Bible: Zech 9-14

The Coming of the True King

9:1 An oracle of the word of the Lord concerning the land of Hadrach, 1  with its focus on Damascus: 2 

The eyes of all humanity, 3  especially of the tribes of Israel, are toward the Lord, 9:2 as are those of Hamath also, which adjoins Damascus, and Tyre 4  and Sidon, 5  though they consider themselves to be very wise. 9:3 Tyre built herself a fortification and piled up silver like dust and gold like the mud of the streets! 9:4 Nevertheless the Lord will evict her and shove her fortifications 6  into the sea – she will be consumed by fire. 9:5 Ashkelon will see and be afraid; Gaza will be in great anguish, as will Ekron, for her hope will have been dried up. 7  Gaza will lose her king, and Ashkelon will no longer be inhabited. 9:6 A mongrel people will live in Ashdod, for I will greatly humiliate the Philistines. 9:7 I will take away their abominable religious practices; 8  then those who survive will become a community of believers in our God, 9  like a clan in Judah, and Ekron will be like the Jebusites. 9:8 Then I will surround my temple 10  to protect it like a guard 11  from anyone crossing back and forth; so no one will cross over against them anymore as an oppressor, for now I myself have seen it.

9:9 Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion!

Shout, daughter of Jerusalem!

Look! Your king is coming to you:

he is legitimate 12  and victorious, 13 

humble and riding on a donkey 14 

on a young donkey, the foal of a female donkey.

9:10 I will remove 15  the chariot from Ephraim

and the warhorse from Jerusalem,

and the battle bow will be removed.

Then he will announce peace to the nations.

His dominion will be from sea to sea

and from the Euphrates River 16  to the ends of the earth.

9:11 Moreover, as for you, because of our covenant relationship secured with blood, I will release your prisoners from the waterless pit. 9:12 Return to the stronghold, you prisoners, with hope; today I declare that I will return double what was taken from you. 9:13 I will bend Judah as my bow; I will load the bow with Ephraim, my arrow! 17  I will stir up your sons, Zion, against yours, Greece, and I will make you, Zion, 18  like a warrior’s sword.

9:14 Then the Lord will appear above them, and his arrow will shoot forth like lightning; the Lord God will blow the trumpet and will sally forth on the southern storm winds. 9:15 The Lord who rules over all will guard them, and they will prevail and overcome with sling stones. Then they will drink, and will become noisy like drunkards, 19  full like the sacrificial basin or like the corners of the altar. 20  9:16 On that day the Lord their God will deliver them as the flock of his people, for they are the precious stones of a crown sparkling over his land. 9:17 How precious and fair! 21  Grain will make the young men flourish and new wine the young women.

The Restoration of the True People

10:1 Ask the Lord for rain in the season of the late spring rains 22 the Lord who causes thunderstorms – and he will give everyone showers of rain and green growth in the field. 10:2 For the household gods 23  have spoken wickedness, the soothsayers have seen a lie, and as for the dreamers, they have disclosed emptiness and give comfort in vain. Therefore the people set out like sheep and become scattered because they have no shepherd. 24  10:3 I am enraged at the shepherds and will punish the lead-goats.

For the Lord who rules over all has brought blessing to his flock, the house of Judah, and will transform them into his majestic warhorse. 10:4 From him will come the cornerstone, 25  the wall peg, 26  the battle bow, and every ruler. 27  10:5 And they will be like warriors trampling the mud of the streets in battle. They will fight, for the Lord will be with them, and will defeat the enemy cavalry. 28 

10:6I (says the Lord) will strengthen the kingdom 29  of Judah and deliver the people of Joseph 30  and will bring them back 31  because of my compassion for them. They will be as though I had never rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and therefore I will hear them. 10:7 The Ephraimites will be like warriors and will rejoice as if they had drunk wine. Their children will see it and rejoice; they will celebrate in the things of the Lord. 10:8 I will signal for them and gather them, for I have already redeemed them; then they will become as numerous as they were before. 10:9 Though I scatter 32  them among the nations, they will remember in far-off places – they and their children will sprout forth and return. 10:10 I will bring them back from Egypt and gather them from Assyria. 33  I will bring them to the lands of Gilead and Lebanon, for there will not be enough room for them in their own land. 10:11 The Lord 34  will cross the sea of storms and will calm its turbulence. The depths of the Nile will dry up, the pride of Assyria will be humbled, and the domination 35  of Egypt will be no more. 10:12 Thus I will strengthen them by my power, 36  and they will walk about 37  in my name,” says the Lord.

