Winner: Jerusalem by a knockout
God’s talking1This is an announcement from the LORD, a message about Israel.
Here are the words of the LORD
Who hung the skies above us,
Planted the earth below,
And breathed life into our bodies.
Getting drunk on Jerusalem2Watch this. I’m about to turn Jerusalem into a big bowl of wine to get all her enemies drunk. Invaders will lay siege to Jerusalem and Judah. 3But when all the nations attack as one massive army, I’m going to turn Jerusalem into a rock too heavy for invaders to budge. If they try to lift it, they’ll bust a gut.
4When invaders attack, I’ll panic their horses and drive the riders crazy. At the same time, I’ll defend Judah and blind the enemy’s horses. 5When families throughout Judah see this, they’ll realize I’m helping them.
6When that day comes, I’ll give Judah all the ammo she needs to light up her enemies. She’ll become a ball of fire in a woodshed and a torch in a haybarn. Judah will defeat all her neighboring enemies, left and right, up and down, inside out and backwards. Jerusalem will stay safe.
7Judah will win the battle first, before Jerusalem does. That’s to keep Jerusalem and the ruling family descended from King David from getting too uppity. 8But when the battle comes to Jerusalem, I’ll make the weakest person in the city seem like the warrior King David. And the kingdom itself will fight like the personal angel of God himself is leading the battle charge. 9I will target every nation attacking Jerusalem. My plan is to erase each one.
God pours kindness into Jerusalem10I’m going to pour out a spirit of kindness on Jerusalem. I’ll drench the kings and the people with compassion for the one they pierced and killed. They’ll cry like they’re crying for their own dead baby boy—their only child.
11When that day comes, people will mourn as hard as some folks do for Hadad-rimmon in the Jezreel Valley beneath Megiddo.
12Every family will mourn. The king’s family with the king’s wives will cry together. Families descended from the prophet Nathan will cry, too. 13Families in the tribe of Levi will cry together, priests with their wives. So will families of Shimei, the men and their wives. 14Every family will cry, each on its own, with the men and their wives together.
A panicked horse will move backwards or run along fence lines or run in circles. A terrified horse might freeze, like a human.
Who is “the one” who died, pierced? John in the New Testament seemed to suggest this verse refers to the death of Jesus, pierced by nails and a spear (John 19:37). And they see it referring to God pouring out the Holy Spirit a few weeks later, when Peter preached a bold sermon in front of the same Jewish leaders who had orchestrated the execution of Jesus (Acts 2).
Scholars have to guess who Hadad-rimmon was and why the people were crying about him. One guess: he was the pagan god Hadad. If so, perhaps Zechariah was saying Jerusalem would cry like pagans pleading for their useless fertility gods to actually make them fertile in family, flocks, and fields. Many scholars say this has an end-time feel to it, and they describe the passage as eschatological, in a day when God makes great changes for the world and its people. Some guess the mourning is over the death of one of the few godly kings of the Jews, Josiah. He died in a battle with Egyptians there in the Jezreel Valley.
Megiddo was a fortress city on the southern edge of the sprawling Jezreel Valley, where many huge battles have been fought over the centuries. When French General Napoleon saw the valley he called it the perfect battlefield. Well, it’s a perfect place to get killed. There’s not much cover. It’s a toe-to-toe slugfest with sharp objects.
Shimei was a Levite, the grandson of Levi. Shimei’s family grew into a clan of families within the larger clan of Gershon, named after their founding father, the son of Levi.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.