10 I, the Lord, am the one who sends storm clouds and showers of rain to make fields produce. So when the crops need rain, you should pray to me.
2 You can’t believe idols and fortunetellers, or depend on the hope you receive from witchcraft and interpreters of dreams. But you have tried all of these, and now you are like sheep without a shepherd.
3 I, the Lord All-Powerful, am fiercely angry with you leaders, and I will punish you. I care for my people, the nation of Judah, and I will change this flock of sheep into charging war horses.
4 From this flock will come leaders who will be strong like cornerstones and tent pegs and weapons of war. 5 They will join in the fighting, and together they will trample their enemies like mud. They will fight, because I, the Lord, will be on their side. And they will crush the enemy cavalry.
6 I will strengthen the kingdoms of Judah and Israel.[a] And I will show mercy because I am the Lord, their God. I will answer their prayers and bring them home. Then it will seem as though I had never rejected them. 7 Israel[b] will be like a tribe of warriors celebrating with wine. When their children see this, they will also be happy because of me, the Lord.
8 I will give a signal for them to come together because I have rescued them. And there will be as many as ever before. 9 Although I scattered my people in distant countries, they won’t forget me. Once their children are raised,[c] they will return— 10 I will bring them home from Egypt and Assyria, then let them settle as far as Gilead and Lebanon, until the land overflows with them. 11 My people will go through an ocean of troubles, but I will overcome the waves and dry up the deepest part of the Nile. Assyria’s great pride will be put down, and the power of Egypt will disappear. 12 I’ll strengthen my people because of who I am, and they will follow me. I, the Lord, have spoken!
10.6Israel: The Hebrew text has “family of Joseph,” the ancestor of Ephraim and Manasseh, the leading tribes of the northern kingdom (Israel).
10.7Israel: Hebrew “Ephraim” (see the note at 9.10).
10.9Once. . . raised: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
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