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Judgment on Israel’s Enemies


An Oracle.

The word of the L ord is against the land of Hadrach

and will rest upon Damascus.

For to the L ord belongs the capital of Aram,

as do all the tribes of Israel;


Hamath also, which borders on it,

Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise.


Tyre has built itself a rampart,

and heaped up silver like dust,

and gold like the dirt of the streets.


But now, the Lord will strip it of its possessions

and hurl its wealth into the sea,

and it shall be devoured by fire.



Ashkelon shall see it and be afraid;

Gaza too, and shall writhe in anguish;

Ekron also, because its hopes are withered.

The king shall perish from Gaza;

Ashkelon shall be uninhabited;


a mongrel people shall settle in Ashdod,

and I will make an end of the pride of Philistia.


I will take away its blood from its mouth,

and its abominations from between its teeth;

it too shall be a remnant for our God;

it shall be like a clan in Judah,

and Ekron shall be like the Jebusites.


Then I will encamp at my house as a guard,

so that no one shall march to and fro;

no oppressor shall again overrun them,

for now I have seen with my own eyes.


The Coming Ruler of God’s People


Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!

Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!

Lo, your king comes to you;

triumphant and victorious is he,

humble and riding on a donkey,

on a colt, the foal of a donkey.


He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim

and the war-horse from Jerusalem;

and the battle bow shall be cut off,

and he shall command peace to the nations;

his dominion shall be from sea to sea,

and from the River to the ends of the earth.



As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you,

I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.


Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;

today I declare that I will restore to you double.


For I have bent Judah as my bow;

I have made Ephraim its arrow.

I will arouse your sons, O Zion,

against your sons, O Greece,

and wield you like a warrior’s sword.



Then the L ord will appear over them,

and his arrow go forth like lightning;

the Lord G od will sound the trumpet

and march forth in the whirlwinds of the south.


The L ord of hosts will protect them,

and they shall devour and tread down the slingers;

they shall drink their blood like wine,

and be full like a bowl,

drenched like the corners of the altar.



On that day the L ord their God will save them

for they are the flock of his people;

for like the jewels of a crown

they shall shine on his land.


For what goodness and beauty are his!

Grain shall make the young men flourish,

and new wine the young women.


Zechariah proceeds with the same subject. He bids the Jews suddenly to retake themselves to their fortress. There is no doubt but that he means by that term the holy land; nor do I oppose the opinion of those who think the temple to be intended: for Jerusalem and the whole of Judea is called a fortress, and for this reason, because God had chosen his sanctuary there. It is then the same, as though one wishing to collect a dispersed and straggling band of soldiers were to say, “To the standard, to the standard;” or, “To the troop, to the troop.” For though Judea was not then fortified, nay, Jerusalem itself had no high wall or strong towers, yet they had God as their stronghold, and this was impregnable; for he had promised that the Jews would be safe under the shadow of his wings, though exposed to the caprices of all around them. Nor does he here address them only who had returned, or the exiles who still remained scattered in the East; but by this declaration he encourages the whole Church, that they might be fully persuaded that when assembled under the protection of God, they were as fortified as though they were on every side surrounded by the strongest citadels, and that there would be no access open to enemies.

Return ye then to the stronghold. This could not have appeared unreasonable; for we know that when they were building the city their work was often interrupted; and we know also that the temple was not then fortified by a wall. But Zechariah teaches them, that in that state of things there was sufficient defense in God alone. Though then the Jews were not made safe by moats, or by walls, or by mounds, he yet reminds them, that God would be sufficient to defend them, and that he would be to them, as it is said in another place, a wall and a rampart. (Isaiah 26:1.)

But it is not without reason that he calls them the captives of hope; for many had wholly alienated themselves from God and altogether fallen away, so as to be unworthy of any promise. By this mark then he distinguishes between the faithful captives and those who had wholly degenerated and separated themselves from the family of God, so as no more to be counted among his people. And this ought to be carefully noticed, which interpreters have coldly passed by. They have indeed said, that they are called captives of hope, because they hoped to be saved; but they have not observed the distinction, by which Zechariah intended to convey reproof to the unbelieving Jews. It was therefore not without meaning that he directed his word to the faithful only, who were not only captives, but also captives having hope. I cannot finish today.

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