And it came about in the fourth year of King Darius, that the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month Chislev.
Now they of Beth-el had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech to make a request for grace from the Lord,
And to say to the priests of the house of the Lord of armies and to the prophets, Am I to go on weeping in the fifth month, separating myself as I have done in past years?
Then the word of the Lord of armies came to me, saying
Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, When you went without food and gave yourselves to grief in the fifth and the seventh months for these seventy years, did you ever do it because of me?
And when you are feasting and drinking, are you not doing it only for yourselves?
Are not these the words which the Lord said to you by the earlier prophets, when Jerusalem was full of people and wealth, and the towns round about her and the South and the Lowland were peopled?
And the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying,
This is what the Lord of armies has said: Let your judging be upright and done in good faith, let every man have mercy and pity for his brother:
Do not be hard on the widow, or the child without a father, on the man from a strange country, or on the poor; let there be no evil thought in your heart against your brother.
But they would not give attention, turning their backs and stopping their ears from hearing;
And they made their hearts like the hardest stone, so that they might not give ear to the law and the words which the Lord of armies had said by the earlier prophets: and there came great wrath from the Lord of armies.
And it came about that as they would not give ear to his voice, so I would not give ear to their voice, says the Lord of armies:
But with a storm-wind I sent them in flight among all the nations of whom they had no knowledge. So the land was waste after them, so that no man went through or came back: for they had made waste the desired land.