the Nations Around Judah
the Nations Around Judah
1 This is a message from the LORD about Israel. The Lord is the one who made the earth and the sky, and he put the human spirit in people. And this is what the LORD said: 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. 3 But I will make Jerusalem like a heavy rock—those who try to take it will hurt themselves. They will be cut and scratched. All the nations on earth will come together to fight against Jerusalem. 4 But 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. 5 The leaders of Judah will encourage the people and say, ‘The LORD All-Powerful is your God. He makes us strong.’ 6 At that time I will make the 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.”
7 The 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 who live in Jerusalem will not be able to brag that they are better than the other people in Judah. 8 But the LORD will protect the people in Jerusalem. Even the man who trips and falls will become 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.
9 The Lord says, “At that time I will destroy the nations that came to fight against Jerusalem. 10 I 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 stabbed, and they will be very sad. They will be as sad as someone crying over the death of their only son, as sad as someone crying over the death of their firstborn son. 11 There will be a time of great sadness and crying in Jerusalem. It will be like the time people cry over the death of Hadad Rimmon* Hadad Rimmon Possibly a name for the Syrian fertility god. in Megiddo Valley. 12 Each 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. 13 The 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. 14 And the same thing will happen in all the other tribes. The men and women will cry by themselves.”
*12:11 Hadad Rimmon Possibly a name for the Syrian fertility god.