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Zechariah 6–9 (Listen)

A Vision of Four Chariots

Again I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, four chariots came out from between two mountains. And the mountains were mountains of bronze. The first chariot had red horses, the second black horses, the third white horses, and the fourth chariot dappled horses—all of them strong.Or and the fourth chariot strong dappled horses‘>1 Then I answered and said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” And the angel answered and said to me, “These are going out to the four winds of heaven, after presenting themselves before the Lord of all the earth. The chariot with the black horses goes toward the north country, the white ones go after them, and the dappled ones go toward the south country.” When the strong horses came out, they were impatient to go and patrol the earth. And he said, “Go, patrol the earth.” So they patrolled the earth. Then he cried to me, “Behold, those who go toward the north country have set my Spirit at rest in the north country.”

The Crown and the Temple

And the word of the LORD came to me: 10 “Take from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon, and go the same day to the house of Josiah, the son of Zephaniah. 11 Take from them silver and gold, and make a crown, and set it on the head of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 And say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD. 13 It is he who shall build the temple of the LORD and shall bear royal honor, and shall sit and rule on his throne. And thereOr he‘>2 shall be a priest on his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”’ 14 And the crown shall be in the temple of the LORD as a reminder to Helem,An alternate spelling of Heldai (verse 10)‘>3 Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen the son of Zephaniah.

15 “And those who are far off shall come and help to build the temple of the LORD. And you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.”

A Call for Justice and Mercy

In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men to entreat the favor of the LORD, saying to the priests of the house of the LORD of hosts and the prophets, “Should I weep and abstain in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”

Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me: “Say to all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted? And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves? Were not these the words that the LORD proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous, with her cities around her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited?’”

And the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, 10 do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” 11 But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear.Hebrew and made their ears too heavy to hear‘>4 12 They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the LORD of hosts. 13 “As IHebrew he‘>5 called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,” says the LORD of hosts, 14 “and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they had not known. Thus the land they left was desolate, so that no one went to and fro, and the pleasant land was made desolate.”

The Coming Peace and Prosperity of Zion

And the word of the LORD of hosts came, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath. Thus says the LORD: I have returned to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts, the holy mountain. Thus says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of great age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. Thus says the LORD of hosts: If it is marvelous in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, should it also be marvelous in my sight, declares the LORD of hosts? Thus says the LORD of hosts: Behold, I will save my people from the east country and from the west country, and I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.”

Related Post  September 18: Proverbs 25–26; Titus 3:1–8; Psalm 73; Proverbs 23:29–35

Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Let your hands be strong, you who in these days have been hearing these words from the mouth of the prophets who were present on the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built. 10 For before those days there was no wage for man or any wage for beast, neither was there any safety from the foe for him who went out or came in, for I set every man against his neighbor. 11 But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as in the former days, declares the LORD of hosts. 12 For there shall be a sowing of peace. The vine shall give its fruit, and the ground shall give its produce, and the heavens shall give their dew. And I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things. 13 And as you have been a byword of cursing among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you, and you shall be a blessing. Fear not, but let your hands be strong.”

14 For thus says the LORD of hosts: “As I purposed to bring disaster to you when your fathers provoked me to wrath, and I did not relent, says the LORD of hosts, 15 so again have I purposed in these days to bring good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah; fear not. 16 These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace; 17 do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the LORD.”

18 And the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, 19 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: The fast of the fourth month and the fast of the fifth and the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth shall be to the house of Judah seasons of joy and gladness and cheerful feasts. Therefore love truth and peace.

20 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, even the inhabitants of many cities. 21 The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the LORD and to seek the LORD of hosts; I myself am going.’ 22 Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the LORD. 23 Thus says the LORD of hosts: In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”

Judgment on Israel’s Enemies


  The oracle of the word of the LORD is against the land of Hadrach
    and Damascus is its resting place.
  For the LORD has an eye on mankind
    and on all the tribes of Israel,Or For the eye of mankind, especially of all the tribes of Israel, is toward the Lord‘>6
  and on Hamath also, which borders on it,
    Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise.
  Tyre has built herself a rampart
    and heaped up silver like dust,
    and fine gold like the mud of the streets.
  But behold, the Lord will strip her of her possessions
    and strike down her power on the sea,
    and she shall be devoured by fire.


  Ashkelon shall see it, and be afraid;
    Gaza too, and shall writhe in anguish;
    Ekron also, because its hopes are confounded.
  The king shall perish from Gaza;
    Ashkelon shall be uninhabited;
  a mixed peopleOr a foreign people; Hebrew a bastard‘>7 shall dwell in Ashdod,
    and I will cut off the pride of Philistia.
  I will take away its blood from its mouth,
    and its abominations from between its teeth;
  it too shall be a remnant for our God;
    it shall be like a clan in Judah,
    and Ekron shall be like the Jebusites.
  Then I will encamp at my house as a guard,
    so that none shall march to and fro;
  no oppressor shall again march over them,
    for now I see with my own eyes.

