31 You are in for trouble if you go to Egypt for help, or if you depend on an army of chariots or a powerful cavalry. Instead you should depend on and trust the holy Lord God of Israel. 2 The Lord isn’t stupid! He does what he promises, and he can bring doom. If you are cruel yourself, or help those who are evil, you will be destroyed.
3 The Egyptians are mere humans. They aren’t God. Their horses are made of flesh; they can’t live forever. When the Lord shows his power, he will destroy the Egyptians and all who depend on them. Together they will fall.
4 The Lord All-Powerful said to me, “I will roar and attack like a fearless lion not frightened by the shouts of shepherds trying to protect their sheep. That’s how I will come down and fight on Mount Zion. 5 I, the Lord All-Powerful, will protect Jerusalem like a mother bird circling over her nest.”
Come Back to the Lord
6 People of Israel, come back! You have completely turned from the Lord. 7 The time is coming when you will throw away your idols of silver and gold, made by your sinful hands.
8 The Assyrians will be killed, but not by the swords of humans. Their young men will try to escape, but they will be captured and forced into slavery. 9 Their fortress[a] will fall when terror strikes; their army officers will be frightened and run from the battle. This is what the Lord has said, the Lord whose fiery furnace is built on Mount Zion.
Justice Will Rule
32 A king and his leaders will rule with justice. 2 They will be a place of safety from stormy winds, a stream in the desert, and a rock that gives shade from the heat of the sun. 3 Then everyone who has eyes will open them and see, and those who have ears will pay attention. 4 All who are impatient will take time to think; everyone who stutters will talk clearly.
5 Fools will no longer be highly respected, and crooks won’t be given positions of honor. 6 Fools talk foolishness. They always make plans to do sinful things, to lie about the Lord, to let the hungry starve, and to keep water from those who are thirsty. 7 Cruel people tell lies— they do evil things, and make cruel plans to destroy the poor and needy, even when they beg for justice. 8 But helpful people can always be trusted to make helpful plans.
Punishment for the Women of Jerusalem
9 Listen to what I say, you women who are carefree and careless! 10 You may not have worries now, but in about a year, the grape harvest will fail, and you will tremble.
11 Shake and shudder, you women without a care! Strip off your clothes— put on sackcloth. 12 Slap your breasts in sorrow because of what happened to the fruitful fields and vineyards, 13 and to the happy homes in Jerusalem. The land of my people is covered with thorns.
14 The palace will be deserted, the crowded city empty. Fortresses and towers will forever become playgrounds for wild donkeys and pastures for sheep.
God’s Spirit Makes the Difference
15 When the Spirit is given to us from heaven, deserts will become orchards thick as fertile forests. 16 Honesty and justice will prosper there, 17 and justice will produce lasting peace and security.
18 You, the Lord’s people, will live in peace, calm and secure, 19 even if hailstones flatten forests and cities. 20 You will have God’s blessing, as you plant your crops beside streams, while your donkeys and cattle roam freely about.
Jerusalem Will Be Safe
33 You defeated my people.
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.[b] 4 We attack our enemies like swarms of locusts;[c] we take everything that belongs to them.[d]
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[e] than obeying you.
The Lord Will Do Something
7 Listen! Our bravest soldiers are running through the streets, screaming for help.[f] 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.[g] 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.[h]
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[i] 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.”
The Nations Will Be Judged
34 Everyone of every nation, the entire earth, and all of its creatures, come here and listen! 2 The Lord is terribly angry with the nations; he has condemned them to be slaughtered. 3 Their dead bodies will be left to rot and stink; their blood will flow down the mountains. 4 Each star[j] will disappear— the sky will roll up like a scroll.[k] Everything in the sky will dry up and wilt like leaves on a vine or fruit on a tree.
Trouble for Edom
5 After the sword of the Lord has done what it wants to the skies above,[l] it will come down on Edom, the nation that the Lord has doomed for destruction.
6 The sword of the Lord is covered with blood from lambs and goats, together with fat from kidneys of rams. This is because the Lord will slaughter many people and make a sacrifice of them in the city of Bozrah and everywhere else in Edom. 7 Edom’s leaders are wild oxen. They are powerful bulls, but they will die with the others. Their country will be soaked with their blood, and its soil made fertile with their fat.
8 The Lord has chosen the year and the day, when he will take revenge and come to Zion’s defense. 9 Edom’s streams will turn into tar and its soil into sulfur— then the whole country will go up in flames. 10 It will burn night and day and never stop smoking. Edom will be a desert, generation after generation; no one will ever travel through that land. 11 Owls, hawks, and wild animals[m] will make it their home. God will leave it in ruins, merely a pile of rocks.
The End of Edom
12 Edom will be called “Kingdom of Nothing.” Its rulers will also be nothing. 13 Its palaces and fortresses will be covered with thorns; only wolves and ostriches will make their home there. 14 Wildcats and hyenas will hunt together, demons will scream to demons, and creatures of the night will live among the ruins. 15 Owls will nest there to raise their young among its shadows,[n] while families of buzzards circle around.
16 In The Book of the Lord[o] you can search and find where it is written, “The Lord brought together all of his creatures by the power of his Spirit. Not one is missing.” 17 The Lord has decided where they each should live; they will be there forever, generation after generation.
31.9fortress: The Hebrew text has “rock,” which may refer to the Assyrian god or king, or to their army.
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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