The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Zacharias
It was in the second year of Darius’ reign, and the eighth month of it, that a message from the Lord came to the prophet Zacharias, son of Barachias, son of Addo. And thus it ran:
Beyond question, your fathers incurred the Lord’s displeasure;
and now this word thou must proclaim from the Lord of hosts, Come back to me, he bids you, and I, he promises, will come back to your side.
Prophets there were long since, that warned those fathers of yours in his name, they should turn away from ill living and rebellious thoughts; yet neither heed nor hearing, he says, would they give me; not for you to follow their example.
Gone, the men of an earlier day; prophets that spoke to them might not live on for ever,
but warning of mine, promise of mine, entrusted to the prophets that were my true servants, live on yet. See how the fulfilment of them overtook your fathers, till at last they must needs repent, must acknowledge the Lord of hosts had not threatened them, sinners and rebels, in vain!
Then, on the twenty-fourth day of Sabath, which is the eleventh month, word came from the Lord afresh, and once more it came to Zacharias, son of Barachias, son of Addo.
A vision appeared to me in the night, of one that was mounted on a sorrel horse, at a stand among the myrtle-trees, down in the Valley; and never a horse in all his company but was sorrel, roan or white.
Scarce had I asked, My Lord, what be these? when the angel that inspired me✻ promised he would shew me the meaning of it;
and with that, my answer came from him who stood among the myrtle-trees, These have gone out on the Lord’s errand, patrolling the earth.
And to him, now, the angel of the myrtle-wood, those others made their report: All earth we have patrolled, said they, and everywhere is safety, everywhere is rest.
Ah, Lord of hosts, my angel monitor said, wilt thou never relent, never take pity upon Jerusalem and the towns of Juda? Here be seventy years come and gone.
And with that, the Lord answered him; gracious his words were, gracious and full of comfort.
Cry it abroad, now, my monitor said to me, this message from the Lord of hosts: Jealous, right jealous my love for Sion’s hill,
deep, full deep my anger against the heathen that are so well content! I would have punished Jerusalem but lightly, it was these drove home the blow.
And now, the Lord says, I am for Jerusalem again, bringing pardon with me; temple shall be built there for the Lord of hosts, Jerusalem shall see mason’s plummet busy once again.
And this, too: A promise from the Lord of hosts! Yonder towns shall yet overflow with riches; Sion shall yet receive comfort, Jerusalem be the city of my choice.
Then I looked up, and what saw I? Here were four horns;✻
and when I asked my guide what they should be, he told me, Upon these horns, Juda and Israel and Jerusalem were tossed about.
After that, the Lord sent me another vision of four blacksmiths;
What errand, said I, have these? Why, said he, yonder horns made such havoc of Juda till now, never a man might lift his head; what should be the blacksmiths’ errand but to turn them back?✻ Polled they must be henceforward, the heathen folk that once tossed Juda to the winds.
The Holy Bible