Against the Philistine cities (Zech 9:5-9:7)

“Ashkelon shall see it.

They shall be afraid.

Gaza too,

Shall writhe in anguish.

Ekron also,

Because its hopes are withered.

The king shall perish

From Gaza.

Ashkelon shall be uninhabited.

A mongrel people

Shall dwell in Ashdod.

I will make an end

Of the pride of Philistia.

I will take away

Its blood

From its mouth.

I will take away

Its abominations

From between its teeth.

It too shall be a remnant

For our God.

It shall be

Like a clan in Judah.

Ekron shall be

Like the Jebusites.”

Once again, there is a diatribe against the Philistine cities on the Mediterranean coast.  Only 3 of the 5 cities are mentioned here.  Ashkelon and Gaza would be afraid.  Ekron would have its hope crushed.  There would no longer be a king in Gaza.  No one would live in Ashkelon.  Only a mongrel or mixed race would live in Ashdod.  The pride of the Philistines would be crushed.  Yahweh was going to end their unclean practices of eating their meat with blood in their mouths, since they would follow the Israelite dietary laws.  These Philistines would become a small remnant just like Judah had become.  Ekron would become like the decimated Canaanite Jebusites, who had formerly inhabited Jerusalem, before the time of David.

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They will be my people (Zech 8:7-8:8)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘I will save my people

From the east country,

As well as from the west country.

I will bring them

To live

In Jerusalem.

They shall be my people.

I will be their God,

In faithfulness,

In righteousness.’”

Yahweh of hosts, via Zechariah, said that he would save his people not only from Babylon in the east, but also those scattered in the western countries.  He wanted to bring them all together to live in Jerusalem, the holy city.  They would be his people.  He would be their God, faithfully and righteously.

Yahweh will return to the holy mountain (Zech 8:3-8:3)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘I will return to Zion.

I will dwell

In the midst of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem shall be called

The faithful city.

The mountain

Of Yahweh of hosts

Shall be called

The holy mountain.’”

Yahweh, via Zechariah, said that he would return to Zion and live in Jerusalem, the faithful city.  This Zion mountain of Yahweh would be called the holy mountain because of the presence of Yahweh.

Yahweh will dwell in their midst (Zech 2:10-2:12)

“‘Sing!

Rejoice!

O daughter Zion!

Look!

I come!

I will dwell

In your midst.’

Says Yahweh.

Many nations

Shall join themselves

To Yahweh

In that day.

‘They shall be my people.

I will dwell

In your midst.’

You shall know

That Yahweh of hosts

Has sent me to you.

Yahweh will inherit Judah

As his portion

In the holy land.

He will again choose

Jerusalem.”

Yahweh wanted daughter Zion to sing and rejoice.  He was going to come to dwell in their midst, among them.  Many nations or people from many different countries would join with Yahweh on that day.  Yahweh said that they would be his people.  He was going to live among them.  Yahweh would inherit Judah, since he had sent his prophet to his Holy Land.  This was the first use of this term that was later used in 2 Maccabees, chapter 1.  Yahweh had chosen Jerusalem again.

The unbelieving rich (Zeph 1:12-1:13)

“At that time,

I will search Jerusalem

With lamps.

I will punish

The people

Who rest complacently

On their dregs.

I will punish

Those who say

In their hearts,

‘Yahweh will not do good.

Nor will he do harm.’

Their wealth

Shall be plundered.

Their houses laid waste.

Though they build houses,

They shall not inhabit them.

Though they plant vineyards,

They shall not drink wine

From them.”

On the day of Yahweh, Yahweh was going to search through Jerusalem with lamps.  He would punish the complacent people, those who had drunk too much of the dregs of their wine casks.  Yahweh was going to punish those who said that they didn’t care about Yahweh, because he had no effect on their lives, either for good or bad.  Yahweh was going to take the wealth of these rich people by plundering their belongings and destroying their homes.  If they were planning to build a house, they would never live in it.  If they were planting vineyards, they would never enjoy the wine from those vines.  Wealth would not save them from the Day of Yahweh.

The righteous live by their faith (Hab 2:4-2:5)

“Look at the proud!

Their spirit is not right

In them.

But the righteous

Live by their faith.

Moreover,

Wealth is treacherous.

The arrogant

Do not endure.

They open

Their throats wide

As in Sheol.

Just like death,

They never have enough.

They gather all nations

For themselves.

They collect

All people

As their own.”

Yahweh warned that these proud people would have a hard time, because their spirit was not right.  The main theme of this simple response was that the righteous live by their faith.  This idea that the righteous live by faith was a strong part of the apostle Paul in his Christian belief.  On the other hand, wealth was treacherous for the greedy.  Thus, the arrogant ones would not endure, because they were more open to the shadowy afterlife of Sheol.  These greedy people never had enough.  Just like death itself, they were always looking for more people.  They had tried to gather all people and countries to themselves as their own, but they were never satisfied.

Against the lying prophets (Mic 3:5-3:7)

“Thus says Yahweh

Concerning the prophets,

Who lead my people astray.

‘They cry

‘Peace!’

When they have something

To eat.

But they declare war

Against those who put

Nothing into their mouths.

Therefore,

It shall be night to you,

Without vision.

It shall be darkness to you,

Without revelation.

The sun shall go down

Upon the prophets.

The day shall be black

Over them.

The seers shall be disgraced.

The diviners put to shame.

They shall all cover their lips.

There is no answer

From God.’”

This was another bitter rebuke of the prophetic leaders in Israel and Jacob.  These prophets had led Yahweh’s people astray.  They had cried peace to those who give them something to eat, but they declared war on those who did not give them anything to eat.  Thus, they would live in a night like condition without any vision.  There would be darkness, without any revelation.  The sun would go down on these evil prophets, so that their days would be pitch dark all around them.  The seers would be disgraced, while the diviners would be ashamed.  They would have nothing to say, because God would not answer them.