Zechariah 7 ©
The Jews enquire of the priests and prophets whether they are still bound to observe those feasts days or not, which their forefathers had instituted of old in cases of necessity, v. 1, etc. The Lord answers by Zechariah that He had not commanded them to any such fasting, 4. But indeed, that they should practice justice, righteousness and mercy towards their neighbor, 9. Which they having not done, He was therefore constrained to punish them, 11.
AND it came to pass in the fourth year of king 1Darius, that the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in 2Chisleu;
When they had 3sent 4unto the house of God 5Sherezer and Regem-melech, 6and their men, to pray before the LORD,
And to speak unto the priests which were in the house of the LORD of hosts, and 7to the prophets, saying, Should I 8weep 9in the fifth month, 10separating myself, as I have done these so many years?
¶Then came the word of the LORD of hosts unto me, saying,
Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned 11in the fifth and 12seventh month, 13even those seventy years, did ye 14at all fast unto 15me, even to me?
And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, 16did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?
17Should ye not hear the words which the LORD hath cried 18by the former prophets, 19when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited 20the south and the plain?
¶And the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah, saying,
Thus 21speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, 22Execute 23true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions 24every man to his brother:
And oppress not thea widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and 25let none of you imagine 26evil against 27his brother in your heart.
But 28they refused to hearken, and 29pulled away the shoulder, and 30stopped their ears, that they should not hear.
Yea, they 31made their hearts 32as an adamant stone, lest they should hear 33the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent 34in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.
Therefore it is come to pass, that as 35he cried, and they would not hear; sob they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts:
But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land 36was desolate after them, 37that no man passed through nor returned: for 38they laid 39the pleasant land desolate.