Turn from Your Evil Ways
1 In the eighth month of Darius’ second year as king, the Lord spoke his word to the prophet Zechariah, who was the son of Berechiah and the grandson of Iddo. He said, 2 “The Lord was very angry with your ancestors. 3 Tell the people, ‘This is what the Lord of Armies says: Return to me, declares the Lord of Armies, and I will return to you, says the Lord of Armies.’ 4 Don’t be like your ancestors, who heard the earlier prophets preach to them, ‘This is what the Lord of Armies says: Turn from your evil ways and your evil deeds.’ But they didn’t listen or pay attention to me, declares the Lord. 5 Your ancestors—where are they now? And the prophets—are they still alive? 6 Didn’t my warnings and my laws, which I’ve commanded my servants the prophets to preach, finally catch up with your ancestors? Then your ancestors turned away from their sins and said, ‘The Lord of Armies has done to us what he had planned to do. He has dealt with us as our ways and deeds deserve.’”
The Lord Will Comfort Zion
7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month (the month of Shebat) in Darius’ second year as king, the Lord spoke his word to the prophet Zechariah, who was the son of Berechiah and the grandson of Iddo.
8 During that night I saw a man riding on a red horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, chestnut, and white horses.
9 “What do these horses mean, sir?” I asked.
The angel who was speaking with me answered, “I will show you what they mean.”
10 The man standing among the myrtle trees explained, “They’re the horses the Lord has sent to patrol the earth.” 11 Then they reported to the Messenger of the Lord standing among the myrtle trees, “We have patrolled the earth. The whole world is at rest and in peace.”
12 Then the Messenger of the Lord said, “Lord of Armies, how much longer until you show compassion to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah? You’ve been angry with them for 70 years.” 13 The Lord responded to the angel who was speaking with me, using kind and comforting words.
14 The angel who was speaking with me said, “Announce: This is what the Lord of Armies says: I’m very jealous about Jerusalem and Zion, 15 and I’m very angry with the nations who think they are at ease. I was only a little angry, but they made things worse. 16 This is what the Lord of Armies says: I have returned to Jerusalem with compassion. My house will be rebuilt in it, declares the Lord of Armies. A measuring line will be used to rebuild Jerusalem.
17 “Announce again: This is what the Lord of Armies says: My cities will overflow with prosperity once more. The Lord will again comfort Zion and will again choose Jerusalem.”[a]
Punishment for the Nations That Scattered Judah
18 I looked up and saw four animal horns. 19 So I asked the angel who was speaking with me, “What do these horns mean?”
He said to me, “These are the horns of the nations that scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.”
20 Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen. 21 I asked, “What are they going to do?”
He answered, “Those horns scattered Judah so widely that no one could lift up his head. But the craftsmen have come to terrify them, to throw down the horns of the nations. The nations raised their horns to scatter the land of Judah.”
12 A spectacular sign appeared in the sky: There was a woman who was dressed in the sun, who had the moon under her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant. She cried out from labor pains and the agony of giving birth.
3 Another sign appeared in the sky: a huge fiery red serpent with seven heads, ten horns, and seven crowns on its heads. 4 Its tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky and threw them down to earth. The serpent stood in front of the woman who was going to give birth so that it could devour her child when it was born. 5 She gave birth to a son, a boy, who is to rule all the nations with an iron scepter. Her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness where God had prepared a place for her so that she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
7 Then a war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels had to fight a war with the serpent. The serpent and its angels fought. 8 But it was not strong enough, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 The huge serpent was thrown down. That ancient snake, named Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, was thrown down to earth. Its angels were thrown down with it.
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
“Now the salvation, power, kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Messiah have come.
The one accusing our brothers and sisters,
the one accusing them day and night in the presence of our God,
has been thrown out.
11 They won the victory over him because of the blood of the lamb
and the word of their testimony.
They didn’t love their life so much that they refused to give it up.
12 Be glad for this reason, heavens and those who live in them.
How horrible it is for the earth and the sea
because the Devil has come down to them with fierce anger,
knowing that he has little time left.”
13 When the serpent saw that it had been thrown down to earth, it persecuted the woman who had given birth to the boy. 14 The woman was given the two wings of the large eagle in order to fly away from the snake to her place in the wilderness, where she could be taken care of for a time, times, and half a time. 15 The snake’s mouth poured out a river of water behind the woman in order to sweep her away. 16 The earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river which had poured out of the serpent’s mouth. 17 The serpent became angry with the woman. So it went away to fight with her other children, the ones who keep God’s commands and hold on to the testimony of Jesus.
18 The serpent stood on the sandy shore of the sea.[a]
- Revelation 12:18 Some translations include this verse at the beginning of 13:1.
For the choir leader; a psalm by David.
1 Rescue me from evil people, O Lord.
Keep me safe from violent people.
2 They plan evil things in their hearts.
They start fights every day.
3 They make their tongues as sharp as a snake’s fang.
Their lips hide the venom of poisonous snakes. Selah
4 Protect me from the hands of wicked people, O Lord.
Keep me safe from violent people.
They try to trip me.
5 Arrogant people have laid a trap for me.
They have spread out a net with ropes.
They have set traps for me along the road. Selah
6 I said to the Lord, “You are my God.”
O Lord, open your ears to hear my plea for pity.
7 O Lord Almighty, the strong one who saves me,
you have covered my head in the day of battle.
8 O Lord, do not give wicked people what they want.
Do not let their evil plans succeed,
or they will become arrogant. Selah
9 Let the heads of those who surround me
be covered with their own threats.
10 Let burning coals fall on them.
Let them be thrown into a pit, never to rise again.
11 Do not let slanderers prosper on earth.
Let evil hunt down violent people with one blow after another.
12 I know that the Lord will defend the rights of those who are oppressed
and the cause of those who are needy.
13 Indeed, righteous people will give thanks to your name.
Decent people will live in your presence.
A psalm by David.
Disrespectful Children—Their Punishment
17 The eye that makes fun of a father and hates to obey a mother
will be plucked out by ravens in the valley and eaten by young vultures.