Zechariah Intro

The prophet Zechariah brought his messages to the returned exiles of Judah beginning in the second year of King Darius of Persia (520 BC). The book has two main parts. The first contains two sequences of prophecies, primarily in the form of symbolic vision reports. The second main part is made up mostly of poetic oracles concerned with the nation’s leaders.

After a general call to repentance, Zechariah records a series of eight visions to encourage the people in rebuilding the temple. The first and last describe four differently colored horses and their riders sent over the earth. The second and third visions show that hostile foreign powers no longer threaten the country. The sixth and seventh visions report the removal of the people’s sins. The two central visions depict God establishing Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel the governor. The overall message is that God has everything in place for the rebuilding project.

The second sequence of prophecies has six parts. Ever since the disaster of the exile and the temple’s destruction, the people had been fasting at certain times of the year. The messages here urge the people to practice justice as the true form of fasting and to focus on rebuilding. Then Zechariah announces that all their fasts will become joyful celebrations.

The book’s final section predicts that after the people suffer under bad shepherds, God will send a righteous king from David’s line. The


will triumph over every enemy and be king over the whole earth.


Zechariah 1

A Call to Return to the Lord

1 In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of theLordcame to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo:

2 “TheLordwas very angry with your ancestors.

3 Therefore tell the people: This is what theLordAlmighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares theLordAlmighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says theLordAlmighty.

4 Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what theLordAlmighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares theLord.

5 Where are your ancestors now? And the prophets, do they live forever?

6 But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors?

“Then they repented and said, ‘TheLordAlmighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.’ ”

The Man Among the Myrtle Trees

7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of theLordcame to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo.

8 During the night I had a vision, and there before me was a man mounted on a red horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, brown and white horses.

9 I asked, “What are these, my lord?”

The angel who was talking with me answered, “I will show you what they are.”

10 Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, “They are the ones theLordhas sent to go throughout the earth.”

11 And they reported to the angel of theLordwho was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace.”

12 Then the angel of theLordsaid, “LordAlmighty, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah, which you have been angry with these seventy years?”

13 So theLordspoke kind and comforting words to the angel who talked with me.

14 Then the angel who was speaking to me said, “Proclaim this word: This is what theLordAlmighty says: ‘I am very jealous for Jerusalem and Zion,

15 and I am very angry with the nations that feel secure. I was only a little angry, but they went too far with the punishment.’

16 “Therefore this is what theLordsays: ‘I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,’ declares theLordAlmighty.

17 “Proclaim further: This is what theLordAlmighty says: ‘My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and theLordwill again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.’ ”

Four Horns and Four Craftsmen

18 Then I looked up, and there before me were four horns.

19 I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these?”

He answered me, “These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.”

20 Then theLordshowed me four craftsmen.

21 I asked, “What are these coming to do?”

He answered, “These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise their head, but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter its people.”



Zechariah 2

A Man With a Measuring Line

1 Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand.

2 I asked, “Where are you going?”

He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.”

3 While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him

4 and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it.

5 And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares theLord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’

6 “Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,” declares theLord, “for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven,” declares theLord.

7 “Come, Zion! Escape, you who live in Daughter Babylon!”

8 For this is what theLordAlmighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye—

9 I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them.Then you will know that theLordAlmighty has sent me.

10 “Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares theLord.

11 “Many nations will be joined with theLordin that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that theLordAlmighty has sent me to you.

12 TheLordwill inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem.

13 Be still before theLord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”



Zechariah 3

Clean Garments for the High Priest

1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of theLord, and Satanstanding at his right side to accuse him.

2 TheLordsaid to Satan, “TheLordrebuke you, Satan! TheLord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel.

4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”

Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”

5 Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of theLordstood by.

6 The angel of theLordgave this charge to Joshua:

7 “This is what theLordAlmighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.

8 “ ‘Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch.

9 See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyeson that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says theLordAlmighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.

10 “ ‘In that day each of you will invite your neighbor to sit under your vine and fig tree,’ declares theLordAlmighty.”



