Now you’re in for trouble! You’ve never been destroyed, but you will be destroyed; you’ve never been betrayed, but you will be betrayed. When you have finished destroying and betraying, you will be destroyed and betrayed in return.
2 Please, Lord, be kind to us! We depend on you. Make us strong each morning, and come to save us when we are in trouble. 3 Nations scatter when you roar and show your greatness.[a] 4 We attack our enemies like swarms of locusts;[b] we take everything that belongs to them.[c]
5 You, Lord, are above all others, and you live in the heavens. You have brought justice and fairness to Jerusalem; 6 you are the foundation on which we stand today. You always save us and give true wisdom and knowledge. Nothing means more to us[d] than obeying you.
The Lord Will Do Something
7 Listen! Our bravest soldiers are running through the streets, screaming for help.[e] Our messengers hoped for peace, but came home crying. 8 No one travels anymore; every road is empty. Treaties are broken, and no respect is shown to any who keep promises.[f] 9 Fields are dry and barren; Mount Lebanon wilts with shame. Sharon Valley is a desert; the forests of Bashan and Carmel have lost their leaves.
10 But the Lord says, “Now I will do something and be greatly praised. 11 Your deeds are straw that will be set on fire by your very own breath. 12 You will be burned to ashes like thorns in a fire. 13 Everyone, both far and near, come look at what I have done. See my mighty power!”
Punishment and Rewards
14 Those terrible sinners on Mount Zion tremble as they ask in fear, “How can we possibly live where a raging fire never stops burning?”
15 But there will be rewards for those who live right and tell the truth, for those who refuse to take money by force or accept bribes, for all who hate murder and violent crimes. 16 They will live in a fortress high on a rocky cliff, where they will have food and plenty of water.
The Lord Is Our King
17 With your own eyes you will see the glorious King; you will see his kingdom reaching far and wide. 18 Then you will ask yourself, “Where are those officials who terrified us and forced us to pay such heavy taxes?” 19 You will never again have to see the proud people who spoke a strange and foreign language you could not understand.
20 Look to Mount Zion where we celebrate our religious festivals. You will see Jerusalem, secure as a tent with pegs that cannot be pulled up and fastened with ropes that can never be broken. 21 Our wonderful Lord will be with us! There will be deep rivers and wide streams safe from enemy ships.[g]
The Lord Is Our Judge
22 The Lord is our judge and our ruler; the Lord is our king and will keep us safe. 23 But your nation[h] is a ship with its rigging loose, its mast shaky, and its sail not spread.
Someday even you that are lame will take everything you want from your enemies. 24 The Lord will forgive your sins, and none of you will say, “I feel sick.”
33.3greatness: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 3.
33.4locusts: Insects like grasshoppers that travel in swarms and cause great damage to crops.
33.4them: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 4.
33.6Nothing. . . us: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
33.7Listen. . . help: Or “The Lord heard our shouts and will come to help us.”
33.8to any. . . promises: The Dead Sea Scrolls; the Standard Hebrew Text “to those in the cities.”
33.21safe. . . ships: This probably means that Jerusalem will have a lot of water, without the danger of attacks from enemy ships.
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