Acts of Vengeance

25 1-5 God’s Message came to me:

“Son of man, face Ammon and preach against the people: Listen to the Message of God, the Master. This is what God has to say: Because you cheered when my Sanctuary was desecrated and the land of Judah was devastated and the people of Israel were taken into exile, I’m giving you over to the people of the east. They’ll move in and make themselves at home, eating the food right off your tables and drinking your milk. I’ll turn your capital, Rabbah, into pasture for camels and all your villages into corrals for flocks. Then you’ll realize that I am God.

6-7 God, the Master, says, Because you clapped and cheered, venting all your malicious contempt against the land of Israel, I’ll step in and hand you out as loot—first come, first served. I’ll cross you off the roster of nations. There’ll be nothing left of you. And you’ll realize that I am God.”

* * *

8-11 God, the Master, says: Because Moab said, ‘Look, Judah’s nothing special,’ I’ll lay wide open the flank of Moab by exposing its lovely frontier villages to attack: Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim. I’ll lump Moab in with Ammon and give them to the people of the east for the taking. Ammon won’t be heard from again. I’ll punish Moab severely. And they’ll realize that I am God.”

* * *

12-14 God, the Master, says: Because Edom reacted against the people of Judah in spiteful revenge and was so criminally vengeful against them, therefore I, God, the Master, will oppose Edom and kill the lot of them, people and animals both. I’ll waste it—corpses stretched from Teman to Dedan. I’ll use my people Israel to bring my vengeance down on Edom. My wrath will fuel their action. And they’ll realize it’s my vengeance. Decree of God the Master.”

* * *

15-17 God, the Master, says: Because the Philistines were so spitefully vengeful—all those centuries of stored-up malice!—and did their best to destroy Judah, therefore I, God, the Master, will oppose the Philistines and cut down the Cretans and anybody else left along the seacoast. Huge acts of vengeance, massive punishments! When I bring vengeance, they’ll realize that I am God.”

As the Waves of the Sea, Surging Against the Shore

26 1-2 In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, Tyre cheered when they got the news of Jerusalem, exclaiming,

“‘Good! The gateway city is smashed!
    Now all her business comes my way.
She’s in ruins
    and I’m in clover.’

3-6 “Therefore, God, the Master, has this to say:

“‘I’m against you, Tyre,
    and I’ll bring many nations surging against you,
    as the waves of the sea surging against the shore.
They’ll smash the city walls of Tyre
    and break down her towers.
I’ll wash away the soil
    and leave nothing but bare rock.
She’ll be an island of bare rock in the ocean,
    good for nothing but drying fishnets.
Yes, I’ve said so.’ Decree of God, the Master.
    ‘She’ll be loot, free pickings for the nations!
Her surrounding villages will be butchered.
    Then they’ll realize that I am God.’

7-14 God, the Master, says: Look! Out of the north I’m bringing Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, a king’s king, down on Tyre. He’ll come with chariots and horses and riders—a huge army. He’ll massacre your surrounding villages and lay siege to you. He’ll build siege ramps against your walls. A forest of shields will advance against you! He’ll pummel your walls with his battering rams and shatter your towers with his iron weapons. You’ll be covered with dust from his horde of horses—a thundering herd of war horses pouring through the breaches, pulling chariots. Oh, it will be an earthquake of an army and a city in shock! Horses will stampede through the streets. Your people will be slaughtered and your huge pillars strewn like matchsticks. The invaders will steal and loot—all that wealth, all that stuff! They’ll knock down your fine houses and dump the stone and timber rubble into the sea. And your parties, your famous good-time parties, will be no more. No more songs, no more lutes. I’ll reduce you to an island of bare rock, good for nothing but drying fishnets. You’ll never be rebuilt. I, God, have said so. Decree of God, the Master.

Introduced to the Terrors of Death

15 “This is the Message of God, the Master, to Tyre: Won’t the ocean islands shake at the crash of your collapse, at the groans of your wounded, at your mayhem and massacre?

16-18 “All up and down the coast, the princes will come down from their thrones, take off their royal robes and fancy clothes, and wrap themselves in sheer terror. They’ll sit on the ground, shaken to the core, horrified at you. Then they’ll begin chanting a funeral song over you:

“‘Sunk! Sunk to the bottom of the sea,
    famous city on the sea!
Power of the seas,
    you and your people,
Intimidating everyone
    who lived in your shadows.
But now the islands are shaking
    at the sound of your crash,
Ocean islands in tremors
    from the impact of your fall.’

19-21 “The Message of God, the Master: ‘When I turn you into a wasted city, a city empty of people, a ghost town, and when I bring up the great ocean deeps and cover you, then I’ll push you down among those who go to the grave, the long, long dead. I’ll make you live there, in the grave in old ruins, with the buried dead. You’ll never see the land of the living again. I’ll introduce you to the terrors of death and that’ll be the end of you. They’ll send out search parties for you, but you’ll never be found. Decree of God, the Master.’”

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