9 This is the message[a] from the Lord against the land of Aram[b] and the city of Damascus, for the eyes of humanity, including all the tribes of Israel, are on the Lord.
2 Doom is certain for Hamath, near Damascus, and for the cities of Tyre and Sidon, though they are so clever. 3 Tyre has built a strong fortress and has made silver and gold as plentiful as dust in the streets! 4 But now the Lord will strip away Tyre’s possessions and hurl its fortifications into the sea, and it will be burned to the ground. 5 The city of Ashkelon will see Tyre fall and will be filled with fear. Gaza will shake with terror, as will Ekron, for their hopes will be dashed. Gaza’s king will be killed, and Ashkelon will be deserted. 6 Foreigners will occupy the city of Ashdod. I will destroy the pride of the Philistines. 7 I will grab the bloody meat from their mouths and snatch the detestable sacrifices from their teeth. Then the surviving Philistines will worship our God and become like a clan in Judah.[c] The Philistines of Ekron will join my people, as the ancient Jebusites once did. 8 I will guard my Temple and protect it from invading armies. I am watching closely to ensure that no more foreign oppressors overrun my people’s land.
Zion’s Coming King
9 Rejoice, O people of Zion![d] Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious,[e] yet he is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt. 10 I will remove the battle chariots from Israel[f] and the warhorses from Jerusalem. I will destroy all the weapons used in battle, and your king will bring peace to the nations. His realm will stretch from sea to sea and from the Euphrates River[g] to the ends of the earth.[h] 11 Because of the covenant I made with you, sealed with blood, I will free your prisoners from death in a waterless dungeon. 12 Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope! I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles. 13 Judah is my bow, and Israel is my arrow. Jerusalem[i] is my sword, and like a warrior, I will brandish it against the Greeks.[j]
14 The Lord will appear above his people; his arrows will fly like lightning! The Sovereign Lord will sound the ram’s horn and attack like a whirlwind from the southern desert. 15 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies will protect his people, and they will defeat their enemies by hurling great stones. They will shout in battle as though drunk with wine. They will be filled with blood like a bowl, drenched with blood like the corners of the altar. 16 On that day the Lord their God will rescue his people, just as a shepherd rescues his sheep. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. 17 How wonderful and beautiful they will be! The young men will thrive on abundant grain, and the young women will flourish on new wine.
The Lord Will Restore His People
10 Ask the Lord for rain in the spring, for he makes the storm clouds. And he will send showers of rain so every field becomes a lush pasture. 2 Household gods give worthless advice, fortune-tellers predict only lies, and interpreters of dreams pronounce falsehoods that give no comfort. So my people are wandering like lost sheep; they are attacked because they have no shepherd.
3 “My anger burns against your shepherds, and I will punish these leaders.[k] For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has arrived to look after Judah, his flock. He will make them strong and glorious, like a proud warhorse in battle. 4 From Judah will come the cornerstone, the tent peg, the bow for battle, and all the rulers. 5 They will be like mighty warriors in battle, trampling their enemies in the mud under their feet. Since the Lord is with them as they fight, they will overthrow even the enemy’s horsemen.
6 “I will strengthen Judah and save Israel[l]; I will restore them because of my compassion. It will be as though I had never rejected them, for I am the Lord their God, who will hear their cries. 7 The people of Israel[m] will become like mighty warriors, and their hearts will be made happy as if by wine. Their children, too, will see it and be glad; their hearts will rejoice in the Lord. 8 When I whistle to them, they will come running, for I have redeemed them. From the few who are left, they will grow as numerous as they were before. 9 Though I have scattered them like seeds among the nations, they will still remember me in distant lands. They and their children will survive and return again to Israel. 10 I will bring them back from Egypt and gather them from Assyria. I will resettle them in Gilead and Lebanon until there is no more room for them all. 11 They will pass safely through the sea of distress,[n] for the waves of the sea will be held back, and the waters of the Nile will dry up. The pride of Assyria will be crushed, and the rule of Egypt will end. 12 By my power[o] I will make my people strong, and by my authority they will go wherever they wish. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
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