Zechariah Chapter 12 to 14 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Visions About the Nations Around Judah

12 The sad message from the Lord about Israel. The Lord made the sky and the earth. He put man’s spirit in him. And the Lord said these things. 2“Look, I will make Jerusalem like a cup of poison to the nations around her. The nations will come and attack that city. And all of Judah will be caught in the trap. 3But I will make Jerusalem like a heavy rock—anyone that tries to take it will hurt himself. Those people will really be cut and scratched. But all the nations on earth will come together to fight against Jerusalem. 4But at that time, I will scare the horse, and the soldier riding it will panic. I will make all the enemy horses blind, but my eyes will be open—and I will be watching over Judah’s family. 5The family leaders of Judah will encourage the people. They will say, ‘The Lord All-Powerful is your God. He makes us strong.’ 6At that time, I will make the family leaders of Judah like a fire burning in a forest. They will destroy their enemies like fire burning straw. They will destroy the enemy all around them. And the people in Jerusalem will again be able to sit back and relax.” 7The Lord will save the people of Judah first, so the people in Jerusalem will not be able to brag too much. David’s family and the other people living in Jerusalem will not be able to brag that they are better than the other people in Judah. 8But the Lord will protect the people in Jerusalem. Even the clumsiest person will be a great soldier like David. And the men from David’s family will be like gods—like the Lord’s own angel leading the people. 9The Lord says, “At that time, I will destroy the nations that came to fight against Jerusalem. 10I will fill David’s family and the people living in Jerusalem with a spirit of kindness and mercy. They will look to me, the One they pierced. And they will be very sad. They will be as sad as a person crying over the death of his only son; as sad as someone crying over the death of his firstborn* son. 11There will be a time of great sadness and crying in Jerusalem. It will be like the time people cried over the death of Hadad Rimmon in Megiddo Valley. 12Each and every family will cry by itself. The men in David’s family will cry by themselves. And their wives will cry by themselves. The men in Nathan’s family will cry by themselves. And their wives will cry by themselves. 13The men in Levi’s family will cry by themselves. And their wives will cry by themselves. The men in Simeon’s family will cry by themselves. And their wives will cry by themselves. 14And the same thing will happen in all the other family groups. The men and women will cry by themselves.”

firstborn The first child born into a family. The firstborn son was very important in ancient times.

13 But at that time, a new spring of water will be opened for David’s family and for the other people living in Jerusalem. That fountain will be to wash away their sins and to make the people pure.

No More False Prophets

2The Lord All-Powerful says, “At that time, I will remove all the idols from the earth. People will not even remember their names. And I will remove the {false} prophets and unclean* spirits from the earth. 3If a person continues to prophesy, then he will be punished. Even his parents, his own mother and father, will say to him, ‘You have spoken lies in the name of the Lord, so you must die!’ His own mother and father will stab him for prophesying. 4At that time, the prophets will be ashamed of their visions and prophecies. They will not wear the rough cloth that shows a person is a prophet. They will not wear those clothes to trick people with the lies they call prophecies. 5Those people will say, ‘I am not a prophet. I am a farmer. I have worked as a farmer since I was a little child.’ 6But other people will say, ‘But what are these wounds in your hands?’ He will say, ‘I was beaten in the house of my friends.’” 7The Lord All-Powerful says, “Sword, hit the shepherd! Hit my friend! Hit the shepherd and the sheep will run away. And I will punish those little ones. 8Two-thirds of the people in the land will be hurt and die. But one-third of them will survive. 9Then I will test those survivors. I will give them many troubles. The troubles will be like the fire a man uses to prove silver is pure. I will test them the way a person tests gold. Then they will call to me for help, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘You are my people.’ And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”

unclean Not pure or not acceptable to God.

The Day of Judgment

14 Look, the Lord has a special day for judging. And the wealth you have taken will be divided in your city. 2I will bring all the nations together to fight against Jerusalem. They will capture the city and destroy the houses. The women will be raped, and half of the people will be taken away as prisoners. But the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. 3Then the Lord will go to war with those nations. It will be a real battle. 4At that time, he will stand on the Mount of Olives, the hill east of Jerusalem. The Mount of Olives will split. Part of the mountain will move to the north, and part to the south. A deep valley will open up, from the east to the west. 5You will try to run away as that mountain valley comes closer and closer to you. You will run away like the time you ran from the earthquake during the time of Uzziah, king of Judah. But the Lord my God will come, and all his holy ones will be with him. 6–7That will be a very special day. There will not be any light, cold, or frost. Only the Lord knows how, but there will not be any day or night. Then, when darkness usually comes, there will still be light. 8At that time, water will flow continually from Jerusalem.* That stream will split and part of it will flow east, and part of it will flow west to the Mediterranean Sea. And it will flow all year long, in the summer as well as in the winter. 9And the Lord will be the King of the whole world at that time. The Lord is One. His name is One. 10At that time, the whole area around Jerusalem will become {empty} like the Arabah desert. The country will be like a desert from Geba to Rimmon in the Negev. But the whole city of Jerusalem will be built again—from Benjamin Gate to the First Gate (that is, the Corner Gate) and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses. 11People will move there to live. No enemy will come to destroy them any more. Jerusalem will be safe. 12But the Lord will punish the nations that fought against Jerusalem. He will send a terrible disease against them. Their skin will begin to rot while the people are still alive. Their eyes will rot in their sockets and their tongues will rot in their mouths. 13–15That terrible disease will be in the enemy camp. And their horses, mules, camels, and donkeys will all catch that terrible disease. At that time, those people will really be afraid of the Lord. Each man will grab his neighbor’s hand and those neighbors will fight each other. Even Judah will fight against Jerusalem. This will happen even while the wealth* of all the nations has been gathered together around the city. There will be very much gold, silver, and clothing. 16Some of the people that came to fight Jerusalem will survive. And every year they will come to worship the king, the Lord All-Powerful.

And they will come to celebrate the Festival of Shelters.* 17And if people from any of the families on earth don’t go to Jerusalem to worship the king, the Lord All-Powerful, then the Lord will not let them have any rain. 18If any of the families in Egypt don’t come to celebrate the Festival of Shelters, then they will get that terrible disease that the Lord caused the enemy nations to get. 19That will be the punishment for Egypt, and for any other nation that does not come to celebrate the Festival of Shelters. 20At that time, everything will belong to God. Even the harnesses on the horses will have the label, HOLYTOTHELORD.* And all the pots used in the Lord’s temple will be just as important as the bowls used at the altar. 21In fact, every dish in Jerusalem and Judah will have the label, HOLYTOTHELORDALL-POWERFUL. All the people offering sacrifices will come and take those dishes and cook {their special meals} in them. At that time, there will not be any businessmen buying and selling things* in the temple of the Lord All-Powerful.

water … Jerusalem Literally, “Living water will flow from Jerusalem.” Jerusalem’s main water supply, the Gihon spring, did not flow continuously. wealth Or, “armies.”  Festival of Shelters During this fall holiday, the people traveled to Jerusalem, built temporary shelters, camped out in them for a week, and had a happy time together with the Lord.  HOLY TO THE LORD These words were written on everything that was used in the temple. This showed that these things belonged to the Lord, and they could be used only for special purposes. Dishes with labels could only be used by the priests in a holy place. businessmen … selling things Literally, “Canaanites.”

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