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Zechariah 9:5-8

Context
9:5 Ashkelon will see and be afraid; Gaza will be in great anguish, as will Ekron, for her hope will have been dried up. 1  Gaza will lose her king, and Ashkelon will no longer be inhabited. 9:6 A mongrel people will live in Ashdod, for I will greatly humiliate the Philistines. 9:7 I will take away their abominable religious practices; 2  then those who survive will become a community of believers in our God, 3  like a clan in Judah, and Ekron will be like the Jebusites. 9:8 Then I will surround my temple 4  to protect it like a guard 5  from anyone crossing back and forth; so no one will cross over against them anymore as an oppressor, for now I myself have seen it.

1 tn The present translation presupposes a Hiphil perfect of יָבֵשׁ (yavesh, “be dry”; cf. NRSV “are withered”) rather than the usually accepted Hiphil of בּוֹשׁ (bosh, “be ashamed”; cf. KJV, ASV), a sense that is less suitable with the removal of hope.

2 tn Heb “and I will take away their blood from their mouth and their abominations from between their teeth.” These expressions refer to some type of abominable religious practices, perhaps eating meat with the blood still in it (less likely NCV “drinking blood”) or eating unclean or forbidden foods.

3 tn Heb “and they will be a remnant for our God”; cf. NIV “will belong to our God”; NLT “will worship our God.”

4 tn Heb “house” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV).

5 tn Though a hapax legomenon, the מִצָּבָה (mitsavah) of the MT (from נָצַב, natsav, “take a stand”) is preferable to the suggestion מַצֵּבָה (matsevah, “pillar”) or even מִצָּבָא (mitsava’, “from” or “against the army”). The context favors the idea of the Lord as a protector.



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