These are the words the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah:
"This is what the LORD says: " 'Cries of fear1 are heard-- terror, not peace.
Ask and see: Can a man bear children? Then why do I see every strong man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor,2 every face turned deathly pale?37
How awful that day4 will be! None will be like it. It will be a time of trouble5 for Jacob, but he will be saved6 out of it.
" 'In that day,' declares the LORD Almighty, 'I will break the yoke7 off their necks and will tear off their bonds;8 no longer will foreigners enslave them.99
Instead, they will serve the LORD their God and David10 their king,11 whom I will raise up for them.
" 'So do not fear,12 O Jacob my servant;13 do not be dismayed, O Israel,' declares the LORD. 'I will surely save14 you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security,15 and no one will make him afraid.1611
I am with you17 and will save you,' declares the LORD. 'Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy18 you. I will discipline19 you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.'2012
"This is what the LORD says: " 'Your wound21 is incurable, your injury beyond healing.2213
There is no one to plead your cause,23 no remedy for your sore, no healing24 for you.
All your allies25 have forgotten you; they care nothing for you. I have struck you as an enemy26 would and punished you as would the cruel,27 because your guilt is so great and your sins28 so many.