1 How horrible it will be for those who go to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who depend on many chariots, who depend on very strong war horses. They don't look to the Holy One of Israel. They don't seek the LORD. 2 He is wise and can bring about disaster. He doesn't take back his words. He rises against wicked people and against those who help troublemakers. 3 The Egyptians are humans, not gods. Their horses are flesh and blood, not spirit. When the LORD uses his powerful hand, the one who gives help will stumble, and the one who receives help will fall. Both will die together. 4 This is what the LORD said to me: A lion, even a young lion, growls over its prey when a crowd of shepherds is called to fight it. It isn't frightened by their voices or disturbed by the noise they make. So the LORD of Armies will come to fight for Mount Zion and its hill. 5 The LORD of Armies will defend Jerusalem like a hovering bird. He will defend it and rescue it. He will pass over it and protect it. 6 You people of Israel, return to the one whom you have so violently rebelled against. 7 When that day comes, all of you will reject the silver and gold idols that your sinful hands have made. 8 Then Assyrians will be killed with swords not made by human hands. Swords not made by human hands will destroy them. They will flee from battle, and their young men will be made to do forced labor. 9 In terror they will run to their stronghold, and their officers will be frightened at [the sight of] the battle flag. The LORD declares this. His fire is in Zion and his furnace is in Jerusalem.
1 A king will rule with fairness, and officials will rule with justice. 2 Then each ruler will be like a shelter from the wind and a hiding place from the rain. They will be like streams on parched ground and the shade of a large rock in a weary land. 3 Then the vision of those who can see won't be blurred, and the ears of those who can hear will pay attention. 4 Then those who are reckless will begin to understand, and those who stutter will speak quickly and clearly. 5 Godless fools will no longer be called nobles, nor will scoundrels be considered gentlemen. 6 Godless fools speak foolishness, and their minds plan evil in order to do ungodly things. They speak falsely about the LORD. They let people go hungry and withhold water from thirsty people. 7 The tricks of scoundrels are evil. They devise wicked plans in order to ruin poor people with lies, even when needy people plead for justice. 8 But honorable people act honorably and stand firm for what is honorable. 9 Get up, and listen to me, you pampered women. Hear what I say, you overconfident daughters. 10 In a little less than a year you overconfident women will tremble, because the grape harvest will fail and no fruit will be brought in [from the fields]. 11 Shudder, you pampered women. Tremble, you overconfident women. Take off your clothes, walk around naked, and wear sackcloth around your waists. 12 Beat your breasts as you mourn for the fields, for the vines bearing grapes. 13 Mourn for my people's land where thorns and briars will grow. Mourn for all the happy homes in a joyful city. 14 Palaces will be deserted. Noisy cities will be abandoned. Fortresses and watchtowers will become permanent caves. They will be a delight for wild donkeys and pastures for flocks 15 until the Spirit is poured on us from on high. Then the wilderness will be turned into a fertile field, and the fertile field will be considered a forest. 16 Then justice will live in the wilderness, and righteousness will be at home in the fertile field. 17 Then an act of righteousness will bring about peace, calm, and safety forever. 18 My people will live in a peaceful place, in safe homes and quiet places of rest. 19 The forest will be flattened because of hail, and the city will be completely leveled. 20 Blessed are those who plant beside every stream and those who let oxen and donkeys roam freely.
