God's Servant who is called The Branch
An EasyEnglish Bible Version with Notes (1200 word vocabulary) on the Book of Zechariah
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A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.
v1 Zechariah the *prophet heard a message from the *Lord. He heard this when Darius had been king for two years. It was the 8th month of the year. Zechariah was the son of Berechiah and Berechiah was the son of Iddo.
v2 The *Lord told Zechariah to say to the people,
‘I, the *Lord, was very angry with your fathers and their fathers. v3 Now I, the *Lord *Almighty, say this to you, “If you return to me, I will return to you.” v4 Do not be like your fathers. Many years ago the *prophets gave them a message from me. The message was, “Stop doing those things that are wrong.” They did not listen to me. And they did not think that my words were important. v5 Your fathers and their *prophets have been dead for a long time. v6 I told my servants the *prophets that they should say my words. They continued to say my words until my words made your fathers sorry. I had done to your fathers what I promised to do. They knew that. They said that they were very sorry.’
v7 Shebat is the name of the 11th month. On the 24th day of Shebat, the *Lord spoke to Zechariah the *prophet. This was when Darius had been king for two years.
v8 During the night I, Zechariah, had a dream from the *Lord. I saw a man on a red horse. The horse was standing among some trees called myrtle trees, in the valley. And behind him were red, brown and white horses.
v9 I asked him, ‘My *lord, what are these horses?’ The *angel who talked with me said, ‘I will show you what they are.’
v10 The man who was standing among the trees answered. ‘The *Lord has sent these horses to go to all the places on the earth.’
v11 And the horses spoke to the *angel of the *Lord who stood among the trees. They said, ‘We have gone all over the earth. All the earth is without trouble.’
v12 Then the *angel of the *Lord said, ‘Oh *Lord *Almighty, how long will you be angry with *Jerusalem? How long will you be angry against the cities of *Judah? You have already been angry for 70 years.’ v13 And the *Lord answered the *angel with kind words.
v14 The *angel said to me, ‘Tell this to the people. This is what the *Lord *Almighty says: “I love *Jerusalem. *Jerusalem is mine. v15 I am very angry with the countries that are safe and without danger. Those countries were too cruel to my people, when I was only a little angry with *Jerusalem.” v16 So, this is what the *Lord says: “I will return to *Jerusalem to be kind to the people there. I will build my house again”, says the *Lord *Almighty, “and I will build the city again.” ’
v17 The *angel told me that I must say this: ‘The *Lord *Almighty says, “My towns will be rich again. I will again speak kind words to *Jerusalem. I will choose *Jerusalem again as my own city.” ’
v18 And I looked up and I saw four *horns. v19 And I asked the *angel that talked with me, ‘What are these *horns?’ Then the *angel said to me, ‘These are the strong enemies of my people. They took my people out of *Judah, out of *Israel and out of *Jerusalem.’
v20 Then the *Lord showed me four workers with hammers. v21 I said, ‘What are these men coming to do?’ The *Lord answered, ‘The *horns are the enemies that destroyed *Judah. They destroyed Judah so that they will all be ashamed. The workers came to frighten and to destroy the enemies because they killed many of my people. The enemies took many of my people out of *Judah.’
v1 Then I looked up and I saw a man in front of me. He had a line in his hand. The line was to measure something. v2 Then I said, ‘Where are you going?’ He said to me, ‘I am going to measure *Jerusalem. I want to see how broad and how long it is.’ v3 The *angel that talked with me went away. Another *angel came to meet him. v4 The second *angel said to the first *angel, ‘Run to that young man with the line in his hand. Say that *Jerusalem will be a city without walls. This is because of the many people and many animals that will live in it. v5 The *Lord himself promises that he will be like a wall of fire round *Jerusalem. He will shine as a beautiful light inside the city.’
v6 ‘Come! Come! Run away from the country in the north’, says the *Lord. ‘As the four winds blow in different directions, I sent you to many far countries.
v7 Come, my people. Run away from *Babylon and return to *Jerusalem.’ v8 Return because the *Lord says, ‘Anyone that attacks you is attacking the *Lord’s people. He is attacking the people that the *Lord loves.’ So the *Lord *Almighty sent me, Zechariah, with this message about the countries that have robbed his people. v9 ‘The *Lord himself will fight against your enemies and their own slaves will rob them. Then you will know that the *Lord *Almighty has sent me, Zechariah, to you.’
