Zechariah Chapter 9 to 11 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Judgment Against Other Nations

9 A message from God. This is the Lord’s message against Hadrach’s country and his capital city, Damascus. “The family groups of Israel are not the only people that know about God. Everyone looks to him for help.* 2{And this message is against} Hamath which borders Hadrach’s country. {And this message is against}Tyre and Sidon, even though those people have been so wise and skillful. 3Tyre is built like a fort. The people there have collected so much silver that it is like dust, and gold is as common as clay. 4But the Lord our Master will take it all. He will destroy her powerful navy and that city will be destroyed by fire! 5“The people in Ashkelon will see those things and they will be afraid. The people of Gaza will shake with fear. And the people of Ekron will lose all hope when they see those things happen. There will be no king left in Gaza. No person will live in Ashkelon any more. 6The people in Ashdod will not even know who their real fathers are. I will completely destroy the proud Philistine people. 7They will no longer eat meat with the blood still in it or any other forbidden food. Any Philistine left living will become a part of my people—they will be just one more family group in Judah. The people of Ekron will become a part of my people, just like the Jebusite people did. I will protect my country. 8I will not let enemy armies pass through it. I will not let them hurt my people any more. With my own eyes I saw how much my people suffered {in the past}.”

The Future King

9City of Zion, rejoice! People of Jerusalem, shout with joy! Look, your king is coming to you! He is the good king that won the victory. But he is humble. He is riding on a donkey, on a young donkey born from a work animal. 10The king says, “I destroyed the chariots in Ephraim and the horse soldiers in Jerusalem. I destroyed the bows used in war.” {That king} will bring news of peace to the nations. He will rule from sea to sea, from the {Euphrates} River to all the faraway places on earth.

The Lord Will Save His People

11Jerusalem, we used blood to seal your Agreement. So I am setting your people free from that empty hole in the ground.* 12Prisoners, go home! Now you have something to hope for. I am telling you now, I am coming back to you! 13Judah, I will use you like a bow. Ephraim I will use you like arrows. Israel, I will use you like a sword to fight against the people of Greece. 14The Lord will appear to them, and he will shoot his arrows like lightning. The Lord my Master will blow the trumpet, and the army will rush forward like a desert dust storm. 15The Lord All-Powerful will protect them. The soldiers will use rocks and slings* to defeat the enemy. They will spill the blood of their enemies. It will flow like wine. It will be like the blood that is thrown on the corners of the altar! 16At that time, the Lord their God will save his people like a shepherd saves his sheep. They will be very precious to him. They will be like sparkling jewels on his land. 17Everything will be good and beautiful! There will be a wonderful crop, but it will not be just the food and wine. It will be all the young men and women!

This … help This verse is very hard to understand in the Hebrew.  empty hole in the ground People stored water in large holes in the ground. People sometimes used those holes as prisons.  sling(s) A strip of leather for throwing rocks.

10 Pray to the Lord for rain in the springtime. The Lord will send the lightning and the rain will fall. And God will make the plants grow in each person’s field. 2People use their little statues and magic to learn the things that will happen in the future—but that is all useless. Those people see visions and tell about their dreams, but it is nothing but worthless lies. So the people are like sheep wandering here and there crying for help—but there is no shepherd to lead them. 3The Lord says, “I am very angry at the shepherds (leaders). I made those leaders responsible for what happens to my sheep (people).” (The people of Judah are God’s flock. And the Lord All-Powerful really does take care of his flock. He cares for them like a soldier cares for his beautiful war horse.) 4“The cornerstone, the tent peg, the war bow, and the advancing soldiers will all come {from Judah} together. 5{They will defeat their enemy}—it will be like soldiers marching through mud in the streets. They will fight, and since the Lord is with them, they will defeat even the enemy soldiers riding horses. 6I will make Judah’s family strong. I will help Joseph’s family win the war. I will bring them back safe and sound. I will comfort them. It will be like I never left them. I am the Lord their God, and I will help them. 7The people of Ephraim* will be as happy as soldiers that have too much to drink. Their children will be rejoicing and they, too, will be happy. They will all have a happy time together with the Lord. 8“I will whistle for them and call them all together. I really will save them. There will be many, many people. 9Yes, I have been scattering my people throughout the nations. But in those faraway places they will remember me. They and their children will survive. And they will come back. 10I will bring them back from Egypt and Assyria. I will bring them to the area of Gilead. And since there will not be enough room, I will also let them live in nearby Lebanon.” (11{It will be like it was before, when God brought them out of Egypt.} He hit the sea waves, {the sea split,} and the people walked across that sea of troubles. The Lord will make the river streams become dry. He will destroy Assyria’s pride and Egypt’s power.) 12The Lord will make his people strong. And they will live for him and his name. The Lord said these things.

Ephraim Another name for the northern kingdom of Israel.

God Will Punish the Other Nations

11 Lebanon, open your gates so the fire will come and burn your cedar trees.* 2The cypress trees will cry because the cedar trees have fallen. Those powerful trees will be taken away. Oak trees in Bashan will cry for the forest that was cut down. 3Listen to the crying shepherds. Their powerful leaders were taken away. Listen to the roaring of the young lions. Their thick bushes near the Jordan River have all been taken away. 4The Lord my God says, “Care for the sheep that have been raised to be killed. 5{Their leaders are like owners and businessmen.} Owners kill their sheep and are not punished. Businessmen sell the sheep and say, ‘Praise the Lord, I am rich!’ The shepherds don’t feel sorry for their sheep. 6And I don’t feel sorry for the people living in this country.” The Lord said these things, “Look, I will let everyone be abused by his neighbor and king. I will let them destroy their country—I will not stop them!” 7So I took care of the sheep that had been raised to be killed—those poor sheep. I found two sticks. I called one stick Favor, and I called the other stick Union. Then I began caring for the sheep. 8I fired the three shepherds all in one month. I became angry at the sheep, and they began to hate me. 9Then I said, “I quit! I will not take care of you! I will let those that want to die, die. I will let those that want to be destroyed, be destroyed. And those that are left will destroy each other.” 10Then I took the stick named Favor, and I broke it. I did this to show that God’s Agreement* with his people was broken. 11So that day, the Agreement was finished. And those poor sheep watching me knew that this message was from the Lord. 12Then I said, “If you want to pay me, then pay me. If not, then don’t!” So they paid me 30 pieces of silver. 13Then the Lord told me, “So that’s how much they think I’m worth. Throw that large amount of money* into the temple treasury.” So I took the 30 pieces of silver and threw them into the treasury at the Lord’s temple. 14Then I cut the stick named Union into two pieces. I did this to show that the union between Judah and Israel had been broken. 15Then the Lord said to me, “Now, get the things a foolish shepherd might use. 16This will show that I will get a new shepherd for this country. But this young man will not be able to take care of the sheep that are being destroyed. He will not be able to heal the hurt sheep. He will not be able to feed those that are left alive. And the healthy ones will be eaten completely—only their hoofs will be left.” 17Oh my worthless shepherd. You abandoned my sheep. Punish him! Hit his right arm and right eye with a sword. His right arm will be useless. His right eye will be blind.

cedar trees In this poem, the trees, bushes, and animals are symbols for the leaders of the countries around Judah. Agreement Literally, “Proof.” The flat stones with the Ten Commandments written on them were proof of the Agreement between God and Israel. large amount of money The Lord was making fun. This was only the amount of money a person paid for a slave.

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