Zechariah Chapter 6 to 8 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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The Four Chariots

6 Then I turned around. I looked up and saw four chariots* going between four bronze mountains. 2Red horses were pulling the first chariot. Black horses were pulling the second chariot. 3White horses were pulling the third chariot. And horses with red spots were pulling the fourth chariot. 4I asked the angel that was talking with me, “Sir, what does this mean?” 5The angel said, “These are the four winds.* They have just come from the Master of the whole world. 6The black horses will go north, {the red horses will go east,} the white horses will go west, and the horses with red spots will go south.” 7The red spotted horses were anxious to go look at their part of the earth, so the angel told them, “Go walk through the earth.” So they went walking through their part of the earth. 8Then {the Lord} yelled at me. He said, “Look, those horses that were going north finished their job {in Babylon}. They have calmed my spirit—I am not angry now!”

Joshua the Priest Gets a Crown

9Then I received another message from the Lord. He said, 10“Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah have come from the captives* in Babylon. Get silver and gold from those men and then go to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah. 11Use that silver and gold to make a crown. Put that crown on Joshua’s head. (Joshua was the high priest. He was the son of Jehozadak.) Then tell Joshua these things: 12The Lord All-Powerful says these things: ‘There is a man called THEBRANCH. He will grow strong, and he will build the Lord’s temple. 13He will build the Lord’s temple, and he will receive the honor. He will sit on his throne and be the ruler. And a priest will stand by his throne. These two men will work together in peace. 14“They will put the crown in the temple. This will be a reminder for Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Zephaniah’s son, Josiah It will help them remember {that the king’s power comes from God}. 15People living far away will come and build the temple. Then you will know for sure that the Lord sent me to you people. All these things will happen if you do what the Lord says.”

chariot(s)A small wagon used in war. four winds Or, “four spirits.” Four winds often means “winds that blow from every direction: north, south, east, and west.”  captives People taken away like prisoners. Here this means the Jewish people that were taken to Babylon.

The Lord Wants Kindness and Mercy

7 Zechariah received a message from the Lord in the fourth year that Darius was the king* of Persia. This was on the fourth day of the ninth month (Kislev). 2The people of Bethel sent Sharezer, Regem-Melech, and his men to ask the Lord a question. 3They went to the prophets and to the priests at the temple of the Lord All-Powerful. Those men asked them this question: “For many years we have shown our sadness for the destruction of the temple. In the fifth month of each year we have had a special time of crying and fasting. Should we continue to do this?” 4I received this message from the Lord All- Powerful: 5“Tell the priests and the other people in this country these things: For seventy years you fasted and showed your sadness in the fifth month and in the seventh month. But was that fasting really for me? No! 6And when you ate and drank, was that for me? No! It was for your own good. 7God used the earlier prophets to say these same things long ago. He said these things while Jerusalem was still a prosperous city filled with people. God said these things while there were still people living in the towns around Jerusalem, and in the Negev, and in the western foothills.” 8This is the Lord’s message to Zechariah: 9The Lord All-Powerful said these things. “You must do what is right and fair. You must be kind and merciful to each other. 10Don’t hurt widows and orphans,* strangers, or poor people. Don’t even think of doing bad things to each other!” 11But those people refused to listen. They refused to do what he wanted. They closed their ears so they could not hear what God said. 12They were very stubborn. They would not obey the law. The Lord All-Powerful used his Spirit and sent messages to his people through the prophets. But the people would not listen. So the Lord All-Powerful became very angry. 13So the Lord All-Powerful said, “I called to them, and they did not answer. So now, if they call to me, I will not answer. 14I will bring the other nations against them like a storm. They didn’t know those nations, but the country will be destroyed after those nations pass through. This pleasant country will be destroyed.”

fourth year that Darius was the king About 518 B.C. widows and orphans Widows are women whose husbands have died, and orphans are children whose parents have died. Often these people have no one to care for them.

The Lord Promises to Bless Jerusalem

8 This is a message from the Lord All- Powerful. 2The Lord All-Powerful says, “I truly love {Mount} Zion. I love her so much that I became angry when she was not faithful to me.” 3The Lord says, “I have come back to Zion. I am living in Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be called FAITHFUL CITY. The Lord All-Powerful’s mountain will be called HOLYMOUNTAIN.” 4The Lord All-Powerful says, “Old men and women will again be seen in the public places in Jerusalem. People will live so long that they will need their walking sticks. 5And the city will be filled with children playing in the streets. 6The survivors* will think it is wonderful. And I will think it is wonderful too!” 7The Lord All-Powerful says, “Look, I am rescuing my people from countries in the east and west. 8I will bring them back here, and they will live in Jerusalem. They will be my people, and I will be their good and faithful God.” 9The Lord All-Powerful says, “Be strong! You people are hearing the same message today that the prophets gave when the Lord All-Powerful first laid the foundations to build his temple again. 10Before that time, men didn’t have the money to hire workers or to rent animals. And it was not safe for people to come and go. There was no relief from all the troubles. I had turned every man against his neighbor. 11But it is not like that now. It will not be like that for the survivors.*” The Lord All-Powerful said these things. 12“These people will plant in peace. Their grapevines will produce grapes. The land will give good crops, and the skies will give rain. I will give all these things to these, my people. 13People began using the names Israel and Judah in their curses. But I will save Israel and Judah, and their names will become a blessing. So don’t be afraid. Be strong!” 14The Lord All-Powerful says, “Your ancestors made me angry. So I decided to destroy them. I decided not to change my mind.” The Lord All-Powerful said these things. 15“But now I have changed {my mind}. And in the same way, I have decided to be good to Jerusalem and to the people of Judah. So don’t be afraid! 16But you must do these things: Tell the truth to your neighbors. When you make decisions in your cities, do the things that are true and right and that bring peace. 17Don’t make secret plans to hurt your neighbors! Don’t make false promises! You must not enjoy doing those things. Why? Because I hate those things!” The Lord said these things. 18I received this message from the Lord All-Powerful. 19The Lord All-Powerful says, “You have special days of sadness and fasting in the fourth month, the fifth month, the seventh month, and the tenth month.* Those days of sadness must be changed into days of happiness. Those will be good and happy holidays. And you must love truth and peace!” 20The Lord All-Powerful says, “In the future, people from many cities will come to Jerusalem. 21People from different cities will greet each other. Some of them will say, ‘We are going to worship the Lord All-Powerful.’ {And the other person will say,} ‘I would like to go with you!’” 22Many people and many powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to find the Lord All- Powerful and to worship him. 23The Lord All Powerful says, “At that time, many foreigners speaking different languages will come to a Jewish person, take hold of the hem of his robe and ask, ‘We heard that God is with you. Can we come with you to worship him?’”

survivors Jewish people that escaped the destruction of Judah and Israel by its enemy armies. days of sadness and fasting … month These were days when the people remembered the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. See 2 Kings 25:1–25 and Jer. 41:1–17; 52:1–12.

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