The Lord Promises Deliverance
10 Ask the Lord for rain in the spring of the year. It is the Lord who sends rain clouds and showers, making the fields green for everyone. 2 (A)People consult idols and fortunetellers, but the answers they get are lies and nonsense. Some interpret dreams, but only mislead you; the comfort they give is useless. So the people wander about like lost sheep. They are in trouble because they have no leader.
3 The Lord says, “I am angry with those foreigners who rule my people, and I am going to punish them. The people of Judah are mine, and I, the Lord Almighty, will take care of them. They will be my powerful war-horses. 4 From among them will come rulers, leaders, and commanders to govern my people.[a] 5 The people of Judah will be victorious like soldiers who trample their enemies in the mud of the streets. They will fight because the Lord is with them, and they will defeat even the enemy cavalry.
6 “I will make the people of Judah strong;
I will rescue the people of Israel.
I will have compassion on them
and bring them all back home.
They will be as though I had never rejected them.
I am the Lord their God; I will answer their prayers.
7 The people of Israel will be strong like soldiers,
happy like those who have been drinking wine.
Their descendants will remember this victory
and be glad because of what the Lord has done.
8 “I will call my people
and gather them together.
I will rescue them
and make them as numerous as they used to be.
9 (B)Though I have scattered them among the nations,
yet in far-off places they will remember me.
They and their children will survive
and return home together.
10 From Egypt and Assyria I will bring them home
and settle them in their own country.
I will settle them in Gilead and Lebanon also;
the whole land will be filled with people.
11 When they pass through their sea of trouble,
I, the Lord, will strike the waves,
and the depths of the Nile will go dry.
Proud Assyria will be humbled,
and mighty Egypt will lose her power.
12 I will make my people strong;
they will worship and obey me.”
The Lord has spoken.
The Fall of the Tyrants
11 Open your doors, Lebanon,
so that fire can burn down your cedar trees![b]
2 Weep and wail, cypress trees—
the cedars have fallen;
those glorious trees have been destroyed!
Weep and wail, oaks of Bashan—
the dense forest has been cut down!
3 The rulers cry out in grief;
their glory is gone!
Listen to the roaring of the lions;
their forest home along the Jordan is destroyed!
The Two Shepherds
4 The Lord my God said to me, “Act the part of the shepherd[c] of a flock of sheep that are going to be butchered. 5 Their owners kill them and go unpunished. They sell the meat and say, ‘Praise the Lord! We are rich!’ Even their own shepherds have no pity on them.”
(6 The Lord said, “I will no longer pity anyone on earth. I myself will put all the people in the power of their rulers. These rulers will devastate the earth, and I will not save it from their power.”)
7 Those who bought and sold the sheep hired me, and I became the shepherd of the sheep that were going to be butchered. I took two sticks: one I called “Favor” and the other “Unity.” And I took care of the flock. 8 I lost patience with three other shepherds, who hated me, and I got rid of them all in a single month. 9 Then I said to the flock, “I will not be your shepherd any longer. Let those die who are to die. Let those be destroyed who are to be destroyed. Those who are left will destroy one another.” 10 Then I took the stick called “Favor” and broke it, to cancel the covenant which the Lord had made with all the nations. 11 So the covenant was canceled on that day. Those who bought and sold the sheep were watching me, and they knew that the Lord was speaking through what I did. 12 (C)I said to them, “If you are willing, give me my wages. But if not, keep them.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver as my wages.
13 The Lord said to me, “Put them in the Temple treasury.”[d] So I took the thirty pieces of silver—the magnificent sum they thought I was worth—and put them in the Temple treasury. 14 Then I broke the second stick, the one called “Unity,” and the unity of Judah and Israel was shattered.
15 Then the Lord said to me, “Once again act the part of a shepherd, this time a worthless one. 16 I have put a shepherd in charge of my flock, but he does not help the sheep that are threatened by destruction; nor does he look for the lost, or heal those that are hurt, or feed the healthy. Instead, he eats the meat of the fattest sheep and tears off their hoofs. 17 That worthless shepherd is doomed! He has abandoned his flock. War will totally destroy his power. His arm will wither, and his right eye will go blind.”
- Zechariah 10:4 From among … people; or All oppressors—rulers, leaders, and commanders—will depart together from Judah.
- Zechariah 11:1 Trees are used here as symbols of powerful nations or their kings.
- Zechariah 11:4 Shepherd is used here as a symbol of a king or leader, and sheep as symbols of his people or followers.
- Zechariah 11:13 Some ancient translations Put them in the Temple treasury; Hebrew Give them to the potter.
The Fall of Babylon
18 After this I saw another angel coming down out of heaven. He had great authority, and his splendor brightened the whole earth. 2 (A)He cried out in a loud voice: “She has fallen! Great Babylon has fallen! She is now haunted by demons and unclean spirits; all kinds of filthy and hateful birds live in her. 3 (B)For all the nations have drunk her wine—the strong wine of her immoral lust. The kings of the earth practiced sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the world grew rich from her unrestrained lust.”
4 (C)Then I heard another voice from heaven, saying,
“Come out, my people! Come out from her!
