9 This is the message with which the Eternal burdened His prophet.
He has set His message against the land of Hadrach,
and the city of Damascus is its resting place.
For the eyes of all humanity—especially His people from the tribes of Israel—
are fixed on the Eternal.
2 His message is also against Hamath, on the northern border of Syria,
and Tyre and Sidon, coastal cities filled with self-proclaimed wise citizens.
3 Tyre, that prosperous city, has strong defenses
including an earthen rampart around her thick walls;
She mounds up silver like dust,
and gold is as common as dirt in the street.
4 But the Lord will steal her treasures
and sink the ships of her livelihood in the depths of the sea.
Tyre, that watery city, will be consumed by unquenchable fire.
5 Ashkelon will witness the fall of Tyre from her own coast and quake with fear;
Gaza, not far to her south, will writhe in great agony;
Ekron will, too, because all hope will be lost.
Gaza’s monarchy will end when her king dies,
and Ashkelon’s streets will be left empty.
6 Children of unholy unions will live in Ashdod’s houses,
the pride of the Philistines turned over to mongrels.
Eternal One: I will make this happen.
7 I will cleanse those children from pagan practices
such as drinking blood and chewing on forbidden meats.
Those people will then belong to our God, a remnant for the Lord.
They will become like a clan[a] in Judah,
And those in Ekron will be like the surviving Jebusites
who became God’s people when David conquered Jerusalem.
8 Eternal One: When that day comes, I will set up an army camp before My house
to guard My lands against those who’d march against My people.
Never again will they bow to an oppressor,
for I am watching over them Myself.
9 Cry out with joy, O daughter of Zion!
Shout jubilantly, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Look—your King is coming;
He is righteous and able to save.
He comes seated humbly on a donkey,
on a colt, a foal of a donkey.[b]
10 I will dismantle Ephraim’s chariots,
retire the warhorses from Jerusalem,
send home the archers to their families in peace.
He will make peace with the nations;
His sovereignty will extend from coast to coast,
from the Euphrates River to the limits of the earth.
Like many earlier prophets, Zechariah tells of a day when an ideal King will enter Jerusalem to the uproarious shouts and jubilant celebration of the people. Unlike other kings, this King enters humbly riding on a donkey, a beast of burden, not on a warhorse. He comes to establish real justice. God has given Him the victory, and now He shares that victory with the people. In that day, as His reign reaches the ends of the earth, war and the instruments of war are laid aside in the greater interests of an abiding, universal peace.
11 Eternal One: As for you, because of the covenant promise I made with you through your ancestor David,
a covenant sealed in blood,
I will free your prisoners from the waterless pits of death.
12 Return to your walled cities, safe and secure,
O hostages of hope.
I announce today that I will restore to you twice as much as what was taken.
13 For My people will be My weapons:
Judah, My drawn bow, loaded with Ephraim, My arrow.
I will stir your sons, Zion, making them My attacking hordes against the sons of Greece,
and I will brandish you like a warrior’s sword.
14 Then the Eternal will appear over them,
and His arrow will move like lightning;
The Eternal Lord will sound the battle trumpet
and cloak His marching forces in an approaching storm from the south.
15 The Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, will shield His people,
and they will feast and trample the sling stones hurled uselessly by their enemies.
They will drink in and roar at the battle like men filled with wine;
they will be full like a bowl collecting the blood of a sacrifice,
drenched like the corners of the altar during a festival offering.
16 On that glorious day, the Eternal their God will save His people, for they are His flock;
they will sparkle over His lands like jewels in a crown,
17 For goodness and beauty will abound!
Grain will grow and nourish the young men;
Wine will flow and flourish the young women.
17 And then one of the seven messengers entrusted with the seven bowls came over to me.
Guide: Come, and I will show you the true nature and God’s judgment of the great whore who is sitting on the many waters. 2 She has seduced all the kings of the earth into committing lewd, sexual acts; and most earth dwellers have become intoxicated with the wine of her harlotry.
