1 The word of Jehovah came to Zechariah in the fourth year of King Darius. It was the fourth day of the ninth month that is Chislev.
2 Now they of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regemmelech, and their men, to request the favor of Jehovah.
3 Therefore speak to the priests of the house of Jehovah of Hosts, and say to the prophets: »Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these many years?«
4 Then came the word of Jehovah of Hosts to me:
5 »Speak to all the people of the land and to the priests, saying: For the past seventy years did you fast for me when you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months?
6 »Did you eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves?
7 »Should you hear the words that Jehovah cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities near her and the South and the lowland were inhabited?«
8 And the word of Jehovah came to Zechariah:
9 »Jehovah of Hosts has spoken: Every man should execute true judgment, and show kindness and compassion to his brother!
10 »Do not oppress the widow. Do not oppress the fatherless. Do not oppress the stranger and do not oppress the poor. And you should not devise evil in your heart against your brother.
11 »They refused to pay heed, turned a stubborn shoulder resisted, and stopped their ears, that they might not hear.
12 »They made their hearts hard like flint and would not listen to the law, and the words that Jehovah of Hosts sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Great anger came from Jehovah of Hosts!«
13 »I cried, and they would not listen. Now they will cry, and I will not listen, said Jehovah of Hosts!
14 I will scatter them with a whirlwind among the nations that they have not known. Thus the land was desolate after them, so that no man passed through nor returned. They tread down the pleasant land and made it desolate.«