v10 ‘Sing and be happy, you people in *Jerusalem. This is because I will come. And I will live among you’, says the *Lord. v11 ‘On that day, the people from many countries will come to me, the *Lord, and they will become my people. I will live among you. You will know that the *Lord *Almighty has sent me. v12 The *Lord will choose *Judah for himself again. *Jerusalem will be the city that he loves most of all cities. v13 Be quiet, all people, because the *Lord has left his home in *heaven to come among you.’
v1 Then the *angel of the *Lord appeared to me, Zechariah, and he showed me Joshua, the most important *priest. Joshua was standing in front of the *angel of the *Lord. *Satan stood on the right side of Joshua. He was ready to say that Joshua had done bad things. v2 The *Lord said to *Satan, ‘The *Lord says that you are wrong. The *Lord has chosen *Jerusalem. And he says that you are wrong. Joshua is certainly like a burning stick that someone pulls quickly out of the fire.’
v3 Joshua was wearing very dirty clothes and he stood in front of the *angel. v4 The *angel said to the other *angels that stood in front of him, ‘Remove his very dirty clothes.’ Then the first *angel said to Joshua, ‘See, I have taken away your *sin. I will put the clothes on you that a *priest should wear.’
v5 Then Zechariah said, ‘Put a clean hat on his head.’ So, they put a clean hat on his head and they dressed him in clean clothes. The *angel of the *Lord stood near to them.
v6 The *angel of the *Lord spoke to Joshua with these serious words. v7 ‘These are the words of the *Lord *Almighty. Listen to them and obey them. “You will rule in my house. You will rule inside the walls of my house. I will give you a place among the *angels that are standing here.
v8 Listen, Joshua, most important *priest of the *Lord. Listen you *priests that sit with Joshua. You are like a sign. People can look at you. And they can know that good things will happen in future years. See! I will bring to you my servant who is called The Branch. v9 See the stone that I have put in front of Joshua! It is a stone with seven sides and I will cut words in the stone”, says the *Lord *Almighty. “I will remove the *sin of this country’s people in one day.” v10 “On that day”, says the *Lord *Almighty, “each of you will ask your friends to come. You will ask them to come and to sit under your own *vines and *fig trees.” ’
v1 The *angel that talked with me before woke me. I, Zechariah, was like a man who wakes out of his sleep. v2 The *angel said to me, ‘What do you see?’ I said, ‘I see a thing that someone has made out of gold. And it contains oil. The oil burns to make light. It has a dish on top of it. And it has seven things like branches that someone has made out of gold. Each branch has a burning light on top of it. v3 And two *olive trees are standing by the burning lights. One tree is on the right of the lights and one tree is on the left of the lights.’
v4 I, Zechariah, said to the *angel that talked with me. ‘What does this light mean, my *lord?’
v5 He said, ‘Do you not know what these are?’
I said, ‘No, my *lord.’
v6 Then the *angel said to me, ‘The *Lord said this to Zerubbabel: “You will need my Spirit. You yourself are too weak. And you do not have enough power.” This is what the *Lord *Almighty says: v7 “Big mountain, you are no problem. You will become flat ground in front of Zerubbabel. Then he will bring out the last and biggest stone of my house. The people will shout, ‘God *bless it! God *bless it!’ ” ’
v8 Then the *Lord’s message came to me, Zechariah. He said, v9 ‘Zerubbabel has put down the first stone of my house. He will also finish it.’ Then you will know that the *Lord *Almighty has sent me to you.
v10 Everyone should know that the day of small things is important.
Men will see Zerubbabel. Then they will sing and they will be happy. They will see him with a line in his hand to measure the walls.
The *Lord sees everything in the whole earth. (The 7 lights are the 7 eyes of the *Lord.)
v11 Then I said to the *angel, ‘What are these two *olive trees on the right and on the left of the light?’
v12 A second time I spoke to the *angel, ‘What are these two branches of the *olive trees? They are next to the pipes of gold and oil comes from those pipes.’
v13 The *angel replied, ‘Do you not know what these *olive trees mean?’
