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A Song of Praise to the Lord

26 In that day, everyone in the land of Judah will sing this song:

Our city is strong!
    We are surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation.
Open the gates to all who are righteous;
    allow the faithful to enter.
You will keep in perfect peace
    all who trust in you,
    all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Trust in the Lord always,
    for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.
He humbles the proud
    and brings down the arrogant city.
    He brings it down to the dust.
The poor and oppressed trample it underfoot,
    and the needy walk all over it.

But for those who are righteous,
    the way is not steep and rough.
You are a God who does what is right,
    and you smooth out the path ahead of them.
Lord, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws;
    our heart’s desire is to glorify your name.
In the night I search for you;
    in the morning[a] I earnestly seek you.
For only when you come to judge the earth
    will people learn what is right.
10 Your kindness to the wicked
    does not make them do good.
Although others do right, the wicked keep doing wrong
    and take no notice of the Lord’s majesty.
11 O Lord, they pay no attention to your upraised fist.
    Show them your eagerness to defend your people.
Then they will be ashamed.
    Let your fire consume your enemies.

12 Lord, you will grant us peace;
    all we have accomplished is really from you.
13 O Lord our God, others have ruled us,
    but you alone are the one we worship.
14 Those we served before are dead and gone.
    Their departed spirits will never return!
You attacked them and destroyed them,
    and they are long forgotten.
15 O Lord, you have made our nation great;
    yes, you have made us great.
You have extended our borders,
    and we give you the glory!

16 Lord, in distress we searched for you.
    We prayed beneath the burden of your discipline.
17 Just as a pregnant woman
    writhes and cries out in pain as she gives birth,
    so were we in your presence, Lord.
18 We, too, writhe in agony,
    but nothing comes of our suffering.
We have not given salvation to the earth,
    nor brought life into the world.
19 But those who die in the Lord will live;
    their bodies will rise again!
Those who sleep in the earth
    will rise up and sing for joy!
For your life-giving light will fall like dew
    on your people in the place of the dead!

Restoration for Israel

20 Go home, my people,
    and lock your doors!
Hide yourselves for a little while
    until the Lord’s anger has passed.
21 Look! The Lord is coming from heaven
    to punish the people of the earth for their sins.
The earth will no longer hide those who have been killed.
    They will be brought out for all to see.

27 In that day the Lord will take his terrible, swift sword and punish Leviathan,[b] the swiftly moving serpent, the coiling, writhing serpent. He will kill the dragon of the sea.

“In that day,
    sing about the fruitful vineyard.
I, the Lord, will watch over it,
    watering it carefully.
Day and night I will watch so no one can harm it.
    My anger will be gone.
If I find briers and thorns growing,
    I will attack them;
I will burn them up—
    unless they turn to me for help.
Let them make peace with me;
    yes, let them make peace with me.”
The time is coming when Jacob’s descendants will take root.
    Israel will bud and blossom
    and fill the whole earth with fruit!

Has the Lord struck Israel
    as he struck her enemies?
Has he punished her
    as he punished them?
No, but he exiled Israel to call her to account.
    She was exiled from her land
    as though blown away in a storm from the east.
The Lord did this to purge Israel’s[c] wickedness,
    to take away all her sin.
As a result, all the pagan altars will be crushed to dust.
    No Asherah pole or pagan shrine will be left standing.
10 The fortified towns will be silent and empty,
    the houses abandoned, the streets overgrown with weeds.
Calves will graze there,
    chewing on twigs and branches.
11 The people are like the dead branches of a tree,
    broken off and used for kindling beneath the cooking pots.
Israel is a foolish and stupid nation,
    for its people have turned away from God.
Therefore, the one who made them
    will show them no pity or mercy.

12 Yet the time will come when the Lord will gather them together like handpicked grain. One by one he will gather them—from the Euphrates River[d] in the east to the Brook of Egypt in the west. 13 In that day the great trumpet will sound. Many who were dying in exile in Assyria and Egypt will return to Jerusalem to worship the Lord on his holy mountain.

Footnotes

  1. 26:9 Hebrew within me.
  2. 27:1 The identification of Leviathan is disputed, ranging from an earthly creature to a mythical sea monster in ancient literature.
  3. 27:9 Hebrew Jacob’s. See note on 14:1.
  4. 27:12 Hebrew the river.