9 This is the message with which the Eternal burdened His prophet.
He has set His message against the land of Hadrach,
and the city of Damascus is its resting place.
For the eyes of all humanity—especially His people from the tribes of Israel—
are fixed on the Eternal.
2 His message is also against Hamath, on the northern border of Syria,
and Tyre and Sidon, coastal cities filled with self-proclaimed wise citizens.
3 Tyre, that prosperous city, has strong defenses
including an earthen rampart around her thick walls;
She mounds up silver like dust,
and gold is as common as dirt in the street.
4 But the Lord will steal her treasures
and sink the ships of her livelihood in the depths of the sea.
Tyre, that watery city, will be consumed by unquenchable fire.
5 Ashkelon will witness the fall of Tyre from her own coast and quake with fear;
Gaza, not far to her south, will writhe in great agony;
Ekron will, too, because all hope will be lost.
Gaza’s monarchy will end when her king dies,
and Ashkelon’s streets will be left empty.
6 Children of unholy unions will live in Ashdod’s houses,
the pride of the Philistines turned over to mongrels.
Eternal One: I will make this happen.
7 I will cleanse those children from pagan practices
such as drinking blood and chewing on forbidden meats.
Those people will then belong to our God, a remnant for the Lord.
They will become like a clan[a] in Judah,
And those in Ekron will be like the surviving Jebusites
who became God’s people when David conquered Jerusalem.
8 Eternal One: When that day comes, I will set up an army camp before My house
to guard My lands against those who’d march against My people.
Never again will they bow to an oppressor,
for I am watching over them Myself.
9 Cry out with joy, O daughter of Zion!
Shout jubilantly, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Look—your King is coming;
He is righteous and able to save.
He comes seated humbly on a donkey,
on a colt, a foal of a donkey.[b]
10 I will dismantle Ephraim’s chariots,
retire the warhorses from Jerusalem,
send home the archers to their families in peace.
He will make peace with the nations;
His sovereignty will extend from coast to coast,
from the Euphrates River to the limits of the earth.
Like many earlier prophets, Zechariah tells of a day when an ideal King will enter Jerusalem to the uproarious shouts and jubilant celebration of the people. Unlike other kings, this King enters humbly riding on a donkey, a beast of burden, not on a warhorse. He comes to establish real justice. God has given Him the victory, and now He shares that victory with the people. In that day, as His reign reaches the ends of the earth, war and the instruments of war are laid aside in the greater interests of an abiding, universal peace.
11 Eternal One: As for you, because of the covenant promise I made with you through your ancestor David,
a covenant sealed in blood,
I will free your prisoners from the waterless pits of death.
12 Return to your walled cities, safe and secure,
O hostages of hope.
I announce today that I will restore to you twice as much as what was taken.
13 For My people will be My weapons:
Judah, My drawn bow, loaded with Ephraim, My arrow.
I will stir your sons, Zion, making them My attacking hordes against the sons of Greece,
and I will brandish you like a warrior’s sword.
14 Then the Eternal will appear over them,
and His arrow will move like lightning;
The Eternal Lord will sound the battle trumpet
and cloak His marching forces in an approaching storm from the south.
15 The Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, will shield His people,
and they will feast and trample the sling stones hurled uselessly by their enemies.
They will drink in and roar at the battle like men filled with wine;
they will be full like a bowl collecting the blood of a sacrifice,
drenched like the corners of the altar during a festival offering.
16 On that glorious day, the Eternal their God will save His people, for they are His flock;
they will sparkle over His lands like jewels in a crown,
17 For goodness and beauty will abound!
Grain will grow and nourish the young men;
Wine will flow and flourish the young women.