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27 On that day, Leviathan,[a]
    the sea monster,
will squirm and try to escape,
but the Lord will kill him
    with a cruel, sharp sword.

Protection and Forgiveness

The Lord said:

At that time you must sing
    about a fruitful[b] vineyard.
I, the Lord, will protect it
    and always keep it watered.
I will guard it day and night
    to keep it from harm.
I am no longer angry.
    But if it produces thorns,
I will go to war against it
    and burn it to the ground.
Yet if the vineyard depends
    on me for protection,
it will become my friend
    and be at peace with me.

Someday Israel will take root
    like a vine.
It will blossom and bear fruit
    that covers the earth.

I, the Lord, didn’t punish and kill
    the people of Israel
as fiercely as I punished
    and killed their enemies.
I carefully measured out
    Israel’s punishment[c]
and sent the scorching heat
    to chase them far away.

There’s only one way
that Israel’s sin and guilt
    can be completely forgiven:
They must crush the stones
of every pagan altar
    and place of worship.

The Lord Will Bring His People Together

10 Fortress cities are left
like a desert
    where no one lives.
Cattle walk through the ruins,
    stripping the trees bare.
11 When broken branches
    fall to the ground,
women pick them up
    to feed the fire.
But these people are so stupid
that the God who created them
    will show them no mercy.

12 The time is coming when the Lord will shake the land between the Euphrates River and the border of Egypt, and one by one he will bring all of his people together. 13 A loud trumpet will be heard. Then the people of Israel who were dragged away to Assyria and Egypt will return to worship the Lord on his holy mountain in Jerusalem.

Footnotes

  1. 27.1 Leviathan: God’s victory over this monster sometimes stands for God’s power over all creation and sometimes for his defeat of his enemies, especially Egypt.
  2. 27.2 fruitful: Some Hebrew manuscripts have “lovely.”
  3. 27.8 I. . . punishment: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

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