Zechariah 9-14New Living Translation (NLT)
Judgment against Israel’s Enemies
2 Doom is certain for Hamath,
Zion’s Coming King
9 Rejoice, O people of Zion![d]
14 The Lord will appear above his people;
The Lord Will Restore His People
10 Ask the Lord for rain in the spring,
3 “My anger burns against your shepherds,
6 “I will strengthen Judah and save Israel[l];
11 Open your doors, Lebanon,
The Good and Evil Shepherds
4 This is what the Lord my God says: “Go and care for the flock that is intended for slaughter. 5 The buyers slaughter their sheep without remorse. The sellers say, ‘Praise the Lord! Now I’m rich!’ Even the shepherds have no compassion for them. 6 Likewise, I will no longer have pity on the people of the land,” says the Lord. “I will let them fall into each other’s hands and into the hands of their king. They will turn the land into a wilderness, and I will not rescue them.”
7 So I cared for the flock intended for slaughter—the flock that was oppressed. Then I took two shepherd’s staffs and named one Favor and the other Union. 8 I got rid of their three evil shepherds in a single month.
But I became impatient with these sheep, and they hated me, too. 9 So I told them, “I won’t be your shepherd any longer. If you die, you die. If you are killed, you are killed. And let those who remain devour each other!”
10 Then I took my staff called Favor and cut it in two, showing that I had revoked the covenant I had made with all the nations. 11 That was the end of my covenant with them. The suffering flock was watching me, and they knew that the Lord was speaking through my actions.
12 And I said to them, “If you like, give me my wages, whatever I am worth; but only if you want to.” So they counted out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.
13 And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter[p]”—this magnificent sum at which they valued me! So I took the thirty coins and threw them to the potter in the Temple of the Lord.
14 Then I took my other staff, Union, and cut it in two, showing that the bond of unity between Judah and Israel was broken.
15 Then the Lord said to me, “Go again and play the part of a worthless shepherd. 16 This illustrates how I will give this nation a shepherd who will not care for those who are dying, nor look after the young, nor heal the injured, nor feed the healthy. Instead, this shepherd will eat the meat of the fattest sheep and tear off their hooves.
17 “What sorrow awaits this worthless shepherd
Future Deliverance for Jerusalem
12 This[q] message concerning the fate of Israel came from the Lord: “This message is from the Lord, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the human spirit. 2 I will make Jerusalem like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby nations stagger when they send their armies to besiege Jerusalem and Judah. 3 On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves.
4 “On that day,” says the Lord, “I will cause every horse to panic and every rider to lose his nerve. I will watch over the people of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of their enemies. 5 And the clans of Judah will say to themselves, ‘The people of Jerusalem have found strength in the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, their God.’
6 “On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a flame that sets a woodpile ablaze or like a burning torch among sheaves of grain. They will burn up all the neighboring nations right and left, while the people living in Jerusalem remain secure.
7 “The Lord will give victory to the rest of Judah first, before Jerusalem, so that the people of Jerusalem and the royal line of David will not have greater honor than the rest of Judah. 8 On that day the Lord will defend the people of Jerusalem; the weakest among them will be as mighty as King David! And the royal descendants will be like God, like the angel of the Lord who goes before them! 9 For on that day I will begin to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
10 “Then I will pour out a spirit[r] of grace and prayer on the family of David and on the people of Jerusalem. They will look on me whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for him as for a firstborn son who has died. 11 The sorrow and mourning in Jerusalem on that day will be like the great mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the valley of Megiddo.
12 “All Israel will mourn, each clan by itself, and with the husbands separate from their wives. The clan of David will mourn alone, as will the clan of Nathan, 13 the clan of Levi, and the clan of Shimei. 14 Each of the surviving clans from Judah will mourn separately, and with the husbands separate from their wives.
A Fountain of Cleansing
13 “On that day a fountain will be opened for the dynasty of David and for the people of Jerusalem, a fountain to cleanse them from all their sins and impurity.
2 “And on that day,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will erase idol worship throughout the land, so that even the names of the idols will be forgotten. I will remove from the land both the false prophets and the spirit of impurity that came with them. 3 If anyone continues to prophesy, his own father and mother will tell him, ‘You must die, for you have prophesied lies in the name of the Lord.’ And as he prophesies, his own father and mother will stab him.
4 “On that day people will be ashamed to claim the prophetic gift. No one will pretend to be a prophet by wearing prophet’s clothes. 5 He will say, ‘I’m no prophet; I’m a farmer. I began working for a farmer as a boy.’ 6 And if someone asks, ‘Then what about those wounds on your chest?[s]’ he will say, ‘I was wounded at my friends’ house!’
The Scattering of the Sheep
7 “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
The Lord Will Rule the Earth
14 Watch, for the day of the Lord is coming when your possessions will be plundered right in front of you! 2 I will gather all the nations to fight against Jerusalem. The city will be taken, the houses looted, and the women raped. Half the population will be taken into captivity, and the rest will be left among the ruins of the city.
3 Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations, as he has fought in times past. 4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. And the Mount of Olives will split apart, making a wide valley running from east to west. Half the mountain will move toward the north and half toward the south. 5 You will flee through this valley, for it will reach across to Azal.[t] Yes, you will flee as you did from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all his holy ones with him.[u]
6 On that day the sources of light will no longer shine,[v] 7 yet there will be continuous day! Only the Lord knows how this could happen. There will be no normal day and night, for at evening time it will still be light.
8 On that day life-giving waters will flow out from Jerusalem, half toward the Dead Sea and half toward the Mediterranean,[w] flowing continuously in both summer and winter.
9 And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day there will be one Lord—his name alone will be worshiped.
10 All the land from Geba, north of Judah, to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become one vast plain. But Jerusalem will be raised up in its original place and will be inhabited all the way from the Benjamin Gate over to the site of the old gate, then to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses. 11 And Jerusalem will be filled, safe at last, never again to be cursed and destroyed.
12 And the Lord will send a plague on all the nations that fought against Jerusalem. Their people will become like walking corpses, their flesh rotting away. Their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. 13 On that day they will be terrified, stricken by the Lord with great panic. They will fight their neighbors hand to hand. 14 Judah, too, will be fighting at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the neighboring nations will be captured—great quantities of gold and silver and fine clothing. 15 This same plague will strike the horses, mules, camels, donkeys, and all the other animals in the enemy camps.
16 In the end, the enemies of Jerusalem who survive the plague will go up to Jerusalem each year to worship the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and to celebrate the Festival of Shelters. 17 Any nation in the world that refuses to come to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will have no rain. 18 If the people of Egypt refuse to attend the festival, the Lord will punish[x] them with the same plague that he sends on the other nations who refuse to go. 19 Egypt and the other nations will all be punished if they don’t go to celebrate the Festival of Shelters.
20 On that day even the harness bells of the horses will be inscribed with these words: Holy to the lord. And the cooking pots in the Temple of the Lord will be as sacred as the basins used beside the altar. 21 In fact, every cooking pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. All who come to worship will be free to use any of these pots to boil their sacrifices. And on that day there will no longer be traders[y] in the Temple of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
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