29 ·How terrible it will be for [L Woe to] you, Ariel [C another name for Jerusalem, perhaps meaning either “lion” or “altar hearth”; v. 2], the city where David ·camped [lived; settled; or besieged; C David first conquered, then lived in the city; 2 Sam. 5:6–9]. Your festivals have continued year after year. 2 I will ·attack [threaten; bring distress to] ·Jerusalem [L Ariel; v. 1], and that city will be filled with ·sadness [mourning] and ·crying [lamentation]. It will be like an ·altar [or altar hearth; C the Hebrew word sounds like Ariel, perhaps indicating that Jerusalem will burn like an altar] to me. 3 I will ·put armies all around you [encamp against/besiege you; C same word as in v. 1]; I will surround you with towers and with ·devices to attack [siege works against] you. 4 You will be pulled down and will speak from the ground; I will hear your voice rising from the ·ground [or underworld]. It will sound like the voice of a ghost; your words will come like a whisper from the ·dirt [dust].
5 Your ·many [multitude of] enemies will become like fine dust; the many ·cruel people [ruthless hordes] will be like chaff that is blown away. ·Everything will happen very quickly [L Suddenly, in an instant…; C this phrase may go with what comes before or after]. 6 The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] will come with thunder, earthquakes, and great noises, with ·storms [whirlwind], ·strong winds [tempest], and a fire that ·destroys [devours]. 7 Then all the nations that fight against ·Jerusalem [L Ariel; v. 1] will be like a dream; all the nations that ·attack [besiege; bring distress to] her will be like a vision in the night. 8 They will be like a hungry man who dreams he is eating, but when he awakens, he is still hungry. They will be like a thirsty man who dreams he is drinking, but when he awakens, he is still weak and thirsty. It will be the same way with ·all the [the multitude of] nations who fight against Mount Zion.
9 ·Be surprised and amazed [Shock yourselves and be shocked]. Blind yourselves ·so that you cannot see [and be blind]. Become drunk, but not from wine. Trip and fall, but not from ·beer [T strong drink; C alcoholic beverage made from grain]. 10 The Lord has ·made you go into [L poured out on you] a deep sleep. He has closed your eyes. (The prophets are your eyes.) He has covered your heads. (The seers [C another name for prophets] are your heads.)
11 This vision is like the words of a ·book [scroll] that is closed and sealed. You may give the book to someone who can read and tell that person to read it. But he will say, “I can’t read the book, because it is sealed.” 12 Or you may give the book to someone who cannot read and tell him to read it. But he will say, “I don’t know how to read.”
13 The Lord says:
“These people ·worship me [L come near to me] with their mouths, and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their ·worship [awe; fear] is based on nothing but human ·rules [L commandments that have been taught]. 14 So [L look; T behold] I will continue to ·amaze [astound] these people by doing more and more ·miracles [wonders]. ·Their wise men will lose their wisdom [L The wisdom of the wise will perish]; ·their wise men will not be able to understand [L the discernment of the discerning will disappear; 1 Cor. 1:19].”
Warnings About Other Nations
15 ·How terrible it will be for [L Woe to] those who ·try to hide [deeply hide; or hide too deep to see] ·things [plans; counsel] from the Lord and who do their work in darkness. They ·think no one will see them or know what they do [L say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”]. 16 You ·are confused [L turn things upside down!]. You think the clay is equal to the potter. ·You think that an object can [or Should the thing formed…?] tell the one who made it, “You didn’t make me [10:15; Rom. 9:20].” This is like a pot telling ·its maker [the potter], “You don’t ·know anything [understand].”
A Better Time Is Coming
17 In a very short time, Lebanon will become ·rich farmland [a fertile/fruitful field], and the ·rich farmland [fertile/fruitful field] will seem like a forest. 18 ·At that time [L In that day] the deaf will hear the words in a ·book [scroll]. ·Instead of having [L From; Out of] darkness and gloom, the blind will see. 19 The Lord will make the ·poor people [humble; lowly; meek] ·happy [rejoice]; ·they [L the poor/needy] will ·rejoice [delight; exult] in the Holy One of Israel [1:4]. 20 Then the ·people without mercy [ruthless; tyrants] will come to an end; ·those who do not respect God [the scoffer/mocker/arrogant] will disappear. Those who ·enjoy [are intent on; have an eye for] doing evil will be ·gone [cut off/down]: 21 those who ·lie about others in court [bear false testimony; L make a person a sinner with a word], those who trap ·people in court [L the arbiter at the city gate], those who ·lie and [with false charges/testimony] take justice from innocent people in court.
22 This is what the Lord who ·set free [redeemed; rescued] Abraham says to the ·family [L house] of Jacob:
“Now ·the people of Jacob [L Jacob] will not be ashamed or ·disgraced [L their faces turn pale] any longer. 23 When they see all their children, the children I made with my hands, they will ·say my name is holy [honor/sanctify my name]. They will ·agree [recognize; acknowledge] that the Holy One of Jacob [1:4] is holy, and they will ·respect [stand in awe of; fear] the God of Israel. 24 People who ·do wrong [wander/err in spirit] will now understand. Those who complain will accept ·being taught [insight; instruction].”
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