9 This is a message from the Lord: His eyes are on everyone, especially the tribes of Israel.[a] So he pronounces judgment against the cities of Hadrach and Damascus.[b] 2 Judgment will also fall on the nearby city of Hamath, as well as on Tyre and Sidon,[c] whose people are clever. 3 Tyre has built a fortress and piled up silver and gold, as though they were dust or mud from the streets. 4 Now the Lord will punish Tyre with poverty; he will sink its ships and send it up in flames.
5 Both Ashkelon and Gaza will tremble with fear; Ekron will lose all hope. Gaza’s king will be killed, and Ashkelon emptied of its people. 6 A mob of half-breeds will settle in Ashdod,[d] and the Lord himself will rob Philistia of pride.
7 No longer will the Philistines eat meat with blood in it or any unclean food.[e] They will become part of the people of our God from the tribe of Judah. And God will accept the people of Ekron, as he did the Jebusites.[f]
8 God says, “I will stand guard to protect my temple from those who come to attack. I know what’s happening, and no one will mistreat my people ever again.”
The Lord Tells about the Coming King
9 Everyone in Jerusalem, celebrate and shout! Your king has won a victory, and he is coming to you. He is humble and rides on a donkey; he comes on the colt of a donkey. 10 I, the Lord, will take away war chariots and horses from Israel[g] and Jerusalem. Bows that were made for battle will be broken. I will bring peace to nations, and your king will rule from sea to sea. His kingdom will reach from the Euphrates River across the earth.
The Lord Promises To Rescue Captives
11 When I made a sacred agreement with you, my people, we sealed it with blood.[h] Now some of you are captives in waterless pits, but I will come to your rescue 12 and offer you hope. Return to your fortress, because today I will reward you with twice what you had. 13 I will use Judah as my bow and Israel[i] as my arrow. I will take the people of Zion as my sword and attack the Greeks.
The Lord Will Protect His People
14 Like a cloud, the Lord God will appear over his people, and his arrows will flash like lightning. God will sound his trumpet and attack in a whirlwind from the south. 15 The Lord All-Powerful will protect his people, and they will trample down the sharpshooters and their slingshots. They will drink and get rowdy; they will be as full as a bowl at the time of sacrifice.
16 The Lord God will save them on that day, because they are his people, and they will shine on his land like jewels in a crown. 17 How lovely they will be. Young people will grow there like grain in a field or grapes in a vineyard.
9.1His. . . Israel: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
9.1Hadrach and Damascus: Hadrach was north of both Damascus (the main city of Syria) and Hamath (verse 2).
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