30 Eternal One: Oh, it will be so bad for you, My rebellious children,
who enact a plan but not as I would have you do,
Who form an alliance contrary to My Spirit,
compounding sin, one bad choice after another.
2 You look to Egypt for security and help without consulting Me.
You seem to think that Pharaoh is the answer,
That Egypt will protect you from harm.
3 But because you cling to the earthly power of great nations,
you will be disappointed and ashamed
In the very thing you grasped—Pharaoh and Egypt.
4 For even though Egypt’s princes and ambassadors are in the delta region,
in Zoan and Hanes,
5 They will be no help to you, no security or revenue for you.
You’ll be embarrassed that you ever thought they would be
And you will be shamed and disgraced for associating with them.
6 A message about the beasts of the Negev:
Nevertheless, the Judeans go down to Egypt,
Crossing through a land of trouble and anguish,
tracked by lionesses and lions, in danger of vipers and poisonous snakes,
All their precious valuables packed on the backs of donkeys and camels.
They look to a people who can offer them nothing.
7 Eternal One: Egypt’s help is no help at all.
Therefore I call Egypt “Rahab”—a storm that just sits there.
8 So, go on—write all this down on a tablet in their presence;
inscribe it on a scroll as a permanent record
So people will know about it forever.
9 After all, these people are rebellious and distrustful.
They won’t accept, don’t even pay attention
To what the Eternal has tried to tell them.
10 They say to those gifted with discernment and insight:
“Stop with your visions. We’ve had enough of them.”
They say to the prophets, “Tell us only what we’d like to hear;
save your truth-telling pessimism for someone else.
We want to hear flattery.
11 And for goodness’ sake, stop talking about the Holy One of Israel.
Get out of the gloomy rut you are in—
Your message is a bit stale—take a different path.”
12 But the Holy One of Israel says,
Eternal One: Because you refused to accept this truth, My word and purpose,
and trusted instead in deceit and manipulation, you will fall.
13 Your wrongdoing, your misplaced confidence and web of lies,
will be your undoing.
Like a breach in a wall that bulges out and suddenly gives way,
your façade will come crashing down in an instant.
14 Your destruction will be as complete
as when someone savagely smashes a piece of pottery.
There won’t be even a single piece big enough
to scoop an ember from the fire or skim a sip of water from a cistern.
15 Listen! The Lord, the Eternal, the Holy One of Israel says,
Eternal One: In returning and rest, you will be saved.
In quietness and trust you will find strength.
God invites His people to lean only on Him. If they will just stop their busyness and self-reliance, God will be able to take care of them.
But you refused. 16 You couldn’t sit still;
instead, you said, “No! We will ride out of here on horseback.
Fast horses will give us an edge in battle.”
But those who pursue you will be faster still.
17 When one person threatens, a thousand will panic and flee.
When five terrorize you, all will run pell-mell,
Until you are as conspicuous as a single flag standing high on a hill.
18 Meanwhile, the Eternal One yearns to give you grace and boundless compassion;
that’s why He waits.
For the Eternal is a God of justice.
Those inclined toward Him, waiting for His help, will find happiness.
19 Oh, people of Zion, citizens of Jerusalem, you will not cry anymore. God hears the sound of your weeping, and He will answer with grace. 20 Even though the Lord has fed you the bitter food of adversity and offered you the water of oppression, your great Teacher will reveal Himself to you; your eyes will see Him. 21 Your ears will hear sweet words behind you: “Go this way. There is your path; this is how you should go” whenever you must decide whether to turn to the right or the left. 22 Then you’ll get rid of all your worthless idols clad in silver and your despicable images plated with gold. You will destroy these idols and discard them as you do filthy rags, saying, “Get out of here.”
23 And then God will see to it that your efforts are fruitful—He’ll give you rain for your seedlings, bread from the earth, grain nourishing and plentiful. On that day your livestock will graze on acre after acre of green pastures. 24 Also if the oxen and donkeys that work that ground for you are well fed with good grain that is carefully winnowed with shovel and fork, then they will be content. 25 When the day arrives and your enemies are slaughtered and the towers come tumbling down, there will be rushing brooks of clear, sweet water running down every high mountain and steep hill. 26 When the time comes and the Eternal One binds up the brokenness of His people and heals what He had bruised, then the light of the moon will shine as brightly as the midday sun, and the sun will shine seven times brighter than normal, as if one day had seven days of sunlight.
27 See now, the name of the Eternal is echoing from far away.
God is coming with a fury inescapable to set things right again.
God is coming like fire and smoke;
His lips, indignation—His tongue, consuming fire.
28 God’s breath barrels down like hurricane rain,
rising right up to the neck to rattle the nations
And to subdue all peoples as a horse handler bridles a crazy mare for slaughter.
29 In your newfound freedom, you will sing as if it’s a festival night.
With lighthearted joy, you will dance your way toward Jerusalem,
To the Eternal’s mountain, the Rock Israel can trust.
30 Then the Eternal One will make unmistakable His absolute authority
when all hear His voice, and God’s power will be obvious
For all to see—God’s anger against the nations—that consuming fire
like a cloudburst, thunderstorm, and hailstorm all at once.
31 And Assyria
will cover its ears, terrified at the sound of God’s voice
When He comes to strike them with His punishing rod.
32 And every wave of the Eternal’s attacks against Assyria
will be accompanied by a song with tambourines and harps.
In battle after battle, He lifts his arm and fights against them.
33 After all, long ago, God prepared the place of vindication,
a funeral pyre for Assyria’s king laid deep and high,
A large stack of wood just waiting for God’s breath like brimstone to ignite it.