This is the Lord's message against the land of Hadrach. He will judge Damascus. That's because all of the tribes of Israel look to him. So do other people.
The Lord will judge Hamath too. It's next to Damascus. He will also punish Tyre and Sidon even though they are very clever.
Tyre's people have built a fort for themselves. They've piled up silver like dust. They have as much gold as the dirt in the streets.
But the Lord will take away everything they have. He'll destroy their power on the Mediterranean Sea. And Tyre will be completely burned up.
Ashkelon will see it and become afraid. Gaza will groan with pain. So will Ekron. Its hope will vanish. Gaza will no longer have a king. Ashkelon will be deserted.
Strangers will take over Ashdod. The Lord says, “I will take away everything the Philistines are so proud of.
They will no longer drink the blood of their animal sacrifices. I will remove the ‘unclean’ food from between their teeth. The Philistines who are left will belong to our God. They will become leaders in Judah. And Ekron will be like the Jebusites. So the Philistines will become part of Israel.
But I will guard my temple against enemy armies. No one will ever crush my people again. I will make sure it does not happen.
“City of Zion, be full of joy! People of Jerusalem, shout! See, your king comes to you. He always does what is right. He has the power to save. He is gentle and riding on a donkey. He is sitting on a donkey's colt.
I will take the chariots away from Ephraim. I will remove the war horses from Jerusalem. I will break the bows that are used in battle. Your king will announce peace to the nations. He will rule from ocean to ocean. His kingdom will reach from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth.
I will set your prisoners free from where their enemies are keeping them. I will do it because of the blood that put my covenant with you into effect.
Return to your place of safety, you prisoners who still have hope. Even now I announce that I will give you back much more than you had before.
I will bend Judah as I bend my bow. I will make Ephraim's people my arrows. Zion, I will stir up your sons. Greece, they will attack your sons. My people, I will use you as my sword.”
Then the Lord will appear over his people. His arrows will flash like lightning. The Lord and King will blow the trumpet of his thunder. He'll march out like a storm in the south.
The Lord who rules over all will be like a shield to his people. They will destroy their enemies. They'll use slings to throw stones at them. They'll drink the blood of their enemies as if it were wine. They'll be full like the bowl that is used for sprinkling the corners of the altar.
The Lord their God will save his people on that day. They will be like sheep that belong to his flock. They will gleam in his land like jewels in a crown.
How very beautiful they will be! Grain and fresh wine will make the young men and women strong.
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