Zechariah 4

The Gold Lampstand and the Two Olive Trees

1 Then the angel who talked with me returned and woke me up, like someone awakened from sleep.

2 He asked me, “What do you see?”

I answered, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lamps on it, with seven channels to the lamps.

3 Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.”

4 I asked the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?”

5 He answered, “Do you not know what these are?”

“No, my lord,” I replied.

6 So he said to me, “This is the word of theLordto Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says theLordAlmighty.

7 “What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’ ”

8 Then the word of theLordcame to me:

9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that theLordAlmighty has sent me to you.

10 “Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of theLordthat range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstonein the hand of Zerubbabel?”

11 Then I asked the angel, “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?”

12 Again I asked him, “What are these two olive branches beside the two gold pipes that pour out golden oil?”

13 He replied, “Do you not know what these are?”

“No, my lord,” I said.

14 So he said, “These are the two who are anointed toserve the Lord of all the earth.”



Zechariah 5

The Flying Scroll

1 I looked again, and there before me was a flying scroll.

2 He asked me, “What do you see?”

I answered, “I see a flying scroll, twenty cubits long and ten cubits wide.”

3 And he said to me, “This is the curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who swears falsely will be banished.

4 TheLordAlmighty declares, ‘I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of anyone who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in that house and destroy it completely, both its timbers and its stones.’ ”

The Woman in a Basket

5 Then the angel who was speaking to me came forward and said to me, “Look up and see what is appearing.”

6 I asked, “What is it?”

He replied, “It is a basket.” And he added, “This is the iniquityof the people throughout the land.”

7 Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman!

8 He said, “This is wickedness,” and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed its lead cover down on it.

9 Then I looked up—and there before me were two women, with the wind in their wings! They had wings like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between heaven and earth.

10 “Where are they taking the basket?” I asked the angel who was speaking to me.

11 He replied, “To the country of Babyloniato build a house for it. When the house is ready, the basket will be set there in its place.”



Zechariah 6

Four Chariots

1 I looked up again, and there before me were four chariots coming out from between two mountains—mountains of bronze.

2 The first chariot had red horses, the second black,

3 the third white, and the fourth dappled—all of them powerful.

4 I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these, my lord?”

5 The angel answered me, “These are the four spiritsof heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world.

6 The one with the black horses is going toward the north country, the one with the white horses toward the west,and the one with the dappled horses toward the south.”

7 When the powerful horses went out, they were straining to go throughout the earth. And he said, “Go throughout the earth!” So they went throughout the earth.

8 Then he called to me, “Look, those going toward the north country have given my Spiritrest in the land of the north.”

A Crown for Joshua

9 The word of theLordcame to me:

10 “Take silver and gold from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon. Go the same day to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah.

11 Take the silver and gold and make a crown, and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of Jozadak.

12 Tell him this is what theLordAlmighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of theLord.

13 It is he who will build the temple of theLord, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And hewill be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.’

14 The crown will be given to Heldai,Tobijah, Jedaiah and Henson of Zephaniah as a memorial in the temple of theLord.

15 Those who are far away will come and help to build the temple of theLord, and you will know that theLordAlmighty has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey theLordyour God.”



Zechariah 7

Justice and Mercy, Not Fasting

1 In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of theLordcame to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev.

2 The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melek, together with their men, to entreat theLord

3 by asking the priests of the house of theLordAlmighty and the prophets, “Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”

4 Then the word of theLordAlmighty came to me:

5 “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?

6 And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves?

7 Are these not the words theLordproclaimed through the earlier prophets when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were at rest and prosperous, and the Negev and the western foothills were settled?’ ”

8 And the word of theLordcame again to Zechariah:

9 “This is what theLordAlmighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.

10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’

11 “But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears.

12 They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that theLordAlmighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So theLordAlmighty was very angry.

13 “ ‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says theLordAlmighty.