The History and Future of Judah’s Wicked Kings

11:1 Open your gates, Lebanon,

so that the fire may consume your cedars. 38 

11:2 Howl, fir tree,

because the cedar has fallen;

the majestic trees have been destroyed.

Howl, oaks of Bashan,

because the impenetrable forest has fallen.

11:3 Listen to the howling of shepherds,

because their magnificence has been destroyed.

Listen to the roaring of young lions,

because the thickets of the Jordan have been devastated.

11:4 The Lord my God says this: “Shepherd the flock set aside for slaughter. 11:5 Those who buy them 39  slaughter them and are not held guilty; those who sell them say, ‘Blessed be the Lord, for I am rich.’ Their own shepherds have no compassion for them. 11:6 Indeed, I will no longer have compassion on the people of the land,” says the Lord, “but instead I will turn every last person over to his neighbor and his king. They will devastate the land, and I will not deliver it from them.”

11:7 So I 40  began to shepherd the flock destined for slaughter, the most afflicted 41  of all the flock. Then I took two staffs, 42  calling one “Pleasantness 43  and the other “Binders,” 44  and I tended the flock. 11:8 Next I eradicated the three shepherds in one month, 45  for I ran out of patience with them and, indeed, they detested me as well. 11:9 I then said, “I will not shepherd you. What is to die, let it die, and what is to be eradicated, let it be eradicated. As for those who survive, let them eat each other’s flesh!

11:10 Then I took my staff “Pleasantnessand cut it in two to annul my covenant that I had made with all the people. 11:11 So it was annulled that very day, and then the most afflicted of the flock who kept faith with me knew that that was the word of the Lord.

11:12 Then I 46  said to them, “If it seems good to you, pay me my wages, but if not, forget it.” So they weighed out my payment – thirty pieces of silver. 47  11:13 The Lord then said to me, “Throw to the potter that exorbitant sum 48  at which they valued me!” So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter 49  at the temple 50  of the Lord. 11:14 Then I cut the second staff “Bindersin two in order to annul the covenant of brotherhood between Judah and Israel.

11:15 Again the Lord said to me, “Take up once more the equipment of a foolish shepherd. 51  11:16 Indeed, I am about to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not take heed to the sheep headed to slaughter, will not seek the scattered, and will not heal the injured. 52  Moreover, he will not nourish the one that is healthy but instead will eat the meat of the fat sheep 53  and tear off their hooves.

11:17 Woe to the worthless shepherd

who abandons the flock!

May a sword fall on his arm and his right eye!

May his arm wither completely away,

and his right eye become completely blind!

The Repentance of Judah

12:1 The revelation of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: The Lordhe who stretches out the heavens and lays the foundations of the earth, who forms the human spirit within a person 54 says, 12:2 I am about to make Jerusalem 55  a cup that brings dizziness 56  to all the surrounding nations; indeed, Judah will also be included when Jerusalem is besieged. 12:3 Moreover, on that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy burden 57  for all the nations, and all who try to carry it will be seriously injured; 58  yet all the peoples of the earth will be assembled against it. 12:4 In that day,” says the Lord, “I will strike every horse with confusion and its rider with madness. I will pay close attention to the house of Judah, but will strike all the horses 59  of the nations 60  with blindness. 12:5 Then the leaders of Judah will say to themselves, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are a means of strength to us through their God, the Lord who rules over all.’ 12:6 On that day 61  I will make the leaders of Judah like an igniter 62  among sticks and a burning torch among sheaves, and they will burn up all the surrounding nations right and left. Then the people of Jerusalem will settle once more in their place, the city of Jerusalem. 12:7 The Lord also will deliver the homes 63  of Judah first, so that the splendor of the kingship 64  of David and of the people of Jerusalem may not exceed that of Judah. 12:8 On that day the Lord himself will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the weakest among them will be like mighty David, and the dynasty of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them. 65  12:9 So on that day I will set out to destroy all the nations 66  that come against Jerusalem.”

12:10I will pour out on the kingship 67  of David and the population of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication so that they will look to me, 68  the one they have pierced. They will lament for him as one laments for an only son, and there will be a bitter cry for him like the bitter cry for a firstborn. 69  12:11 On that day the lamentation in Jerusalem will be as great as the lamentation at Hadad-Rimmon 70  in the plain of Megiddo. 71  12:12 The land will mourn, clan by clan – the clan of the royal household of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the clan of the family of Nathan 72  by itself and their wives by themselves; 12:13 the clan of the descendants of Levi by itself and their wives by themselves; and the clan of the Shimeites 73  by itself and their wives by themselves 12:14 all the clans that remain, each separately with their wives.”

