A prophecy:* A message from the Lord to the land of Hadrach, and Damascus its main objective. For the eyes of human beings together with all the tribes of Israel are on the Lord, and Hamath too since it is close by. Also Tyre and Sidon for they are very wise.
The people of Tyre built a fortress, and piled up silver like dust and gold like the dirt of the street. But look at what will happen. The Lord will take away everything they have, and knock down their strong defenses§ into the sea. The city will be burned down. The people of Ashkelon will see this and be terrified; those in Gaza will thrash around in agony like a woman giving birth; and the people of Ekron too, because their hopes are shattered. The king of Gaza will be killed, and Ashkelon will be deserted. Mixed-race people will live in Ashdod, and I will wipe out the Philistine's pride. I will remove the blood-filled meat from their mouths; the unclean food from their jaws.* Those who remain will belong to our Godthey shall become like a family of Judahand those from Ekron will become part of my people, just as the Jebusites did. I will make my camp in my Temple to guard it from invaders, and no oppressors will conquer them, for now I myself am keeping watch.
Be happy and celebrate, people of Zion! Shout loudly, people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He does what is right and has salvation; he is humble, riding on a donkeyon a colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 (I will remove the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem. I will destroy the bows used in battle.) He will proclaim peace to the nations, and he will rule from sea to sea, from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth. 11 And as for you, because my agreement§ with you, sealed with blood, I will set you free from the waterless pit.* 12 Return to the stronghold, you prisoners who have hope! Today I promise I will repay you double what you lost. 13 I will use Judah as my bow, and I will load it with Ephraim my arrow. I will call up you men of Zion to fight against you men of Greece, wielding you like a warrior's sword.
14 Then the Lord will appear over his people and his arrow will flash like lightning! The Lord God will blow the trumpet and march out like a windstorm from the south. 15 The Lord Almighty will protect them. They will destroy their enemies, conquering them with slingshots. They will drink and shout loudly like people who are drunk. They will be filled like a bowl, soaked liked the corners of an altar.§ 16 On that day the Lord their God will save themhis people that are his flockfor they will glitter as crown jewels in his land. 17 How lovely and beautiful they* will be! Young men will grow strong on grain, and young women flourish on the new wine.
* 9:1 Literally, “burden.” 9:1 “Main objective” Literally, “resting place.” In other words this was the city to which the prophecy was particularly directed. 9:1 This could also be translated as “for the Lord has his eye on humanity as well as all the tribes of Israel.” § 9:4 “Strong defenses”: literally, “power.” Alternatively this could refer to the Lord destroying the sea power of Tyre. * 9:7 The Philistines did not follow the Jewish regulations regarding slaughtering animals, particularly in draining the blood from the flesh. Consequently their eating of meat still containing blood made them unclean. 9:9 “Has salvation,” or “is victorious.” 9:11 Referring back to the people of Jerusalem in 9:9. § 9:11 Literally, “covenant.” * 9:11 “Waterless pit”: referring to the exile. 9:12 Understood to refer to Jerusalem. 9:12 “What you lost” implied. § 9:15 This refers to the sacrificial system where a bowl was used to catch the blood of the sacrifice and sprinkle the blood on the corners of the altar. * 9:17 Some believe these words are applied to the Lord, but the context suggests they refer back to the jewels, the people of God.