The great city will be empty; it will be like a desert. All the people will be gone—they will run away. The city will be like an open pasture. Young cattle will eat grass there. The cattle will eat leaves from the branches of the vines.
·At that time [L In that day] the ·strong, walled [fortified] city will be ·empty [desolate] an abandoned settlement, empty like a ·desert [wilderness; 17:9; 32:14, 19]. Calves will eat grass there. They will lie down there and ·eat leaves from [strip bare] the branches.
Otherwise the defenced city shall be made desolate, and the habitation shall be forsaken and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down and consume the branches thereof.
Has God knocked them to the ground as he knocked down those who hit them? Oh, no. Were they killed as their killers were killed? Again, no. He was hard on them all right. The exile was a harsh sentence. He blew them away on a fierce blast of wind. But the good news is that through this experience Jacob’s guilt was taken away. The evidence that his sin is removed will be this: He will tear down the alien altars, take them apart stone by stone, And then crush the stones into gravel and clean out all the sex-and-religion shrines. For there’s nothing left of that pretentious grandeur. Nobody lives there anymore. It’s unlivable. But animals do just fine, browsing and bedding down. And it’s not a bad place to get firewood. Dry twigs and dead branches are plentiful. It’s the leavings of a people with no sense of God. So, the God who made them Will have nothing to do with them. He who formed them will turn his back on them.
Cities that have high walls around them will become empty. They will be settlements with no one in them. They will be like a desert. Calves will eat and lie down in them. They will strip bare the branches of their trees.
Yet the Ir Betzurah (fortified city) shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken, and left like a midbar; there shall the egel graze, and there shall it lie down, and strip bare the branches thereof.
Forsooth the strong city shall be (made) desolate, the fair city shall be left, and shall be (as) forsaken as a desert; there a calf shall be pastured, and shall lie (down) there, and shall waste the highness thereof.
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