The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Zacharias
This word, too, came from him:
A message from the Lord of hosts! Great ruth have I for Sion, and sore it grieves me.
To Sion I will return, so runs his promise, and make in Jerusalem my home; The loyal city, men shall call her, and that mountain where dwells the Lord of hosts, The holy mountain.
This, too: Trust me, there shall yet be aged folk in the streets of Jerusalem, men and women both, that go staff in hand, they are so bowed with years;
thronged they shall be, those streets, with boys and girls at play in the open.
And this: Hard to believe? So now they find it, poor remnant of a people; but should I, the Lord of hosts, find it hard to perform?
And this, too: See if I do not rescue my people from the east country and the west,
bring them back to dwell here, in the midst of Jerusalem; they my people, and I their God, in troth and loyalty either to other bound.
A message from the Lord of hosts! Take courage, then, you that still hold fast by✻ the commands the prophets gave you, when the foundations of yonder house were a-laying, and the Lord of hosts had no temple yet.
Before that time, labour went unrewarded, for man and beast; so hard pressed were you, none might come or go in safety; every man, in those days, I left at his neighbour’s mercy.
But now, says the Lord of hosts, this remnant of my people shall enjoy better fortune;
a happier seed-time is theirs. Its fruit the vineyard shall yield, the land its harvest, heaven its rain, and all for this remnant to enjoy.
Breed of Juda, breed of Israel, by-words of misfortune once, when heathen folk fell to cursing their enemies; happy deliverance, they shall be names of blessing now! Your fears vanquish, go bravely on;
he, the Lord of hosts, gives you his warrant for it. Time was, says he, when your fathers had roused my anger, and I was ever planning mischief against you;
no respite then! Today, for the good estate of Juda and Jerusalem plan I no less eagerly; vanquish your fears.
And for your part, this do: deal honestly with your neighbours, give ever in your market-place the true, the salutary award;
harbour no ill thoughts one against another, nor set your hearts on the oath falsely sworn; every deed of wrong is hateful to me, the Lord says.
And word came to me from the Lord of hosts, bidding me say this in his name:
Fasts you kept ever, when three months of the year, or four, six months or nine were gone, shall be all rejoicing and gladness for the men of Juda now, all high festival, will you but love true dealing and peaceful ways.
This promise I give you from the Lord of hosts: What alien throngs, from what far cities, shall make pilgrimage yet!
And ever, as fresh towns they reach, says pilgrim, Come with us, and welcome; court we the divine favour, to the Lord of hosts repair we; says townsman, Go with you I will.
No nation so populous, no kingdom so strong, but shall betake itself to Jerusalem, to find the Lord of hosts and court his divine favour.
This, too: A time is coming, when there is never a man of Jewish blood but shall have ten Gentiles at his heels, and no two of the same speech; clinging all at once to the skirts of him, and crying, Your way is ours! The tale has reached us, how God is there to protect you.
The Holy Bible