A prophecy:* This message came from the Lord concerning Israel, a declaration of the Lord who spread out the heavens, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who placed the breath of life within human beings.
Look! I am going to make Jerusalem like a cup containing alcoholic drink that will make all the surrounding nations stagger like drunks when they come to attack Judah and Jerusalem. On that day I will make Jerusalem like a heavy rock to all peoples. Anyone who tries to lift the rock will injure themselves badly. All the nations will join together to attack Jerusalem. On that day I will make every horse panic-stricken and every rider go mad, declares the Lord, but I will watch over the people of Judah while I blind all the horses of their enemies. Then the families of Judah will say to themselves, the people of Jerusalem are strong in their God, the Lord Almighty. On that day I will make the families of Judah like burning coals in a wood, like a flaming torch in a field of straw. They will burn up to the right and to the left all the surrounding peoples, while the people of Jerusalem will live safely in their city. The Lord will give the victory to the soldiers of Judah first so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not be greater than that of Judah. On that day the Lord will place a shield around the people of Jerusalem so that even the clumsiest of them will be as skilled a warrior as David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord who leads them. On that day I will start destroying all those nations that attack Jerusalem. 10 I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They will look at me whom they pierced, and they will wail in grief over him, mourning as for an only child, weeping bitterly as for a firstborn. 11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning in Hadad-Rimmon in the valley of Megiddo.§ 12 The land will mourn, every family alone: the family house of David alone and their women by themselves, the families of Nathan, 13 Levi, and Shimei 14 and all the surviving families and their women, each group mourning alone by themselves.
* 12:1 Literally, “burden.” 12:1 “Breath of life”: or “spirit.” 12:7 Literally, “tents.” § 12:11 Some have linked this reference to the mourning for the last “good” king of Judah after his death at the battle of Megiddo.