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Zechariah 7

The People’s Hard Hearts

Now it happened that in the fourth year of King Darius, the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev.
2 And the town of Bethel sent Sharezer and Regemmelech and their men to entreat the favor of Yahweh, 3 speaking to the priests, who belong to the house of Yahweh of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, “Shall I weep in the fifth month and abstain, as I have done these many years?” 4 Then the word of Yahweh of hosts came to me, saying, 5 “Speak to all the people of the land and to the priests, saying, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months these seventy years, was it actually for Me that you fasted? 6 And when you eat and when you drink, are you not eating for yourselves and are you not drinking for yourselves? 7 Are not these the words which Yahweh called out by the hand of the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and at ease along with its cities around it, and the Negev and the Shephelah were inhabited?’” 8 Then the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah saying, 9 “Thus has Yahweh of hosts said, ‘Judge with true justice and show lovingkindness and compassion each to his brother; 10 and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the sojourner or the afflicted; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’ 11 But they refused to give heed and turned a stubborn shoulder and dulled their ears from hearing. 12 And they made their hearts diamond-hard so that they could not hear the law and the words which Yahweh of hosts had sent by His Spirit by the hand of the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from Yahweh of hosts. 13 And it happened that just as He called and they would not listen, so they called and I would not listen,” says Yahweh of hosts; 14 “but I scattered them with a storm wind among all the nations whom they have not known. Thus the land is desolated behind them so that no one was passing through and returning, for they made the pleasant land desolate.”