29 Ariel is as good as dead 1 –
Ariel, the town David besieged! 2
Keep observing your annual rituals,
celebrate your festivals on schedule. 3
2 I will threaten Ariel,
and she will mourn intensely
and become like an altar hearth 4 before me.
3 I will lay siege to you on all sides; 5
I will besiege you with troops; 6
I will raise siege works against you.
4 You will fall;
while lying on the ground 7 you will speak;
from the dust where you lie, your words will be heard. 8
Your voice will sound like a spirit speaking from the underworld; 9
from the dust you will chirp as if muttering an incantation. 10
5 But the horde of invaders will be like fine dust,
the horde of tyrants 11 like chaff that is blown away.
It will happen suddenly, in a flash.
6 Judgment will come from the Lord who commands armies, 12
accompanied by thunder, earthquake, and a loud noise,
by a strong gale, a windstorm, and a consuming flame of fire.
7 It will be like a dream, a night vision.
There will be a horde from all the nations that fight against Ariel,
those who attack her and her stronghold and besiege her.
8 It will be like a hungry man dreaming that he is eating,
only to awaken and find that his stomach is empty. 13
It will be like a thirsty man dreaming that he is drinking,
only to awaken and find that he is still weak and his thirst unquenched. 14
So it will be for the horde from all the nations
that fight against Mount Zion.
9 You will be shocked and amazed! 15
You are totally blind! 16
They are drunk, 17 but not because of wine;
they stagger, 18 but not because of beer.
10 For the Lord has poured out on you
a strong urge to sleep deeply. 19
He has shut your eyes (the prophets),
and covered your heads (the seers).
11 To you this entire prophetic revelation 20 is like words in a sealed scroll. When they hand it to one who can read 21 and say, “Read this,” he responds, “I can’t, because it is sealed.” 12 Or when they hand the scroll to one who can’t read 22 and say, “Read this,” he says, “I can’t read.” 23
13 The sovereign master 24 says,
“These people say they are loyal to me; 25
they say wonderful things about me, 26
but they are not really loyal to me. 27
Their worship consists of
nothing but man-made ritual. 28
14 Therefore I will again do an amazing thing for these people –
an absolutely extraordinary deed. 29
Wise men will have nothing to say,
the sages will have no explanations.” 30
15 Those who try to hide their plans from the Lord are as good as dead, 31
who do their work in secret and boast, 32
“Who sees us? Who knows what we’re doing?” 33
16 Your thinking is perverse! 34
Should the potter be regarded as clay? 35
Should the thing made say 36 about its maker, “He didn’t make me”?
Or should the pottery say about the potter, “He doesn’t understand”?
17 In just a very short time 37
Lebanon will turn into an orchard,
and the orchard will be considered a forest. 38
18 At that time 39 the deaf will be able to hear words read from a scroll,
and the eyes of the blind will be able to see through deep darkness. 40
19 The downtrodden will again rejoice in the Lord;
the poor among humankind will take delight 41 in the Holy One of Israel. 42
20 For tyrants will disappear,
those who taunt will vanish,
and all those who love to do wrong will be eliminated 43 –
21 those who bear false testimony against a person, 44
who entrap the one who arbitrates at the city gate 45
and deprive the innocent of justice by making false charges. 46
22 So this is what the Lord, the one who delivered Abraham, says to the family of Jacob: 47
“Jacob will no longer be ashamed;
their faces will no longer show their embarrassment. 48
23 For when they see their children,
whom I will produce among them, 49
they will honor 50 my name.
They will honor the Holy One of Jacob; 51
they will respect 52 the God of Israel.
24 Those who stray morally will gain understanding; 53
those who complain will acquire insight. 54
30 “The rebellious 1 children are as good as dead,” 2 says the Lord,
“those who make plans without consulting me, 3
who form alliances without consulting my Spirit, 4
and thereby compound their sin. 5
2 They travel down to Egypt
without seeking my will, 6
seeking Pharaoh’s protection,
and looking for safety in Egypt’s protective shade. 7
3 But Pharaoh’s protection will bring you nothing but shame,
and the safety of Egypt’s protective shade nothing but humiliation.
4 Though his 8 officials are in Zoan
and his messengers arrive at Hanes, 9
5 all will be put to shame 10
because of a nation that cannot help them,
who cannot give them aid or help,
but only shame and disgrace.”
6 This is a message 11 about the animals in the Negev:
Through a land of distress and danger,
inhabited by lionesses and roaring lions, 12
by snakes and darting adders, 13
they transport 14 their wealth on the backs of donkeys,
their riches on the humps of camels,
to a nation that cannot help them. 15
7 Egypt is totally incapable of helping. 16
For this reason I call her
‘Proud one 17 who is silenced.’” 18
8 Now go, write it 19 down on a tablet in their presence, 20
inscribe it on a scroll,
so that it might be preserved for a future time
as an enduring witness. 21
9 For these are rebellious people –
they are lying children,
children unwilling to obey the Lord’s law. 22
10 They 23 say to the visionaries, “See no more visions!”
and to the seers, “Don’t relate messages to us about what is right! 24
Tell us nice things,
relate deceptive messages. 25
11 Turn aside from the way,
stray off the path. 26
Remove from our presence the Holy One of Israel.” 27
12 For this reason this is what the Holy One of Israel says:
“You have rejected this message; 28
you trust instead in your ability to oppress and trick, 29
and rely on that kind of behavior. 30
13 So this sin will become your downfall.
You will be like a high wall
that bulges and cracks and is ready to collapse;
it crumbles suddenly, in a flash. 31
14 It shatters in pieces like a clay jar,
so shattered to bits that none of it can be salvaged. 32
Among its fragments one cannot find a shard large enough 33
to scoop a hot coal from a fire 34
or to skim off water from a cistern.” 35
15 For this is what the master, the Lord, the Holy One of Israel says:
“If you repented and patiently waited for me, you would be delivered; 36
if you calmly trusted in me you would find strength, 37
but you are unwilling.
