King James 2000
Righteousness is Better than Fasting
1And 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 Chislev;
2When they had sent unto the house of God Sherezer and Regemmelech, and their men, to pray before the LORD,
3And to speak unto the priests who were in the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, consecrating myself, as I have done these so many years?
4Then came the word of the LORD of hosts unto me, saying,
5Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did you at all fast unto me, even to me?
6And when you did eat, and when you did drink, did not you eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?
7Should you not hear the words which the LORD has cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and her cities round about her, when men inhabited the south and the lowland?
8And the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah, saying,
9Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassion every man to his brother:
10And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the sojourner, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.
11But they refused to hearken, and shrugged the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.
12Yea, they made their hearts as a flint stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts has sent by his Spirit through the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.
13Therefore it has come to pass, that just as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, says the LORD of hosts:
14But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land became desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they made the pleasant land desolate.