‘No, my *lord’, I said.
v14 So the *angel said, ‘These are the two men that the *Lord of all the earth has chosen to be his servants.’
v1 Again, I looked and I saw a large paper. It was moving through the air. There were many words on the paper.
v2 The *angel said to me, ‘What do you see?’ And I answered, ‘I see a paper that is flying through the air. It is twice as long as it is wide. And it is as long as 5 men.’
v3 Then the *angel said to me, ‘The words on the paper tell about bad events for the whole earth. This will be in future years. On one side of the paper, it says that a man must not rob anyone. If he does, people will send him away from his own country. On the other side of the paper, it says that a man must not speak false words. If he does, people will send him away from his own country. v4 The *Lord *Almighty says, “I will cause bad things to happen in the house of the man that robs anyone. I will cause bad things to happen in the house of the man that speaks false words. It is as if the words on the paper will destroy the houses of those bad people.” ’
v5 Then the *angel that talked to me came near to me. He said, ‘Look. And see the thing that has just appeared.’
v6 I said, ‘What is it?’
He said, ‘It is a basket that people measure with.’ Then he said, ‘It is the *sin of all the people in this country.’
v7 He lifted the heavy metal lid and there was a woman. She was sitting in the basket!
v8 The *angel said, ‘This is *sin.’ He pushed her into the basket again and he put the heavy metal lid on top of the basket.
v9 Then I looked up and I saw two women. They flew towards me with strong *wings. The wind carried them as the wind carries large birds. They lifted the basket between the earth and the sky.
v10 Then I said to the *angel that talked with me, ‘Where will these women take the basket?’
v11 The *angel said to me, ‘They will take the basket to the country called *Babylon. They will build a house for it there. When the house is ready, they will put the basket inside the house. They will put it where people can see it.’
v1 Again I looked up and I saw 4 *chariots! They came out from between two mountains and the mountains were mountains of shining metal! v2 The first *chariot had red horses and the second *chariot had black horses. v3 The third *chariot had white horses and the fourth *chariot had grey horses. All the horses were strong. v4 Then I spoke to the *angel that talked to me. ‘What are these *chariots, my *lord?’ I said.
v5 The *angel answered me, ‘These are the 4 *spirits of *heaven. They have come from the *Lord of the whole world. v6 The *chariot with the black horses goes towards the north country. The *chariot with the white horses goes after them. The *chariot with the grey horses goes towards the south country.’
v7 When the strong horses came out, they were in a hurry to leave. The *angel said, ‘Go through all the earth.’ So the horses went through all the earth.
v8 Then the *Lord told me, ‘The *chariot that goes to the north country has caused my Spirit to rest in the north country. I am now no longer angry about the north country.’
v9 The *Lord spoke to me.
v10 ‘Three men have arrived from *Babylon’, he said. ‘Their names are Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah. Take the gold that they have brought with them. On the same day, take the gold to the house of Josiah, the son of Zephaniah.
v11 Take the gold and other valuable metal and make a *crown. Put it on the head of Joshua the most important *priest. He is the son of Jehozadak. v12 Say to Joshua, “The *Lord *Almighty says, ‘I have chosen a man. His name is the Branch. He will be a great man and he will build the house of the *Lord.
v13 It is he who will build the house of the *Lord. He will sit on his special high seat and he will rule all the people. He will be a *priest on the seat of a king. This one man will be *priest and king.’ ” v14 They will put the *crown in the house of the *Lord. This is to remember Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen the son of Zephaniah. This is because they brought the gold from *Babylon.
v15 People will come a long way and they will help to build the house of the *Lord. Then you will know that the *Lord *Almighty has sent me to you. All this will happen if you completely obey the *Lord your God.’
v1 The *Lord spoke to Zechariah when Darius had been king for four years. It was the 4th day of the 9th month. The name of the month was Chislev. v2 Then the people in Bethel sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech and their men to *Jerusalem. They came to ask the *Lord to help them. v3 They came to the house of the *Lord *Almighty to speak to the *priests and to the *prophets. They asked, ‘Should we cry and not eat our food in the 5th month? We have done this for many years.’
v4 The *Lord *Almighty spoke to me, Zechariah. v5 He said, ‘Say this to all the people in this country and to the *priests. “You lived in *Babylon for many years. You ate no food and you were sad in the 5th month and in the 7th month. But you did not do this for me. v6 You ate and you drank. But you ate and you drank for yourselves. v7 These are the words that I, the *Lord, spoke by my *prophets in past years. At that time, the people in *Jerusalem lived without trouble. Many rich people lived in *Jerusalem. Also the people to the south and to the west of *Jerusalem lived without trouble.” ’
v8 The *Lord spoke again to Zechariah. He said, v9 ‘The *Lord *Almighty has said, “Be sure that you are fair to all people. Be kind to each other. v10 Be kind to a woman after the death of her husband. Be kind to a child after the death of his father. Be kind to strangers and to poor people. Do not think bad thoughts against your brother.”
