Damascus and Israel Will Be Punished
1 This is the divine revelation about Damascus.
“Damascus will no longer be a city.
It will become a pile of rubble.
2 The cities of Aroer will be deserted.
These cities will be used for sheep, which will lie down in them.
There will be no one to disturb those sheep.
3 Fortified cities will disappear from Ephraim,
and the kingdom will disappear from Damascus.
The remaining few from Aram will share Israel’s honor,”
declares the Lord of Armies.
4 “When that day comes, the honor of Jacob’s people will fade away,
and they will become skin and bones.
5 That time will be like harvesting bundles of grain by the armful.
It will be like gathering grain in the Rephaim Valley.
6 Only a few people will survive.
They will be like an olive tree that has been beaten.
Only two or three olives are left
at the top of the highest branch,
four or five olives on the rest of the branches,”
declares the Lord God of Israel.
7 When that day comes, they will look to their maker,
and their eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel.
8 They won’t look to the altars made by their hands
or to the Asherah poles or incense altars
which their fingers molded.
9 When that day comes, the fortified cities
which other people abandoned because of the Israelites
will be like abandoned woods and undergrowth.
So it will become a wasteland.
10 You have forgotten the God of your salvation.
You haven’t remembered the rock, your stronghold.
Instead, you have planted the best plants
and have set out the imported grapevines.
11 On the day you plant, you will make it grow.#Hebrew meaning of this line uncertain.
On the morning you set out the seedling, you will make it sprout.
But the harvest will become a [rotting] pile #Or “But the harvest will flee.”
on a day of grief and incurable pain.
12 How horrible it will be for many people!
They will roar like the roaring sea.
The noise that the people make
will be like the noise from rushing water.
13 The people will make noise like raging water.
But the Lord will yell at them, and they will run far away.
They will be chased away
like husks on the mountains being blown by the wind,
like whirling dust being blown by a storm.
14 In the evening there will be sudden terror.
Before morning they will be gone.
This will be the fate of those who looted us,
the destiny of those who robbed us.