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Zechariah - Chapter 7

Translation and Transliteration of 

1In the fourth year of King Darius, on the fourth day of the ninth month, Kislev, the word of Hashem came to Zecharya

vai-HI, bi-sh'-NAT ar-BA l'-dar-YA-vaysh ha-ME-lekh, ha-YAH d'-var a-do-NAI el z'-khar-YAH, b'-ar-ba-AH la-KHO-desh ha-t'-shi-EE b'-kis-LAYV

אוַֽיְהִי֙ בִּשְׁנַ֣ת אַרְבַּ֔ע לְדָרְיָ֖וֶשׁ הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ הָיָ֨ה דְבַר־יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־זְכַרְיָ֗ה בְּאַרְבָּעָ֛ה לַחֹ֥דֶשׁ הַתְּשִׁעִ֖י בְּכִסְלֵֽו׃

2when Beit El-sharezer and Regem-melech and his men sent to entreat the favor of Hashem,

vai-YISH-lakh beit-EL sar-E-tzer v'-RE-gem ME-lekh va-a-NA-shav l'-kha-LOT et p'-NEI a-do-NAI

בוַיִּשְׁלַח֙ בֵּֽית־אֵ֔ל שַׂר־אֶ֕צֶר וְרֶ֥גֶם מֶ֖לֶךְ וַֽאֲנָשָׁ֑יו לְחַלּ֖וֹת אֶת־פְּנֵ֥י יְהֹוָֽה׃

3[and] to address this inquiry to the Kohanim of the House of Hashem and to the Neviim: “Shall I weep and practice abstinence in the fifth month, as I have been doing all these years?”

lay-MOR el ha-ko-ha-NEEM a-SHER l'-vayt a-do-NAI t'-va-OT v'-el ha-ne-vee-EEM lay-MOR ha-ev-KEH ba-KHO-desh ha-kha-MEE-shee hi-NAYR ka-a-SHER a-see-TEE zeh ka-MEH sha-NEEM. (s)

גלֵאמֹ֗ר אֶל־הַכֹּֽהֲנִים֙ אֲשֶׁר֙ לְבֵית־יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת וְאֶל־הַנְּבִיאִ֖ים לֵאמֹ֑ר הַֽאֶבְכֶּה֙ בַּחֹ֣דֶשׁ הַחֲמִשִׁ֔י הִנָּזֵ֕ר כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשִׂ֔יתִי זֶ֖ה כַּמֶּ֥ה שָׁנִֽים׃

4Thereupon the word of the lord of Hosts came to me:

vai-YA-hee d'-var a-do-NAI t'-va-OT e-LAI lay-MOR

דוַיְהִ֛י דְּבַר־יְהֹוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת אֵלַ֥י לֵאמֹֽר׃

5Say to all the people of the land and to the Kohanim: When you fasted and lamented in the fifth and seventh months all these seventy years, did you fast for my benefit?

e-MOR el kol AM ha-A-retz v'-el ha-ko-ha-NEEM lay-MOR kee tzam-TEM v'-sa-FOD ba-kha-mee-SHEE u-va-sh'-vee-EE v'-ZEH shiv-EEM sha-NAH ha-TZOM tzam-TU-nee A-nee

האֱמֹר֙ אֶל־כׇּל־עַ֣ם הָאָ֔רֶץ וְאֶל־הַכֹּהֲנִ֖ים לֵאמֹ֑ר כִּֽי־צַמְתֶּ֨ם וְסָפ֜וֹד בַּחֲמִישִׁ֣י וּבַשְּׁבִיעִ֗י וְזֶה֙ שִׁבְעִ֣ים שָׁנָ֔ה הֲצ֥וֹם צַמְתֻּ֖נִי אָֽנִי׃

 7:5 Did you fast for my benefit?

In the fourth year of King Darius, a delegation is sent to the prophet in Yerushalayim by the Jews who remained behind in Babylonia. They come with the following question: since the Jewish people are back in the Land of Israel and the Beit Hamikdash is being rebuilt, is it appropriate to continue to fast and mourn over the destruction of the first Temple, as they have been doing annually for decades? The prophet’s response is clear. In Hashem’s eyes, fasting and other external signs of mourning have no value if not accompanied by sincere repentance and ethical behavior (verses 9-10). The medieval commentator, Rabbi Yitzchak Abrabanel, notes that while the question originates from the Jews in Babylon, the answer is directed towards the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael. They sacrificed to return to the land; it is their actions that carry the most spiritual significance for the world.

Rabbi Isaac Abarbanel (1437-1508)

Jews mourning at the Western Wall, the location where the Holy Temple stood before its destruction.

6And when you eat and drink, who but you does the eating, and who but you does the drinking?

v'-khi to-KHE-lu v'-khi tish-TOO ha-LO a-TEM ha-o-kh'-LEEM v'-a-TEM ha-sho-TEEM

ווְכִ֥י תֹאכְל֖וּ וְכִ֣י תִשְׁתּ֑וּ הֲל֤וֹא אַתֶּם֙ הָאֹ֣כְלִ֔ים וְאַתֶּ֖ם הַשֹּׁתִֽים׃

7Look, this is the message that Hashem proclaimed through the earlier Neviim, when Yerushalayim and the towns about her were peopled and tranquil, when the Negev and the Shephelah were peopled.

ha-LO et ha-d'-va-RIM a-SHER ka-RA a-do-NAI b'-yad ha-ne-vee-EEM ha-ri-SHO-neem bi-HYOT y'-ru-sha-LAM yo-SHE-vet u-sh'-LE-va v'-a-re-HA s'-vi-vo-TE-ha v'-ha-NE-gev v'-ha-sh'-pe-LA yo-SHEV.

