The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Zacharias
In the fourth year of Darius’ reign, another message from the Lord came to Za charias; it was on the fourth day of Casleu, the ninth month.
This was the occasion of it; here was Sarasar, with Rogommelech and others of his company, sending envoys to implore the Lord’s favour.✻
A question they put to the priests, there in the temple of the Lord of hosts, and to the prophets besides: Must I yet mourn, yet rid myself of defilement, when the fifth month comes round, as my wont has been these many years past?✻
Then came this message to me from the Lord of hosts:
Ask this, of priests and people both; was it indeed fast of mine you kept, all these seventy years, the fifth month and the seventh observing ever with fasting and lament,
you, that when food and drink were set before you, shared them with none?✻
Bethink you, what warnings gave he by the prophets of an earlier day, when Jerusalem was yet safe and prosperous, she and the cities about her, populous the western valleys, populous the hill-country of the south.
(Such was the word the Lord sent to Zacharias.✻ )
A message from the Lord of hosts: Come now, the true award, the tender heart that pities a neighbour’s need!
Widow and orphan, the alien and the friendless, wrong no more; brother against brother plot no more!
And would they listen? Shrank every shoulder from the burden, deaf ears they turned him,
hardened their hearts to adamant. Heed his law they would not; heed they would not, when the Lord of hosts inspired those older prophets to speak in his name. What wonder if his divine anger was aroused beyond measure?
What wonder, says the Lord of hosts, they should call in vain on me, that in vain had warned them?
So it was I scattered them in unknown countries, left their land a desert, where none came or went; a land so fair, by its own inhabitants laid waste.
The Holy Bible