Oracle of Judgment on Damascus
1An oracle of Damascus:
“Look! Damascus will cease being a city
and will become a heap of ruins.
2The cities of Aroer will be deserted;#These words in Hebrew (and “flocks” in the next line) all begin with the same letter, Ayin
they will be for the flocks,
and they will lie down and no one will frighten#Literally “there is not one who frightens” them.
3And the fortified city will disappear from Ephraim,
and the kingdom from Damascus;
and the remnant of Aram will be like the glory of the children of Israel,”
declares#Literally “declaration of” Yahweh of hosts.
4“And this shall happen:
On that day, the glory of Jacob will be brought low,
and the fat of his flesh will become lean.
5And it shall be as when a reaper gathers#Literally “a gathering of a reaper of” standing grain
and he reaps grain with his arm,
and it shall be like one who gathers ears of grain
in the valley of Rephaim.
6And gleanings will be left over in it, as when an olive tree is beaten,#Literally “beating of an olive tree”
two or three ripe olive berries in the top of a branch,
four or five on its fruitful branches,”
declares#Literally “declaration of” Yahweh, the God of Israel.
7On that day, mankind will look to its maker,
and its eyes will look to the holy one of Israel;
8it will not look to the altars,
the work of its hands,
and it will not see what its fingers made
and the poles of Asherah worship and the incense altars.
9On that day, its fortified cities#Literally “the cities of his fortress” will be like the abandonment of the wooded place and the summit,#Perhaps this difficult phrase originally read “abandonment of the wooded heights of the Amorites” which they deserted because of the children of Israel; and there will be desolation.
10For you have forgotten the God of your salvation,
and you have not remembered the rock of your refuge;
therefore you plant plants of pleasantness,
and you plant#Literally “plant it” a vine of a foreigner.
11On your planting day you make them grow,
and in the morning of your sowing you bring them into bloom,
yet the harvest will flee#Reading the same consonants as a verb, nad, rather than the noun ned, which would mean “a heap ofthe harvest” in a day of sickness and incurable pain.
The Roar of the Peoples
12Ah! The noise of many peoples, they make a noise like the noise of the seas!
And the roar of nations, they roar like the roar of mighty waters!
13The nations roar like the roar of many waters,
but he will rebuke him, and he will flee far away.
And they are chased like chaff of the mountains before the wind
and like tumbleweed before the storm.
14At the time of evening, and look, terror!
Before morning he is no more.
This is the fate of those who plunder us
and the lot of those who plunder us.