1 WOE TO you, O destroyer, you who were not yourself destroyed, who deal treacherously though they [your victims] did not deal treacherously with you! When you have ceased to destroy, you will be destroyed; and when you have stopped dealing treacherously, they will deal treacherously with you.
2 O Lord, be gracious to us; we have waited [expectantly] for You. Be the arm [of Your servants–their strength and defense] every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble.
3 At the noise of the tumult [caused by Your voice at which the enemy is overthrown], the peoples flee; at the lifting up of Yourself, nations are scattered.
4 And the spoil [of the Assyrians] is gathered [by the inhabitants of Jerusalem] as the caterpillar gathers; as locusts leap and run to and fro, so [the Jews spoil the Assyrians' forsaken camp as they] leap upon it.
5 The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high; He will fill Zion with justice and righteousness (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation).
6 And there shall be stability in your times, an abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the reverent fear and worship of the Lord is your treasure and His.
7 Behold, their valiant ones cry without; the ambassadors of peace weep bitterly.
8 The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceases. The enemy has broken the covenant, he has despised the cities and the witnesses, he regards no man.
9 The land mourns and languishes, Lebanon is confounded and [its luxuriant verdure] withers away; Sharon [a fertile pasture region south of Mount Carmel] is like a desert, and Bashan [a broad, fertile plateau east of the Jordan River] and [Mount] Carmel shake off their leaves.
10 Now will I arise, says the Lord. Now will I lift up Myself; now will I be exalted.
11 You conceive chaff, you bring forth stubble; your breath is a fire that consumes you.
12 And the people will be burned as if to lime, like thorns cut down that are burned in the fire.
13 Hear, you who are far off [says the Lord], what I have done; and you who are near, acknowledge My might!
14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling seizes the godless ones. [They cry] Who among us can dwell with that devouring fire? Who among us can dwell with those everlasting burnings?
15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, who despises gain from fraud and from oppression, who shakes his hand free from the taking of bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes to avoid looking upon evil.
16 [Such a man] will dwell on the heights; his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks; his bread will be given him; water for him will be sure.
17 Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; [your eyes] will behold a land of wide distances that stretches afar.
18 Your mind will meditate on the terror: [asking] Where is he who counted? Where is he who weighed the tribute? Where is he who counted the towers?
19 You will see no more the fierce and insolent people, a people of a speech too deep and obscure to be comprehended, of a strange and stammering tongue that you cannot understand.
20 Look upon Zion, the city of our set feasts and solemnities! Your eyes shall see Jerusalem, a quiet habitation, a tent that shall not be taken down; not one of its stakes shall ever be pulled up, neither shall any of its cords be broken.
21 But there the Lord will be for us in majesty and splendor a place of broad rivers and streams, where no oar-propelled boat can go, and no mighty and stately ship can pass.
22 For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King; He will save us. [Isa. 2:3-4; 11:4; 32:1; James 4:12.]
23 Your hoisting ropes hang loose; they cannot strengthen and hold firm the foot of their mast or keep the sail spread out. Then will prey and spoil in abundance be divided; even the lame will take the prey.
24 And no inhabitant [of Zion] will say, I am sick; the people who dwell there will be forgiven their iniquity and guilt.