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An Oracle Concerning Damascus

17 The oracle of Damascus.

See, Damascus will cease from being a city;
    it shall be a ruinous heap.
The cities of Aroer are forsaken;
    they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down,
    and no one shall make them afraid.
The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim,
    and the kingdom from Damascus,
and the remnant of Aram;
    they shall be as the glory of the sons of Israel,
    says the Lord of Hosts.

In that day the glory of Jacob shall decrease,
    and the fatness of his flesh shall grow lean.
It shall be as when the harvestman gathers the corn
    and reaps the ears with his arm,
and it shall be as he who gathers ears
    in the Valley of Rephaim.
Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it,
    as the shaking of an olive tree,
two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough,
    four or five in its outmost fruitful branches,
    says the Lord God of Israel.

On that day a man shall look to his Maker,
    and his eyes shall have respect for the Holy One of Israel.
He shall not look to the altars,
    the work of his hands,
nor shall he respect what his fingers have made,
    either the groves or the images.

In that day his strong cities shall be as a forsaken bough and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the sons of Israel; and there shall be a desolation.

10 Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation
    and have not been mindful of the rock of your strength,
therefore you plant pleasant plants
    and set them with vine slips of a strange god;
11 in the day that you plant it, you carefully fence it in,
    and in the morning you make your seed to flourish;
but the harvest shall be a heap of ruins
    in the day of grief and desperate pain.

12 Woe to the multitude of many people
    who make a noise like the noise of the seas,
and the rushing of many peoples
    who make a rumble like the rumbling of mighty waters!
13 The nations rumble like the rumbling of many waters;
    but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off,
and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind,
    and like rolling dust before the whirlwind.
14 At evening time, sudden terror!
    And before the morning, they are no more.
This is the portion of those who plunder us,
    and the lot of those who rob us.

A Prophecy Against Damascus

17 A prophecy(A) against Damascus:(B)

“See, Damascus will no longer be a city
    but will become a heap of ruins.(C)
The cities of Aroer(D) will be deserted
    and left to flocks,(E) which will lie down,(F)
    with no one to make them afraid.(G)
The fortified(H) city will disappear from Ephraim,
    and royal power from Damascus;
the remnant of Aram will be
    like the glory(I) of the Israelites,”(J)
declares the Lord Almighty.

“In that day(K) the glory(L) of Jacob will fade;
    the fat of his body will waste(M) away.
It will be as when reapers harvest the standing grain,
    gathering(N) the grain in their arms—
as when someone gleans heads of grain(O)
    in the Valley of Rephaim.(P)
Yet some gleanings will remain,(Q)
    as when an olive tree is beaten,(R)
leaving two or three olives on the topmost branches,
    four or five on the fruitful boughs,”
declares the Lord, the God of Israel.

In that day(S) people will look(T) to their Maker(U)
    and turn their eyes to the Holy One(V) of Israel.
They will not look to the altars,(W)
    the work of their hands,(X)
and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles[a](Y)
    and the incense altars their fingers(Z) have made.

In that day their strong cities, which they left because of the Israelites, will be like places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth.(AA) And all will be desolation.

10 You have forgotten(AB) God your Savior;(AC)
    you have not remembered the Rock,(AD) your fortress.(AE)
Therefore, though you set out the finest plants
    and plant imported vines,(AF)
11 though on the day you set them out, you make them grow,
    and on the morning(AG) when you plant them, you bring them to bud,
yet the harvest(AH) will be as nothing(AI)
    in the day of disease and incurable(AJ) pain.(AK)

12 Woe to the many nations that rage(AL)
    they rage like the raging sea!(AM)
Woe to the peoples who roar(AN)
    they roar like the roaring of great waters!(AO)
13 Although the peoples roar(AP) like the roar of surging waters,
    when he rebukes(AQ) them they flee(AR) far away,
driven before the wind like chaff(AS) on the hills,
    like tumbleweed before a gale.(AT)
14 In the evening, sudden(AU) terror!(AV)
    Before the morning, they are gone!(AW)
This is the portion of those who loot us,
    the lot of those who plunder us.


  1. Isaiah 17:8 That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah

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