16 You say, ‘No, we will flee on horses,’
so you will indeed flee.
You say, ‘We will ride on fast horses,’
so your pursuers will be fast.
17 One thousand will scurry at the battle cry of one enemy soldier; 38
at the battle cry of five enemy soldiers you will all run away, 39
until the remaining few are as isolated 40
as a flagpole on a mountaintop
or a signal flag on a hill.”
18 For this reason the Lord is ready to show you mercy;
he sits on his throne, ready to have compassion on you. 41
Indeed, the Lord is a just God;
all who wait for him in faith will be blessed. 42
19 For people will live in Zion;
in Jerusalem 43 you will weep no more. 44
When he hears your cry of despair, he will indeed show you mercy;
when he hears it, he will respond to you. 45
20 The sovereign master 46 will give you distress to eat
and suffering to drink; 47
but your teachers will no longer be hidden;
your eyes will see them. 48
21 You 49 will hear a word spoken behind you, saying,
“This is the correct 50 way, walk in it,”
whether you are heading to the right or the left.
22 You will desecrate your silver-plated idols 51
and your gold-plated images. 52
You will throw them away as if they were a menstrual rag,
saying to them, “Get out!”
23 He will water the seed you plant in the ground,
and the ground will produce crops in abundance. 53
At that time 54 your cattle will graze in wide pastures.
24 The oxen and donkeys used in plowing 55
will eat seasoned feed winnowed with a shovel and pitchfork. 56
25 On every high mountain
and every high hill
there will be streams flowing with water,
at the time of 57 great slaughter when the fortified towers collapse.
26 The light of the full moon will be like the sun’s glare
and the sun’s glare will be seven times brighter,
like the light of seven days, 58
when the Lord binds up his people’s fractured bones 59
and heals their severe wound. 60
27 Look, the name 61 of the Lord comes from a distant place
in raging anger and awesome splendor. 62
He speaks angrily
and his word is like destructive fire. 63
28 His battle cry overwhelms like a flooding river 64
that reaches one’s neck.
He shakes the nations in a sieve that isolates the chaff; 65
he puts a bit into the mouth of the nations and leads them to destruction. 66
29 You will sing
as you do in the evening when you are celebrating a festival.
You will be happy like one who plays a flute
as he goes to the mountain of the Lord, the Rock who shelters Israel. 67
30 The Lord will give a mighty shout 68
and intervene in power, 69
with furious anger and flaming, destructive fire, 70
with a driving rainstorm and hailstones.
31 Indeed, the Lord’s shout will shatter Assyria; 71
he will beat them with a club.
32 Every blow from his punishing cudgel, 72
with which the Lord will beat them, 73
will be accompanied by music from the 74 tambourine and harp,
and he will attack them with his weapons. 75
33 For 76 the burial place is already prepared; 77
it has been made deep and wide for the king. 78
The firewood is piled high on it. 79
The Lord’s breath, like a stream flowing with brimstone,
will ignite it.
31 Those who go down to Egypt for help are as good as dead, 1
those who rely on war horses,
and trust in Egypt’s many chariots 2
and in their many, many horsemen. 3
But they do not rely on the Holy One of Israel 4
and do not seek help from the Lord.
2 Yet he too is wise 5 and he will bring disaster;
he does not retract his decree. 6
He will attack the wicked nation, 7
and the nation that helps 8 those who commit sin. 9
3 The Egyptians are mere humans, not God;
their horses are made of flesh, not spirit.
The Lord will strike with 10 his hand;
the one who helps will stumble
and the one being helped will fall.
Together they will perish. 11
4 Indeed, this is what the Lord says to me:
“The Lord will be like a growling lion,
like a young lion growling over its prey. 12
Though a whole group of shepherds gathers against it,
it is not afraid of their shouts
or intimidated by their yelling. 13
In this same way the Lord who commands armies will descend
to do battle on Mount Zion and on its hill. 14
5 Just as birds hover over a nest, 15
so the Lord who commands armies will protect Jerusalem. 16
He will protect and deliver it;
as he passes over 17 he will rescue it.
6 You Israelites! Return to the one against whom you have so blatantly rebelled! 18 7 For at that time 19 everyone will get rid of 20 the silver and gold idols your hands sinfully made. 21
8 Assyria will fall by a sword, but not one human-made; 22
a sword not made by humankind will destroy them. 23
They will run away from this sword 24
and their young men will be forced to do hard labor.
9 They will surrender their stronghold 25 because of fear; 26
their officers will be afraid of the Lord’s battle flag.” 27
This is what the Lord says –
the one whose fire is in Zion,
whose firepot is in Jerusalem. 28