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The burden or oracle (the thing to be lifted up) of the word of the Lord is against the land of Hadrach [in Syria], and Damascus shall be its resting place, for the Lord has an eye upon mankind as upon all the tribes of Israel,

And Hamath also, which borders on [Damascus], Tyre with Sidon, though they are very wise.

And Tyre has built herself a stronghold [on an island a half mile from the shore, which seems impregnable], and heaped up silver like dust and fine gold like the mire of the streets.

Behold, the Lord will [a]cast her out and dispossess her; He will smite her power in the sea and into it and [Tyre] shall be devoured by fire.

[The strong cities of Philistia] shall see it and fear; [b]Ashkelon, Gaza also, and be sorely pained, and Ekron, for her confidence and expectation shall be put to shame, and a king [monarchial government] shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.

And a mongrel people shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will put an end to the pride of the Philistines.

And I will take out of [the Philistines’] mouths and from between their teeth the abominable idolatrous sacrifices eaten with the blood. And they too shall remain and be a remnant for our God, and they shall be like chieftains (the head over a thousand) in Judah, and Ekron shall be like one of the Jebusites [who at last were merged and had lost their identity in Israel].

Then I will encamp about My house as a guard or a garrison so that none shall march back and forth, and no oppressor or demanding collector shall again overrun them, for now My eyes are upon them.

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O Daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King comes to you; He is [uncompromisingly] just and having salvation [triumphant and victorious], patient, meek, lowly, and riding on a donkey, upon a colt, the foal of a donkey.(A)

10 And I will cut off and exterminate the war chariot from Ephraim and the [war] horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off; and He shall speak the word and peace shall come to the nations, and His dominion shall be from the [Mediterranean] Sea to [any other] sea, and from the River [Euphrates] to the ends of the earth!(B)

11 As for you also, because of and for the sake of the [covenant of the Lord with His people, which was sealed with sprinkled] covenant blood, I have released and sent forth your imprisoned people out of the waterless pit.(C)

12 Return to the stronghold [of security and prosperity], you prisoners of hope; even today do I declare that I will restore double your former prosperity to you.(D)

13 For I have bent Judah for Myself as My bow, filled the bow with Ephraim as My arrow, and will stir up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and will make you [Israel] as the sword of a mighty man.

14 And the Lord shall be seen over them and His arrow shall go forth as the lightning, and the Lord God will blow the trumpet and will go forth in the windstorms of the south.

15 The Lord of hosts shall defend and protect them; and they shall devour and they shall tread on [their fallen enemies] as on slingstones [that have missed their aim], and they shall drink [of victory] and be noisy and turbulent as from wine and become full like bowls [used to catch the sacrificial blood], like the corners of the [sacrificial] altar.

16 And the Lord their God will save them on that day as the flock of His people, for they shall be as the [precious] jewels of a crown, lifted high over and shining glitteringly upon His land.

17 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 shall make the young men thrive and fresh wine the maidens.

Footnotes

  1. Zechariah 9:4 Tyre was utterly destroyed by Alexander the Great and has never been rebuilt. History records that after he had slain everyone except those who had fled to the temples, Alexander ordered the houses to be set afire. Yet Sidon, Tyre’s sister city (Zech. 9:2), though meeting with many adversities, has survived and has kept her identity (modern Saida) for an estimated 4,000 years (Gen. 10:15, 19). How did Zechariah know that it was Tyre, not Sidon, that was to be permanently destroyed? Ezekiel wrote of Tyre, after telling the details of her destruction, “You shall never be rebuilt, for I the Lord have spoken it, says the Lord God” (Ezek. 26:14).
  2. Zechariah 9:5 Ashkelon was one of the five strong, leading Philistine cities (Josh. 13:3)—Gath and Ashdod being the ones not named here in this verse. Ashkelon was the birthplace of Herod the Great, and the residence of his sister Salome. It was not until a.d. 1270 that Zechariah’s prophecy of its total destruction was fulfilled, when the Sultan Bibars reduced it to ruins and filled the harbor with stones. Nearly 700 years later the city is still uninhabited, and the seacoast has been and continues to be the site of “dwellings and cottages for shepherds and folds for flocks” (Zeph. 2:6 kjv).

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