1 THE BURDEN or oracle (the thing to be lifted up) of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus says the Lord, Who stretches out the heavens and lays the foundation of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him:
2 Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup or bowl of reeling to all the peoples round about, and in the siege against Jerusalem will there also be a siege against and upon Judah.
3 And in that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all peoples; all who lift it or burden themselves with it shall be sorely wounded. And all the nations of the earth shall come and gather together against it.
4 In that day, says the Lord, I will smite every horse [of the armies that contend against Jerusalem] with terror and panic and his rider with madness; and I will open My eyes and regard with favor the house of Judah and will smite every horse of the opposing nations with blindness.
5 And the chiefs of Judah shall say in their hearts, The inhabitants of Jerusalem are our strength in the Lord of hosts, their God.
6 In that day will I make the chiefs of Judah like a big, blazing pot among [sticks of] wood and like a flaming torch among sheaves [of grain], and they shall devour all the peoples round about, on the right hand and on the left; and they of Jerusalem shall yet again dwell and sit securely in their own place, in Jerusalem.
7 And the Lord shall save and give victory to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not be magnified and exalted above Judah.
8 In that day will the Lord guard and defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and he who is [spiritually] feeble and stumbles among them in that day [of persecution] shall become [strong and noble] like David; and the house of David [shall maintain its supremacy] like God, like the Angel of the Lord Who is before them.
9 And it shall be in that day that I will make it My aim to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
10 And I will pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace or unmerited favor and supplication. And they shall look [earnestly] upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him as one who is in bitterness for his firstborn. [John 19:37; Rev. 1:7.]
11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of [the city of] Hadadrimmon in the Valley of Megiddo [over beloved King Josiah]. [II Chron. 35:22-25.]
12 And the land shall mourn, every family apart: the [kingly] family of the house of David apart and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan [David's son] apart and their wives apart;
13 The [priestly] family of the house of Levi apart and their wives apart; the family of Shimei [grandson of Levi] apart and their wives apart;
14 All the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves [each with an overwhelming individual sorrow over having blindly rejected their unrecognized Messiah].