v11 But the people would not listen and they turned away. They put their hands over their ears, because they did not want to hear. v12 They decided that they would not listen to God’s rules or to the messages from the *prophets. But the *Lord *Almighty had sent those messages by His Spirit. So I, the *Lord *Almighty, was very angry.
v13 When I spoke to them, they did not listen. So when they prayed to me, I did not listen to them’, says the *Lord *Almighty. v14 ‘As a storm takes things away, I took my people away to strange countries. The country that they left became an empty country. Nobody lived in it. That is how they made the good country an empty country.’
v1 The *Lord *Almighty gave this message to Zechariah. v2 ‘I have wanted to help *Jerusalem because I love its people very much. My love causes me to be very angry with the enemies of *Jerusalem’, says the *Lord *Almighty.
v3 ‘*Jerusalem is the city that I have chosen. I will return there and I will live there. Then *Jerusalem will be called the city that obeys God. And the mountain of the *Lord *Almighty will be called the mountain that God has chosen.’
v4 The *Lord *Almighty says, ‘Old men and old women will sit in the streets of *Jerusalem again. Each will have a stick in his hands because he is so old.
v5 Many boys and girls will play in the streets of the city again.’
v6 ‘This may seem impossible to the few people that remain’, says the *Lord *Almighty. ‘But nothing is impossible to me’, says the *Lord *Almighty.
v7 ‘I will bring my people back from the east country and from the west country’, says the *Lord *Almighty. v8 ‘I will bring them back to live in *Jerusalem. They will be my people and I will be their God. I will do for them what I promised to do.’
v9 The *Lord *Almighty says, ‘Be strong, you people who now hear these words from the mouths of the *prophets. The *prophets spoke the same words when you prepared the ground for the *temple of the *Lord *Almighty. Now be strong and continue to build. v10 Before that time, there was not enough money to pay for work that men or animals did. No man was safe from the enemy because I made all men angry with each other.’
v11 ‘But now it is different. I will not be angry with the few people that have returned’, says the *Lord *Almighty.
v12 ‘The seeds and the plants will grow well. The trees will give fruit. There will be water from the skies. I will *bless the few people that will return. v13 In past years, people from other countries have said bad things against you, *Judah and Israel. But now I will help you. You will *bless many people. Do not be afraid. Be strong.’
v14 The *Lord *Almighty says this: ‘When your parents and their parents made me angry, I decided to *punish them.’ ‘I have also *punished you’, says the *Lord *Almighty. v15 ‘Do not be afraid. I have now decided to do good things to *Jerusalem and to the people in *Judah again. v16 These are the things that you should do. Speak true words to each other. Leaders, be fair to all people. v17 Do not think to do bad things against other people. Do not use my name to promise things and then not do those things. All these things make me very angry.’
v18 Again Zechariah the *prophet heard this message from the *Lord *Almighty. v19 ‘On special days in the year you eat no food. Those days are in the 4th, 5th, 7th and 10th months. But I want you to enjoy those days’, says the *Lord *Almighty. ‘I want the people in *Judah to be happy. So speak true words and live quiet lives.’
v20 ‘People that live in many countries will come to *Jerusalem’, says the *Lord *Almighty. v21 ‘The people from one city will go the people in another city. They will say, “Come with us to *worship the *Lord *Almighty. Come and ask the *Lord to help us.” v22 People from many strong countries will *worship the *Lord *Almighty in *Jerusalem. And they will ask the *Lord to help them.’
v23 ‘Then, 10 men from foreign countries will hold the coat of one *Jew’, says the *Lord *Almighty. ‘They will say, “People have told us that the *Lord is with you. So we want to go with you.” ’
v1 The *Lord speaks against the country called Hadrach and against Damascus city.
The *Lord watches all men and all the groups of people in Israel.
v2 The *Lord speaks against the country called Hamath. (It is next to the country called Hadrach.) The people in Tyre and Sidon cities are very *wise. But the *Lord also speaks against them.
v3 Tyre’s people have built strong walls to keep enemies out.
They have swept up rich metals like dirt.
They have swept up gold like dirt in the streets.
v4 The *Lord will take away all the things that Tyre’s people have.
And he will remove their ships from the sea.
Fire will burn every part of the city.
v5 The people in Ashkelon city will see it and they will be afraid.
The people in Gaza city will see it and they will be afraid.
The things that the people in Ekron city hope for will not happen.
The king of Gaza will die
and there will be no people in Ashkelon any longer.
v6 Foreign people will live in Ashdod city.
