Zechariah 10 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 520)

Zechariah 10New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 10

The Lord Strengthens Judah and Rescues Ephraim

Ask the Lord for rain in the spring season,
    the Lord who brings storm clouds, and heavy rains,
    who gives to everyone grain in the fields.
For the teraphim[a] have spoken nonsense,
    the diviners have seen false visions;
Deceitful dreams they have told,
    empty comfort they have offered.
This is why they wandered like sheep,
    wretched, for they have no shepherd.
My wrath is kindled against the shepherds,[b]
    and I will punish the leaders.
For the Lord of hosts attends to the flock, the house of Judah,
    and will make them like a splendid horse in battle.
From them will come the tower,
    from them the tent peg,
    from them the bow of war,
    from them every officer.
Together they will be like warriors,
    trampling the mud of the streets in battle.
They will wage war because the Lord is with them,
    and will put the horsemen to shame.
I will strengthen the house of Judah,
    the house of Joseph[c] I will save;
I will bring them back, because I have mercy on them;
    they will be as if I had never cast them off,
    for I am the Lord their God, and I will answer them.
Then Ephraim will be like a hero,
    and their hearts will be cheered as by wine.
Their children will see and rejoice—
    their hearts will exult in the Lord.
I will whistle for them and gather them in;
    for I will redeem them
    and they will be as numerous as before.[d]
I sowed them among the nations,
    yet in distant lands they will remember me;
    they will bear their children and return.
10 I will bring them back from the land of Egypt,
    and gather them from Assyria.
To the land of Gilead and to Lebanon I will bring them,
    until no room is found for them.
11 I will cross over to Egypt
    and smite the waves of the sea,
    and all the depths of the Nile will dry up.
The pride of Assyria will be cast down,
    and the scepter of Egypt disappear.
12 I will strengthen them in the Lord,
    in whose name they will walk—oracle of the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 10:2 Teraphim: household idols or cult objects (see Gn 31:19, 30–35; Jgs 17:5; 1 Sm 19:11–17), or ancestor statuettes (see 2 Kgs 23:24; Hos 3:4).
  2. 10:3 Against the shepherds: bad leaders or false prophets.
  3. 10:6 The house of Joseph: represents the Northern Kingdom (Israel), as does Ephraim in v. 7 below.
  4. 10:8 Gather them in…be as numerous as before: God’s intention is to bring back the exiles and redeem them as at the time of the exodus. This image, resumed in vv. 10–11, anticipates an expanded population, echoes the ancestral promise (Gn 1:22, 28; 9:1, 7;35:11), and also suggests an awareness of the acute demographic decline of Jews in Palestine in the Persian period.
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Zechariah 9 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 520)

Zechariah 9New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 9

Restoration of the Land of Israel[a]

An oracle:[b] the word of the Lord is against the land of Hadrach,
    and Damascus is its destination,
For the cities of Aram are the Lord’s,
    as are all the tribes of Israel.
Hamath also on its border,
    Tyre too, and Sidon, no matter how clever they be.
Tyre built itself a stronghold,
    and heaped up silver like dust,
    and gold like the mud of the streets.
But now the Lord will dispossess it,
    and cast its wealth into the sea,
    and it will be devoured by fire.
Ashkelon will see it and be afraid;
    Gaza too will be in great anguish;
    Ekron also, for its hope will wither.
The king will disappear from Gaza,
    Ashkelon will not be inhabited,
    and the illegitimate will rule in Ashdod.
I will destroy the pride of the Philistines
    and take from their mouths their bloody prey,
    their disgusting meat from between their teeth.
They will become merely a remnant for our God,
    and will be like a clan in Judah;
    Ekron will be like the Jebusites.[c]
I will encamp at my house,
    a garrison against invaders;
No oppressor will overrun them again,
    for now I have seen their affliction.

The King’s Entry into Jerusalem[d]

Exult greatly, O daughter Zion!
    Shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem!
Behold: your king[e] is coming to you,
    a just savior is he,
Humble, and riding on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim,
    and the horse from Jerusalem;
The warrior’s bow will be banished,
    and he will proclaim peace to the nations.
His dominion will be from sea to sea,
    and from the River[f] to the ends of the earth.

Restoration of the People

11 As for you, by the blood of your covenant,[g]
    I have freed your prisoners from a waterless pit.
12 Return to a fortress,[h]
    O prisoners of hope;
This very day, I announce
    I am restoring double to you.
13 For I have bent Judah as my bow,
    I have set Ephraim as its arrow;
I will arouse your sons, O Zion,
    against your sons, O Yavan,[i]
    and I will use you as a warrior’s sword.
14 The Lord will appear over them,
    God’s arrow will shoot forth as lightning;
The Lord God will sound the ram’s horn,
    and come in a storm from the south.
15 The Lord of hosts will protect them;
    they will devour and conquer with sling stones,
    they will drink and become heated as with wine;
    they will be full like bowls—like the corners of the altar.
16 And the Lord their God will save them:
    the people, like a flock on that day;
For like gemstones of a crown[j]
    they will shine on the land.
17 Then how good and how lovely!
    Grain will make the young men flourish,
    and new wine the young women.

Footnotes:

  1. 9:1–8 The opening verses of Second Zechariah delineate the ideal boundaries of a restored Israel. Echoing the ideas of Haggai and First Zechariah (chaps. 1–8), the prophet reiterates the notion that the rebuilt Temple will bring about peace. The areas to be returned to Israel include Syria (Aram), with the cities of Hadrach and Damascus; Phoenicia, with the cities of Tyre and Sidon; and Philistia, with the cities of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and Ashdod.
  2. 9:1 An oracle: this designation also introduces Zec 12:1 and Mal 1:1, suggesting a connection among the three units. The term functions as both a title to the larger literary unit (Zec 9–11) and a part of the message of the opening oracular statement.
  3. 9:7 The Jebusites: the pre-Israelite inhabitants of Jerusalem, conquered by David and incorporated into Israel.
  4. 9:9–10 These two verses form the centerpiece of chap. 9. The restoration of a royal figure connects the first part of the chapter (vv. 1–8), which depicts the restored land of Israel, with the second part (vv. 11–17), which concerns the restoration of the people Israel.
  5. 9:9 Your king: a just savior, a figure of humble demeanor, but riding on a donkey like royalty in the ancient Near East (Gn 49:11; Jgs 5:10; 10:4). The announcement of the coming of such a king marks a departure from the view of the royal figure as a conquering warrior. This depiction is in keeping with the tone of First Zechariah (3:8; 4:6–10; 6:12) but contrasts with Haggai (2:20–23). New Testament authors apply this prophecy to Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Mt 21:4–5; Jn 12:14–15).
  6. 9:10 The River: probably the Euphrates; see note on Ps 72:8.
  7. 9:11 The blood of your covenant: the covenant between the Lord and Israel sealed with sacrificial blood (Ex 24:8).
  8. 9:12 Fortress: the Hebrew word for “fortress” (bissaron) plays upon the Hebrew word for Zion (siyyon). Those who return to Zion will be protected by the Lord. O prisoners of hope: imagery of exile, conveying a sense that the future in Israel will be better.
  9. 9:13 Your sons, O Yavan: the reference is to the Greeks and their struggle with the Persians for control of Syria-Palestine and the eastern Mediterranean in the mid-fifth century B.C.
  10. 9:16 Like gemstones of a crown: imagery reminiscent of First Zechariah (3:9; 4:7, 10;6:11, 14) and evocative of the Temple and the priestly headgear (cf. Ex 29:6 and Lv 8:9).