14 ‘I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land they left behind them was so desolate that no one traveled through it. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.’ ”



Zechariah 8

The Lord Promises to Bless Jerusalem

1 The word of theLordAlmighty came to me.

2 This is what theLordAlmighty says: “I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her.”

3 This is what theLordsays: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of theLordAlmighty will be called the Holy Mountain.”

4 This is what theLordAlmighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age.

5 The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.”

6 This is what theLordAlmighty says: “It may seem marvelous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvelous to me?” declares theLordAlmighty.

7 This is what theLordAlmighty says: “I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west.

8 I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.”

9 This is what theLordAlmighty says: “Now hear these words, ‘Let your hands be strong so that the temple may be built.’ This is also what the prophets said who were present when the foundation was laid for the house of theLordAlmighty.

10 Before that time there were no wages for people or hire for animals. No one could go about their business safely because of their enemies, since I had turned everyone against their neighbor.

11 But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as I did in the past,” declares theLordAlmighty.

12 “The seed will grow well, the vine will yield its fruit, the ground will produce its crops, and the heavens will drop their dew. I will give all these things as an inheritance to the remnant of this people.

13 Just as you, Judah and Israel, have been a curseamong the nations, so I will save you, and you will be a blessing.Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.”

14 This is what theLordAlmighty says: “Just as I had determined to bring disaster on you and showed no pity when your ancestors angered me,” says theLordAlmighty,

15 “so now I have determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah. Do not be afraid.

16 These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts;

17 do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares theLord.

18 The word of theLordAlmighty came to me.

19 This is what theLordAlmighty says: “The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.”

20 This is what theLordAlmighty says: “Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come,

21 and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, ‘Let us go at once to entreat theLordand seek theLordAlmighty. I myself am going.’

22 And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek theLordAlmighty and to entreat him.”

23 This is what theLordAlmighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’ ”



Zechariah 9

Judgment on Israel’s Enemies

1 A prophecy:

The word of theLordis against the land of Hadrak

and will come to rest on Damascus—

for the eyes of all people and all the tribes of Israel

are on theLord—

2 and on Hamath too, which borders on it,

and on Tyre and Sidon, though they are very skillful.

3 Tyre has built herself a stronghold;

she has heaped up silver like dust,

and gold like the dirt of the streets.

4 But the Lord will take away her possessions

and destroy her power on the sea,

and she will be consumed by fire.

5 Ashkelon will see it and fear;

Gaza will writhe in agony,

and Ekron too, for her hope will wither.

Gaza will lose her king

and Ashkelon will be deserted.

6 A mongrel people will occupy Ashdod,

and I will put an end to the pride of the Philistines.

7 I will take the blood from their mouths,

the forbidden food from between their teeth.

Those who are left will belong to our God

and become a clan in Judah,

and Ekron will be like the Jebusites.

8 But I will encamp at my temple

to guard it against marauding forces.

Never again will an oppressor overrun my people,

for now I am keeping watch.

The Coming of Zion’s King

9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!

Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!

See, your king comes to you,

righteous and victorious,

lowly and riding on a donkey,

on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim

and the warhorses from Jerusalem,

and the battle bow will be broken.

He will proclaim peace to the nations.

His rule will extend from sea to sea

and from the Riverto the ends of the earth.

11 As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you,

I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.

12 Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope;

even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.

13 I will bend Judah as I bend my bow

and fill it with Ephraim.

I will rouse your sons, Zion,

against your sons, Greece,

and make you like a warrior’s sword.

The Lord Will Appear

14 Then theLordwill appear over them;

his arrow will flash like lightning.

The SovereignLordwill sound the trumpet;

he will march in the storms of the south,

15 and theLordAlmighty will shield them.

They will destroy

and overcome with slingstones.

They will drink and roar as with wine;

they will be full like a bowl

used for sprinklingthe corners of the altar.

16 TheLordtheir God will save his people on that day

as a shepherd saves his flock.

They will sparkle in his land

like jewels in a crown.

17 How attractive and beautiful they will be!

Grain will make the young men thrive,

and new wine the young women.