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Zechariah 8-14 Common English Bible (CEB)

The word from the Lord of heavenly forces came to me:[a]
    The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:

I care passionately about Zion; I burn with passion for her. The Lord proclaims: I have returned to Zion; I will settle in Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be called the city of truth; the mountain of the Lord of heavenly forces will be the holy mountain.

The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:

Old men and old women will again dwell in the plazas of Jerusalem. Each of them will have a staff in their hand because of their great age. The city will be full of boys and girls playing in its plazas.

The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:

Even though it may seem to be a miracle for the few remaining among this people in these days, should it seem to be a miracle for me? says the Lord of heavenly forces.

The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:

I’m about to deliver my people from the land of the east and the land of the west. I’ll bring them back so they will dwell in Jerusalem. They will be my people, and I will be their God—in truth and in righteousness.

The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:

Be strong, you who are now hearing these words from the mouths of the prophets spoken on the day when the foundations for the house of the Lord of heavenly forces were laid. 10 Before this time, there were no wages for people or animals; there was no relief from distress about going out or coming in, because I set everyone against their own neighbor. 11 But now, unlike those earlier days, I’ll be with the few remaining among this people, says the Lord of heavenly forces.

12         The seed is healthy:
            the vine will give its fruit.
            The land will give its produce;
            the heavens will give its dew.
                I will give the remnant of this people all these things.
13             Just as you were a curse among the nations, house of Judah and house of Israel,
                so now I will deliver you; you will be a blessing.
        Don’t fear, but be strong.
14 The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:

Just as I planned evil against you when your ancestors angered me, says the Lord of heavenly forces, and did not relent, 15 so now I have changed course and again plan to do good to Jerusalem and the house of Judah. Don’t be afraid.

16 These are the things you should do: Speak the truth to each other; make truthful, just, and peaceable decisions within your gates. 17 Don’t plan evil for each other. Don’t adore swearing falsely, for all of these are things that I hate, says the Lord.

18 The word of the Lord of heavenly forces came to me:
19     The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:

The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh, and tenth months will become times of joy and gladness, pleasant feasts for the house of Judah. Love truth and peace!

20 The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:

Peoples will still come, the inhabitants of many cities. 21 The inhabitants of one city will go to another saying, “Let’s go and seek the favor of the Lord, and look for the Lord of heavenly forces. I’m going too.” 22 Many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the Lord of heavenly forces in Jerusalem and to seek the favor of the Lord.

23 The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:

In those days ten men from nations with entirely different languages will grab hold of a Judean’s clothes and say, “Let’s go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”

Fate of the nations

A pronouncement. The Lord’s word is against the land of Hadrach,
        and Damascus is its resting place,
        for the city of Aram[b] and all the tribes of Israel belong to the Lord.
Hamath also borders on it.
Tyre and Sidon, indeed, each is exceedingly wise.
Tyre built a fortress for herself.
She piled up silver like dust
        and gold like mud in the streets,
but the Lord will take her possessions away
        and knock her wealth into the sea.
She will be devoured with fire.

Ashkelon will look and be afraid.
    Gaza will writhe in agony,
            and also Ekron, because her hope has dried up.
    The king will perish from Gaza;
            Ashkelon won’t be inhabited.
An illegitimate child will dwell in Ashdod;
    I will eliminate the pride of the Philistines.
I will remove bloody food from his mouth
        and pieces of unclean food from between his teeth.
He will be a survivor who belongs to our God.
        He will be like a chieftain in Judah;
            Ekron will be like a Jebusite.
I will encamp before my house as a guard
    against anyone departing or returning.
        A slave driver will no longer pass through against them,
            for I have seen you[c] with my eyes.

Joy and protection for Judah and Ephraim

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion.
        Sing aloud, Daughter Jerusalem.
Look, your king will come to you.
        He is righteous and victorious.
        He is humble and riding on an ass,
            on a colt, the offspring of a donkey.
10 He[d] will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
        and the warhorse from Jerusalem.
The bow used in battle will be cut off;
        he will speak peace to the nations.
His rule will stretch from sea to sea,
        and from the river to the ends of the earth.
11 Moreover,[e] by the blood of your covenant,
    I will release your prisoners from the waterless pit.
12 Return to the stronghold, prisoners of hope.
        Moreover, declare today that I will return double to you.
13 Indeed, I myself will bend Judah as a bow;
        I will fill it with Ephraim.
Zion, I will rouse your sons against your sons. Greece, I will make you
        like a warrior’s sword.
14 The Lord will appear above them;
        his arrow will go forth like lightning.
The Lord God will blow the horn;
        he will march forth on the stormy winds of the south.
15 The Lord of heavenly forces will protect them.
        They will devour and subdue like sling stones.[f]
        They will drink, mumbling like one having wine.
        They will be filled like a bowl, like the corners of the altar.
16 The Lord their God will deliver them on that day as the flock of his people;
        they will be the jewels in a crown dotting his land.
17 What is his goodness,
        and what is his beauty?
Grain will make his young men flourish;
        so too wine his young women.

