Restoration of Judah and Israel
1Ask rain from the Lord
in the season of the spring rain,
from the Lord who makes the storm clouds,
who gives men showers of rain,
to every one the vegetation in the field.
2For the teraphim utter nonsense,
and the diviners see lies;
the dreamers tell false dreams,
and give empty consolation.
Therefore the people wander like sheep;
they are afflicted for want of a shepherd.
3"My anger is hot against the shepherds,
and I will punish the leaders;a
for the Lord of hosts cares for his flock, the house of Judah,
and will make them like his proud steed in battle.
4Out of them shall come the cornerstone,
out of them the tent peg,
out of them the battle bow,
out of them every ruler.
5Together they shall be like mighty men in battle,
trampling the foe in the mud of the streets;
they shall fight because the Lord is with them,
and they shall confound the riders on horses.
6"I will strengthen the house of Judah,
and I will save the house of Joseph.
I will bring them back because I have compassion on them,
and they shall be as though I had not rejected them;
for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.
7Then E'phraim shall become like a mighty warrior,
and their hearts shall be glad as with wine.
Their children shall see it and rejoice,
their hearts shall exult in the Lord.
8"I will signal for them and gather them in,
for I have redeemed them,
and they shall be as many as of old.
9Though I scattered them among the nations,
yet in far countries they shall remember me,
and with their children they shall live and return.
10I will bring them home from the land of Egypt,
and gather them from Assyria;
and I will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon,
till there is no room for them.
11They shall pass through the sea of Egypt,b
and the waves of the sea shall be smitten,
and all the depths of the Nile dried up.
The pride of Assyria shall be laid low,
and the scepter of Egypt shall depart.
12I will make them strong in the Lord
and they shall gloryc in his name,"
says the Lord.