An Oracle Concerning Damascus

17 An (A)oracle concerning (B)Damascus.

Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city
    and will become a heap of ruins.
The cities of (C)Aroer are deserted;
    they will be for flocks,
    which will lie down, and (D)none will make them afraid.
The fortress will disappear from (E)Ephraim,
    and the kingdom from (F)Damascus;
and the remnant of Syria will be
    like (G)the glory of the children of Israel,
declares the Lord of hosts.

And in that day (H)the glory of Jacob will be brought low,
    and (I)the fat of his flesh will grow lean.
And it shall be (J)as when the reaper gathers standing grain
    and his arm harvests the ears,
and as when one gleans the ears of grain
    in (K)the Valley of Rephaim.
(L)Gleanings will be left in it,
    as when an olive tree is beaten—
two or three berries
    in the top of the highest bough,
four or five
    on the branches of a fruit tree,
declares the Lord God of Israel.

(M)In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. (N)He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made, either the (O)Asherim or the altars of incense.

(P)In that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the wooded heights and the hilltops, which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation.

10 For (Q)you have forgotten the God of your salvation
    and have not remembered the (R)Rock of your refuge;
therefore, though you plant pleasant plants
    and sow the vine-branch of a stranger,
11 though you make them grow[a] on the day that you plant them,
    and make them blossom in the morning that you sow,
yet the harvest will flee away[b]
    in a day of grief and incurable pain.

12 Ah, (S)the thunder of many peoples;
    they thunder like the thundering of the sea!
Ah, the roar of nations;
    they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!
13 (T)The nations roar like the roaring of many waters,
    (U)but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away,
chased (V)like chaff on the mountains before the wind
    and (W)whirling dust before the storm.
14 (X)At evening time, behold, terror!
    Before morning, they are no more!
This is the portion of those who loot us,
    and the lot of those who plunder us.

An Oracle Concerning Cush

18 Ah, land of (Y)whirring wings
    that is beyond the rivers of (Z)Cush,[c]
which (AA)sends ambassadors by the sea,
    in vessels of papyrus on the waters!
Go, you swift messengers,
    to a nation (AB)tall and smooth,
to a people feared near and far,
    a nation (AC)mighty and conquering,
    whose land the rivers divide.

All you inhabitants of the world,
    you who dwell on the earth,
when (AD)a signal is raised on the mountains, look!
    When a trumpet is blown, hear!
For thus the Lord said to me:
“I will quietly look (AE)from my dwelling
    like clear heat in sunshine,
    like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
(AF)For before the harvest, when the blossom is over,
    and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
he cuts off the shoots with pruning hooks,
    and the spreading branches he lops off and clears away.
(AG)They shall all of them be left
    to the birds of prey of the mountains
    and to the beasts of the earth.
And the birds of prey will summer on them,
    and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them.

(AH)At that time tribute will be brought to the Lord of hosts

from a people (AI)tall and smooth,
    from a people feared near and far,
a nation mighty and conquering,
    whose land the rivers divide,

to (AJ)Mount Zion, the place of the (AK)name of the Lord of hosts.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 17:11 Or though you carefully fence them
  2. Isaiah 17:11 Or will be a heap
  3. Isaiah 18:1 Probably Nubia

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