The Refinement of Judah

13:1In that day there will be a fountain opened up for the dynasty 74  of David and the people of Jerusalem 75  to cleanse them from sin and impurity. 76  13:2 And also on that day,” says the Lord who rules over all, “I will remove 77  the names of the idols from the land and they will never again be remembered. Moreover, I will remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land. 13:3 Then, if anyone prophesies in spite of this, his father and mother to whom he was born will say to him, ‘You cannot live, for you lie in the name of the Lord.’ Then his father and mother to whom he was born will run him through with a sword when he prophesies. 78 

13:4Therefore, on that day each prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies and will no longer wear the hairy garment 79  of a prophet to deceive the people. 80  13:5 Instead he will say, ‘I am no prophet – indeed, I am a farmer, for a man has made me his indentured servant since my youth.’ 81  13:6 Then someone will ask him, ‘What are these wounds on your chest?’ 82  and he will answer, ‘Some that I received in the house of my friends.’

13:7Awake, sword, against my shepherd,

against the man who is my associate,”

says the Lord who rules over all.

Strike the shepherd that the flock may be scattered; 83 

I will turn my hand against the insignificant ones.

13:8 It will happen in all the land, says the Lord,

that two-thirds of the people 84  in it will be cut off and die,

but one-third will be left in it. 85 

13:9 Then I will bring the remaining third into the fire;

I will refine them like silver is refined

and will test them like gold is tested.

They will call on my name and I will answer;

I will say, ‘These are my people,’

and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ 86 

The Sovereignty of the Lord

14:1 A day of the Lord 87  is about to come when your possessions 88  will be divided as plunder in your midst. 14:2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem 89  to wage war; the city will be taken, its houses plundered, and the women raped. Then half of the city will go into exile, but the remainder of the people will not be taken away. 90 

14:3 Then the Lord will go to battle 91  and fight against those nations, just as he fought battles in ancient days. 92  14:4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives which lies to the east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in half from east to west, leaving a great valley. Half the mountain will move northward and the other half southward. 93  14:5 Then you will escape 94  through my mountain valley, for the mountains will extend to Azal. 95  Indeed, you will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah 96  of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come with all his holy ones with him. 14:6 On that day there will be no light – the sources of light in the heavens will congeal. 97  14:7 It will happen in one day (a day known to the Lord); not in the day or the night, but in the evening there will be light. 98  14:8 Moreover, on that day living waters will flow out from Jerusalem, 99  half of them to the eastern sea 100  and half of them to the western sea; 101  it will happen both in summer and in winter.

14:9 The Lord will then be king over all the earth. In that day the Lord will be seen as one with a single name. 102  14:10 All the land will change and become like the Arabah 103  from Geba to Rimmon, 104  south of Jerusalem; and Jerusalem will be raised up and will stay in its own place from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate 105  and on to the Corner Gate, 106  and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses. 107  14:11 And people will settle there, and there will no longer be the threat of divine extermination – Jerusalem will dwell in security.

14:12 But this will be the nature of the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that have fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will decay while they stand on their feet, their eyes will rot away in their sockets, and their tongues will dissolve in their mouths. 14:13 On that day there will be great confusion from the Lord among them; they will seize each other and attack one another violently. 14:14 Moreover, Judah will fight at 108  Jerusalem, and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered up 109 gold, silver, and clothing in great abundance. 14:15 This is the kind of plague that will devastate horses, mules, camels, donkeys, and all the other animals in those camps.

14:16 Then all who survive from all the nations that came to attack Jerusalem will go up annually to worship the King, the Lord who rules over all, and to observe the Feast of Tabernacles. 110  14:17 But if any of the nations anywhere on earth refuse to go up to Jerusalem 111  to worship the King, the Lord who rules over all, they will get no rain. 14:18 If the Egyptians will not do so, they will get no rain – instead there will be the kind of plague which the Lord inflicts on any nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. 14:19 This will be the punishment of Egypt and of all nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

14:20 On that day the bells of the horses will bear the inscription “Holy to the Lord.” The cooking pots in the Lord’s temple 112  will be as holy as the bowls in front of the altar. 113  14:21 Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and Judah will become holy in the sight of the Lord who rules over all, so that all who offer sacrifices may come and use some of them to boil their sacrifices in them. On that day there will no longer be a Canaanite 114  in the house of the Lord who rules over all.

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