An Oracle against Damascus 17 1An oracle against Damascus: Look, Damascus is no longer a city. It has become a ruined heap. 2The cities of Aroer are forsaken; they will be places for flocks. They will lie down without fear. 3The fortress disappears from Ephraim, and a kingdom from Damascus. The remnant of Aram will be like the splendor of the Israelites. This is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts. Judgment against Israel 4On that day the splendor of Jacob will fade, and his healthy body[I] will become emaciated. 5It will be as if a reaper had gathered standing grain— his arm harvesting the heads of grain— and as if one had gleaned heads of grain in the Valley of Rephaim. 6Only gleanings will be left in Israel, as if an olive tree had been beaten— two or three berries at the very top of the tree, four or five on its fruitful branches. This is the declaration of the Lord, the God of Israel. 7On that day people will look to their Maker and will turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. 8They will not look to the altars they made with their hands or to the Asherahs and incense altars they made with their fingers. 9On that day their strong cities will be like the abandoned woods and mountaintops[J] that were abandoned because of the Israelites; there will be desolation. 10For you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and you have failed to remember the rock of your strength; therefore you will plant beautiful plants and set out cuttings from exotic vines. 11On the day that you plant, you will help them to grow, and in the morning you will help your seed to sprout, but the harvest will vanish on the day of disease and incurable pain. Judgment against the Nations 12Ah! The roar of many peoples— they roar like the roaring of the seas. The raging of the nations— they rage like the raging of mighty waters. 13The nations rage like the raging of many waters. He rebukes them, and they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills and like tumbleweeds before a gale. 14In the evening—sudden terror! Before morning—it is gone! This is the fate of those who plunder us and the lot of those who ravage us.
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