The Vision of the Four Chariots
6 I had another vision. This time I saw four chariots coming out from between two bronze mountains. 2 (A)The first chariot was pulled by red horses, the second by black horses, 3 (B)the third by white horses, and the fourth by dappled horses. 4 Then I asked the angel, “Sir, what do these chariots mean?”
5 (C)He answered, “These are the four winds; they have just come from the presence of the Lord of all the earth.”
6 The chariot pulled by the black horses was going north to Babylonia, the white horses were going to the west, and the dappled horses were going to the country in the south. 7 As the dappled horses came out, they were impatient to go and inspect the earth. The angel said, “Go and inspect the earth!”—and they did. 8 Then the angel cried out to me, “The horses that went north to Babylonia have quieted the Lord's anger.”
The Command to Crown Joshua
9 The Lord gave me this message. 10 He said, “Take the gifts given by the exiles Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, and go at once to the home of Josiah son of Zephaniah. All of them have returned from exile in Babylonia. 11 Make a crown out of the silver and gold they have given, and put it on the head of the High Priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak. 12 (D)Tell him that the Lord Almighty says, ‘The man who is called The Branch will flourish where he is and rebuild the Lord's Temple. 13 He is the one who will build it and receive the honor due a king, and he will rule his people. A priest will stand by his throne, and they will work together in peace and harmony.’ 14 The crown will be a memorial in the Lord's Temple in honor of Heldai,[a] Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Josiah.”[b]
15 Men who live far away will come and help to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. And when it is rebuilt, you will know that the Lord Almighty sent me to you. This will all happen if you fully obey the commands of the Lord your God.
The Lord Condemns Insincere Fasting
7 In the fourth year that Darius was emperor, on the fourth day of the ninth month (the month of Kislev), the Lord gave me a message.
2 The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regemmelech and their men to the Temple of the Lord Almighty to pray for the Lord's blessing 3 and to ask the priests and the prophets this question: “Should we continue to mourn because of the destruction of the Temple, by fasting in the fifth month as we have done for so many years now?”
4 This is the message of the Lord that came to me. 5 He said, “Tell the people of the land and the priests that when they fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months during these seventy years, it was not in honor of me. 6 And when they ate and drank, it was for their own satisfaction.”
7 This is what the Lord said through the earlier prophets at the time when Jerusalem was prosperous and filled with people and when there were many people living not only in the towns around the city but also in the southern region and in the western foothills.
Disobedience, the Cause of Exile
8 The Lord gave this message to Zechariah: 9 “Long ago I gave these commands to my people: ‘You must see that justice is done, and must show kindness and mercy to one another. 10 Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners who live among you, or anyone else in need. And do not plan ways of harming one another.’
11 “But my people stubbornly refused to listen. They closed their minds 12 and made their hearts as hard as rock. Because they would not listen to the teaching which I sent through the prophets who lived long ago, I became very angry. 13 Because they did not listen when I spoke, I did not answer when they prayed. 14 Like a storm I swept them away to live in foreign countries. This good land was left a desolate place, with no one living in it.”
The Angels with the Last Plagues
15 Then I saw in the sky another mysterious sight, great and amazing. There were seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last ones, because they are the final expression of God's anger.
2 Then I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire. I also saw those who had won the victory over the beast and its image and over the one whose name is represented by a number. They were standing by the sea of glass, holding harps that God had given them 3 (A)and singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb:
“Lord God Almighty,
how great and wonderful are your deeds!
King of the nations,[a]
how right and true are your ways!
4 (B)Who will not stand in awe of you, Lord?
Who will refuse to declare your greatness?
You alone are holy.
All the nations will come
and worship you,
because your just actions are seen by all.”
5 (C)After this I saw the temple in heaven open, with the Sacred Tent in it. 6 The seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, dressed in clean shining linen and with gold bands tied around their chests. 7 Then one of the four living creatures gave the seven angels seven gold bowls full of the anger of God, who lives forever and ever. 8 (D)The temple was filled with smoke from the glory and power of God, and no one could go into the temple until the seven plagues brought by the seven angels had come to an end.
- Revelation 15:3 nations; some manuscripts have ages.
A Prayer for Help[a]
143 Lord, hear my prayer!
In your righteousness listen to my plea;
answer me in your faithfulness!
2 (A)Don't put me, your servant, on trial;
no one is innocent in your sight.
3 My enemies have hunted me down
and completely defeated me.
They have put me in a dark prison,
and I am like those who died long ago.
4 So I am ready to give up;
I am in deep despair.
5 I remember the days gone by;
I think about all that you have done,
I bring to mind all your deeds.
6 I lift up my hands to you in prayer;
like dry ground my soul is thirsty for you.
7 Answer me now, Lord!
I have lost all hope.
Don't hide yourself from me,
or I will be among those who go down to the world of the dead.
8 Remind me each morning of your constant love,
for I put my trust in you.
My prayers go up to you;
show me the way I should go.
9 I go to you for protection, Lord;
rescue me from my enemies.
10 You are my God;
teach me to do your will.
Be good to me, and guide me on a safe path.
11 Rescue me, Lord, as you have promised;
in your goodness save me from my troubles!
12 Because of your love for me, kill my enemies
and destroy all my oppressors,
for I am your servant.
- Psalm 143:1 HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by David.
24 There are four animals in the world that are small, but very, very clever:
25 Ants: they are weak, but they store up their food in the summer.
26 Rock badgers: they are not strong either, but they make their homes among the rocks.
27 Locusts: they have no king, but they move in formation.
28 Lizards: you can hold one in your hand, but you can find them in palaces.