30
Don't expect help from Egypt
1This is the Lord's message for his rebellious people:
“You follow your own plans
instead of mine;
you make treaties
without asking me,
and you keep on sinning.
2You trust Egypt for protection.
So you refuse my advice
and send messengers to Egypt
to beg their king for help.
3“You will be disappointed,
completely disgraced
for trusting Egypt.
4The king's power reaches
from the city of Zoan
as far south as Hanes.#30.4 Zoan … Hanes: Or “Your messengers have reached the city of Zoan and gone as far as Hanes.” Zoan was in north-east Egypt; Hanes was to the south.
5But Egypt can't protect you,
and to trust that nation
is useless and foolish.”
6This is a message
about the animals
of the Southern Desert:
you people carry treasures
on donkeys and camels.
You travel to a feeble nation
through a troublesome desert
filled with lions
and flying fiery dragons.
7Egypt can't help you!
That's why I call that nation
a helpless monster.#30.7 a helpless monster: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
Israel refuses to listen
8The Lord told me to write down his message for his people, so that it would be there for ever. 9They have turned against the Lord and can't be trusted. They have refused his teaching 10and have said to his messengers and prophets:
Don't tell us what God has shown you and don't preach the truth. Just say what we want to hear, even if it's false. 11Stop telling us what God has said! We don't want to hear any more about the holy God of Israel.
12Now this is the answer
of the holy God of Israel:
“You rejected my message,
and you trust in violence
and lies.
13This sin is like a crack
that makes a high wall
quickly crumble 14and shatter
like a crushed bowl.
There's not a piece left
big enough to carry hot coals
or to scoop up water.”
Trust the Lord
15The holy Lord God of Israel
had told all of you,
“I will keep you safe
if you turn back to me
and calm down.
I will make you strong
if you quietly trust me.”
Then you stubbornly 16said,
“No! We will safely escape
on speedy horses.”
But those who chase you
will be even faster.
17As few as five of them,
or even one, will be enough
to chase a thousand of you.
Finally, all that will be left
will be a few survivors
as lonely as a flag pole
on a barren hill.
The Lord will show mercy
18The Lord God is waiting
to show how kind he is
and to have pity on you.
The Lord always does right;
he blesses those who trust him.
19People of Jerusalem, you don't need to cry any more. The Lord is kind, and as soon as he hears your cries for help, he will come. 20The Lord has given you trouble and sorrow as your food and drink. But now you will again see the Lord, your teacher, and he will guide you. 21Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice saying, “This is the road! Now follow it.” 22Then you will treat your idols of silver and gold like rubbish; you will throw them away like filthy rags.
23The Lord will send rain to water the seeds you have planted—your fields will produce more crops than you need, and your cattle will graze in open pastures. 24Even the oxen and donkeys that plough your fields will be fed the finest grain.#30.24 the finest grain: The Hebrew text refers to grain with the husks removed.
25On that day people will be slaughtered and towers destroyed, but streams of water will flow from high hills and towering mountains. 26Then the Lord will bandage his people's injuries and heal the wounds he has caused. The moon will shine as bright as the sun, and the sun will shine seven times brighter than usual. It will be like the light of seven days all at once.
Assyria will be punished
27The Lord is coming
from far away
with his fiery anger
and thick clouds of smoke.#30.27 with … smoke: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
His angry words flame up
like a destructive fire;
28he breathes out a flood
that comes up to the neck.
He sifts the nations
and destroys them.
Then he puts a bridle
in every foreigner's mouth
and leads them to doom.
29The Lord's people will sing as they do when they celebrate a religious festival#30.29 a religious festival: Probably Passover. at night. The Lord is Israel's mighty rock,#30.29 mighty rock: See the note at 17.10. and his people will be as happy as they are when they follow the sound of flutes to the mountain where he is worshipped.
30The Lord will get furious. His fearsome voice will be heard, his arm will be seen ready to strike, and his anger will be like a destructive fire, followed by thunderstorms and hailstones. 31When the Assyrians hear the Lord's voice and see him striking with his iron rod, they will be terrified. 32He will attack them in battle, and each time he strikes them, it will be to the music of tambourines and harps.
33Long ago the Lord got a place ready for burning the body of the dead king.#30.33 burning … king: Or “sacrificing the king” or “sacrificing to Molech”. Human sacrifices were sometimes offered to Molech, a god whose name sounds like the Hebrew word for “king” (see 2 Kings 23.10; Jeremiah 32.35). The place for the fire is deep and wide, the wood is piled high, and the Lord will start the fire by breathing out flaming sulphur.
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