The Lord’s People Will Be Victorious
Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime.
The Lord makes thunderstorms.
He gives everyone rain showers for the plants in the field.
2 The idols speak lies.
The fortunetellers see false visions.
They speak about false dreams.
They give useless comfort.
That is why people wander around like sheep.
They are troubled because there is no shepherd.
3 “My burning anger is directed against the shepherds.
I will punish the male goats.
The Lord of Armies takes care of his flock, the people of Judah.
He makes them like his splendid war horse.”
4 From them will come a cornerstone,
from them a tent peg,
from them a battle bow,
from them every leader.
5 Together they will be like warriors
who trample the enemy in the mud on the streets.
They will fight because the Lord is with them.
They will put to shame those who ride on horses.
6 “I will strengthen the people of Judah.
I will rescue Joseph’s people.
I will bring them back, because I have compassion for them.
It will be as though I had never rejected them,
because I am the Lord their God, and I will answer them.
7 The people of Ephraim will be like mighty warriors.
Their hearts will be glad as if they had some wine to drink.
Their sons will see it and be glad.
Their hearts will find joy in the Lord.
8 I will signal them with a whistle
and gather them because I have reclaimed them.
They will be as numerous as they have ever been.
9 Although I have scattered them among the nations,
they will remember me even in faraway places.
They will live with their children and then return.
10 I will bring them back from Egypt.
I will gather them from Assyria.
I will bring them to Gilead and to Lebanon,
and there won’t be enough room for them.”
11 The Lord will pass through a sea of distress,
strike the waves in the sea,
and dry up all the deep places of the Nile River.
The pride of Assyria will be humiliated,
and the scepter of Egypt will depart.
12 “I will strengthen them in the Lord.
They will live in his name,” declares the Lord.
Zechariah Is Told to Take Care of the Sheep
Open your doors, Lebanon,
so that fire will be able to burn down your cedars.
2 Cry, cypress trees,
because the cedars have fallen
and the stately trees have been destroyed.
Cry, oak trees of Bashan,
because your dense forest has fallen down.
3 Listen! The shepherds are crying,
because their rich pastures are destroyed.
Listen! The young lions are roaring,
because the lush banks of the Jordan are destroyed.
4 This is what the Lord my God says: Take care of the sheep that are about to be slaughtered. 5 Those who buy them will kill them and go unpunished. Those who sell them will say, “Praise the Lord! I’ve become rich!” Even their own shepherds will have no pity on them.
6 The Lord declares, “I will no longer have pity on those who live in the land. I am going to hand the people over to their neighbors and their king, who will crush the land. And I won’t rescue any of them from their power.”
7 So I became the shepherd of the sheep that were to be slaughtered and also of the oppressed sheep. I took two shepherd staffs and named one Favor and the other Unity. And I took care of the sheep. 8 I got rid of three shepherds in one month. I became impatient with the sheep, and they also became disgusted with me. 9 So I said, “I won’t be your shepherd. Let those that are dying die. Let those that are missing stay missing. And let those that are left devour each other.”
10 Then I took my staff called Favor and broke it in pieces, to break the promise[a] that I had made to all the nations. 11 So it was broken on that day, and the oppressed among the sheep who were watching me realized that it was the Lord’s word.
12 Then I said to them, “If it’s alright with you, pay me my wages. But if it’s not, don’t.” And they paid me my wages—30 pieces of silver.
13 The Lord told me, “Give it to the potter.” So I took the 30 pieces of silver. Such a magnificent price was set by them! I gave the pieces of silver to the potter at the house of the Lord.
14 Then I broke my second staff, called Unity, in pieces, to break off the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
15 Then the Lord said to me, “Use the equipment of a foolish shepherd again. 16 I’m about to place a shepherd in the land. He will not take care of those that are dying. He will not search for the young. He will not heal those that have broken their legs or support those that can still stand. But he will eat the meat of the fat animals and tear off their hoofs.
17 “How horrible it will be for the foolish shepherd who abandoned the sheep.
A sword will strike his arm and his right eye.
His arm will be completely withered.
His right eye will be completely blind.”
- Zechariah 11:10 Or “covenant.”
