Israel Will Return Home
1The Lord will show mercy to the people of Jacob, and he will again choose the people of Israel. He will settle them in their own land. Then non-Israelite people will join the Israelites and will become a part of the family of Jacob. 2Nations will take the Israelites back to their land. Then those men and women from the other nations will become slaves to Israel in the Lord’s land. In the past the Israelites were their slaves, but now the Israelites will defeat those nations and rule over them.
The King of Babylon Will Fall
3The Lord will take away the Israelites’ hard work and will comfort them. They will no longer have to work hard as slaves. 4On that day Israel will sing this song about the king of Babylon:
The cruel king who ruled us is finished;
his angry rule is finished!
5The Lord has broken the scepter of evil rulers
and taken away their power.
6The king of Babylon struck people in anger
again and again.
He ruled nations in anger
and continued to hurt them.
7But now, the whole world rests and is quiet.
Now the people begin to sing.
8Even the pine trees are happy,
and the cedar trees of Lebanon rejoice.
They say, “The king has fallen,
so no one will ever cut us down again.”
9The place of the dead is excited
to meet you when you come.
It wakes the spirits of the dead,
the leaders of the world.
It makes kings of all nations
stand up from their thrones to greet you.
10All these leaders will make fun of you
and will say,
“Now you are weak, as we are.
Now you are just like us.”
11Your pride has been sent down to the place of the dead.
The music from your harps goes with it.
Flies are spread out like your bed beneath you,
and worms cover your body like a blanket.
12King of Babylon, morning star, you have fallen from heaven,
even though you were as bright as the rising sun!
In the past all the nations on earth bowed down before you,
but now you have been cut down.
13You told yourself,
“I will go up to heaven.
I will put my throne
above God’s stars.
I will sit on the mountain of the gods,
on the slopes of the sacred mountain.
14I will go up above the tops of the clouds.
I will be like God Most High.”
15But you were brought down to the grave,
to the deep places where the dead are.
16Those who see you stare at you.
They think about what has happened to you
and say, “Is this the same man who caused great fear on earth,
who shook the kingdoms,
17who turned the world into a desert,
who destroyed its cities,
who captured people in war
and would not let them go home?”
18Every king of the earth has been buried with honor,
each in his own grave.
19But you are thrown out of your grave,
like an unwanted branch.
You are covered by bodies
that died in battle,
by bodies to be buried in a rocky pit.
You are like a dead body other soldiers walk on.
20You will not be buried with those bodies,
because you ruined your own country
and killed your own people.
The children of evil people
will never be mentioned again.
21Prepare to kill his children,
because their father is guilty.
They will never again take control of the earth;
they will never again fill the world with their cities.
22The Lord All-Powerful says this:
“I will fight against those people;
I will destroy Babylon and its people,
its children and their descendants,” says the Lord.
23“I will make Babylon fit only for owls
and for swamps.
I will sweep Babylon as with a broom of destruction,”
says the Lord All-Powerful.
God Will Punish Assyria
24The Lord All-Powerful has made this promise:
“These things will happen exactly as I planned them;
they will happen exactly as I set them up.
25I will destroy the king of Assyria in my country;
I will trample him on my mountains.
He placed a heavy load on my people,
but that weight will be removed.
26“This is what I plan to do for all the earth.
And this is the hand that I have raised over all nations.”
27When the Lord All-Powerful makes a plan,
no one can stop it.
When the Lord raises his hand to punish people,
no one can stop it.
God’s Message to Philistia
28This message was given in the year that King Ahaz died:
29Country of Philistia, don’t be happy
that the king who struck you is now dead.
He is like a snake that will give birth to another dangerous snake.
The new king will be like a quick, dangerous snake to bite you.
30Even the poorest of my people will be able to eat safely,
and people in need will be able to lie down in safety.
But I will kill your family with hunger,
and all your people who are left will die.
31People near the city gates, cry out!
Philistines, be frightened,
because a cloud of dust comes from the north.
It is an army, full of men ready to fight.
32What shall we tell the messengers from Philistia?
Say that the Lord has made Jerusalem strong
and that his poor people will go there for safety.