I will show the *Philistines that they are not clever. They are not as clever as they believe.
v7 I will take the blood from their mouths.
I will take the food from their teeth, because it is bad food.
Those that remain will still be my people.
They will become leaders in *Judah.
Ekron will be like a part of *Judah, as the *Jebusites were.
v8 Then I will keep my house safe against my enemies.
No army will ever again beat my people,
because I am watching them.
v9 Sing loudly, people in *Zion.
Shout, people in *Jerusalem.
Look! Your king comes to you.
He will save you because he does everything well.
But he is quiet and he is riding on a *donkey.
He will ride on a young animal. Its mother is a *donkey.
v10 I will take away the *chariots from Ephraim
and the horses of war from *Jerusalem.
The bows of war will be broken.
He will speak to all the countries and wars will finish.
He will rule from sea to sea. He will rule from the river Euphrates to the ends of the earth.
v11 But I made a promise to you. I made that promise true with blood. I will free your people that are in a prison, in deep dark holes without water.
v12 All you people who hoped to see your own country again, return to *Jerusalem.
I tell you this now: I will give back to you twice as much as you have lost.
v13 I will use *Judah and *Israel to attack my enemies.
I will use you, men from *Zion, to attack the men from Greece.
I will make you like the long metal knife of a soldier.
v14 Then the *Lord will appear over them.
His *arrow will be like the bright light in the sky that you see during a storm.
The *Lord will make a great sound.
He will march in the storms from the south.
v15 And the *Lord *Almighty will watch over them.
They will beat the stones that their enemies throw at them.
When they go to war, they will shout.
They will shout like men
who have drunk too much *wine.
They will be as full of *joy as the dish is full.
This is the dish filled with the blood of animals in the house of God. The *priest pours it on the *altar.
v16 On that day, the *Lord will save them.
They are his people.
They will shine in his country
like beautiful stones that shine in a *crown.
v17 The people will be beautiful and good.
The young people will become strong
when they eat good bread.
The young women will become strong
when they drink new *wine.
v1 Ask the *Lord for rain in spring.
It is the *Lord who makes the clouds and the storms.
He gives the rain to men.
He gives the plants of the field to everyone.
v2 People ask *idols for help,
but the *idols do not speak true words.
Some people explain what a dream means.
But they do not speak true words.
The help that they give is not good.
So the people move from place to place like sheep.
They are not safe. They have no leaders.
v3 ‘I am angry with the leaders.
I will cause them to be sorry.
*Judah’s people are mine’, says the *Lord *Almighty. ‘I will watch over them.
I will make them as strong as horses that are ready for war.
v4 From *Judah’s people will come the man called the *Cornerstone.
A strong leader will come from *Judah.
A strong soldier will come from *Judah.
Every ruler will come from *Judah.
v5 Together they will be like strong soldiers
who march through the dirty streets of the enemy.
The *Lord is with them and they will fight their enemies.
They will pull down the soldiers from their horses.
v6 I will make *Judah’s people strong
and I will make *Israel’s people free men.
I will bring them back to me,
because I am sorry for them.
I am their God
and I will answer them.
It will be as if I had never turned away from them.
v7 *Israel’s people will become like strong men.
They will be as happy as men that drink *wine.
Their children will see their happy fathers
and so the children will be happy.
They will sing to the *Lord.
v8 I will cause my people to come to me and I will bring them all together.
I will buy them and I will make them free people.
And there will be as many people as there were before.
v9 I will send them to foreign countries among foreign people.
But, in these far countries, they will remember me.
They and their children will not die.
They will return to *Jerusalem.
v10 I will bring my people back from Egypt
and I will bring them here together from Assyria.
I will bring them to Gilead and to Lebanon.
There will not be enough room for them all.
v11 And he will come to the difficult sea.
But it will be no trouble to him.
He will stop the *waves in the sea.
He will make the river Nile dry.
*Proud Assyria will have nothing to be proud about and
the power of Egypt’s people will finish.’
v12 ‘I will make my people strong.
They will obey me because they love my name.’
v1 Open your gates, Lebanon,
so that the fires can burn down your *cedar trees.
v2 Cry aloud, *cypress tree, because the *cedar tree has fallen.
Enemies have cut down the tall and beautiful trees.
Cry aloud, *oak trees in Bashan,
because they have cut down the thick forest.
v3 Listen to the *shepherds. They are crying
because enemies have destroyed their fields.
