The Lord’s Victory Throughout the Earth
6 I looked up again and saw four chariots going out from between the two mountains. They were mountains of bronze. 2 The first chariot had red horses. The second had black horses. 3 The third had white horses. And the fourth had strong, spotted horses. 4 I asked the angel who was speaking with me, “What do these horses mean, sir?”
5 The angel answered, “They are the four spirits of heaven. They are going out after standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. 6 The chariot with the black horses is going toward the north, and the white horses are following them. The spotted ones are going toward the south.”
7 When these strong horses went out, they were eager to patrol the earth.
He said, “Go, patrol the earth!” And they patrolled the earth.
8 Then he called out to me, “Look! Those who went to the north have made my Spirit rest in the north.”
Priest and King
9 The Lord spoke his word to me. He said, 10 “Take an offering from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon. This same day go to the house of Josiah, son of Zephaniah. 11 Take the silver and gold, make a crown, and put it on the head of Chief Priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak. 12 Then say to him, ‘This is what the Lord of Armies says: Here is the man whose name is Branch. He will branch out from where he is, and he will rebuild the Lord’s temple. 13 He will rebuild the Lord’s temple and receive royal honor. He will sit and rule from his throne. He will be a priest on his throne. There will be a peaceful understanding between them. 14 The crown will be a reminder to Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen (son of Zephaniah) in the Lord’s temple. 15 Those who are far away will come and rebuild the Lord’s temple. Then you will know the Lord of Armies has sent me to you. This will happen if you obey the Lord your God completely.’”
You Should Have Obeyed the Lord’s Prophets
7 On the fourth day of the ninth month (the month of Chislev) in Darius’ fourth year as king, the Lord spoke his word to Zechariah. 2 Now, the people from Bethel sent Sharezer and Regem Melech with their men[a] to ask the Lord for a blessing. 3 They asked the priests from the house of the Lord of Armies as well as the prophets, “Should we mourn and fast in the fifth month as we have done for so many years?”
4 Then the Lord of Armies spoke his word to me. He said, 5 “Tell all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months these past 70 years, did you really do it for me? 6 When you ate and drank, didn’t you do it to benefit yourselves? 7 Aren’t these the same words that the Lord announced through the earlier prophets, when Jerusalem and its surrounding cities were inhabited and undisturbed and the Negev and the foothills were still inhabited?’”
8 Then the Lord spoke his word to Zechariah. He said, 9 “This is what the Lord of Armies says: Administer real justice, and be compassionate and kind to each other. 10 Don’t oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and poor people. And don’t even think of doing evil to each other.
11 “But people refused to pay attention. They shrugged their shoulders at me and shut their ears so that they couldn’t hear. 12 They made their hearts as hard as flint so that they couldn’t hear the Lord’s teachings, the words that the Lord of Armies had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord of Armies became very angry.
13 “When I called, they wouldn’t listen. So now when they call, I won’t listen, says the Lord of Armies. 14 I used a windstorm to scatter them among all the nations, nations they hadn’t even heard of. They left behind a land so ruined that no one is able to travel through it. They have turned a pleasant land into a wasteland.”
- Zechariah 7:2 Or “Bethel Sharezer sent Regem Melech with his men.”
Seven Angels with Seven Plagues
15 I saw another sign in heaven. It was spectacular and amazing. There were seven angels with the last seven plagues which are the final expression of God’s anger.
2 Then I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire. Those who had won the victory over the beast, its statue, and the number of its name were standing on the glassy sea. They were holding God’s harps 3 and singing the song of God’s servant Moses and the song of the lamb. They sang,
“The things you do are spectacular and amazing, Lord God Almighty.
The way you do them is fair and true, King of the Nations.
4 Lord, who won’t fear and praise your name?
You are the only holy one,
and all the nations will come to worship you
because they know about your fair judgments.”
5 After these things I looked, and I saw that the temple of the tent containing the words of God’s promise was open in heaven. 6 The seven angels with the seven plagues came out of the temple wearing clean, shining linen with gold belts around their waists. 7 One of the four living creatures gave seven gold bowls full of the anger of God, who lives forever and ever, to the seven angels. 8 The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and his power. No one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels came to an end.
1 O Lord, listen to my prayer.
Open your ears to hear my urgent requests.
Answer me because you are faithful and righteous.
2 Do not take me to court for judgment,
because there is no one alive
who is righteous in your presence.
3 The enemy has pursued me.
He has ground my life into the dirt.
He has made me live in dark places
like those who have died long ago.
4 That is why I begin to lose hope
and my heart is in a state of shock.
5 I remember the days long ago.
I reflect on all that you have done.
I carefully consider what your hands have made.
6 I stretch out my hands to you in prayer.
Like parched land, my soul thirsts for you. Selah
7 Answer me quickly, O Lord.
My spirit is worn out.
Do not hide your face from me,
or I will be like those who go into the pit.
8 Let me hear about your mercy in the morning,
because I trust you.
Let me know the way that I should go,
because I long for you.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord.
I come to you for protection.
10 Teach me to do your will, because you are my God.
May your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
11 O Lord, keep me alive for the sake of your name.
Because you are righteous, lead me out of trouble.
12 In keeping with your mercy, wipe out my enemies
and destroy all who torment me,
because I am your servant.
Four Things That Are Small—Yet Smart and Strong
24 Four things on earth are small,
yet they are very wise:
25 Ants are not a strong species,
yet they store their food in summer.
26 Rock badgers are not a mighty species,
yet they make their home in the rocks.
27 Locusts have no king,
yet all of them divide into swarms by instinct.
28 A lizard you can hold in your hands,
yet it can even be found in royal palaces.