The people change
1 In the eighth month in the second year of Darius, the Lord’s word came to Zechariah the prophet, Berechiah’s son and Iddo’s grandson:
2 The Lord was terribly angry with your ancestors.
3 But you must say to the people,
The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims: Return to me,
says the Lord of heavenly forces,
and I will return to you, says the Lord of heavenly forces.
4 Don’t be like your ancestors to whom the former prophets preached:
The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims: Turn from your evil ways and your evil deeds.
But they didn’t listen;
they didn’t draw near to me.
5 So where are your ancestors?
Do the prophets live forever?
6 In fact, didn’t my words and laws,
which I gave to my servants, the prophets,
pursue your ancestors?
And then the people changed their hearts, and they said,
The Lord of heavenly forces has treated us according to
what we have done,[a]
exactly as he planned.
First night vision
7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month (the month of Shebat[b]) in the second year of Darius, the Lord’s word came to Zechariah the prophet, Berechiah’s son and Iddo’s grandson:
8 Tonight I looked and saw a man riding on a red horse,
which was standing among the myrtle trees in the valley;
and behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses.
9 I said, “What are these, sir?”
The messenger speaking with me said,
“I will show you what they are.”
10 The man standing among the myrtles responded,
“These are the ones the Lord sent to patrol the earth.”
11 Then they responded to the Lord’s messenger,
who was standing among the myrtles,
“We have patrolled the earth. The whole earth is peaceful and quiet.”
12 Then the Lord’s messenger, who was speaking with me, said:
“Lord of heavenly forces,
how long will you withhold compassion from Jerusalem and the cities of Judah,
with whom you have been angry these seventy years?”
13 The Lord responded to the messenger who was speaking with me
with kind and compassionate words.
14 The messenger speaking with me called out,
“This is what the Lord of heavenly forces says:
I care passionately about Jerusalem and Zion.
15 And I am exceedingly angry with those carefree nations.
Though I was somewhat angry, they added to the violence.”
16 Therefore, this is what the Lord says:
I have returned to Jerusalem with compassion.
My house will be built in it, says the Lord of heavenly forces.
Let a measuring line be stretched over Jerusalem.
17 “Call out again,
The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:
My cities will again overflow with prosperity.
The Lord will again show compassion to Zion
and will again choose Jerusalem.”
Second night vision
18 [c] Then I looked up and saw four horns.
19 I said to the messenger speaking with me,
“What are these?”
He said to me,
“These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.”
20 Then the Lord showed me four metalworkers.
21 I said,
“What are they coming to do?”
And he said,
“These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise his head.
The metalworkers have come to terrify them and to destroy the horns of the nations, those who were attacking the land of Judah with[d] their horns to scatter it.”
A woman, her child, and the dragon
12 Then a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant, and she cried out because she was in labor, in pain from giving birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: it was a great fiery red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven royal crowns on his heads. 4 His tail swept down a third of heaven’s stars and threw them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth so that when she gave birth, he might devour her child. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child who is to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was snatched up to God and his throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the desert, where God has prepared a place for her. There she will be taken care of for one thousand two hundred sixty days.
Michael and the dragon
7 Then there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but they did not prevail, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 So the great dragon was thrown down. The old snake, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, was thrown down to the earth; and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say,
“Now the salvation and power and kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ have come.
The accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them day and night before our God,
has been thrown down.
11 They gained the victory over him on account of the blood of the Lamb
and the word of their witness.
Love for their own lives didn’t make them afraid to die.
12 Therefore, rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them.
But oh! The horror for the earth and sea!
The devil has come down to you with great rage,
for he knows that he only has a short time.”
The dragon pursues the woman
13 When the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he chased the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she could fly to her place in the desert. There she would be taken care of—out of the snake’s reach—for a time and times and half a time. 15 Then from his mouth the snake poured a river of water after the woman so that the river would sweep her away. 16 But the earth helped the woman. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon poured out of his mouth. 17 So the dragon was furious with the woman, and he went off to make war on the rest of her children, on those who keep God’s commandments and hold firmly to the witness of Jesus.
The beast from the sea
18 Then the dragon stood on the seashore,
For the music leader. A psalm of David.
140 Rescue me from evil people, Lord!
Guard me from violent people
2 who plot evil things in their hearts,
who pick fights every single day!
3 They sharpen their tongues like a snake’s;
spider poison[a] is on their lips. Selah
4 Protect me from the power of the wicked, Lord!
Guard me from violent people
who plot to trip me up!
5 Arrogant people have laid a trap for me with ropes.
They’ve spread out a net alongside the road.
They’ve set snares for me. Selah
6 I tell the Lord, “You are my God!
Listen to my request for mercy, Lord!”
7 My Lord God, my strong saving help—
you’ve protected my head on the day of battle.
8 Lord, don’t give the wicked what they want!
Don’t allow their plans to succeed,
or they’ll exalt themselves even more![b] Selah
9 Let the heads of the people surrounding me
be covered with the trouble their own lips caused![c]
10 Let burning coals fall on them!
Let them fall into deep pits and never get out again!
11 Let no slanderer be safe in the land.
Let calamity hunt down violent people—and quickly![d]
12 I know that the Lord will take up the case of the poor
and will do what is right for the needy.
13 Yes, the righteous will give thanks to your name,
and those who do right will live in your presence.
17 An eye that mocks a father
and rejects obedience to a mother,
may the ravens of the river valley peck it out,
and the eagle’s young eat it.