Zechariah 9-12 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Israel’s Enemies Will Be Punished
9 This is a message
5 Both Ashkelon and Gaza
7 No longer will the Philistines
8 God says, “I will stand guard
The Lord Tells about the Coming King
9 Everyone in Jerusalem,
The Lord Promises To Rescue Captives
11 When I made a sacred agreement
The Lord Will Protect His People
14 Like a cloud, the Lord God
16 The Lord God will save them
A Bright Future for Judah and Israel
10 I, the Lord, am the one
2 You can’t believe idols
3 I, the Lord All-Powerful,
4 From this flock will come leaders
6 I will strengthen
8 I will give a signal
Trouble for Israel’s Enemies
11 Lebanon, open your gates!
Let the fire come in
4 The Lord my God said to me:
Tend those sheep doomed for slaughter! 5 The people who buy and butcher them go unpunished, while everyone who sells them says, “Praise the Lord! I’m rich.” Not even their shepherds have pity on them.
6 Tend those sheep because I, the Lord, will no longer have pity on the people of this earth. I’ll turn neighbor against neighbor and make them slaves of a king. They will bring disaster on the earth, and I’ll do nothing to rescue any of them.
7 So I became a shepherd of those sheep doomed to be slaughtered by the sheep dealers.[m] And I gave names to the two sticks I used for tending the sheep: One of them was named “Mercy” and the other “Unity.” 8 In less than a month, I became impatient with three shepherds who didn’t like me, and I got rid of them. 9 Then I said, “I refuse to be your shepherd. Let the sheep that are going to die, go on and die, and those that are going to be destroyed, go on and be destroyed. Then let the others eat one another alive.”
10 On that same day, I broke the stick named “Mercy” to show that the Lord had canceled his agreement with all people. 11 The sheep dealers who saw me knew right away that this was a message from the Lord. 12-13 I told them, “Pay me my wages, if you think you should; otherwise, forget it.” So they handed me my wages, a measly thirty pieces of silver.
Then the Lord said, “Throw the money into the treasury.”[n] So I threw the money into the treasury at the Lord’s temple. 14 Then I broke the stick named “Unity” and canceled the ties between Judah and Israel.
15 Next, the Lord said to me, “Act like a shepherd again—this time a worthless shepherd. 16 Once more I am going to let a worthless nobody rule the land—one who won’t care for the strays or search for the young or heal the sick or feed the healthy. He will just dine on the fattest sheep, leaving nothing but a few bones.”
17 You worthless shepherd,
Victory for Jerusalem
12 This is a message from the Lord about Israel:
I am the Lord! I stretched out the heavens; I put the earth on its foundations and gave breath to humans. 2 I have decided that Jerusalem will become a bowl of wine that makes the neighboring nations drunk. And when Jerusalem is attacked, Judah will also be attacked.[o] 3 But I will turn Jerusalem into a heavy stone that crushes anyone who tries to lift it.
When all nations on earth surround Jerusalem, 4 I will make every horse panic and every rider confused. But at the same time, I will watch over Judah. 5 Then every clan in Judah will realize that I, the Lord All-Powerful, am their God, and that I am the source of their strength.
6 At that time I will let the clans of Judah be like a ball of fire in a wood pile or a fiery torch in a hay stack. Then Judah will send the surrounding nations up in smoke. And once again the city of Jerusalem will be filled with people.
7 But I will first give victory to Judah, so the kingdom of David and the city of Jerusalem in all of their glory won’t be thought of more highly than Judah itself. 8 I, the Lord God, will protect Jerusalem. Even the weakest person there will be as strong as David, and David’s kingdom will rule as though my very own angel were its leader. 9 I am determined to wipe out every nation that attacks Jerusalem.
Mourning for the One Pierced with a Spear
10 I, the Lord, will make the descendants of David and the people of Jerusalem feel deep sorrow and pray when they see the one they pierced with a spear. They will mourn and weep for him, as parents weep over the death of their only child or their first-born. 11 On that day the people of Jerusalem will mourn as much as everyone did for Hadad Rimmon[p] on the flatlands near Megiddo. 12 Everyone of each family in the land will mourn, and the men will mourn separately from the women. This includes those from the family of David, and the families of Nathan, 13 Levi, Shimei,[q] 14 and all other families as well.
Revelation 20 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Thousand Years
20 I saw an angel come down from heaven, carrying the key to the deep pit and a big chain. 2 He chained the dragon for a thousand years. It is that old snake, who is also known as the devil and Satan. 3 Then the angel threw the dragon into the pit. He locked and sealed it, so that a thousand years would go by before the dragon could fool the nations again. But after that, it would have to be set free for a little while.
4 I saw thrones, and sitting on those thrones were the ones who had been given the right to judge. I also saw the souls of the people who had their heads cut off because they had told about Jesus and preached God’s message. They were the same ones who had not worshiped the beast or the idol, and they had refused to let its mark be put on their hands or foreheads. They will come to life and rule with Christ for a thousand years.
5-6 These people are the first to be raised to life, and they are especially blessed and holy. The second death[a] has no power over them. They will be priests for God and Christ and will rule with them for a thousand years.
No other dead people were raised to life until a thousand years later.
Satan Is Defeated
7 At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be set free. 8 He will fool the countries of Gog and Magog, which are at the far ends of the earth, and their people will follow him into battle. They will have as many followers as there are grains of sand along the beach, 9 and they will march all the way across the earth. They will surround the camp of God’s people and the city that his people love. But fire will come down from heaven and destroy the whole army. 10 Then the devil who fooled them will be thrown into the lake of fire and burning sulfur. He will be there with the beast and the false prophet, and they will be in pain day and night forever and ever.
The Judgment at the Great White Throne
11 I saw a great white throne with someone sitting on it. Earth and heaven tried to run away, but there was no place for them to go. 12 I also saw all the dead people standing in front of that throne. Every one of them was there, no matter who they had once been. Several books were opened, and then the book of life[b] was opened. The dead were judged by what those books said they had done.
13 The sea gave up the dead people who were in it, and death and its kingdom also gave up their dead. Then everyone was judged by what they had done. 14 Afterwards, death and its kingdom were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death.[c] 15 Anyone whose name wasn’t written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
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