Listen to the noise of the *lions
because the wood along the river Jordan
is no longer there.
v4 This is what the *Lord said to me, Zechariah. ‘My people are like sheep. There will be a time when men will buy them. And then they will kill them. But feed them until that time.
v5 Those men who buy the sheep will kill them. Nobody will *punish them. They will sell them. And they will say, “Thank you *Lord, because I am a rich man.” Their own *shepherds do not give the sheep any help.’
v6 The *Lord says, ‘The people in this country were my people, but they are not my people now. I will not go on being kind to them. I myself will give them to their enemies and to foreign kings. The foreign kings will do very bad things to the country, but I will not come to help.’
v7 So I was a good *shepherd to the sheep that men would soon kill. I thought specially about the weakest sheep. Then I took two sticks. And I called one stick ‘*Grace’ and I called the other stick ‘Together’. I fed the sheep.
v8 In one month, I sent away three *shepherds. They did not like me and I was not patient with them.
v9 I said to the sheep, ‘I will not be your *shepherd and you will die. The sheep that do not die will eat each other.’
v10 I took ‘*Grace’, which was my first stick. I broke it into two pieces. The *Lord’s promise to his people finished.
v11 On the day that the *Lord’s promise finished, the *oppressed sheep watched me. They knew that it was the *Lord’s message.
v12 I said to them, ‘You may think that I should have some money for my work. If you do think that, pay me my money. If you do not want to pay me, keep it.’ So they paid me 30 *silver coins.
v13 The *Lord said to me, ‘Throw the 30 *silver coins to the man who makes pots in the house of the *Lord.’ They thought that I was not worth very much! I took the 30 coins. And I threw them to the man who makes pots. He makes them for the house of the *Lord.
v14 Then I broke the second stick called ‘Together’. I made the country called *Judah separate. I made it separate from the country called *Israel. v15 Then the *Lord said to me, Zechariah, ‘Take again the tools of a bad *shepherd.
v16 I have chosen a man to watch the sheep. He will not help the sheep that are dying. He will not look for the sheep that have gone away. He will not help the sick sheep or feed the strong sheep. He will eat the meat of the fat sheep. He will tear off their feet to get all the meat.
v17 Bad things will happen to the bad *shepherd who leaves his sheep.
His enemy’s knife will cut his arm and his right eye.
His arm will become like a dry stick. And his right eye will no longer be able to see anything.’
v1 This is the *Lord’s message about Israel. The *Lord made the skies and the whole wide earth. He makes men and women.
v2 ‘I will frighten the enemies that live round *Jerusalem. I will frighten them so much that they will run. They will run as fast as they can from *Jerusalem and from *Judah.
v3 There will be a time when all the countries of the earth will be ready to attack *Jerusalem. Then I will make *Jerusalem like a heavy rock that nobody can move. All those who try to lift it will hurt themselves very badly.
v4 On that day’, says the *Lord, ‘I will make every horse very afraid. I will make all the men that ride them crazy. I want to help *Judah’s people. And so, I will not let the horses of the enemy see any longer.
v5 Then the leaders of *Judah will say to themselves, “The *Lord *Almighty, their God, makes the people in *Jerusalem strong. And they will help us.”
v6 On that day, I will make the leaders of *Judah like fire in a forest. I will make them like fire among *wheat that the farmer has cut. They will kill all the people from round *Jerusalem, but the people in *Jerusalem will be safe.
v7 The *Lord will save the homes of the people from *Judah first. So David’s *family and the people who live in *Jerusalem will not be greater than the people from *Judah.
v8 On that day, the *Lord will save the people who live in *Jerusalem. Even sick people will be as strong as King David was. The *family of David will lead the people from *Jerusalem like the *angel of the *Lord. God himself will go before them.
v9 On that day, I will destroy all the countries that fight against *Israel.
v10 I will cause the *family of David and the people in *Jerusalem to think seriously about me. Then they will know that I am kind to them. And they will want to pray to me. They will look at me whom they pierced (made holes in). They will weep about him as those that weep after the death of their only son. They will cry aloud as if their only son was dead.
v11 On that day, people will weep loudly in *Jerusalem. It will be like when they were weeping about Hadadrimmon in the fields of Megiddo.
v12 All the people will weep. Each *family will weep by itself. The *family of King David will weep by itself. And their wives will weep by themselves. The *family of Nathan will weep by itself. And their wives will weep by themselves.
