"Watch for this: I'm about to turn Jerusalem into a cup of strong drink that will have the people who have set siege to Judah and Jerusalem staggering in a drunken stupor.
"On the Big Day, I'll turn Jerusalem into a huge stone blocking the way for everyone. All who try to lift it will rupture themselves. All the pagan nations will come together and try to get rid of it.
"On the Big Day" - this is God speaking - "I'll throw all the war horses into a crazed panic, and their riders along with them. But I'll keep my eye on Judah, watching out for her at the same time that I make the enemy horses go blind.
The families of Judah will then realize, 'Why, our leaders are strong and able through God-of-the-Angel-Armies, their personal God.'
"On the Big Day, I'll turn the families of Judah into something like a burning match in a tinder-dry forest, like a fiercely flaming torch in a barn full of hay. They'll burn up everything and everyone in sight - people to the right, people to the left - while Jerusalem fills up with people moving in and making themselves at home - home again in Jerusalem.
"I, God, will begin by restoring the common households of Judah so that the glory of David's family and the leaders in Jerusalem won't overshadow the ordinary people in Judah.
On the Big Day, I'll look after everyone who lives in Jerusalem so that the lowliest, weakest person will be as glorious as David and the family of David itself will be godlike, like the Angel of God leading the people.
"On the Big Day, I'll make a clean sweep of all the godless nations that fought against Jerusalem.
"Next I'll deal with the family of David and those who live in Jerusalem. I'll pour a spirit of grace and prayer over them. They'll then be able to recognize me as the One they so grievously wounded - that piercing spear-thrust! And they'll weep - oh, how they'll weep! Deep mourning as of a parent grieving the loss of the firstborn child.
The lamentation in Jerusalem that day will be massive, as famous as the lamentation over Hadad-Rimmon on the fields of Megiddo:
Everyone will weep and grieve, the land and everyone in it: The family of David off by itself and their women off by themselves; The family of Nathan off by itself and their women off by themselves;
The family of Levi off by itself and their women off by themselves; The family of Shimei off by itself and their women off by themselves;
And all the rest of the families off by themselves and their women off by themselves.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)