17 This is a ·message [prophecy; oracle; burden] about Damascus:
“[L Look; T Behold] The city of Damascus will ·be destroyed [L cease to be]; only ruins will remain. 2 The cities of Aroer will be ·abandoned [deserted; desolate]. ·Flocks will wander freely in those empty towns [L They will be for flocks]; they will lie down and no one will ·bother [disturb; frighten] them. 3 The ·strong, walled [fortified] cities of ·Israel [L Ephraim; C the most influential tribe of the northern kingdom of Israel] will be destroyed. The ·government in Damascus will end [L kingdom from Damascus; C the capital of Syria]. ·Those left alive [The remnant] of Aram [C Syria] will be like the glory of Israel,” says the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts].
4 “·At that time [L In that day] ·Israel’s wealth [L Jacob’s glory] will ·all be gone [or fade; wane]. ·Israel will be like a body wasting away from sickness [L The fatness of his flesh will grow lean]. 5 That time will be like the grain harvest in the Valley of Rephaim. The workers cut the wheat. Then they cut the heads of grain from the plants and collect the grain. 6 That time will also be like ·the olive harvest [when an olive tree is beaten], when ·a few olives [L gleanings] are left [24:13]. Two or three olives are left in the top branches. Four or five olives are left on full branches,” says the Lord, the God of Israel.
7 ·At that time [L In that day] people will look to their Maker; their eyes will ·see [orL look toward] the Holy One of Israel [1:4]. 8 They will not trust the altars ·they have made [L the work of their hands], nor will they trust what their ·hands [L fingers] have made, not even the ·Asherah idols [L Asherahs; C sacred trees or poles dedicated to the goddess Asherah] and ·altars [incense altars].
9 ·At that time [L In that day] all their strong cities will be empty. They will be like the ·cities the Hivites and [or wooded heights] the Amorites left when the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] came to take the land. Everything will be ruined.
10 You have forgotten the God who ·saves [rescues] you; you have not remembered ·that God is your place of safety [L the Rock, your stronghold/strength]. You plant ·the finest [beautiful; pleasant] plants and grapevines from ·faraway [exotic; foreign] places. 11 You plant your grapevines one day and try to make them grow, and ·the next day [in the morning] you make them blossom. But ·at harvest time everything will be dead [L the harvest will be a heap/disaster]; ·a sickness will kill all the plants [L in the day of disease and incurable pain].
12 ·Listen [or Woe] to the many people! ·Their crying is like the noise from the sea [They rage/roar like the raging/roaring sea]. ·Listen [or Woe] to the nations! Their ·crying [roar] is like the ·crashing [roaring] of great ·waves [waters]. 13 The people roar like the ·waves [roaring of many waters], but when ·God [L he] ·speaks harshly to [shouts at; rebukes] them, they will ·run [flee far] away. They will be like chaff on the hills being blown by the wind, or like ·tumbleweeds [L a rolling thing] blown away by a storm. 14 ·At night [L In the time of evening] ·the people will be very frightened [L look/T behold, terror!]. Before morning, ·no one will be left [the enemy will be gone; L he is no more]. This is the ·fate [portion] of those who ·steal from [plunder] us, and ·what happens to [the lot of] those who ·rob [loot] us.
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