Government with Justice Predicted
1Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,
and princes will rule in justice.
2Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,
a covert from the tempest,
like streams of water in a dry place,
like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.
3Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,
and the ears of those who hear will hearken.
4The mind of the rash will have good judgment,
and the tongue of the stammerers will speak readily and distinctly.
5The fool will no more be called noble,
nor the knave said to be honorable.
6For the fool speaks folly,
and his mind plots iniquity:
to practice ungodliness,
to utter error concerning the Lord,
to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,
and to deprive the thirsty of drink.
7The knaveries of the knave are evil;
he devises wicked devices
to ruin the poor with lying words,
even when the plea of the needy is right.
8But he who is noble devises noble things,
and by noble things he stands.
Complacent Women Warned of Disaster
9Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice;
you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech.
10In little more than a year
you will shudder, you complacent women;
for the vintage will fail,
the fruit harvest will not come.
11Tremble, you women who are at ease,
shudder, you complacent ones;
strip, and make yourselves bare,
and gird sackcloth upon your loins.
12Beat upon your breasts for the pleasant fields,
for the fruitful vine,
13for the soil of my people
growing up in thorns and briers;
yea, for all the joyous houses
in the joyful city.
14For the palace will be forsaken,
the populous city deserted;
the hill and the watchtower
will become dens for ever,
a joy of wild asses,
a pasture of flocks;
15until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.
The Peace of God's Reign
16Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.
17And the effect of righteousness will be peace,
and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust for ever.
18My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
19And the forest will utterly go down,a
and the city will be utterly laid low.
20Happy are you who sow beside all waters,
who let the feet of the ox and the ass range free.