Zechariah 1:4
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Return now from your evil ways and from your evil deeds."' But they did not listen or give heed to Me," declares the LORD.

King James Bible
Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD.

Darby Bible Translation
Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets cried, saying, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings; but they did not hearken nor attend unto me, saith Jehovah.

World English Bible
Don't you be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying: Thus says Yahweh of Armies, 'Return now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings;' but they did not hear, nor listen to me, says Yahweh.

Young's Literal Translation
Ye shall not be as your fathers, To whom the former prophets called, saying: Thus said Jehovah of Hosts, Turn back I pray you, From your evil ways and from your evil doings, And they did not hearken, Nor attend to Me -- an affirmation of Jehovah.

Zechariah 1:4 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Be ye not like your fathers - Strangely infectious is the precedent of ill. Tradition of good, of truth, of faith, is decried; only tradition of ill and error are adhered to. The sin of Jeroboam was held sacred by every king of Israel: "The statutes of Omri were diligently kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab" Micah 6:16. "They turned back and were treacherous like their forefathers; they turned themselves like a deceitful bow" Psalm 78:57, is God's summary of the history of Israel. Cyril: "Absurd are they who follow the ignorances of their fathers, and ever plead inherited custom as an irrefragable defense, though blamed for extremest ills. So idolaters especially, being called to the knowledge of the truth, ever bear in mind the error of their fathers and, embracing their ignorance as an hereditary lot, remain blind."

The former prophets - The prophets spake God's words, as well in their pastoral office as in predicting things to come, in enforcing God's law and in exhorting to repentance, as in announcing the judgments on disobedience. The predictive as well as the pastoral office were united in Nathan 2 Samuel 7:4-16; 2 Samuel 12:1-14, Gad 1 Samuel 22:5; 1 Samuel 24:11, Shemaiah 2 Chronicles 11:2-4; 2 Chronicles 12:5-8, Azariah 2 Chronicles 15, Hanani 2 Chronicles 16:7-9, Elijah 1 Kings 17:1, 1 Kings 17:14; 1 Kings 18:1, 1 Kings 18:41; 1 Kings 21:19, 1 Kings 21:21, 1 Kings 21:23, 1 Kings 21:29; 2 Kings 1:4, 2 Kings 1:16, Elisha 2 Kings 3:17-18; 2 Kings 4:16; 2 Kings 5:27; 2 Kings 7:1-2; 2 Kings 8:10-13; 2 Kings 13:14-19, Micaiah the son of Imla, whose habitual predictions against Ahab induced Ahab to say 1 Kings 22:8, "I hate him, for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil." The specific calls to conversion here named and their fruitlessness, are summed up by Jeremiah as words of all the prophets. For ten years he says, "The word of the Lord hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking, and ye have not hearkened. And the Lord hath sent unto you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending; but ye have not hearkened nor inclined your ear to hear. They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil ways and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the Lord hath given unto you and to your fathers forever and ever; and go not after other gods to serve and worship them, and provoke Me not to anger with the works of your hands, and I will do you no hurt. But ye have not hearkened unto Me, saith the Lord; that ye might provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt. Therefore, thus saith the Lord of hosts, Because ye have not heard My words ..." Jeremiah 25:3-8. The prophetic author of the book of Kings sums up in like way, of "all the prophets and all the seers." "The Lord testified against Israel and against Judah by the hand of all the prophets and all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets, and they did not hear, and hardened their neck, like the neck of their fathers" 2 Kings 17:13.

The characteristic word, "turn from your evil ways and the evil of your doings" occurring in Jeremiah, it is probable, that this summary was chiefly in the mind of Zechariah, and that he refers not to Isaiah, Joel, Amos etc., (as all the prophets were preachers of repentance), but to the whole body of teachers, whom God raised up, analogous to the Christian ministry, to recall people to Himself.

The title, "the former prophets," contrasts the office of Haggai and Zechariah, not with definite prophets before the captivity, but with the whole company of those, whom God sent as He says, so unremittingly.

And they hearkened not unto Me - Jerome: "They heard not the Lord warning through the prophets, attended not - not to the prophets who spake to them but - not to Me, saith the Lord. For I was in them who spake and was despised. Whence also the Lord in the Gospel saith, "He that receiveth you, receiveth Me" Matthew 10:40.

Zechariah 1:4 Parallel Commentaries

The Source of Power
'And the Angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, 2. And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold, a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps which are upon the top thereof: 3. And two olive-trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. 4. So I answered and spake to the Angel that talked with
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

"The Prophets of God Helping Them"
Close by the Israelites who had set themselves to the task of rebuilding the temple, dwelt the Samaritans, a mixed race that had sprung up through the intermarriage of heathen colonists from the provinces of Assyria with the remnant of the ten tribes which had been left in Samaria and Galilee. In later years the Samaritans claimed to worship the true God, but in heart and practice they were idolaters. It is true, they held that their idols were but to remind them of the living God, the Ruler of the
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

Cross References
2 Chronicles 24:19
Yet He sent prophets to them to bring them back to the LORD; though they testified against them, they would not listen.

2 Chronicles 36:15
The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place;

Psalm 78:8
And not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart And whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Psalm 106:6
We have sinned like our fathers, We have committed iniquity, we have behaved wickedly.

Psalm 106:7
Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; They did not remember Your abundant kindnesses, But rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.

Isaiah 1:16
"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil,

Jeremiah 4:1
"If you will return, O Israel," declares the LORD, "Then you should return to Me. And if you will put away your detested things from My presence, And will not waver,

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