourth year of King Darius, the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Kislev. 2And the people of Bethel sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech, and their#Hebrew “his” men, to entreat the favor#Literally “the face” of Yahweh, 3saying to the priests of the house of Yahweh of hosts#Literally “priests who are for the house of Yahweh of hosts” and to the prophets, “Should I mourn in the fifth month and keep myself separate#Or “abstain”; some interpret this as a reference to fasting as I have done for these many years?” 4And the word of Yahweh of hosts came to me, saying, 5“Say to all the people of the land and to the priests: ‘When you fasted and lamented in the fifth and seventh months for these seventy years, did you really fast for me? 6And when you eat and drink, are you not eating and drinking for yourselves? 7Are not these the words that Yahweh proclaimed through#Literally “by the hand of” the former prophets, when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns#Literally “her towns around her” were inhabited and at ease, and the Negev#The Negev is an arid region south of the Judean hills and the Shephelah#The Shephelah is a geographical area on the western edge of the Judean hills were inhabited?’ ”
8And the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah, saying, 9“Thus says Yahweh of hosts: ‘Judge with trustworthy justice, and show#Literally “do” steadfast love and compassion to one another.#Literally “a man his brother” 10You must not oppress the widow, the orphan, the foreigner, and the needy. You must not devise evil in your heart against one another.’#Literally “a man his brother” 11But they refused to listen, and turned#Hebrew “gave” a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from listening.#Literally “their ears were heavy from hearing” 12They made their hearts adamant#Literally “They set their hearts like hard stone” in order not to hear the law#Hebrew torah and the words that Yahweh of hosts had sent by his spirit through#Literally “by the hand of” the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from Yahweh of hosts. 13‘Thus, just as I#Hebrew “he called” (but still referring to Yahweh) called and they would not hear, so they will call and I will not hear,’ says Yahweh of hosts. 14‘And I scattered them with a wind among all the nations that they had not known; the land was made desolate behind them— no one crossing through it or returning—and they made the desirable land#Hebrew “land of desire,” but this could be understood as a land characterized by desire rather than a desirable land a desolation.’ ”
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