You must not take part in her sins;
you must not share in her punishment!
5 (D)For her sins are piled up as high as heaven,
and God remembers her wicked ways.
6 (E)Treat her exactly as she has treated you;
pay her back double for all she has done.
Fill her cup with a drink twice as strong
as the drink she prepared for you.
7 (F)Give her as much suffering and grief
as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
For she keeps telling herself:
‘Here I sit, a queen!
I am no widow,
I will never know grief’
8 Because of this, in one day she will be struck with plagues—
disease, grief, and famine.
And she will be burned with fire,
because the Lord God, who judges her, is mighty.”
9 (G)The kings of the earth who took part in her immorality and lust will cry and weep over the city when they see the smoke from the flames that consume her. 10 They stand a long way off, because they are afraid of sharing in her suffering. They say, “How terrible! How awful! This great and mighty city Babylon! In just one hour you have been punished!”
11 (H)The merchants of the earth also cry and mourn for her, because no one buys their goods any longer; 12 (I)no one buys their gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; their goods of linen, purple cloth, silk, and scarlet cloth; all kinds of rare woods and all kinds of objects made of ivory and of expensive wood, of bronze, iron, and marble; 13 and cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine and oil, flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and carriages, slaves, and even human lives. 14 The merchants say to her, “All the good things you longed to own have disappeared, and all your wealth and glamor are gone, and you will never find them again!” 15 (J)The merchants, who became rich from doing business in that city, will stand a long way off, because they are afraid of sharing in her suffering. They will cry and mourn, 16 and say, “How terrible! How awful for the great city! She used to dress herself in linen, purple, and scarlet, and cover herself with gold ornaments, precious stones, and pearls! 17 (K)And in one hour she has lost all this wealth!”
All the ships' captains and passengers, the sailors and all others who earn their living on the sea, stood a long way off, 18 (L)and cried out as they saw the smoke from the flames that consumed her: “There never has been another city like this great city!” 19 (M)They threw dust on their heads, they cried and mourned, saying, “How terrible! How awful for the great city! She is the city where all who have ships sailing the seas became rich on her wealth! And in one hour she has lost everything!”
20 (N)Be glad, heaven, because of her destruction! Be glad, God's people and the apostles and prophets! For God has condemned her for what she did to you!
21 (O)Then a mighty angel picked up a stone the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “This is how the great city Babylon will be violently thrown down and will never be seen again. 22 (P)The music of harps and of human voices, of players of the flute and the trumpet, will never be heard in you again! No workman in any trade will ever be found in you again; and the sound of the millstone will be heard no more! 23 Never again will the light of a lamp be seen in you; no more will the voices of brides and grooms be heard in you. Your merchants were the most powerful in all the world, and with your false magic you deceived all the peoples of the world!”
24 (Q)Babylon was punished because the blood of prophets and of God's people was found in the city; yes, the blood of all those who have been killed on earth.
- Revelation 18:2 : Isa 21:9; Jer 51:8; Rev 14:8; Rev 18:2; Isa 13:21; Jer 50:39
- Revelation 18:3 : Isa 23:17; Jer 51:7
- Revelation 18:4 : Isa 48:20; Jer 50:8; Rev 51:6; Rev 51:45
- Revelation 18:5 : Gen 18:20; Gen 18:21; Jer 51:9
- Revelation 18:6 : Ps 137:8; Jer 50:29
- Revelation 18:7 : Isa 47:7-Isa 47:9
- Revelation 18:9 : Ezek 26:16; Ezek 26:17
- Revelation 18:11 : Ezek 27:31; Ezek 27:36
- Revelation 18:12 : Ezek 27:12; Ezek 27:13; Ezek 27:22
- Revelation 18:15 : Ezek 27:31; Ezek 27:36
- Revelation 18:17 : Isa 23:14; Ezek 27:26-Ezek 27:30
- Revelation 18:18 : Ezek 27:32
- Revelation 18:19 : Ezek 27:30-Ezek 27:34
- Revelation 18:20 : Deut 32:43; Jer 51:48
- Revelation 18:21 : Jer 51:63; Jer 51:64; Rev 18:21; Ezek 26:21
- Revelation 18:22 : Ezek 26:13; Isa 24:8; Rev 18:22; Jer 7:34; Rev 25:10
- Revelation 18:24 : Jer 51:49
In Praise of God the Savior
146 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, my soul!
2 I will praise him as long as I live;
I will sing to my God all my life.
3 Don't put your trust in human leaders;
no human being can save you.
4 When they die, they return to the dust;
on that day all their plans come to an end.
5 Happy are those who have the God of Jacob to help them
and who depend on the Lord their God,
6 (A)the Creator of heaven, earth, and sea,
and all that is in them.
He always keeps his promises;
7 he judges in favor of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free
8 and gives sight to the blind.
He lifts those who have fallen;
he loves his righteous people.
9 He protects the strangers who live in our land;
he helps widows and orphans,
but takes the wicked to their ruin.
10 The Lord is king forever.
Your God, O Zion, will reign for all time.
Praise the Lord!
33 If you churn milk, you get butter. If you hit someone's nose, it bleeds. If you stir up anger, you get into trouble.