Prophecies against Neighboring Nations
9 The [a]oracle (a burdensome message) of the word of the Lord is against the land of Hadrach [in Syria], with Damascus as its resting place (for the eyes of men, especially of all the tribes of Israel, are toward the Lord),(A)
And Hamath also, which borders on it (Damascus),
Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise.
For Tyre built herself an [impregnable] stronghold [on an island offshore],
And she has heaped up silver like dust
And gold like the mire of the streets.
Behold, the Lord will [b]dispossess her
And throw her wealth into the sea;
And Tyre will be devoured by fire.
[c]Ashkelon will see it and fear;
Gaza will writhe in pain,
And Ekron, for her hope and expectation, has been ruined.
The king will perish from Gaza,
And Ashkelon will not be inhabited.
And a mongrel race will live in Ashdod,
And I will put an end to the pride and arrogance of the Philistines.
I will take the blood from their mouths
And their detestable things from between their teeth [those repulsive, idolatrous sacrifices eaten with the blood].
Then they too will be a remnant for our God,
And be like a clan in Judah,
And Ekron will be like one of the [d]Jebusites.
Then I will camp around My house [as a guard] because of an army,
Because of him who passes by and returns;
And no oppressor will again overrun them (Israel),
For now My eyes are upon them [providentially protecting them].
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O Daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King (Messianic King) is coming to you;
He is righteous and endowed with salvation,
[e]Humble and unassuming [in submission to the will of the Father] and riding on a [f]donkey,
Upon a colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will cut off the [war] chariot from Ephraim
And the [war] horse from Jerusalem,
And the bow of war will be cut off.
And He will speak [words of] peace to the nations,
And His dominion shall be from sea to sea [absolutely endless],
And from the River [Euphrates] to the ends of the earth.(B)
Salvation of Judah and Ephraim
As for you also, because of the blood of My covenant with you [My chosen people, the covenant that was sealed with blood]
I have freed your prisoners from the waterless pit.(C)
Return to the stronghold [of security and prosperity], O prisoners who have the hope;
Even today I am declaring that I will restore double [your former prosperity] to you [as firstborn among nations].(D)
For I will bend Judah as My bow,
I will fit the bow with Ephraim [as My arrow].
And I will stir up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece,
And will make you [Israel] like the sword of a warrior.
Then the Lord will be seen [hovering] over them [protecting His people],
And His arrow will go forth like lightning;
And the Lord God will blow the trumpet
And will march in the windstorms of the south.
The Lord of hosts shall defend and protect them;
And they will devour [the enemy] and trample down the slingstones [that have missed their mark],
And they will drink [of victory] and be boisterous as with wine;
And they shall be filled like sacrificial bowls [used to catch the blood],
Drenched like the corners of the [sacrificial] altar.
And the Lord their God shall save them on that day
As the flock of His people;
For they are like the [precious] jewels of a crown,
Displayed and glittering in His land.
For how great is God’s goodness and how great is His beauty! And how great [He will make Israel’s] goodliness and [Israel’s] beauty!
Grain and new wine will make the young men and virgins flourish.
- Zechariah 9:1 I.e. an urgent message the prophet is under compulsion to give.
- Zechariah 9:4 In 332 b.c. after a siege lasting seven months, Tyre was conquered by Alexander the Great. At that time Tyre consisted of two urban sites, one on the mainland and the other on the island a half mile from the shore. In order to conquer Tyre Alexander built a causeway from the mainland to the island. History records that he killed everyone except those who fled to the temples, then he ordered the houses to be set afire. The modern city of Sur, Lebanon, is near the site of ancient Tyre.
- Zechariah 9:5 Ashkelon, one of the five major Philistine cities (Josh 13:3) was the birthplace of Herod the Great, and the home of his sister, Salome. Gath and Ashdod are the major Philistine cities not named in this verse. Zechariah’s prophecy about Ashkelon’s total destruction was fulfilled during the time of the Crusades, (about a.d. 1260-1270), when Sultan Baibars, who was fighting against the Crusaders, reduced the site of ancient Ashkelon to ruins and filled the harbor with stones.
- Zechariah 9:7 An ancient tribal people who lived in the area around Jerusalem before it was captured by King David. They were absorbed by other tribes and lost their identity in Israel.
- Zechariah 9:9 Quoted in the NT to describe the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, see Matt 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-38; John 12:14-16.
- Zechariah 9:9 As a matter of discussion, the ancient rabbis noted an apparent contradiction between the coming of the Messiah with the clouds of heaven in Dan 7:13, and his riding on a donkey as prophesied here. Their solution was that Messiah would come with the clouds if Israel was worthy, but on a donkey if Israel was not.
New Living Translation
Judgment against Israel’s Enemies
2 Doom is certain for Hamath,
and for the cities of Tyre and Sidon,
though they are so clever.
3 Tyre has built a strong fortress
and has made silver and gold
as plentiful as dust in the streets!
4 But now the Lord will strip away Tyre’s possessions
and hurl its fortifications into the sea,
and it will be burned to the ground.
5 The city of Ashkelon will see Tyre fall
and will be filled with fear.
Gaza will shake with terror,
as will Ekron, for their hopes will be dashed.
Gaza’s king will be killed,
and Ashkelon will be deserted.
6 Foreigners will occupy the city of Ashdod.
I will destroy the pride of the Philistines.
7 I will grab the bloody meat from their mouths
and snatch the detestable sacrifices from their teeth.
Then the surviving Philistines will worship our God
and become like a clan in Judah.[c]
The Philistines of Ekron will join my people,
as the ancient Jebusites once did.
8 I will guard my Temple
and protect it from invading armies.
I am watching closely to ensure
that no more foreign oppressors overrun my people’s land.
Zion’s Coming King
9 Rejoice, O people of Zion![d]
Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem!
Look, your king is coming to you.
He is righteous and victorious,[e]
yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—
riding on a donkey’s colt.
10 I will remove the battle chariots from Israel[f]
and the warhorses from Jerusalem.
I will destroy all the weapons used in battle,
and your king will bring peace to the nations.
His realm will stretch from sea to sea
and from the Euphrates River[g] to the ends of the earth.[h]
11 Because of the covenant I made with you,
sealed with blood,
I will free your prisoners
from death in a waterless dungeon.
12 Come back to the place of safety,
all you prisoners who still have hope!
I promise this very day
that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles.
13 Judah is my bow,
and Israel is my arrow.
Jerusalem[i] is my sword,
and like a warrior, I will brandish it against the Greeks.[j]
14 The Lord will appear above his people;
his arrows will fly like lightning!
The Sovereign Lord will sound the ram’s horn
and attack like a whirlwind from the southern desert.
15 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies will protect his people,
and they will defeat their enemies by hurling great stones.
They will shout in battle as though drunk with wine.
They will be filled with blood like a bowl,
drenched with blood like the corners of the altar.
16 On that day the Lord their God will rescue his people,
just as a shepherd rescues his sheep.
They will sparkle in his land
like jewels in a crown.
17 How wonderful and beautiful they will be!
The young men will thrive on abundant grain,
and the young women will flourish on new wine.
- 9:1a Hebrew An Oracle: The message.
- 9:1b Hebrew land of Hadrach.
- 9:7 Hebrew like a leader in Judah.
- 9:9a Hebrew O daughter of Zion!
- 9:9b Hebrew and is being vindicated.
- 9:10a Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel; also in 9:13.
- 9:10b Hebrew the river.
- 9:10c Or the end of the land.
- 9:13a Hebrew Zion.
- 9:13b Hebrew the sons of Javan.