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Zechariah 7:1-7

Context
The Hypocrisy of False Fasting

7:1 In King Darius’ fourth year, on the fourth day of Kislev, the ninth month, 1  the word of the Lord came to Zechariah. 7:2 Now the people of Bethel 2  had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech and their companions to seek the Lord’s favor 7:3 by asking both the priests of the temple 3  of the Lord who rules over all and the prophets, “Should we weep in the fifth month, 4  fasting as we have done over the years?” 7:4 The word of the Lord who rules over all then came to me, 7:5 “Speak to all the people and priests of the land as follows: ‘When you fasted and lamented in the fifth and seventh 5  months through all these seventy years, did you truly fast for me – for me, indeed? 7:6 And now when you eat and drink, are you not doing so for yourselves?’” 7:7 Should you not have obeyed the words that the Lord cried out through the former prophets when Jerusalem 6  was peacefully inhabited and her surrounding cities, the Negev, and the Shephelah 7  were also populated?

Zechariah 8:19

Context
8:19 “The Lord who rules over all says, ‘The fast of the fourth, fifth, seventh, and tenth 8  months will become joyful and happy, pleasant feasts for the house of Judah, so love truth and peace.’

1 sn The fourth day of Kislev, the ninth month would be December 7, 518 b.c., 22 months after the previous eight visions.

2 map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

3 tn Heb “house” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV).

4 sn This lamentation marked the occasion of the destruction of Solomon’s temple on August 14, 586 b.c., almost exactly 70 years earlier (cf. 2 Kgs 25:8).

5 tn The seventh month apparently refers to the anniversary of the assassination of Gedaliah, governor of Judah (Jer 40:13-14; 41:1), in approximately 581 b.c.

6 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

7 sn The Shephelah is the geographical region between the Mediterranean coastal plain and the Judean hill country. The Hebrew term can be translated “lowlands” (cf. ASV), “foothills” (NAB, NASB, NLT), or “steppes.”

8 sn The fasts of the fifth and seventh months, mentioned previously (7:5), are listed here along with the observances of the fourth and tenth months. The latter commemorated the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians on January 15, 588 b.c. (2 Kgs 25:1), and the former the breach of the city walls on or about July 18, 586 b.c. (Jer 39:2-5).



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