This is the LORD's message:
He has decreed punishment for the land of Hadrach and for the city of Damascus. Not only the tribes of Israel, but also the capital of Syria belong to the LORD. 2Hamath, which borders on Hadrach, also belongs to him, and so do the cities of Tyre and Sidon, with all their skill. 3Tyre has built fortifications for herself and has piled up so much silver and gold that it is as common as dirt! 4But the Lord will take away everything she has. He will throw her wealth into the sea, and the city will be burnt to the ground.
The city of Ashkelon will see this and be afraid. The city of Gaza will see it and suffer great pain. So will Ekron, and her hopes will be shattered. Gaza will lose her king, and Ashkelon will be left deserted. 6People of mixed race will live in Ashdod. The LORD says, “I will humble all these proud Philistines. 7They will no longer eat meat with blood in it, or other forbidden food. All the survivors will become part of my people and be like a clan in the tribe of Judah. Ekron will become part of my people, as the Jebusites9.7 Jebusites: The original inhabitants of Jerusalem, who became David's subjects after he captured the city. did. 8I will guard my land and keep armies from passing through it. I will not allow tyrants to oppress my people any more. I have seen how my people have suffered.”
Rejoice, rejoice, people of Zion!
Shout for joy, you people of Jerusalem!
Look, your king is coming to you!
He comes triumphant and victorious,
but humble and riding on a donkey —
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
The LORD says,
“I will remove the war chariots from Israel
and take the horses from Jerusalem;
the bows used in battle will be destroyed.
Your king will make peace among the nations;
he will rule from sea to sea,
from the River Euphrates to the ends of the earth.”
The LORD says,
“Because of my covenant with you
that was sealed by the blood of sacrifices,
I will set your people free —
free from the waterless pit of exile.
12Return, you exiles who now have hope;
return to your place of safety.
I tell you now, I will repay you twice over
with blessing for all you have suffered.
13I will use Judah like a soldier's bow
and Israel like the arrows.
I will use the men of Zion like a sword,
to fight the men of Greece.”
14The LORD will appear above his people;
he will shoot his arrows like lightning.
The Sovereign LORD will sound the trumpet;
he will march in the storms from the south.
15The LORD Almighty will protect his people,
and they will destroy their enemies.
They will shout in battle like drunken men
and will shed the blood of their enemies;
it will flow like the blood of a sacrifice
poured on the altar from a bowl.9.15 Verse 15 in Hebrew is unclear.
16When that day comes, the LORD will save his people,
as a shepherd saves his flock from danger.
They will shine in his land
like the jewels of a crown.
17How good and beautiful the land will be!
The young people will grow strong on its corn and wine.
101Ask the LORD for rain in the spring of the year. It is the LORD who sends rain clouds and showers, making the fields green for everyone. 2People consult idols and fortune tellers, but the answers they get are lies and nonsense. Some interpret dreams, but only mislead you; the comfort they give is useless. So the people wander about like lost sheep. They are in trouble because they have no leader.
3The LORD says, “I am angry with those foreigners who rule my people, and I am going to punish them. The people of Judah are mine, and I, the LORD Almighty, will take care of them. They will be my powerful war horses. 4From among them will come rulers, leaders, and commanders to govern my people.10.4 From among… people; or All oppressors — rulers, leaders, and commanders — will depart together from Judah. 5The people of Judah will be victorious like soldiers who trample their enemies into the mud of the streets. They will fight because the LORD is with them, and they will defeat even the enemy horsemen.
6“I will make the people of Judah strong;
I will rescue the people of Israel.
I will have compassion on them
and bring them all back home.
They will be as though I had never rejected them.
I am the LORD their God; I will answer their prayers.
7The people of Israel will be strong like soldiers,
happy like men who have been drinking wine.
Their descendants will remember this victory
and be glad because of what the LORD has done.
8“I will call my people
and gather them together.
I will rescue them
and make them as numerous as they used to be.
9Though I have scattered them among the nations,
yet in far-off places they will remember me.
They and their children will survive
and return home together.
10From Egypt and Assyria I will bring them home
and settle them in their own country.
I will settle them in Gilead and Lebanon also;
the whole land will be filled with people.
11When they pass through their sea of trouble,
I, the LORD, will strike the waves,
and the depths of the Nile will go dry.
Proud Assyria will be humbled,
and mighty Egypt will lose her power.
12I will make my people strong;
they will worship and obey me.”The LORD has spoken.
111Open your doors, Lebanon,
so that fire can burn down your cedar trees!11.1 cedar trees: Trees are used here as symbols of powerful nations or their kings.
2Weep and wail, cypress trees —
the cedars have fallen;
those glorious trees have been destroyed!
Weep and wail, oaks of Bashan —
the dense forest has been cut down!
3The rulers cry out in grief;
their glory is gone!
Listen to the roaring of the lions;
their forest home along the Jordan is destroyed!
4The LORD my God said to me, “Act the part of the shepherd11.4 shepherd: Shepherd is used here as a symbol of a king or leader, and sheep as symbols of his people or followers. of a flock of sheep that are going to be butchered. 5Their owners kill them and go unpunished. They sell the meat and say, ‘Praise the LORD! We are rich!’ Even their own shepherds have no pity on them.”
6(The LORD said, “I will no longer pity anyone on earth. I myself will put all the people in the power of their rulers. Those rulers will devastate the earth, and I will not save it from their power.”)
7Those who bought and sold the sheep hired me, and I became the shepherd of the sheep that were going to be butchered. I took two sticks: one I called “Favour”, and the other “Unity”. And I took care of the flock. 8I lost patience with three other shepherds, who hated me, and I got rid of them all in a single month. 9Then I said to the flock, “I will not be your shepherd any longer. Let those who are to die, die. Let those who are to be destroyed, be destroyed. Those who are left will destroy one another.” 10Then I took the stick called “Favour” and broke it, to cancel the covenant which the LORD had made with all the nations. 11So the covenant was cancelled on that day. Those who bought and sold the sheep were watching me, and they knew that the LORD was speaking through what I did. 12
I said to them, “If you are willing, give me my wages. But if not, keep them.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver as my wages.
13The LORD said to me, “Put them in the temple treasury.”11.13 Some ancient translations Put them in the temple treasury; Hebrew Give them to the potter. So I took the thirty pieces of silver — the magnificent sum they thought I was worth — and put them in the temple treasury. 14Then I broke the second stick, the one called “Unity”, and the unity of Judah and Israel was shattered.
15Then the LORD said to me, “Once again act the part of a shepherd, this time a worthless one. 16I have put a shepherd in charge of my flock, but he does not help the sheep that are threatened by destruction; nor does he look for the lost, or heal those that are hurt, or feed the healthy. Instead, he eats the meat of the fattest sheep and tears off their hoofs. 17That worthless shepherd is doomed! He has abandoned his flock. War will totally destroy his power. His arm will wither, and his right eye will go blind.”