1 And it came to pass in the fourth year of King Darius that the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chisleu; 2 when they had sent unto the house of God Sherezer and Regemmelech and their men, to pray before the LORD 3 and to speak unto the priests which were in the house of the LORD of the hosts and to the prophets, saying, Should we weep in the fifth month? Should we do abstinence as we have done these so many years?
4 Then the word of the LORD of the hosts came unto me, saying, 5 Speak unto all the people of the land and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me? 6 And when ye ate, and when ye drank, did ye not eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves? 7 Are these not the words which the LORD has published by the former prophets when Jerusalem was inhabited and quiet and the cities thereof round about her and when the south and the plain were inhabited?
8 And the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah, saying, 9 Thus hath the LORD of the hosts spoken, saying, Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassion each one to his brother; 10 and do not oppress the widow nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. 11 But they refused to hearken and pulled away the shoulder and stopped their ears that they should not hear. 12 Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone lest they should hear the law and the words which the LORD of the hosts has sent by his Spirit by the hand of the former prophets; therefore came great wrath from the LORD of the hosts. 13 Therefore it is come to pass that as he cried and they would not hear, so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of the hosts: 14 but I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the Gentiles whom they did not know. Thus the land was desolate after them that no man passed through nor returned; for they laid the desirable land desolate.