v13 The *family of Levi will weep by itself. And their wives will weep by themselves. The *family of Shimei will weep by itself. And their wives will weep by themselves.
v14 And all the families that have not died will weep by themselves. And their wives will weep by themselves.’
v1 ‘On that day, something will be like water that comes up from the ground. And it will clean away the *sin from the *family of David. It will clean away the *sin from the people in *Jerusalem.
v2 On that day, I will remove the names of false gods from the country’, says the *Lord *Almighty. ‘Everyone will forget them. I will remove all the false *prophets. And I will remove the bad *spirit that is not *holy.
v3 And if anyone appears as a *prophet again, his father and his mother will say to him, “You must die. You do not speak true words. The *Lord has not spoken to you.” Then they will kill him.
v4 On that day, every *prophet will be ashamed that he was ever a *prophet. He will not put on the clothes of a *prophet that they make from hair. Then people will not know that he is a *prophet.
v5 He will say, “I am not a *prophet. I am a farmer. From the time that I was a boy, I have worked on the land.”
v6 If someone asks him, “Who cut your body?” he will answer, “My friends cut me when I was at their house.” ’
v7 ‘Attack my *shepherd with a sharp knife.
Attack the man that is next to me’,
says the *Lord *Almighty.
‘Kill the *shepherd and then the sheep will run away.
Then I will attack the young sheep.
v8 In the whole country’, says the *Lord,
‘two thirds of the people will die.
But one third will still be living there.
v9 I will bring these people through fire.
As men clean *silver in the fire, so I will clean them.
As men *test gold in the fire, so I will *test them.
They will speak my name and I will answer them.
I will say, “They are my people.”
They will say, “The *Lord is our God.” ’
v1 There will be a day when your enemies will take away everything. They will take away everything that is yours. They will each have some of your things.
v2 I will bring soldiers from all countries to fight against *Jerusalem. They will go into the city and they will rob the houses. They will have sex with the women. They will lead away half the people to other countries. They will let the other half stay in *Jerusalem.
v3 Then the *Lord will go out. And he will fight against the people from those countries as in past years.
v4 On that day, the *Lord’s feet will stand on the mountain of *Olives. This mountain is east of *Jerusalem. It will break in two from east to west and it will make a wide valley. Half of the mountain will move north and half of the mountain will move south.
v5 In the time of Uzziah, king of *Judah, you ran away when the earth moved. You will do this again. Then the *Lord will come. And all those who are *holy will come with him.
v6 On that day, it will not be light in some places and dark in other places.
v7 It will be a day like no other day. There will be no night. When it is evening, there will still be light. Only the *Lord himself will know that day.
v8 On that day, water will come out from *Jerusalem. Half of this water will go towards the sea in the east. Half of this water will go towards the sea in the west. This will go on during summer and winter.
v9 The *Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day, there will be only one *Lord and he will have only one name.
v10 All the land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of *Jerusalem, will become flat. But *Jerusalem will rise and it will be high in its place. The city will be from the Gate of Benjamin to the Corner Gate and to the High Building of Hananel. The place where the servants of the king make his *wine will be in it too.
v11 *Jerusalem will be safe. People will live there. Nobody will destroy *Jerusalem ever again.
v12 The *Lord will make the people sick that fought against *Jerusalem. Their bodies will become bad as they stand on their feet. Their eyes will become bad and they will fall out. And their *tongues will become bad in their mouths.
v13 On that day, the *Lord will make men so afraid that each man will attack the man next to him.
v14 *Judah also will go to *Jerusalem and they will fight. They will take every good thing from all the countries. There will be a lot of expensive metals and many rich clothes.
v15 The horses and all the other animals will be sick. And they will die as the soldiers died.
v16 Some of the soldiers from the countries that attacked *Jerusalem will not die. They will go to *Jerusalem year after year to *worship the King, the *Lord *Almighty. They will *worship him at the *Feast of Tabernacles.
v17 All the people on the earth will have to go to *Jerusalem to *worship the King, the *Lord *Almighty. If any people on the earth do not go, they will have no rain.
v18 If the people from Egypt do not go to *Jerusalem to *worship the *Lord, they will have no rain. And the *Lord will make them sick. If the people from other countries will not go to *Jerusalem, the *Lord will make them sick. They will die.
v19 This will happen to the people from Egypt. This will happen to the people from all the countries that do not go up to *Jerusalem at that time.
v20 On that day, men will write the words, ‘This is for the *Lord’ on the bells of the horses. The pots that anyone uses to cook with in the house of the *Lord will be special. They will be as special as the dishes in front of the *altar.
