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Israel Will Return Home

14 The Lord will ·show mercy to [have compassion on] the ·people of Jacob [L Jacob], and he will again choose ·the people of Israel [L Israel]. He will settle them in their own land. Then ·non-Israelite people [foreigners; strangers] will join the Israelites and will ·become a part of [unite with; attach to] the ·family [L house] of Jacob. Nations will take the Israelites back to their ·land [place]. Then those men and women from the other nations will become ·slaves [servants] to Israel in the Lord’s land. Israel will capture those who had captured them and will rule over ·those who had ruled them [their oppressors].

The King of Babylon Will Fall

The Lord will ·take away the Israelites’ hard work and will comfort them [L give you rest/relief from your suffering/pain and turmoil]. ·They [L You] will no longer have to work hard as slaves. On that day ·Israel [L you] will sing this ·song about [or taunt against] the king of Babylon:

The ·cruel king who ruled us [L oppressor] is finished;
    his ·angry rule [arrogant fury; hostility] is finished!
The Lord has ·taken away the power [broken the club/rod/staff] of the wicked
    and the ·scepter [staff] of evil rulers
·The king of Babylon [L …which] struck ·people [or nations] in anger
    ·again and again [with endless blows].
He ruled nations in anger
    ·and continued to hurt them [with unrelenting oppression/aggression].
But now, the whole world rests and is quiet.
    Now the people begin to sing.
Even the ·pine trees [junipers; evergreens; cypresses] ·are happy [rejoice at you],
    and the cedar trees of Lebanon rejoice.
They say, “The king has ·fallen [been laid low],
    so no ·one [woodcutter] will ever cut us down again.”

·The place of the dead [or The grave; L Sheol] is ·excited [stirred up]
    to meet you when you come.
It wakes the ·spirits of the dead [ghosts],
    the ·leaders [L rams] of the world.
It makes kings of all nations
    ·stand up from their thrones to greet you [L rise up from their thrones].
10 All these leaders will ·make fun of you [L respond]
    and will say,
“Now you are weak, as we are.
    Now you are just like us.”
11 Your ·pride [or pomp; splendor] has been sent down to ·the place of the dead [or the grave; L Sheol].
    The music from your harps goes with it.
·Flies [or Maggots] are spread out like your bed beneath you,
    and worms cover your body like a blanket.
12 How you have fallen from heaven,
    ·morning star [or day star; or shining one; C still addressing the king of Babylon, though sometimes applied to Satan],
    ·even though you were as bright as the rising sun [L son of the dawn]!
In the past all the nations on earth ·bowed down before you [or were laid low by you],
    but now you have been cut down.
13 You told yourself,
    “I will ·go up to heaven [or ascend to the sky].
I will put my throne
    above God’s stars.
I will ·sit [or rule] on the mountain of the ·gods [L assembly],
    on the slopes of ·the sacred mountain [or the north; or Mount Zaphon; C known as the mountain of Baal].
14 I will ·go up [ascend] above the ·tops [or high places] of the clouds.
    I will be like God Most High.”
15 But you were brought down to ·the grave [or the place of the dead; L Sheol],
    to the deep places ·where the dead are [L of the pit].

16 Those who see you stare at you.
    They ·think about [ponder] what has happened to you
and say, “Is this the same man who ·caused great fear on [L shook the] earth,
    who ·shook [made to tremble] the kingdoms,
17 who turned the world into a desert,
    who ·destroyed [overthrew] its cities,
who captured people in war
    and would not let them go home?”

18 Every king of the nations ·has been buried with honor [lies in glory],
    each in his own ·grave [L house].
19 But you are thrown out of your grave,
    like an ·unwanted [loathed; rejected] branch.
·You are covered by bodies [L Clothed with the slain]
    that ·died in battle [L were pierced with a sword],
    by bodies to be buried in a rocky pit.
You are like a ·dead body other soldiers walk on [trampled corpse].
20 You will not be buried with those bodies,
    because you ruined your own country
    and killed your own people.
·The children [or May the offspring/descendants] of evil people
    will never be mentioned again.

21 Prepare to ·kill his children [execute/slaughter his sons],
    ·because their father is guilty [for the sins of their fathers/ancestors].
They will never ·again take control of [L rise and possess] the earth;
    they will never again fill the ·world [surface/L face of the earth/world] with their cities.

22 The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] says this:
    “I will ·fight [L rise up] against those people;
I will ·destroy [L cut off from] Babylon ·and its people [L its name and remnant/survivors],
    its ·children [offspring] and their ·descendants [posterity],” says the Lord.
23 “I will make Babylon fit only for ·owls [or hedgehogs; or porcupines]
    and for swamps.
I will sweep Babylon as with a broom of destruction,”
    says the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts].

God Will Punish Assyria

24 The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] has ·made this promise [sworn this oath]:

“These things will happen exactly as I planned them;
    they will happen exactly as I ·set them up [purposed them].
25 I will ·destroy [crush; break] ·the king of Assyria [L Assyria] in my ·country [land];
    I will trample him on my mountains.
His yoke [C oppressive rule] will be taken off my people,
    And his burden will be removed from their shoulders.

26 “This is what I plan to do for all the earth.
And this is the hand that I have ·raised [stretched out] over all nations.”

27 When the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] makes a plan,
    ·no one [L who…?] can stop it.
When the Lord ·raises his hand to punish people [L stretches out his hand],
    ·no one [L who…?] can stop it.

God’s Message to Philistia

28 This message was given in the year that King Ahaz died [C about 715 bc]:

29 Country of Philistia, don’t ·be happy [rejoice]
    that the ·king [L club; rod] who struck you is now ·dead [broken; C either the king of Assyria or Ahaz, king of Judah].
He is like a snake that will give birth to another dangerous snake [L For from the snake’s/serpent’s root will come a viper/adder].
    ·The new king will be like a quick, dangerous snake to bite you [L its offspring/fruit will be a darting/flying poisonous/fiery adder].
30 Even the ·poorest of my people [or firstborn of the poor] will ·be able to eat safely [find pasture; graze in pasure],
    and people in need will be able to lie down in safety.
But I will kill your ·family [L root] with ·hunger [famine],
    and ·all your people who are left will die [L it will slay your survivors/remnant].

31 ·People near the city gates, cry out [L Wail, gate, and cry out, city]!
    Philistines, ·be frightened [melt away],
because a cloud of ·dust [or smoke] comes from the north [C evidence of an approaching army].
    ·Full of men ready to fight [L And there is no straggler/loner in its ranks].
32 What shall we tell the messengers ·from Philistia [L of the nation]?
    Say that the Lord has made ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple] strong
and that his ·poor [oppressed; afflicted] people will go there for ·safety [refuge].