Does an ax take over from the one who swings it? Does a saw act more important than the sawyer? As if a shovel did its shoveling by using a ditch digger! As if a hammer used the carpenter to pound nails!
Therefore the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, will send a debilitating disease on his robust Assyrian fighters. Under the canopy of God's bright glory a fierce fire will break out.
Israel's Light will burst into a conflagration. The Holy will explode into a firestorm, And in one day burn to cinders every last Assyrian thornbush.
God will destroy the splendid trees and lush gardens. The Assyrian body and soul will waste away to nothing like a disease-ridden invalid.
A child could count what's left of the trees on the fingers of his two hands.
And on that Day also, what's left of Israel, the ragtag survivors of Jacob, will no longer be fascinated by abusive, battering Assyria. They'll lean on God, The Holy - yes, truly.
The ragtag remnant - what's left of Jacob - will come back to the Strong God.
Your people Israel were once like the sand on the seashore, but only a scattered few will return. Destruction is ordered, brimming over with righteousness.
For the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, will finish here what he started all over the globe.
Therefore the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, says: "My dear, dear people who live in Zion, don't be terrorized by the Assyrians when they beat you with clubs and threaten you with rods like the Egyptians once did.
In just a short time my anger against you will be spent and I'll turn my destroying anger on them.
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)