1“Woe to the rebellious children,” says Adonai.
“They make plans, but the plans are not mine;
they develop alliances, but not from my Spirit,
in order to pile sin upon sin.
2They go down to Egypt but don’t consult me,
seeking refuge in Pharaoh’s protection,
seeking shelter in Egypt’s shadow.
3But Pharaoh’s protection will bring you shame,
shelter in Egypt’s shadow will lead to disgrace.
4Though his princes are at Tzo‘an,
and his envoys have reached Hannes,
5they all are disappointed
with a people that doesn’t help them,
who give no assistance and no advantage,
only disappointment and disgrace.”
6A prophecy about the animals in the Negev:
In a land of trouble and anguish,
of lionesses and roaring lions,
of vipers and poisonous flying serpents,
they carry their riches on donkeys’ backs
and their treasures on camels’ humps
to a people who will not help them.
7For Egypt’s help is worthless, pointless;
so I call her “Arrogance Doing Nothing.”
8Now go, inscribe it on a tablet,
write it for them in a scroll,
so that on the final day it will be
a witness forever and ever.
9For this is a rebellious people;
they are lying children,
children who refuse to hear
the Torah of Adonai.
10They say to the seers, “Do not see!”
to those who have visions, “Do not tell us
the visions you have as they really are;
but flatter us, fabricate illusions!
11Get out of the way! Leave the path!
Rid us of the Holy One of Isra’el!”
12Therefore here is what the Holy One of Isra’el says:
“Because you reject this word,
trust in extortion and rely on deceit,
13this sin will become for you
a crack bulging out high on a wall,
showing signs it is ready to fall;
then suddenly, all at once, it breaks.”
14He will break it like a clay pot,
ruthlessly shattering it into pieces
so tiny not even a potsherd remains
for taking fire from the fireplace
or scooping water from the cistern.
15For this is what Adonai Elohim,
the Holy One of Isra’el, says:
“Returning and resting is what will save you;
calmness and confidence will make you strong —
but you want none of this!
16‘No!’ you say, ‘We will flee on horseback!’
Therefore you will surely flee.
And, ‘We will ride on swift ones!’
So your pursuers will be swift.
17A thousand will flee at the threat of one,
you all will flee at the threat of five,
until you are left isolated,
like a flagstaff on a mountaintop,
like a banner on a hill.”
18Yet Adonai is just waiting to show you favor,
he will have pity on you from on high;
for Adonai is a God of justice;
happy are all who wait for him!
19People in Tziyon, who live in Yerushalayim,
you will weep no more.
At the sound of your cry, he will show you his grace;
on hearing it, he will answer you.
20Though Adonai may give you but bread and water,
and not very much of that;
your teacher will no longer hide himself,
but with your own eyes you will see your teacher.
21With your ears you will hear a word from behind you:
“This is the way; stay on it,
whether you go to the right or the left.”
22You will treat as unclean your silver-covered idols
and your cast metal images plated with gold;
you will throw them away, like menstrual cloths;
you will say to them, “Get out of here!”
23Then he will give you rain for the seed
you use to sow your land;
and the food that comes from the ground
will be rich and abundant.
When that day comes, your cattle
will graze in spacious pastures.
24The oxen and donkeys that work the land
will eat a tasty mixture,
winnowed free of chaff,
spread by pitchfork and shovel.
25On every high mountain and lofty hill
will be streams and flowing brooks,
on a day of great slaughter,
when the towers fall.
26Moreover, the light of the moon will be
as bright as the light of the sun;
and the light of the sun will be seven times stronger,
like the light of seven days [in one],
on the day Adonai binds up the wounds of his people
and heals the bruise caused by the blow.
27Here comes the name of Adonai from afar,
his anger burning, in thick rising smoke.
His lips are full to the brim with fury,
his tongue a consuming fire.
28His breath is like a racing torrent
that rises up to the neck,
to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction,
and put a bridle in the peoples’ mouths to lead them astray.
29Your song will be like one that is sung
on a night when a holy feast is kept,
and your hearts will be happy,
as if walking to the sound of the flute,
to the mountain of Adonai,
to the Rock of Isra’el.
30Adonai will make his glorious voice heard,
and he will reveal his arm descending
with furious anger in a flaming firestorm,
with cloudbursts, tempests and hailstones.
31For Adonai’s voice will terrify Ashur,
as with his scepter he strikes them down.
32Every sweep of the punishing rod
that Adonai imposes on him
will be to tambourines and lyres,
as he brandishes his arm against them in battle.
33For the Tofet fire pit has long been ready,
prepared for the king, made large and deep,
with plenty of wood and blazing with fire;
like a stream of sulfur, Adonai’s breath sets it aflame.