Judgment against the nations
1Come near, you nations, and listen;
pay attention, you peoples!
Let the earth hear, and all that is in it,
the world, and all that comes out of it!
2The Lord is angry with all nations;
his wrath is on all their armies.
He will totally destroy#34:2 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verse 5. them,
he will give them over to slaughter.
3Their slain will be thrown out,
their dead bodies will stink;
the mountains will be soaked with their blood.
4All the stars in the sky will be dissolved
and the heavens rolled up like a scroll;
all the starry host will fall
like withered leaves from the vine,
like shrivelled figs from the fig-tree.
5My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens;
see, it descends in judgment on Edom,
the people I have totally destroyed.
6The sword of the Lord is bathed in blood,
it is covered with fat –
the blood of lambs and goats,
fat from the kidneys of rams.
For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah
and a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
7And the wild oxen will fall with them,
the bull calves and the great bulls.
Their land will be drenched with blood,
and the dust will be soaked with fat.
8For the Lord has a day of vengeance,
a year of retribution, to uphold Zion’s cause.
9Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch,
her dust into burning sulphur;
her land will become blazing pitch!
10It will not be quenched night or day;
its smoke will rise for ever.
From generation to generation it will lie desolate;
no-one will ever pass through it again.
11The desert owl#34:11 The precise identification of these birds is uncertain. and screech owl#34:11 The precise identification of these birds is uncertain. will possess it;
the great owl#34:11 The precise identification of these birds is uncertain. and the raven will nest there.
God will stretch out over Edom
the measuring line of chaos
and the plumb-line of desolation.
12Her nobles will have nothing there to be called a kingdom,
all her princes will vanish away.
13Thorns will overrun her citadels,
nettles and brambles her strongholds.
She will become a haunt for jackals,
a home for owls.
14Desert creatures will meet with hyenas,
and wild goats will bleat to each other;
there the night creatures will also lie down
and find for themselves places of rest.
15The owl will nest there and lay eggs,
she will hatch them, and care for her young
under the shadow of her wings;
there also the falcons will gather,
each with its mate.
16Look in the scroll of the Lord and read:
None of these will be missing,
not one will lack her mate.
For it is his mouth that has given the order,
and his Spirit will gather them together.
17He allots their portions;
his hand distributes them by measure.
They will possess it for ever
and dwell there from generation to generation.