But the LORD will have mercy on the descendants of Jacob. Israel will be his special people once again. He will bring them back to settle once again in their own land. And people from many different nations will come and join them there and become a part of the people of Israel. a2
The nations of the world will help the LORD's people to return, and those who come to live in their land will serve them. Those who captured Israel will be captured, and Israel will rule over its enemies.
In that wonderful day when the LORD gives his people rest from sorrow and fear, from slavery and chains,
you will taunt the king of Babylon. You will say, "The mighty man has been destroyed. Yes, your insolence is ended.
For the LORD has crushed your wicked power and broken your evil rule.
You persecuted the people with unceasing blows of rage and held the nations in your angry grip. Your tyranny was unrestrained.
But at last the land is at rest and is quiet. Finally it can sing again!
Even the trees of the forest -- the cypress trees and the cedars of Lebanon -- sing out this joyous song: 'Your power is broken! No one will come to cut us down now!'
"In the place of the dead b there is excitement over your arrival. World leaders and mighty kings long dead are there to see you.
With one voice they all cry out, 'Now you are as weak as we are!
Your might and power are gone; they were buried with you. All the pleasant music in your palace has ceased. Now maggots are your sheet and worms your blanket.'
"How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world.
For you said to yourself, 'I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God's stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north.
I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.'
But instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths.
Everyone there will stare at you and ask, 'Can this be the one who shook the earth and the kingdoms of the world?
Is this the one who destroyed the world and made it into a wilderness? Is this the king who demolished the world's greatest cities and had no mercy on his prisoners?'
"The kings of the nations lie in stately glory in their tombs,
but you will be thrown out of your grave like a worthless branch. Like a corpse trampled underfoot, you will be dumped into a mass grave with those killed in battle. You will descend to the pit.
You will not be given a proper burial, for you have destroyed your nation and slaughtered your people. Your son will not succeed you as king.
Kill the children of this sinner! Do not let them rise and conquer the land or rebuild the cities of the world."
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "I, myself, have risen against him! I will destroy his children and his children's children, so they will never sit on his throne.
I will make Babylon into a desolate land, a place of porcupines, filled with swamps and marshes. I will sweep the land with the broom of destruction. I, the LORD Almighty, have spoken!"
The LORD Almighty has sworn this oath: "It will all happen as I have planned. It will come about according to my purposes.
I will break the Assyrians when they are in Israel; I will trample them on my mountains. My people will no longer be their slaves.
I have a plan for the whole earth, for my mighty power reaches throughout the world.
The LORD Almighty has spoken -- who can change his plans? When his hand moves, who can stop him?"
This message came to me the year King Ahaz died:
Do not rejoice, you Philistines, that the king who attacked you is dead. For even though that whip is broken, his son will be worse than his father ever was. From that snake a poisonous snake will be born, a fiery serpent to destroy you!
I will feed the poor in my pasture; the needy will lie down in peace. But as for you, I will wipe you out with famine. I will destroy the few who remain.
Weep, you Philistine cities, for you are doomed! Melt in fear, for everyone will be destroyed. A powerful army is coming out of the north. Each soldier rushes forward ready to fight.
What should we tell the enemy messengers? Tell them that the LORD has built Jerusalem, c and that the poor of his people will find refuge in its walls.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)