Do not rely on the great powers
1 “Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord; “they make plans which are not mine, they form alliances I did not inspire, and thus add sin upon sin.
2 They go down to Egypt without my advice to take refuge in Pharaoh’s protection and seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt.
3 Therefore Pharaoh’s protection will be your shame and Egypt’s shadow your confusion.
4 When your officials reach Zoan and your ambassadors come to Hanes, 5 they will all be put to shame by a people who can do nothing for them, who can give neither help nor benefit but only disgrace and reproach.”
6 An oracle concerning the beasts of the Negeb:
6 Through a distressed and troubled land
6 of lions and lionesses,
6 of vipers and darting snakes,
6 the envoys carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses,
6 their treasures upon the humps of camels,
6 to a people that is of no use to them.
7 Egypt! An illusory and useless help. Because of that I call it: Scarecrow, the Do-Nothing.
Just tell us pleasant things
8 Now go, write it down as a record for them, inscribe it on a scroll, so it will be an everlasting accusation against them.
9 These are a rebellious people, their children deceitful. They do not listen to Yahweh’s advice.
10 To the seers they say, “See not,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy the truth. Just tell us pleasant things; see illusions and prophesy deceits. 11 Stray from the path, turn from the way! Take away from us the Holy One of Israel!”
12 Therefore the Holy One of Israel says, “Be cause you despised this message and resorted instead to lies and abusive taxes, choosing to stay with it, 13 therefore this guilt of yours will be like a breach on a high wall, cracked and bulging, ready to fall; the crash will come suddenly and instantly.
14 It will be like the breaking of a potter’s vessel, smashed so ruthlessly that among its fragments not one shard re mains big enough to scoop cinder out of the hearth or ladle water out of the cistern.”
15 For thus said the Lord Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel: “Conversion and calmness would have been your salvation, quietness and trust your strength.”
16 But instead you said, “No, we will flee on horses!” Very well then, flee! And you added, “We will ride on swift steeds.” Your pursuer will be swifter.
17 At the threat of one, a thousand will flee, at the threat of five all will flee, till what is left of you will be like a staff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.
The coming prosperity
18 Yet Yahweh waits to give you grace; he rises to show you compassion. For Yahweh is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him.
19 O people of Zion, who dwell in Jeru salem, you will weep no more. When you cry, he will listen; when he hears, he will answer.
20 When the Lord has given you the bread of anguish and the water of distress, he, your teacher will hide no longer. 21 Your own eyes will see him, and your ear will listen to his words behind you: “This is the way, walk in it.”
22 You will see the uncleanliness of your idols and images overlaid with silver and gold. You will throw them out like a menstrual cloth. “Away with you then!” you will say to them.
23 He will then give rain for the seed you sow and make the harvest abundant from the crops you grow. On that day your cattle will graze in wide pas tures. 24 Your beasts of burden will eat silage tossed to them with pitchfork and shovel.
25 For on the day of the great slaughter, when fortresses fall, streams of water will flow on every mountain and lofty hill.
26 The light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun seven times greater, like the light of seven days, when Yahweh binds up the wounds of his people and heals the bruises inflicted by his blows.
Assyria will be sacrificed
27 Look, from afar
27 the Name of Yahweh is coming,
27 burning in anger,
27 with a heavy hand.
27 Filled with fury are his lips,
27 like a consuming fire is his tongue.
28 Like a rushing torrent is his breath,
28 rising up to the neck,
28 shaking the nations
28 as in a sieve of destruction,
28 putting the bit of his bridle
28 between the jaws of the peoples
28 causing them to err and stray.
29 You will sing,
29 as on the night of a holy solemnity;
29 your hearts will rejoice
29 as when people go up with flutes,
29 with timbrels and lyres.
29 to the mountain of the Lord,
29 to the mighty One of Israel.
30 Yahweh will make his majestic voice heard
30 and show his arm descending
30 in devastating fury and consuming fire,
30 with sweeping wind and crashing thunder.
31 At the voice of Yahweh,
31 Assyria will be battered;
31 at the blows of his rod,
31 it will be shattered.
32 At every beat of the punishing rod
32 the plagues will fall on him.
32 For Yahweh will fight him
32 with outstretched hand.
33 The pyre has long been ready,
33 prepared for the king.
33 Broad and deep is its fire pit,
33 piled up with dry grass and wood.
33 The breath of the Lord,
33 like a stream of brimstone,
33 will set it ablaze.