Israel Will Return Home
1The Lord will again show his love to Jacob. He will again choose the people of Israel. He will give them their land. Then the non-Israelites#14:1 non-Israelites This usually means those who live in a country but are not yet citizens of that country. Here, it is the non-Israelites who decided to follow God. will join the Israelites, and both will become one family—Jacob’s family. 2Those nations will bring the Israelites back to their land. The men and women from the other nations will become slaves to Israel. In the past, those people forced the Israelites to become their slaves. But in the future the Israelites will defeat those nations, and Israel will then rule over them in the Lord’S land. 3In the past, you were slaves. People forced you to work hard. But the Lord will take away the hard work you were forced to do.
A Song About the King of Babylon
4At that time you will begin to sing this song about the king of Babylon:
The king was cruel when he ruled us,
but now his rule is finished.
5The Lord breaks the scepter of evil rulers;
he takes away their power.
6In anger, the king of Babylon beat the people.
He never stopped beating them.
He was an evil ruler who ruled in anger.
He never stopped hurting people.
7But now, the whole country rests and is quiet.
Now the people begin to celebrate.
8You were an evil king,
and now you are finished.
Even the pine trees are happy.
The cedar trees of Lebanon rejoice.
They say, “The king chopped us down,
but now the king has fallen,
and he will never stand again.”
9The place of death is excited
that you are coming.
Sheol is waking the spirits
of all the leaders of the earth for you.
Sheol is making the kings stand up
from their thrones to meet you.
10They will make fun of you, saying,
“Now you are as dead as we are.
Now you are just like us.”
11Your pride has been sent down to Sheol.
The music from your harps announces the coming of your proud spirit.
Maggots will be the bed you lie on,
and other worms will cover your body like a blanket.
12You were like the morning star,
but you have fallen from the sky.
In the past, all the nations on earth bowed down before you,
but now you have been cut down.
13You always told yourself,
“I will go to the skies above.
I will put my throne above God’s stars.
I will sit on Zaphon,#14:13 Zaphon This Hebrew word literally means “north” or “hidden.” the holy mountain where the gods meet.
14I will go up to the altar above the tops of the clouds.
I will be like God Most High.”
15But that did not happen.
You were brought down to the deep pit—Sheol, the place of death.
16People will come to look at your dead body.
They will think about you and say,
“Is this the same man
who caused great fear in all the kingdoms on earth,
17who destroyed cities
and turned the land into a desert,
who captured people in war
and would not let them go home?”
18The kings of other nations lie buried with honor,
each king with his own grave.
19But you were thrown out of your grave
like a branch cut from a tree and thrown away.
You are like a dead man who fell in battle,
trampled under the feet of other soldiers.
Now you look like any other dead man
wrapped in burial clothes.
20Other kings have their own graves,
but you will not join them,
because you ruined your own country
and killed your own people.
So your wicked descendants will be stopped.
21Prepare to kill his children,
because their father is guilty.
His children will never take control of the land.
They will never fill the world with their cities.
22The Lord All-Powerful said, “I will stand and fight against those people. I will destroy the famous city, Babylon. I will destroy all the people there. I will destroy their children, their grandchildren, and their great-grandchildren.” The Lord himself said this.
23“I will change Babylon. It will be a place for animals,#14:23 animals Literally, “porcupines.” not people. It will be a swamp. I will use the ‘broom of destruction’ to sweep Babylon away.” The Lord All-Powerful said this.
God Will Also Punish Assyria
24The Lord All-Powerful made this promise: “This will happen exactly as I meant for it to happen. It will happen just the way I planned. 25I will destroy the king of Assyria in my country. I will walk on him on my mountains. He forced my people to be his slaves; he put a yoke on their necks. But that pole will be taken off Judah’s neck, and that burden will be removed. 26This is what I plan to do for this land. I will use my power to punish all those nations.”
27When the Lord All-Powerful makes a plan, no one can change it. When he raises his arm to punish, no one can stop him.
God’s Message to Philistia
28This message#14:28 message Or “burden.” Also in 15:1. was given to me the year King Ahaz died#14:28 year King Ahaz died About 727 B.C.:
29Country of Philistia, don’t be happy that the king who beat you is now dead. It is true that his rule has ended, but his son will come and rule. It will be like one snake giving birth to a more dangerous one. The new king will be like a quick and dangerous snake to you. 30But even the poorest of my people will be able to eat safely. And their children will be able to lie down and feel safe. But I will make your family die from hunger, and your enemy will kill anyone who survives.
31People near the city gates, cry!
People in the city, cry out!
Everyone in Philistia,
your courage will melt like hot wax.
Look to the north!
There is a cloud of dust.
An army is coming,
and everyone in that army is strong.#14:31 everyone … strong Or “there are no stragglers in that group.”
32But what will the messengers from that nation report about us?
They will say, “The Lord made Zion strong,
and his poor people went there for safety.”