Fate of Judah and Ephraim

10 Ask the Lord for rain when it is time for the spring rain.
            The Lord is the one who makes the thunderstorms.
        He gives them rain showers.
        He gives vegetation in the field to each of them.[g]
The household divine images
        speak idolatry, and diviners see lies.
They interpret dreams falsely
        and provide empty comfort.
Therefore, they wander like sheep,
        but they are oppressed because there is no shepherd.
My anger burns hot against the shepherds;
            I will punish the goats.
        The Lord of heavenly forces will take care of his splendor, the house of Judah.
        He will make them like his majestic horse in battle.
The cornerstone, the tent peg, and the bow used in battle will come from Judah.
        Every oppressor will leave Judah simultaneously.
Judah will be like warriors,
        trampling through the muddy streets during battle.
They will do battle because the Lord is with them.
        All the cavalry will be ashamed.
I will strengthen the house of Judah
        and deliver the house of Joseph.
I will bring them back[h] because I have compassion on them.
        They will be as though I hadn’t rejected them, for I am the Lord their God;
            I will respond to them.

Ephraim will be like a warrior.
        They will be as glad as if they were drinking wine.
        Their children will watch and be glad.
        Their hearts will rejoice in the Lord.
I will whistle for them and gather them,
            because I have ransomed them.
        They will be as numerous as they were previously.
Though I sowed them among the peoples,
        they will remember me in the distant places
        where they are living with their children until they return.
10 I will bring them back from the land of Egypt;
    I will collect them from Assyria.
    I will bring them to the land of Gilead and Lebanon
        until there is no more room for them.
11 They[i] will pass through the sea of distress
            and strike the sea with waves.[j]
        All the depths of the river will dry up.
        The pride of Assyria will be brought down;
            the scepter of Egypt will turn away.
12 I will strengthen them in the Lord,
        and they will walk in his name, says the Lord.

11 Open your doors, Lebanon, so that fire will devour your cedars.
Scream, cypress, for the cedar has fallen;
            those majestic ones have been devastated.
Scream, oaks of Bashan, for the deep forest has fallen.
The sound of screaming appears among the shepherds
            because their majesty has been devastated.
        The sound of roaring can be heard among the young lions
            because the pride of the Jordan has been devastated.

The shepherd’s two staffs

This is what the Lord my God says:
    Shepherd the flock intended for slaughter.
        Those who buy them will kill them,
            but they will go unpunished.
        Those who sell them will say,
            “Blessed is the Lord, for I have become rich.”
                And their own shepherds won’t spare them.
                In fact, I will no longer spare the inhabitants of the land, says the Lord.
        But look what I am about to bring upon humanity,
            upon each of them by their neighbor’s hand and by the hand of their king:
        They will beat the land to pieces,
            but I won’t rescue anyone from their hand.
So I shepherded the flock intended for slaughter,
            the afflicted of the flock.[k]
I took two staffs for myself.
        I named one Delight;
            the other I named Harmony.
I shepherded the flock.
I removed three shepherds in one month
        when I grew impatient with them.
        Moreover, they detested me.
Then I said, “I won’t shepherd you.
    Let the dying die,
                and let what is to be removed be removed.
    Let those who are left devour the flesh of their neighbor.”

10 Then I took the staff Delight,
        and I chopped it up in order to break my covenant that I had made with all the peoples.
11         It was broken on that day.
            As a result, the afflicted[l] of the flock knew that it was the Lord’s word.
12 And I said to them,
        “If it appears good to you, give me my wages;
        but if not, then stop.”
        So they weighed out my wages, thirty shekels of silver.
13 The Lord said to me,
        “Put it in the treasury.[m]
        They value me at too magnificent a price.”
So I took the thirty shekels[n] of silver
        and put them in the treasury of the Lord’s house.