3 Immediately I was in the Spirit, and the guide picked me up and carried me off. In the middle of a vast desert, I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet-colored beast covered with blasphemous names. The beast had seven heads and ten horns like the beast I had seen earlier rising out of the sea. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet fabrics; she shimmered with gold and jewels and pearls. I looked closer and saw that her hand held a golden cup brimming with abominations, bubbling over with the impurities of her sexual exploits. 5 On her forehead was inscribed a name, a mystery: “Babylon the great, the mother of whores and the abominations that defile the earth.” 6 I looked and saw that the woman was drunk because she had gorged herself on the blood of the saints and the blood of those people who refused to deny Jesus even to save their own lives. When I saw her, I was filled with wonder.
Guide: 7 Why are you so amazed? I will reveal to you the mystery of this woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. 8 The beast you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go away into eternal destruction. And the earth dwellers, whose names have not been inscribed in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will be astonished when they see the beast because it was and is not and is to come.
9 Here is the mind possessing wisdom: The seven heads signify the seven mountains where the woman is seated. They also stand for seven kings. 10 Five have fallen, one is alive, and the last has not yet come to reign. But when he does come, he will be allowed to reign only a short time. 11 Regarding the beast that was and is not, it is actually an eighth ruler that springs from the seven and goes away into eternal destruction. 12 The ten horns you saw stand for ten kings who have not yet ascended to power, but they will be invested with royal authority for a single hour and will reign together with the beast. 13 These come together for one purpose and one purpose alone: to yield their power and authority to the beast. 14 Together they will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will be victorious over them because He is the Lord over all lords and the King over all kings; and those who stand with Him are called, elect, and faithful.
15 (continuing to speak to me) The waters you saw, where the whore is seated, represent the peoples and multitudes, ethnicities and languages. 16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will despise the whore; they will make her a wasteland and strip her naked. They will gorge themselves on her flesh and incinerate her with fire. 17 For God has placed in their hearts to do what He has purposed, that is, to become one in mind and to surrender their kingdoms over to the beast until the words of God accomplish their end. 18 And the woman you saw—she is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.
A song of praise by David.
1 I will lift my praise above everything to You, my God and King!
I will continually bless Your name forever and always.
2 My praise will never cease—
I will praise You every day;
I will lift up Your name forever.
3 The Eternal is great and deserves endless praise;
His greatness knows no limit, recognizes no boundary.
No one can measure or comprehend His magnificence.
4 One generation after another will celebrate Your great works;
they will pass on the story of Your powerful acts to their children.
5 Your majesty and glorious splendor have captivated me;
I will meditate on Your wonders, sing songs of Your worth.
6 We confess—there is nothing greater than You, God, nothing mightier than Your awesome works.
I will tell of Your greatness as long as I have breath.
7 The news of Your rich goodness is no secret—
Your people love to recall it
and sing songs of joy to celebrate Your righteousness.
8 The Eternal is gracious.
He shows mercy to His people.
For Him anger does not come easily, but faithful love does—and it is rich and abundant.
9 But the Eternal’s goodness is not exclusive—it is offered freely to all.
His mercy extends to all His creation.
10 All creation will stand in awe of You, O Eternal One.
Thanks will pour from the mouths of every one of Your creatures;
Your holy people will bless You.
11 They will not be silent; they will talk of the grandeur of Your kingdom
and celebrate the wonder of Your power
12 Until everyone on earth who has ears to hear knows Your valiant acts
and the splendor of Your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom will never end;
Your rule will endure forever.
[You are faithful to Your promise,
and Your acts are marked with grace.][b]
14 The Eternal sustains all who stumble on their way.
For those who are broken down, God is near. He raises them up in hope.
15 All eyes have turned toward You, waiting in expectation;
when they are hungry, You feed them right on time.
16 The desires of every living thing
are met by Your open hand.
17 The Eternal is right in all His ways,
and He is kind in all His acts.
18 The Eternal stays close to those who call on Him,
those who pray sincerely.
19 All of you who revere Him—
God will satisfy your desires.
He hears the cries for help, and He brings salvation.
20 All of you who love God—
He will watch out for you,
but total destruction is around the corner for all the wicked.
21 My lips will sing the praise of the Eternal.
Let every creature join me and praise the holy name of God—forever and always!
32 If you have been foolish enough to insinuate yourself in some high position
or if you have concocted some sort of evil plan,
clamp your hand tightly over your mouth;