New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Judgment and Deliverance of Jerusalem
1 Ah! Ariel, Ariel,[a]
city where David encamped!
Let year follow year,
and feast follow feast,(A)
2 But I will bring distress upon Ariel,
and there will be mourning and moaning.
You shall be to me like Ariel:(B)
3 I will encamp like David against you;
I will circle you with outposts
and set up siege works against you.(C)
4 You shall speak from beneath the earth,
and from the dust below, your words shall come.
Your voice shall be that of a ghost from the earth,
and your words shall whisper from the dust.(D)
5 The horde of your arrogant shall be like fine dust,
a horde of tyrants like flying chaff.(E)
Then suddenly, in an instant,
6 you shall be visited by the Lord of hosts,
With thunder, earthquake, and great noise,
whirlwind, storm, and the flame of consuming fire.(F)
7 [b]Then like a dream,
a vision of the night,
Shall be the horde of all the nations
who make war against Ariel:
All the outposts, the siege works against it,
all who distress it.
8 As when a hungry man dreams he is eating
and awakens with an empty stomach,
Or when a thirsty man dreams he is drinking
and awakens faint, his throat parched,
So shall the horde of all the nations be,
who make war against Mount Zion.
- 29:1–2 Ariel: a poetic name for Jerusalem. It has been variously interpreted to mean “lion of God,” “altar hearth of God” (Ez 43:15–16), “city of God,” or “foundation of God.” In v. 2 the term refers to “altar hearth,” i.e., a place of burning for its people (cf. 30:33; 31:9). God will attack Jerusalem, as David did long ago.
- 29:7–8 Just when the attackers think their capture of Jerusalem is certain, the Lord will snatch victory from their hands and save the city. The sudden shift from the Lord’s attack on the city to its deliverance by him is surprising and unexplained; it may reflect the account related in 37:36.