זהֲל֣וֹא אֶת־הַדְּבָרִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר קָרָ֤א יְהֹוָה֙ בְּיַד֙ הַנְּבִיאִ֣ים הָרִֽאשֹׁנִ֔ים בִּהְי֤וֹת יְרוּשָׁלַ֙͏ִם֙ יֹשֶׁ֣בֶת וּשְׁלֵוָ֔ה וְעָרֶ֖יהָ סְבִיבֹתֶ֑יהָ וְהַנֶּ֥גֶב וְהַשְּׁפֵלָ֖ה יֹשֵֽׁב׃

8And the word of Hashem to Zecharya continued:

vai-HI, d'-var a-do-NAI el z'-kha-RY-a lay-MOR

חוַֽיְהִי֙ דְּבַר־יְהֹוָ֔ה אֶל־זְכַרְיָ֖ה לֵאמֹֽר׃

9Thus said the lord of Hosts: Execute true justice; deal loyally and compassionately with one another.

KO a-MAR a-do-NAI t'-va-OT lay-MOR mish-PAT e-MET sh'-fo-TU v'-khe-SED v'-ra-kha-MEEM a-SU eesh et-a-KHEEV

טכֹּ֥ה אָמַ֛ר יְהֹוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת לֵאמֹ֑ר מִשְׁפַּ֤ט אֱמֶת֙ שְׁפֹ֔טוּ וְחֶ֣סֶד וְרַֽחֲמִ֔ים עֲשׂ֖וּ אִ֥ישׁ אֶת־אָחִֽיו׃

10Do not defraud the widow, the orphan, the stranger, and the poor; and do not plot evil against one another.—

v'-al-MA-nah v'-ya-TOM GAYR v'-a-NEE al-ta-a-SHO-ku v'-ra-AT eesh a-KHEEV al-ta-KH'-sh'-vu bil-va-v'-KHEM

יוְאַלְמָנָ֧ה וְיָת֛וֹם גֵּ֥ר וְעָנִ֖י אַֽל־תַּעֲשֹׁ֑קוּ וְרָעַת֙ אִ֣ישׁ אָחִ֔יו אַֽל־תַּחְשְׁב֖וּ בִּלְבַבְכֶֽם׃

11But they refused to pay heed. They presented a balky back and turned a deaf ear.

vai-ma-a-NU l'-hak-SHEEV, va-yi-t'-NU ka-TEF so-RA-ret, v'-o-z'-NE-hem hikh-BEE-du mi-sh'-MO-a

יאוַיְמָאֲנ֣וּ לְהַקְשִׁ֔יב וַיִּתְּנ֥וּ כָתֵ֖ף סֹרָ֑רֶת וְאׇזְנֵיהֶ֖ם הִכְבִּ֥ידוּ מִשְּׁמֽוֹעַ׃

12They hardened their hearts like adamant against heeding the instruction and admonition that the lord of Hosts sent to them by His spirit through the earlier Neviim; and a terrible wrath issued from the lord of Hosts.

v'-li-BAM sa-MU sha-MEER mi-she-MO-a et ha-to-RAH v'-et ha-d'-va-REEM a-SHER sha-LAKH a-do-NAI t'-va-OT b'-ru-KHO b'-YAD ha-ne-vee-EEM ha-ri-SHO-neem va-YA-hee KE-tsef ga-DOL may-ET a-do-NAI t'-va-OT

יבוְלִבָּ֞ם שָׂ֣מוּ שָׁמִ֗יר מִ֠שְּׁמ֠וֹעַ אֶת־הַתּוֹרָ֤ה וְאֶת־הַדְּבָרִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֨ר שָׁלַ֜ח יְהֹוָ֤ה צְבָאוֹת֙ בְּרוּח֔וֹ בְּיַ֖ד הַנְּבִיאִ֣ים הָרִֽאשֹׁנִ֑ים וַֽיְהִי֙ קֶ֣צֶף גָּד֔וֹל מֵאֵ֖ת יְהֹוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת׃

13Even as He called and they would not listen, “So,” said the lord of Hosts, “let them call and I will not listen.”

vai-HI kha-a-SHER ka-RA v'-LO sha-ME-u KEN yik-r'-U v'-LO esh-MA a-MAR a-do-NAI t'-va-OT

יגוַיְהִ֥י כַאֲשֶׁר־קָרָ֖א וְלֹ֣א שָׁמֵ֑עוּ כֵּ֤ן יִקְרְאוּ֙ וְלֹ֣א אֶשְׁמָ֔ע אָמַ֖ר יְהֹוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת׃

14I dispersed them among all those nations which they had not known, and the land was left behind them desolate, without any who came and went. They caused a delightful land to be turned into a desolation.

v'-e-sa-a-REM al kol ha-go-YIM a-SHER lo ya-da-Um, v'-ha-A-retz na-SHA-ma a-kha-RAY-hem me-o-VAYR u-mi-SHAV, va-ya-SEE-mu e-retz-khem-DAH l'-sha-MAH. (P)

ידוְאֵ֣סָעֲרֵ֗ם עַ֤ל כׇּל־הַגּוֹיִם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹֽא־יְדָע֔וּם וְהָאָ֙רֶץ֙ נָשַׁ֣מָּה אַֽחֲרֵיהֶ֔ם מֵֽעֹבֵ֖ר וּמִשָּׁ֑ב וַיָּשִׂ֥ימוּ אֶֽרֶץ־חֶמְדָּ֖ה לְשַׁמָּֽה׃