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A Rebuke to Damascus

17 A message[a] about Damascus:[b]

“Look! Damascus[c] will cease to be a city.
    Instead, it will become a pile of ruins.
The cities of Oraru[d] will be deserted—
    they will be devoted to herds that will lay at rest,
        and terrorism will be no more.[e]
The fortress will disappear from Ephraim,
    and royal authority from Damascus;[f]
the survivors[g] from Aram[h] will be like the glory of the Israelis,”
    declares the Lord of the Heavenly Armies.

A Time of Weakness for Israel

“At that time,[i] Jacob’s glory will have become weakened,
    and his strong[j] flesh will turn gaunt;
it will be as if harvesters gather standing grain,
    reaping the ears by hand,[k]
or it will be as if grain is harvested
    in the valley of Rephaim.[l]
Nevertheless, gleanings will remain in Israel,[m]
    as when an olive tree is beaten—[n]
two or three ripe olives left in the topmost branches,
    four or five left among the branches of a fruit-filled tree,”[o]
        declares the Lord God of Israel.

Revival to Come to Israel

At that time, men will look upon[p] their Maker, and their eyes will honor the Holy One of Israel. They will not look upon[q] the altars, the products[r] that their own fingers[s] have made, and they will have no regard for Asherah poles[t] or incense altars.[u]

Desolation to the Nations

“At that time,[v] their fortified cities
    that they abandoned because of the Israelis
will be like desolate places[w] of the forests and hilltops—[x]
    there will be desolation.
10 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation
    and have not remembered the Rock
        that is your strength.
Therefore even though you plant delightful plants,
    sowing them with imported vine-seedlings,
11 at the time that you plant them,
    carefully making them grow,
the very morning you make your seed to sprout,
    your harvest will be ruined[y]
        in a time of grief and unbearable pain.”[z]

12 “How terrible it will be for many peoples,
    who rage like the roaring sea!
Oh, how the uproar of nations
    is like the sound of rushing, mighty water—
    How they roar!
13 The nations roar like the rushing of many waters,[aa]
    but the Lord[ab] will rebuke them,
and they will run far away,
    chased like chaff blown down from the mountains
or like thick dust[ac] that rolls along,
    blown along by a wind storm.
14 When the evening arrives, watch out—sudden terror!
    By morning they will be there no longer!
So it will be for those who plunder us
    and what will happen to those who rob us.”


  1. Isaiah 17:1 Lit. An oracle
  2. Isaiah 17:1 So MT LXX; 1QIsaa reads Dramascus
  3. Isaiah 17:1 So MT LXX; 1QIsaa reads Dramascus
  4. Isaiah 17:2 So 1QIsaa; MT reads Aroer, a pun on the Heb. word for ruins; LXX reads forever
  5. Isaiah 17:2 Lit. and no one will make them afraid
  6. Isaiah 17:3 So MT LXX; 1QIsaa reads Dramascus
  7. Isaiah 17:3 I.e. believing Jews who return
  8. Isaiah 17:3 I.e. Syria
  9. Isaiah 17:4 Lit. On that day
  10. Isaiah 17:4 Lit. fat
  11. Isaiah 17:5 Lit. ears with his arm
  12. Isaiah 17:5 Lit. Giants
  13. Isaiah 17:6 Lit. it
  14. Isaiah 17:6 Or harvested
  15. Isaiah 17:6 So 1QIsaa; MT reads among its branches
  16. Isaiah 17:7 So 1QIsaa; cf. LXX; MT reads to
  17. Isaiah 17:8 So 1QIsaa; cf. LXX; MT reads to
  18. Isaiah 17:8 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read the product
  19. Isaiah 17:8 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read hands
  20. Isaiah 17:8 I.e. images of the Babylonian-Canaanite goddess of fortune
  21. Isaiah 17:8 So 1QIsaa MT; LXX reads for trees or for their abominations
  22. Isaiah 17:9 Lit. On that day,
  23. Isaiah 17:9 So 1QIsaa; cf. LXX; MT reads place
  24. Isaiah 17:9 Or the Hivites and Amorites
  25. Isaiah 17:11 Lit. become a pile
  26. Isaiah 17:11 Lit. and sorrow
  27. Isaiah 17:13 So 1QIsaa MT; cf. LXX; MTms Syr lack this line
  28. Isaiah 17:13 Lit. but he
  29. Isaiah 17:13 Lit. like something