Zechariah 1

1Zechariah son of Berekiah received a message from the Lord. This was in the eighth month of the second year that Darius was king in Persia. (Zechariah was the son of Berekiah. Berekiah was the son of Iddo the prophet.) This is that message: 2The Lord became very angry at your ancestors. 3So you must tell the people these things. The Lord says, “Come back to me and I will come back to you.” The Lord All-Powerful said these things. 4The Lord said, “Don’t be like your ancestors. In the past, the prophets spoke to them. They said, 'The Lord All-Powerful wants you to change your bad way of living. Stop doing bad things!’ But your ancestors did not listen to me.” The Lord said those things. 5God said, “Your ancestors are gone. And those prophets did not live forever. 6The prophets were my servants. I used them to tell your ancestors about my laws and teachings. And your ancestors finally learned their lesson. They said, 'The Lord All-Powerful did the things he said he would do. He punished us for the way we lived and for all the bad things we did.’ So they came back to God.” 7On the 24th day of the eleventh month (Shebat) of the second year that Darius was king of Persia, Zechariah received another message from the Lord. (This was Zechariah son of Berekiah, son of Iddo, the prophet.) This is the message: 8At night, I saw a man riding a red horse. He was standing among some myrtle bushes in the valley. Behind him, there were red, brown, and white horses. 9I said, “Sir, what are these horses for?” Then the angel speaking to me said, “I will show you what these horses are for.” 10Then the man standing among the myrtle bushes said, “The Lord sent these horses to go here and there on earth.” 11Then the horses spoke to the Lord’s angel standing among the myrtle bushes. They said, “We have walked here and there on the earth, and everything is calm and quiet.” 12Then the Lord’s angel said, “Lord, how long before you comfort Jerusalem and the cities of Judah? You have shown your anger at these cities for 70 years now.” 13Then the Lord answered the angel that was talking with me. The Lord spoke good, comforting words. 14Then the angel told me to tell the people these things: The Lord All-Powerful says: ”I have a strong love for Jerusalem and Zion. 15And I am very angry at the nations that feel so safe. I was a little angry, and I used those nations to punish my people. But those nations caused too much damage.” 16So the Lord says, ”I will come back to Jerusalem and comfort her.” The Lord All-Powerful says, ”Jerusalem will be built again. And my house will be built there.” 17The angel also said, “The Lord All-Powerful says, 'My towns will be rich again. I will comfort Zion. I will again choose Jerusalem to be my special city.’” 18Then I looked up and I saw four horns. 19Then I asked the angel that was talking with me, “What do these horns mean?” He said, “These are the horns ˻(Powerful nations)˼ that forced the people of Israel, Judah, and Jerusalem to go to foreign countries.” 20The Lord showed me four workers. 21I asked him, “What are these four workers coming to do?” He said, “The horns represent the nations that attacked the people of Judah and forced them to go to foreign countries. The horns 'threw’ the people of Judah to the foreign countries. Those horns didn’t show mercy to anyone. But these four workers have come to frighten the horns and throw them away!”

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