9 This is the message concerning God’s curse on the lands of Hadrach and Damascus, for the Lord is closely watching all mankind, as well as Israel.[a]
2 “Doomed is Hamath, near Damascus, and Tyre and Sidon too, shrewd though they be. 3 Though Tyre has armed herself to the hilt and become so rich that silver is like dirt to her, and fine gold like dust in the streets, 4 yet the Lord will dispossess her and hurl her fortifications into the sea; and she shall be set on fire and burned to the ground.
5 “Ashkelon will see it happen and be filled with fear; Gaza will huddle in desperation, and Ekron will shake with terror, for their hopes that Tyre would stop the enemies’ advance will all be dashed. Gaza will be conquered, her king killed, and Ashkelon will be completely destroyed.
6 “Foreigners will take over the city of Ashdod, the rich city of the Philistines. 7 I will yank her idolatry out of her mouth and pull from her teeth her sacrifices that she eats with blood. Everyone left will worship God and be adopted into Israel as a new clan: the Philistines of Ekron will intermarry with the Jews, just as the Jebusites did so long ago. 8 And I will surround my Temple like a guard to keep invading armies from entering Israel. I am closely watching their movements, and I will keep them away; no foreign oppressors will again overrun my people’s land.
9 “Rejoice greatly, O my people! Shout with joy! For look—your King is coming! He is the Righteous One, the Victor! Yet he is lowly, riding on a donkey’s colt! 10 I will disarm all peoples of the earth, including my people in Israel, and he shall bring peace among the nations. His realm shall stretch from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the earth.[b]
11 “I have delivered you from death in a waterless pit because of the covenant I made with you, sealed with blood. 12 Come to the place of safety, all you prisoners, for there is yet hope! I promise right now, I will repay you two mercies for each of your woes! 13 Judah, you are my bow! Ephraim, you are my arrow! Both of you will be my sword, like the sword of a mighty soldier brandished against the sons of Greece.”
14 The Lord shall lead his people as they fight! His arrows shall fly like lightning; the Lord God shall sound the trumpet call and go out against his enemies like a whirlwind off the desert from the south. 15 He will defend his people, and they will subdue their enemies, treading them beneath their feet. They will taste victory and shout with triumph. They will slaughter their foes, leaving horrible carnage everywhere. 16-17 The Lord their God will save his people in that day, as a Shepherd caring for his sheep. They shall shine in his land as glittering jewels in a crown. How wonderful and beautiful all shall be! The abundance of grain and grapes will make the young men and girls flourish; they will be radiant with health and happiness.
- Zechariah 9:1 for the Lord is closely watching all mankind, as well as Israel, or “for the cities of Syria belong to the Lord, as much as do the tribes of Israel.”
- Zechariah 9:10 from the river to the ends of the earth, or “to the ends of the land” of Palestine. Either interpretation is possible from the Hebrew text, but many other passages indicate Christ’s universal rule.