September 21, Zechariah 10-14

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Ask the Lord for rain
in the season of spring rain.
The Lord makes the rain clouds,
and he will give them showers of rain
and crops in the field for everyone.
For the idols speak falsehood,
and the diviners see illusions;
they relate empty dreams
and offer empty comfort.
Therefore the people wander like sheep;
they suffer affliction because there is no shepherd.
My anger burns against the shepherds,
so I will punish the leaders.
For the Lord of Armies has tended his flock,
the house of Judah;
he will make them like his majestic steed in battle.
The cornerstone, the tent peg,
the battle bow, and every ruler—
all will go out from him together.
They will be like warriors in battle
trampling down the mud of the streets.
They will fight because the Lord is with them,
and they will put horsemen to shame.
I will strengthen the house of Judah
and deliver the house of Joseph.
I will restore them
because I have compassion on them,
and they will be
as though I had never rejected them.
For I am the Lord their God,
and I will answer them.
Ephraim will be like a warrior,
and their hearts will be glad as if with wine.
Their children will see it and be glad;
their hearts will rejoice in the Lord.

I will whistle and gather them
because I have redeemed them;
they will be as numerous as they once were.
Though I sow them among the nations,
they will remember me in the distant lands;
they and their children will live and return.
10 I will bring them back from the land of Egypt
and gather them from Assyria.
I will bring them to the land of Gilead
and to Lebanon,
but it will not be enough for them.
11 The Lord will pass through the sea of distress
and strike the waves of the sea;
all the depths of the Nile will dry up.
The pride of Assyria will be brought down,
and the scepter of Egypt will come to an end.
12 I will strengthen them in the Lord,
and they will march in his name—

this is the Lord’s declaration.

11 Open your gates, Lebanon,
and fire will consume your cedars.
Wail, cypress, for the cedar has fallen;
the glorious trees are destroyed!
Wail, oaks of Bashan,
for the stately forest has fallen!
Listen to the wail of the shepherds,
for their glory is destroyed.
Listen to the roar of young lions,
for the thickets of the Jordan are destroyed.

The Lord my God says this: “Shepherd the flock intended for slaughter. Those who buy them slaughter them but are not punished. Those who sell them say, ‘Blessed be the Lord because I have become rich!’ Even their own shepherds have no compassion for them. Indeed, I will no longer have compassion on the inhabitants of the land”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “Instead, I will turn everyone over to his neighbor and his king. They will devastate the land, and I will not rescue it from their hand.”

So I shepherded the flock intended for slaughter, the oppressed of the flock. I took two staffs, calling one Favor and the other Union, and I shepherded the flock. In one month I got rid of three shepherds. I became impatient with them, and they also detested me. Then I said, “I will no longer shepherd you. Let what is dying die, and let what is perishing perish; let the rest devour each other’s flesh.” 10 Next I took my staff called Favor and cut it in two, annulling the covenant I had made with all the peoples. 11 It was annulled on that day, and so the oppressed of the flock who were watching me knew that it was the word of the Lord. 12 Then I said to them, “If it seems right to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” So they weighed my wages, thirty pieces of silver.

13 “Throw it to the potter,” the Lord said to me—this magnificent price I was valued by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw it into the house of the Lord, to the potter. 14 Then I cut in two my second staff, Union, annulling the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.

15 The Lord also said to me, “Take the equipment of a foolish shepherd. 16 I am about to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for those who are perishing, and he will not seek the lost or heal the broken. He will not sustain the healthy, but he will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hooves.

17 Woe to the worthless shepherd
who deserts the flock!
May a sword strike his arm
and his right eye!
May his arm wither away
and his right eye go completely blind!”

12 A pronouncement:

The word of the Lord concerning Israel.
A declaration of the Lord,
who stretched out the heavens,
laid the foundation of the earth,
and formed the spirit of man within him.

“Look, I will make Jerusalem a cup that causes staggering for the peoples who surround the city. The siege against Jerusalem will also involve Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who try to lift it will injure themselves severely when all the nations of the earth gather against her. On that day”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness. I will keep a watchful eye on the house of Judah but strike all the horses of the nations with blindness. Then each of the leaders of Judah will think to himself: The residents of Jerusalem are my strength through the Lord of Armies, their God. On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves; they will consume all the peoples around them on the right and the left, while Jerusalem continues to be inhabited on its site, in Jerusalem. The Lord will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of David’s house and the glory of Jerusalem’s residents may not be greater than that of Judah. On that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that on that day the one who is weakest among them will be like David on that day, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord, before them. On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

10 “Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the house of David and the residents of Jerusalem, and they will look at me whom they pierced. They will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child and weep bitterly for him as one weeps for a firstborn. 11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning of Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, every family by itself: the family of David’s house by itself and their women by themselves; the family of Nathan’s house by itself and their women by themselves; 13 the family of Levi’s house by itself and their women by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself and their women by themselves; 14 all the remaining families, every family by itself, and their women by themselves.

13 “On that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the residents of Jerusalem, to wash away sin and impurity. On that day”—this is the declaration of the Lord of Armies—“I will remove the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be remembered. I will banish the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land. If a man still prophesies, his father and his mother who bore him will say to him, ‘You cannot remain alive because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord.’ When he prophesies, his father and his mother who bore him will pierce him through. On that day every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies; they will not put on a hairy cloak in order to deceive. He will say, ‘I am not a prophet; I work the land, for a man purchased me as a servant since my youth.’ If someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your chest?’—then he will answer, ‘I received the wounds in the house of my friends.’

Sword, awake against my shepherd,
against the man who is my associate—
this is the declaration of the Lord of Armies.
Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered;
I will turn my hand against the little ones.
In the whole land—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
two-thirds will be cut off and die,
but a third will be left in it.
I will put this third through the fire;
I will refine them as silver is refined
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call on my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”

14 Look, a day belonging to the Lord is coming when the plunder taken from you will be divided in your presence. I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle. The city will be captured, the houses looted, and the women raped. Half the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be removed from the city.

Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations as he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. The Mount of Olives will be split in half from east to west, forming a huge valley, so that half the mountain will move to the north and half to the south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for the valley of the mountains will extend to Azal. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come and all the holy ones with him.

On that day there will be no light; the sunlight and moonlight will diminish. It will be a unique day known only to the Lord, without day or night, but there will be light at evening.

On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea, in summer and winter alike. On that day the Lord will become King over the whole earth—the Lord alone, and his name alone. 10 All the land from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem will be changed into a plain. But Jerusalem will be raised up and will remain on its site from the Benjamin Gate to the place of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses. 11 People will live there, and never again will there be a curse of complete destruction. So Jerusalem will dwell in security.

12 This will be the plague with which the Lord strikes all the people who have warred against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. 13 On that day a great panic from the Lord will be among them, so that each will seize the hand of another, and the hand of one will rise against the other. 14 Judah will also fight at Jerusalem, and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected: gold, silver, and clothing in great abundance. 15 The same plague as the previous one will strike the horses, mules, camels, donkeys, and all the animals that are in those camps.

16 Then all the survivors from the nations that came against Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of Armies, and to celebrate the Festival of Shelters. 17 Should any of the families of the earth not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of Armies, rain will not fall on them. 18 And if the people of Egypt will not go up and enter, then rain will not fall on them; this will be the plague the Lord inflicts on the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Shelters. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt and all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Shelters.

20 On that day, the words Holy to the Lord will be on the bells of the horses. The pots in the house of the Lord will be like the sprinkling basins before the altar. 21 Every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the Lord of Armies. All who sacrifice will come and use the pots to cook in. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of Armies.

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