14 Then I chopped up my second staff Harmony,
        to break the alliance between Judah and Israel.
15 Then the Lord said to me,
    “Take for yourself again the equipment of a foolish shepherd,
16         because I am about to appoint a shepherd in the land.
            He won’t tend to those who have been removed.
            He won’t seek the young or heal the broken.
            He won’t sustain the one standing.
            Instead, he will devour the flesh of the fat ones, even tearing off their hooves.
17         Doom, foolish shepherd who forsakes the flock.
            A sword will strike[o] his arm and his right eye.
            His arm will wither completely;
                his right eye will become blind.”

Jerusalem on that day

12 A pronouncement. The Lord’s word against Israel,
    an utterance of the Lord
        who stretches out the heavens,
        who establishes the earth,
        and who fashions the spirit of humanity within it:
I am about to make Jerusalem a cup that will stagger all the surrounding nations.
        There will be a siege against Judah and against Jerusalem.

On that day I will make Jerusalem into a heavy stone[p] for all the peoples.
        All who carry it will hurt themselves;
        nevertheless, the nations of the earth will conspire against it.

On that day, says the Lord, I will strike every horse with confusion
        and its rider with madness.
I will keep my eyes open for the house of Judah;
        I will strike blind every horse of the peoples.
The chieftains of Judah will say to themselves, We are strong;
        the inhabitants of Jerusalem will say,
            The Lord their God of heavenly forces is strong.[q]

On that day I will place the chieftains of Judah like a pot on a wood fire and like a burning torch among the bundles of grain.
        They will devour all the surrounding nations to the right and the left.
        Jerusalem will dwell again in its place, in Jerusalem.
The Lord will first deliver the tents of Judah so that the splendor of David’s house
        and the splendor of Jerusalem’s inhabitants won’t overshadow Judah.

On that day the Lord will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Anyone among them who stumbles on that day will become like David,
        and David’s house will become like God,
            like the Lord’s messenger in front of them.

On that day I intend to destroy all the nations who come against Jerusalem,
10     but I will pour out a spirit of grace and mercy on David’s house
        and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
They will look to me concerning the one whom they pierced;
        they will mourn over him like the mourning for an only child.
        They will mourn bitterly over him like the bitter mourning over the death of[r] an oldest child.

11 On that day, the mourning in Jerusalem
    will be as great as the mourning of Hadad-Rimmon in the Megiddo Valley.
12 The land will mourn, each of the clans by itself:
    the clan of David’s house by themselves, and their women by themselves;
            the clan of Nathan’s house by themselves, and their women by themselves;
13             the clan of Levi’s house by themselves, and their women by themselves;
            and the Shimeites’ clan by themselves, and their women by themselves;
14             and all the remaining clans, each clan by itself, and their women by themselves.

13 On that day, a fountain will open
        to cleanse[s] the sin and impurity of David’s house and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

On that day, says the Lord of heavenly forces,
        I will eliminate the names of the idols from the land;
            they will no longer be remembered.
Moreover, I will remove the prophets and the sinful spirit from the land.
If anyone again prophesies,
        then that person’s birth father and mother will say,
    “You won’t live, for you have told a lie in the name of the Lord.”
    That person’s own birth father and mother will stab him when he prophesies.

On that day each of the prophets will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies
        and won’t put on a shaggy coat in order to deceive.
Each will say, “I’m not a prophet.
        I’m a man who works the ground, for the soil has been my occupation since I was young.”
Someone will say to him,
    “What are these wounds between your hands?”
        And he will say, “These happened when I was hit in my friends’ home.”

Sword, arise against my shepherd,
        against the man responsible for[t] my community, says the Lord of heavenly forces!
Strike the shepherd in order to scatter the flock!
        I will turn my hand against the little ones.
Throughout all the land, says the Lord,
        two-thirds will be cut off and die;
            but one-third will be left in it.
I will put the third part into the fire.
        I will refine them like one refines silver;
            I will test them like one tests gold.
They will call on my name, and I will respond to them.
        I will say, “They are my people.”
            And they will say, “The Lord is our God.”