18 After these things I saw another angel come from heaven. He had tremendous power, and his glory lit up the earth. 2 He cried out in a powerful voice, “Fallen! Babylon the Great has fallen! She has become a home for demons. She is a prison for every evil spirit, every unclean[a] bird, and every unclean and hated beast. 3 All the nations fell because of the wine of her sexual sins. The kings of the earth had sex with her. Her luxurious wealth has made the merchants of the earth rich.”
4 I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of Babylon, my people, so that you do not participate in her sins and suffer from any of her plagues. 5 Her sins are piled as high as heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. 6 Do to her what she has done. Give her twice as much as she gave. Serve her a drink in her own cup twice as large as the drink she served others. 7 She gave herself glory and luxury. Now give her just as much torture and misery. She says to herself, ‘I’m a queen on a throne, not a widow. I’ll never be miserable.’ 8 For this reason her plagues of death, misery, and starvation will come in a single day. She will be burned up in a fire, because the Lord God, who judges her, is powerful.
9 “The kings of the earth who had sex with her and lived in luxury with her will cry and mourn over her when they see the smoke rise from her raging fire. 10 Frightened by her torture, they will stand far away and say,
‘How horrible, how horrible it is for that important city,
the powerful city Babylon!
In one moment judgment has come to it!’
11 “The merchants of the earth cry and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargo anymore. 12 No one buys their cargo of gold, silver, gems, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, bright red cloth, all kinds of citron wood, articles made of ivory and very costly wood, bronze, iron, marble, 13 cinnamon, spices, incense, perfume, frankincense, wine, olive oil, flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, wagons, slaves (that is, humans).
14 ‘The fruit you craved is gone.
All your luxuries and your splendor have disappeared.
No one will ever find them again.’
15 “Frightened by her torture, the merchants who had become rich by selling these things will stand far away. They will cry and mourn, 16 saying,
‘How horrible, how horrible for that important city
which was wearing fine linen, purple clothes,
bright red clothes, gold jewelry, gems, and pearls.
17 In one moment all this wealth has been destroyed!’
Every ship’s captain, everyone who traveled by ship, sailors, and everyone who made their living from the sea stood far away. 18 When they saw the smoke rise from her raging fire, they repeatedly cried out, ‘Was there ever a city as important as this?’ 19 Then they threw dust on their heads and shouted while crying and mourning,
‘How horrible, how horrible for that important city.
Everyone who had a ship at sea
grew rich because of that city’s high prices.
In one moment it has been destroyed!’
20 “Gloat over it, heaven, God’s people, apostles, and prophets.
God has condemned it for you.”
21 Then a powerful angel picked up a stone that was like a large millstone. He threw it into the sea and said,
“The important city Babylon will be thrown down with the same force.
It will never be found again.
22 The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters
will never be heard in it again.
A skilled craftsman—regardless of the type of craft—
will never be found in it again.
The sound of a millstone
will never be heard in it again.
23 Light from lamps
will never shine in it again.
Voices of brides and grooms
will never be heard in it again.
Its merchants were the important people of the world,
because all the nations were deceived by its witchcraft.
24 “The blood of prophets, God’s people, and everyone who had been murdered on earth was found in it.”
- Revelation 18:2 “Unclean” refers to anything that Moses’ Teachings say is not presentable to God.
Praise the Lord, my soul!
2 I want to praise the Lord throughout my life.
I want to make music to praise my God as long as I live.
3 Do not trust influential people,
mortals who cannot help you.
4 When they breathe their last breath, they return to the ground.
On that day their plans come to an end.
5 Blessed are those who receive help from the God of Jacob.
Their hope rests on the Lord their God,
6 who made heaven, earth,
the sea, and everything in them.
The Lord remains faithful forever.
7 He brings about justice for those who are oppressed.
He gives food to those who are hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free.
8 The Lord gives sight to blind people.
The Lord straightens the backs of those who are bent over.
The Lord loves righteous people.
9 The Lord protects foreigners.
The Lord gives relief to orphans and widows.
But he keeps wicked people from reaching their goal.
10 The Lord rules as king forever.
Zion, your God rules throughout every generation.