Zechariah 12

1The sad message from the Lord about Israel. The Lord made the sky and the earth. He put man’s spirit in him. And the Lord said these things. 2“Look, I will make Jerusalem like a cup of poison to the nations around her. The nations will come and attack that city. And all of Judah will be caught in the trap. 3But I will make Jerusalem like a heavy rock—anyone that tries to take it will hurt himself. Those people will really be cut and scratched. But all the nations on earth will come together to fight against Jerusalem. 4But at that time, I will scare the horse, and the soldier riding it will panic. I will make all the enemy horses blind, but my eyes will be open—and I will be watching over Judah’s family. 5The family leaders of Judah will encourage the people. They will say, 'The Lord All-Powerful is your God. He makes us strong.’ 6At that time, I will make the family leaders of Judah like a fire burning in a forest. They will destroy their enemies like fire burning straw. They will destroy the enemy all around them. And the people in Jerusalem will again be able to sit back and relax.” 7The Lord will save the people of Judah first, so the people in Jerusalem will not be able to brag too much. David’s family and the other people living in Jerusalem will not be able to brag that they are better than the other people in Judah. 8But the Lord will protect the people in Jerusalem. Even the clumsiest person will be a great soldier like David. And the men from David’s family will be like gods—like the Lord’s own angel leading the people. 9The Lord says, “At that time, I will destroy the nations that came to fight against Jerusalem. 10I will fill David’s family and the people living in Jerusalem with a spirit of kindness and mercy. They will look to me, the One they pierced. And they will be very sad. They will be as sad as a person crying over the death of his only son, as sad as someone crying over the death of his firstborn son. 11There will be a time of great sadness and crying in Jerusalem. It will be like the time people cried over the death of Hadad Rimmon in Megiddo Valley. 12Each and every family will cry by itself. The men in David’s family will cry by themselves. And their wives will cry by themselves. The men in Nathan’s family will cry by themselves. And their wives will cry by themselves. 13The men in Levi’s family will cry by themselves. And their wives will cry by themselves. The men in Simeon’s family will cry by themselves. And their wives will cry by themselves. 14And the same thing will happen in all the other family groups. The men and women will cry by themselves.”

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