Then shall the land [of Israel have the opportunity to] enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies’ land; then shall the land rest, to enjoy and receive payments for its sabbaths [divinely ordained for it].
Then at last the land will rest and make up for the many years you refused to let it lie idle; for it will lie desolate all the years that you are captives in enemy lands. Yes, then the land will rest and enjoy its Sabbaths! It will make up for the rest you didn’t give it every seventh year when you lived upon it.
“And if this—even this!—doesn’t work and you still won’t listen, still defy me, I’ll have had enough and in hot anger will defy you, punishing you for your sins seven times over: famine will be so severe that you’ll end up cooking and eating your sons in stews and your daughters in barbecues; I’ll smash your sex-and-religion shrines and all the paraphernalia that goes with them, and then stack your corpses and the idol-corpses in the same piles—I’ll abhor you; I’ll turn your cities into rubble; I’ll clean out your sanctuaries; I’ll hold my nose at the “pleasing aroma” of your sacrifices. I’ll turn your land into a lifeless moonscape—your enemies who come in to take over will be shocked at what they see. I’ll scatter you all over the world and keep after you with the point of my sword in your backs. There’ll be nothing left in your land, nothing going on in your cities. With you gone and dispersed in the countries of your enemies, the land, empty of you, will finally get a break and enjoy its Sabbath years. All the time it’s left there empty, the land will get rest, the Sabbaths it never got when you lived there.
Then his sabbaths shall please the earth, in all the days of his wilderness; when ye be in the land of (your) enemies, it shall keep sabbath, (Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths, in all the days of its wilderness; while ye be in the land of your enemies, it shall keep the sabbaths, that is, the land shall take rest,)
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