v21 Every pot in *Jerusalem and *Judah will be for the *Lord *Almighty. All the people who come to offer animals to the *Lord will cook in those pots. On that day, nobody who sells things will come into the house of the *Lord *Almighty.
almighty ~ more powerful than anyone else; someone who can beat all his enemies; someone who can do anything that he wants to do; the ruler of everything.
altar ~ special table for people to burn animals or other gifts that they offer to God.
angel ~ a servant from God to bring his messages.
angel of the *Lord ~ a very special *angel. Many Bible students say, “People saw Christ on earth before he came to Bethlehem as a baby. They called what they saw ‘the angel of the Lord’.”
arrow ~ a stick with a point at one end that you shoot from a bow.
Babylon ~ a country north of Israel.
bless ~ to say or to do good things to a person; or, to ask God to be good to someone.
cedar ~ a tall tree that has a lovely smell.
chariot ~ a box that soldiers ride in. Horses pull it.
cornerstone ~ the most important stone in a building.
crown ~ a special hat that a king, queen or other ruler wears.
cypress tree ~ like the *cedar tree but with a stronger smell.
donkey ~ an animal, like a small horse.
family ~ family here includes anyone who was born from his sons.
Feast of Tabernacles ~ the time when the *Jews remember that the *Lord was kind to his people. They live in tabernacles (something like a *tent) for a week. The *Lord was kind to his people when they left Egypt many years ago.
fig tree ~ a tree with small sweet fruits (figs).
grace ~ a gift from God that we cannot buy. He gives it because he loves us.
heaven ~ God’s home.
holy ~ very, very good; only God is really holy; the country where he lives with his people is also holy; it is holy because he is there.
Holy Spirit ~ one person of the three persons who are God. We cannot see him. He comes to help people to do what God wants.
horn ~ a hard bone on the head of an animal. It shows that it is strong.
idol ~ a false god that people made out of wood or stone or metal; something that we love more than God.
Israel ~ the name of the country that God gave to Jacob (Israel), and to his sons. But sometimes it means the north part of that country. The south part of that country is sometimes called Judah.
Jebusites ~ the name of the people that lived in *Jerusalem a long time ago.
Jerusalem ~ the capital city of Israel.
Jews ~ people that are born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.
joy ~ when people are happy because of what God has done for them.
Judah ~ the south part of the country where the *Jews lived.
lion ~ a big strong animal that can kill a man.
lord ~ someone who rules or someone who is a master. God is the Lord who rules everyone.
oak ~ a tall tree; it has hard wood; men can make boats out of this wood.
olive ~ a tree with small fruits (or the fruits themselves) that people used to make oil. They burned the oil to give them light.
oppressed ~ people that their enemies have hurt.
Philistines ~ some enemies of the *Jews (God’s people).
priest ~ a man that God chose to do a special work for him. The priests worked in the *temple.
prophet ~ a person who hears God’s words and tells them to other people; a false prophet does not really hear God’s words.
proud ~ when someone thinks that he is better than other people.
punish ~ to hurt someone for the wrong things that they have done. For example, a person who has robbed another person must go to a prison.
Satan ~ the name of the worst of the bad *spirits; he is the enemy of God.
shepherd ~ a person who works with sheep; he feeds them and he keeps them safe.
silver ~ a white metal that shines and is very valuable.
sin ~ when a person does bad things against God or against other people.
spirit ~ the part of a person that is alive, but which we cannot see. There are also bad spirits and good spirits. The *Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit.
temple ~ a place where people meet to *worship God.
tent ~ a home that people have made, sometimes out of cloth. You can move a tent-house to different places.
test ~ try to see how good someone or something is.
tongue ~ large red part (of the body) in the mouth; it helps us to speak.
vine ~ a plant which climbs. Its fruits are called grapes. People can make a drink that contains alcohol from grapes.
wave ~ when the wind blows on water and it moves up and down.
wheat ~ a plant. People make bread from its seeds.
wine ~ a red drink that makes people happy; it contains alcohol.
wing ~ a bird or an *angel uses its wings to fly.
wise ~ wise people know what to do; they know what is good and right; and they do it.
worship ~ to give thanks to God; to show God that we love him very much.
Zion ~ another name for *Jerusalem.
Joyce G. Baldwin ~ Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi ~ Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries
Bibles ~ R.S.V, N.I.V, Good News & Amplified
© 1997-2010, Wycliffe Associates (UK)
This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).
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