The Coming King of Zion


  Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
    Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
  Behold, your king is coming to you;
    righteous and having salvation is he,
  humble and mounted on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10   I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
    and the war horse from Jerusalem;
  and the battle bow shall be cut off,
    and he shall speak peace to the nations;
  his rule shall be from sea to sea,
    and from the RiverThat is, the Euphrates‘>8 to the ends of the earth.
11   As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
    I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.
12   Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;
    today I declare that I will restore to you double.
13   For I have bent Judah as my bow;
    I have made Ephraim its arrow.
  I will stir up your sons, O Zion,
    against your sons, O Greece,
    and wield you like a warrior’s sword.

The Lord Will Save His People


14   Then the LORD will appear over them,
    and his arrow will go forth like lightning;
  the Lord GOD will sound the trumpet
    and will march forth in the whirlwinds of the south.
15   The LORD of hosts will protect them,
    and they shall devour, and tread down the sling stones,
  and they shall drink and roar as if drunk with wine,
    and be full like a bowl,
    drenched like the corners of the altar.


16   On that day the LORD their God will save them,
    as the flock of his people;
  for like the jewels of a crown
    they shall shine on his land.
17   For how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty!
    Grain shall make the young men flourish,
    and new wine the young women.

Footnotes

[1] 6:3 Or and the fourth chariot strong dappled horses

[2] 6:13 Or he

[3] 6:14 An alternate spelling of Heldai (verse 10)

[4] 7:11 Hebrew and made their ears too heavy to hear

[5] 7:13 Hebrew he

[6] 9:1 Or For the eye of mankind, especially of all the tribes of Israel, is toward the Lord

[7] 9:6 Or a foreign people; Hebrew a bastard

[8] 9:10 That is, the Euphrates

Related Post  December 19: Joel 1–3; John 12:20–50; Psalm 139; Proverbs 30:11–14

(ESV)

New Testament:

John 19:17–42

John 19:17–42 (Listen)

17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic.Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin‘>1 But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,


  “They divided my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots.”

So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

The Death of Jesus

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Jesus’ Side Is Pierced

31 Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”

Jesus Is Buried

38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to JesusGreek him‘>2 by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five poundsGreek one hundred litras; a litra (or Roman pound) was equal to about 11 1/2 ounces or 327 grams‘>3 in weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

Footnotes

[1] 19:23 Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin

[2] 19:39 Greek him

[3] 19:39 Greek one hundred litras; a litra (or Roman pound) was equal to about 11 1/2 ounces or 327 grams

(ESV)

Psalm:

Psalm 148

Psalm 148 (Listen)

Praise the Name of the Lord


148   Praise the LORD!
  Praise the LORD from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights!
  Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his hosts!


  Praise him, sun and moon,
    praise him, all you shining stars!
  Praise him, you highest heavens,
    and you waters above the heavens!


  Let them praise the name of the LORD!
    For he commanded and they were created.
  And he established them forever and ever;
    he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.Or it shall not be transgressed‘>1


  Praise the LORD from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all deeps,
  fire and hail, snow and mist,
    stormy wind fulfilling his word!


  Mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars!
10   Beasts and all livestock,
    creeping things and flying birds!


11   Kings of the earth and all peoples,
    princes and all rulers of the earth!
12   Young men and maidens together,
    old men and children!


13   Let them praise the name of the LORD,
    for his name alone is exalted;
    his majesty is above earth and heaven.
14   He has raised up a horn for his people,
    praise for all his saints,
    for the people of Israel who are near to him.
  Praise the LORD!

Footnotes

[1] 148:6 Or it shall not be transgressed

(ESV)

Proverb:

Proverbs 31:1–9

Proverbs 31:1–9 (Listen)

The Words of King Lemuel

31 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:


  What are you doing, my son?Hebrew What, my son?‘>1 What are you doing, son of my womb?
    What are you doing, son of my vows?
  Do not give your strength to women,
    your ways to those who destroy kings.
  It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
    it is not for kings to drink wine,
    or for rulers to take strong drink,
  lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
    and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
  Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
    and wine to those in bitter distress;Hebrew those bitter in soul‘>2
  let them drink and forget their poverty
    and remember their misery no more.
  Open your mouth for the mute,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.Hebrew are sons of passing away‘>3
  Open your mouth, judge righteously,
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Footnotes

[1] 31:2 Hebrew What, my son?

[2] 31:6 Hebrew those bitter in soul

[3] 31:8 Hebrew are sons of passing away

(ESV)

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