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?
1 sn The fourth day of Kislev, the ninth month would be December 7, 518
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
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
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