The first oracle the prophet Zechariah receives is this:
2"The Lord was very angry with your fathers. 3Therefore say to them, Thus declares Yahweh of hosts: Return to me, says Yahweh of hosts, and I will return to you, says Yahweh of hosts. 4Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets cried out, 'Thus says Yahweh of hosts, Return from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.' But they did not hear or pay attention to me, declares Yahweh. 5Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not overtake your fathers? So they repented and said, As Yahweh of hosts purposed to deal with us for our ways and deeds, so has he dealt with us."
I haven't found any version that ends the quote after "overtake your fathers?" As it is currently punctuated, it would seem that he is saying that there father repented. But if so, why so much emphasis on not being like their fathers? If his words overtook them, doesn't that mean that they were struck down under his judgment? Would it be reasonable to understand the repentance as the repentance of Zechariah's contemporaries—i.e. to take verse 6b as narrative rather than prophecy?
In the chapters that follow, Zechariah has a positive message for Yeshua and Zerubbabel. Moreover, his contemporary Haggai was received positively by these two men and those who listened to them:
Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and Yehoshua son of Yehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of God's people began to obey the message from Yahweh their God. When they heard the words of the prophet Haggai, whom Yahweh their God had sent, the people feared Yahweh. —Haggai 1:12
So is the repentance spoken of in Zechariah 1:6 the repentance of their fathers, or the repentance of the prophet's contemporaries?