December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 An oracle: The word of the LORD is upon the land of Hadrach, and Damascus is its resting place, For the cities of Aram are the LORD'S, as are all the tribes of Israel,
- Hamath also, on its border, Tyre too, and Sidon, however wise they be.
- Tyre built herself a stronghold, and heaped up silver like dust, and gold like the mire of the streets.
- Lo, the LORD will strip her of her possessions, and smite her power on the sea, and she shall be devoured by fire.
- Ashkelon shall see it and be afraid; Gaza also: she shall be in great anguish; Ekron, too, for her hope shall come to nought. The king shall disappear from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited,
- 2 and the baseborn shall occupy Ashdod. I will destroy the pride of the Philistine
- 3 and take from his mouth his bloody meat, and his abominations from between his teeth: He also shall become a remnant for our God, and shall be like a family in Judah, and Ekron shall be like the Jebusites.
- 4 I will encamp by my house as a guard that none may pass to and fro; No oppressor shall pass over them again, for now I have regard for their affliction.
- 5 Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion, shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem! See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is he, Meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass.
- 6 He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; The warrior's bow shall be banished, and he shall proclaim peace to the nations. His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
- 7 As for you, for the blood of your covenant with me, I will bring forth your prisoners from the dungeon.
- 8 In the return to the fortress of the waiting prisoners, This very day, I will return you double for your exile.
- For I will bend Judah as my bow, I will arm myself with Ephraim; I will arouse your sons, O Zion, (against your sons, O Yavan,) and I will use you as a warrior's sword.
- The LORD shall appear over them, and his arrow shall shoot forth as lightning; The LORD God shall sound the trumpet, and come in a storm from the south.
- The LORD of hosts shall be a shield over them, they shall overcome sling stones and trample them underfoot; They shall drink blood like wine, till they are filled with it like libation bowls, like the corners of the altar.
- And the LORD, their God, shall save them on that day, his people, like a flock. For they are the jewels in a crown raised aloft over his land.
- For what wealth is theirs, and what beauty! grain that makes the youths flourish, and new wine, the maidens!
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1 [1-8] Divine judgment is about to fall on the surrounding hostile peoples: Aram (Syria), including the cities of Hadrach and Damascus; Phoenicia, with its cities of Tyre and Sidon; Philistia, with its cities of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and Ashdod.
2  The baseborn: people of mixed ancestry.
3  Remnant: see note on Haggai 1:12. The Jebusites: the pre-Israelite inhabitants of Jerusalem, conquered by David and incorporated into Israel.
4  My house: the Holy Land; cf Hosea 8:1; 9:15; Jeremiah 12:7.
5  The Messiah will come, not as a conquering warrior, but in lowliness and peace. Not like the last kings of Judah, who rode in chariots and on horses (Jeremiah 17:25; 22:4), but like the princes of old (Genesis 49:11; Judges 5:10; 10:4), the Messiah will ride on an ass. The Evangelists see a literal fulfillment of this prophecy in the Savior's triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:4-5; John 12:14-15).
6  The River: The Euphrates; see note on Psalm 72:8.
7  The blood of your covenant with me: the covenant between the Lord and Israel sealed with sacrificial blood (Exodus 24:8).
8  The waiting prisoners: the exiles awaiting the return to their country, where they will receive a double compensation for the double punishment they had suffered; cf Isaiah 40:2; 61:7.
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