1 How horrible it will be for you, you destroyer, although you haven't been destroyed. How horrible it will be for you, you traitor, although you haven't been betrayed. When you've finished destroying, you will be destroyed. When you've finished being a traitor, you will be betrayed. 2 O LORD, have pity on us. We wait with hope for you. Be our strength in the morning. Yes, be our savior in times of trouble. 3 People flee from the noise of [your] army. Nations scatter when you attack. 4 You nations, your loot is gathered as grasshoppers harvest a crop. Like swarming locusts, people rush for your loot. 5 The LORD is honored because he lives on high. He will fill Zion with justice and righteousness. 6 He will be the foundation of your future. The riches of salvation are wisdom and knowledge. The fear of the LORD is [your] treasure. 7 Heroes cry in the streets. Messengers of peace cry bitterly. 8 Highways are deserted. Travelers stop traveling. Agreements are broken. Witnesses are rejected. People are no longer respected. 9 The country grieves and wastes away. Lebanon is ashamed and is decaying. Sharon has become like a wilderness. Bashan and Carmel are shaken. 10 The LORD says, "Now I will arise. Now I will get up. Now I will be lifted up." 11 You will be pregnant with hay. You will give birth to straw. Your breath will be a fire which will burn you up. 12 People will be cremated. They will be set on fire like dry thornbushes. 13 Hear what I have done, you people who are far away! Acknowledge my might, you people who are near! 14 The sinners in Zion are terrified. Trembling seizes the ungodly. Can any of us live through a fire that destroys? Can any of us live through a fire that burns forever? 15 The person who does what is right and speaks the truth will live. He rejects getting rich by extortion and refuses to take bribes. He refuses to listen to those who are plotting murders. He doesn't look for evil things to do. 16 This person will live on high. His stronghold will be a fortress made of rock. He will have plenty of food and a dependable supply of water. 17 Your eyes will see how handsome the king is. You will see a land that stretches into the distance. 18 Your mind will be thinking of the terrors [in the past]. Where are the scribes? Where are the tax collectors? Where are those who counted the towers? 19 You will no longer see those savage people, those people with an unrecognizable language, with a foreign language that you can't understand. 20 Look at Zion, the city of our festivals. Your eyes will see Jerusalem as a peaceful place. It is a tent that can't be moved. Its tent pegs will never be pulled out, and none of its ropes will be broken. 21 The LORD will be our mighty defender in a place surrounded by wide rivers and streams. Ships with oars won't travel on them. Stately ships won't sail on them. 22 The LORD is our judge. The LORD is our lawgiver. The LORD is our king. The LORD is our savior. 23 Your ropes hang loose, your mast isn't secure, and your sail isn't spread out. A large amount of loot will be distributed. Lame people will carry off your loot. 24 No one who lives [in Zion] will say, "I'm sick." The sins of its inhabitants will be forgiven.
1 Come close, you nations, and listen. Pay attention, you people. The earth, everyone in it, the world, and everything on it will listen. 2 The LORD is angry with all the nations. He is furious with all their armies. He has claimed them for destruction. He has handed them over to be slaughtered. 3 Their dead bodies will be thrown out. A stench will rise from their corpses. Mountains will be red with their blood. 4 All the stars in the sky will rot. The heavens will be rolled up like a scroll. The stars will fall like leaves from a grapevine, like green figs from a fig tree. 5 When my sword is covered [with blood] in the heavens, it will fall on Edom and on the people I've claimed for destruction. 6 The LORD's sword is covered with blood. It is covered with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of rams' kidneys. The LORD will receive a sacrifice in Bozrah, a huge slaughter in the land of Edom. 7 Wild oxen will be killed with them, young bulls along with rams. Their land will be drenched with blood. Their dust will be covered with fat. 8 The LORD will have a day of vengeance, a year of revenge in defense of Zion. 9 Edom's streams will be turned to tar. Its soil will be turned to burning sulfur. Its land will become blazing tar. 10 They will not be extinguished day or night, and smoke will always go up from them. Edom will lie in ruins for generations. No one will ever travel through it. 11 Pelicans and herons will take possession of the land. Owls and crows will live there. He will stretch the measuring line of chaos and the plumb line of destruction over it. 12 There are no nobles to rule a kingdom. All of its princes have disappeared. 13 Its palaces are covered with thorns. Its fortresses have nettles and thistles. It will become a home for jackals and a place for ostriches. 14 Hyenas will meet with jackals. Male goats will call to their mates. Screech owls will rest there and find a resting place for themselves. 15 Owls will make their nests there, lay eggs, and hatch them. They will gather their young in the shadow of [their wings]. Vultures also will gather there, each one with its mate. 16 Search the LORD's book, and read it. Not one of these animals will be missing. Not one will lack a mate, because the LORD has commanded it, and his Spirit will gather them together. 17 He is the one who throws dice for them, and his hand divides up [the land] for them with a measuring line. They will possess it permanently and live there for generations.
1 The desert and the dry land will be glad, and the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. 2 Like a lily the land will blossom. It will rejoice and sing with joy. It will have the glory of Lebanon, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. Everyone will see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God. 3 Strengthen limp hands. Steady weak knees. 4 Tell those who are terrified, "Be brave; don't be afraid. Your God will come with vengeance, with divine revenge. He will come and rescue you." 5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unplugged. 6 Then those who are lame will leap like deer, and those who cannot speak will shout for joy. Water will gush out into the desert, and streams will gush out into the wilderness. 7 Then the hot sand will become a pool, and dry ground will have springs. Grass will become cattails and rushes in the home of jackals. 8 A highway will be there, a roadway. It will be called the Holy Road. Sinners won't travel on it. It will be for those who walk on it. Godless fools won't wander [onto it]. 9 Lions won't be there. Wild animals won't go on it. They won't be found there. But the people reclaimed [by the LORD] will walk [on it]. 10 The people ransomed by the LORD will return. They will come to Zion singing with joy. Everlasting happiness will be on their heads [as a crown]. They will be glad and joyful. They will have no sorrow or grief.