“·How terrible it will be for [L Woe to] these ·stubborn [rebellious] children. They ·make plans [take counsel], but ·they don’t ask me to help them [L not of/from me]. They make ·agreements with other nations [alliances], ·without asking [not of/from] my Spirit. They are adding ·more and more sins to themselves [L sin upon sin]. 2 They go down to Egypt for help without asking me about it first. They ·hope they will be saved by [L seek protection in the strength of] ·the king of Egypt [L Pharaoh]; they ·want Egypt to protect them [L seek refuge in the shade of Egypt]. 3 But ·hiding in Egypt [L the protection of Pharaoh] will bring you only shame; Egypt’s ·protection [L shade] will only disappoint you. 4 Your officers have gone to Zoan [C in northern Egypt; 19:11], and your messengers have gone to Hanes [C in southern Egypt], 5 but they will be put to shame, because Egypt is useless to them. It will give no help and will be of no ·use [benefit; advantage]; it will cause them only shame and ·embarrassment [disgrace].”
God’s Message to Judah
6 This is a ·message [prophecy; oracle; burden] about the ·animals [beasts] in ·southern Judah [the South; L the Negev]:
·Southern Judah is a dangerous place [L Though a land of trouble and distress] full of lions and lionesses, ·poisonous snakes [adders] and ·darting [or flying, fiery] ·snakes [serpents]. ·The messengers travel through there with their wealth [L They carry their riches] on the backs of donkeys and their treasure on the ·backs [humps] of camels. They carry them to a nation that cannot help them, 7 to Egypt whose help is ·useless [L worthless and futile]. So I call that country Rahab [C mythical sea monster symbolic of chaos; 51:9; Ps. 89:10] the ·Do-Nothing [Harmless; Silenced].
8 Now write this on a ·sign [tablet] for the people, ·write this [inscribe it] on a scroll, so that for the days to come this will be a witness forever. 9 These people are ·like children who lie and refuse to obey [L a rebellious nation, lying children]; children who refuse to listen to the Lord’s ·teachings [law; instruction; L Torah]. 10 They tell the seers [C another name for prophets], “Don’t see any more visions!” They say to the prophets, “Don’t tell us ·the truth [what is right]! Say ·things that will make us feel good [pleasant/smooth things]; ·see only good things for us [L prophesy illusions]. 11 Stop blocking our path. Get out of our way. ·Stop telling us about [or Rid us of] the Holy One of Israel [1:4].”
12 So this is what the Holy One of Israel says:
“You people have ·refused to accept [rejected; despise] this message and have depended on ·cruelty [oppression] and ·lies [deceit] to help you. 13 You are guilty of these things. So you will be like a high wall ·with cracks in it [cracked and bulging] that falls suddenly and ·breaks into small pieces [or in a flash/instant]. 14 You will be like a clay jar that breaks, smashed into many pieces. Those pieces will be too small to take coals from the fire or to get water from a ·well [cistern].”
15 This is what the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel [1:4], says:
“If you ·come back to me [repent] and ·trust [rest in] me, you will be saved. If you will be calm and trust me, you will be strong.” But you ·don’t want to do that [refused; would not]. 16 You say, “No, we need horses to ·run away on [flee].” So you will ·run away on horses [L flee]. You say, “We will ride away on fast horses.” So those who chase you will be fast. 17 One enemy will make threats, and a thousand of your men will ·run away [flee; Deut. 32:30]. Five enemies will make threats, and all of you will run from them. You will be left alone like a flagpole on a hilltop, like a ·banner [standard; signal flag] on a hill. 18 The Lord ·wants [is waiting] to ·show his mercy [be gracious] to you. He ·wants to rise and [or is exalted and wants to] ·comfort [show compassion to] you. The Lord is a ·fair [just] God, and everyone who waits for ·his help [L him] will be ·happy [blessed].
The Lord Will Help His People
19 You people who live on Mount Zion in Jerusalem will not ·cry [weep] anymore. The Lord will hear your crying, and he will ·comfort [be gracious to] you. When he hears you, he will ·help [answer] you. 20 The Lord has given you ·sorrow and hurt like the bread and water you ate every day [L the bread of adversity and the water of affliction]. ·He is your teacher; he will not continue to hide [or But your teachers will no longer be hidden] from you, but you will see your ·teacher [or teachers] with your own eyes. 21 If you go the wrong way—to the right or to the left—you will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the right way. ·You should go this way [L Walk in it].” 22 Then you will ·ruin [destroy; desecrate] your statues covered with silver and gold. You will throw them away like ·filthy rags [unclean things; a menstrual cloth; Lev. 15:19–24] and say, “Go away!”
23 ·At that time [L In that day] the Lord will send rain for the seeds you ·plant [sow] in the ground, and the ground will grow food for you. The harvest will be ·rich [fat] and ·great [plentiful], and ·you will have plenty of food in the fields for your animals [L your cattle will graze in large pastures]. 24 Your oxen and donkeys that work the soil will have ·all the food they need [the best grain; seasoned feed]. ·You will have to use shovels and pitchforks to spread all their food […winnowed with fork and shovel]. 25 Every mountain and hill will have streams flowing with water. ·These things will happen after many people are killed and [L …in the day of great slaughter when] the towers are pulled down. 26 ·At that time [L In that day] the light from the moon will be bright like the sun, and the light from the sun will be seven times brighter than now, like the light of seven days. These things will happen when the Lord ·bandages his broken [binds up the broken limbs of his] people and heals the ·hurts he gave them [wounds he inflicted].
27 Look! The ·Lord[L the name of the Lord; C the name represents the person] comes from far away. His anger is like a fire with thick clouds of smoke. His ·mouth is [lips are] filled with anger, and his tongue is like a ·burning [consuming; devouring] fire. 28 His breath is like a rushing river, which rises to the ·throat [neck]. He will ·judge [L sift; shake] the nations as if he is sifting them through the strainer of destruction. He will place in their mouths a bit that will lead them ·the wrong way [astray]. 29 You will ·sing happy songs [L have a song] as on the nights you begin a festival. You will be happy like people ·listening to [or playing; L going with] flutes as they come to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel. 30 The Lord will cause all people to hear his ·great [majestic; glorious] voice and to see his powerful arm come down with anger, like a ·great fire that burns everything [consuming/devouring fire], like a great storm with much rain and hail. 31 Assyria will be ·afraid [terrorized; or shattered] when it hears the voice of the Lord, because he will strike Assyria with a rod. 32 ·When the Lord punishes Assyria with a rod [L Every stroke he lays on them with his punishing club/rod], he will beat them to the music of tambourines and harps; he will fight against them with his mighty weapons. 33 ·Topheth [or The burning place; C perhaps located in the Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna); Jer. 7:31–32] has been made ready for a long time; it is ready for the king. It was made deep and wide with much wood and fire. And the Lord’s breath will come like a stream of ·burning sulfur [T brimstone] and set it on fire.
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