The day of the Lord

14 A day is coming that belongs to the Lord,
        when that which has been plundered from you will be divided among you.
I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem for the battle,
        the city will be captured,
        the houses will be plundered,
        and the women will be raped.
Half of the city will go forth into exile,
        but what is left of the people won’t be eliminated from the city.
The Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.
On that day he will stand upon the Mount of Olives, to the east of Jerusalem.
        The Mount of Olives will be split in half by a very large valley running from east to west.
        Half of the mountain will move north,
            and the other half will move south.
You will flee through the valley of my mountain,
        because the valley of the mountains will reach to Azal.
You will flee just as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Judah’s King Uzziah.
        The Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.[u]
On that day, there will be no light.
        Splendid things will disappear.[v]
On one day known to the Lord, there will be neither day nor night,
        but at evening time there will be light.
    On that day, running water will flow out from Jerusalem,
        half of it to the Dead Sea[w]
        and half of it to the Mediterranean;[x]
        this will happen during the summer and the fall.
The Lord will become king over all the land.
        On that day the Lord will be one,
            and the Lord’s name will be one.
10 The entire land will become like the desert[y]
    from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem will be high up and firmly in place
        from the Benjamin Gate to the place of the former gate,
    to the Corner Gate, and from the Hananel Tower to the king’s wine vats.
11 People will dwell in it;
            it will never again be destroyed.
        Jerusalem will dwell securely.
12 This will be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples who
swarmed against Jerusalem:
            their flesh will rot, even while standing on their feet;
            their eyes will rot in their sockets;
            and their tongues will rot in their mouths.
13 On that day, a great panic brought on by the Lord will fall upon them;
        they will all grasp at the hand of their neighbors;
            neighbors will attack each other.
14 Even Judah will fight in Jerusalem.
        The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected:
            gold, silver, and a great abundance of garments.
15 This[z] plague will also affect the horses, mules, camels, donkeys, and any cattle in those camps during this plague.

16 All those left from all the nations who attacked Jerusalem will go up annually to pay homage to the king, the Lord of heavenly forces, and to celebrate the Festival of Booths.

17 Whoever among the families of the earth doesn’t go up to Jerusalem to pay homage to the king, the Lord of heavenly forces, upon them no rain will fall.

18 And if the family of Egypt doesn’t go up and doesn’t present itself, then no rain[aa] will fall on them. There will[ab] be a plague like the one with which the Lord struck the nations that didn’t go up to celebrate the Festival of Booths.

19 This would be the sin of Egypt and the sin of all the nations who don’t go up to celebrate the Festival of Booths.

20 On that day, Holy to the Lord will be inscribed[ac] on the bells of the horses,
        and the pots in the Lord’s house will be holy[ad] like the bowls before the altar.
21 Every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the Lord of heavenly forces.
        All those who sacrifice will come.
        They will take some of the pots and cook with them.
            There will no longer be any merchants[ae] in the house of the Lord of heavenly forces on that day.

Footnotes:

  1. Zechariah 8:1 Heb lacks to me.
  2. Zechariah 9:1 Or eyes of humanity
  3. Zechariah 9:8 Heb lacks you.
  4. Zechariah 9:10 LXX; MT I
  5. Zechariah 9:11 Heb uncertain
  6. Zechariah 9:15 Heb uncertain
  7. Zechariah 10:1 Heb lacks of them.
  8. Zechariah 10:6 Or I will restore them
  9. Zechariah 10:11 LXX; MT he
  10. Zechariah 10:11 Heb uncertain
  11. Zechariah 11:7 Heb uncertain
  12. Zechariah 11:11 Cf Zech 11:7
  13. Zechariah 11:13 Syr; MT to the potter
  14. Zechariah 11:13 Heb lacks shekels.
  15. Zechariah 11:17 Heb lacks will strike.
  16. Zechariah 12:3 Heb uncertain
  17. Zechariah 12:5 Heb uncertain
  18. Zechariah 12:10 Heb lacks the death of.
  19. Zechariah 13:1 Heb lacks to cleanse.
  20. Zechariah 13:7 Heb lacks responsible for.
  21. Zechariah 14:5 Or you
  22. Zechariah 14:6 Heb uncertain
  23. Zechariah 14:8 Or eastern sea
  24. Zechariah 14:8 Or western sea
  25. Zechariah 14:10 Heb Arabah
  26. Zechariah 14:15 Heb lacks this, cf 14:12.
  27. Zechariah 14:18 Heb lacks rain.
  28. Zechariah 14:18 Or will not.
  29. Zechariah 14:20 Heb lacks inscribed.
  30. Zechariah 14:20 Heb lacks holy.
  31. Zechariah 14:21 Heb Canaanite
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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