An Oracle concerning Damascus
1An oracle concerning Damascus.
Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city,
and will become a heap of ruins.
2Her cities will be deserted for ever;a
they will be for flocks,
which will lie down, and none will make them afraid.
3The fortress will disappear from E'phraim,
and the kingdom from Damascus;
and the remnant of Syria will be
like the glory of the children of Israel,
says the Lord of hosts.
4And in that day
the glory of Jacob will be brought low,
and the fat of his flesh will grow lean.
5And it shall be as when the reaper gathers standing grain
and his arm harvests the ears,
and as when one gleans the ears of grain
in the Valley of Reph'aim.
6Gleanings will be left in it,
as when an olive tree is beaten-
two or three berries
in the top of the highest bough,
four or five
on the branches of a fruit tree,
says the Lord God of Israel.
7In that day men will regard their Maker, and their eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel; 8they will not have regard for the altars, the work of their hands, and they will not look to what their own fingers have made, either the Ashe'rim or the altars of incense.
9In that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the Hivites and the Amorites,b which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation.
10For you have forgotten the God of your salvation,
and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge;
therefore, though you plant pleasant plants
and set out slips of an alien god,
11though you make them grow on the day that you plant them,
and make them blossom in the morning that you sow;
yet the harvest will flee away
in a day of grief and incurable pain.
12Ah, the thunder of many peoples,
they thunder like the thundering of the sea!
Ah, the roar of nations,
they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!
13The nations roar like the roaring of many waters,
but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away,
chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind
and whirling dust before the storm.
14At evening time, behold, terror!
Before morning, they are no more!
This is the portion of those who despoil us,
and the lot of those who plunder us.