International Standard Version
1"Ask the LORD for rain in the spring — the LORD who fashions lightning thunderstorms, giving rain showers to mankind along with grain in the fields.
2Truly the family idols talk nonsense and the diviners discern lies, describing delusional dreams. Since their comfort is vacuous, they wander off on their own like sheep, because there is no shepherd.
3"Against the shepherds my anger rises— I am punishing the leaders also, because the LORD of the Heavenly Armies has visited his flock, the house of Judah, appointing them as his royal war horse for battle.
4From them arises the cornerstone and tent peg, from them the battle bow, from them arise all sorts of oppressive rulers.
5They will be like mighty soldiers who trample mud in the streets during battle. They will fight because the LORD is with them, and the opposing horsemen will be confused.
6"I will fortify the house of Judah, and the house of Joseph I will save. I will surely bring them back, because I care about them. They will be as if I had never cast them away. Since I am the LORD their God, I will answer them.
7"The people of Ephraim will become like mighty soldiers; they will be glad, like those who have wine. Their children will see this and rejoice; their hearts will find joy in the Lord.
8I will whistle for them, gathering them together, because I have redeemed them, and they will multiply as they were before.
9I will scatter them among the nations, and so they will remember me in distant countries. They will rear their children, and they will return.
10I will bring them once again out of the land of Egypt, gathering them from Assyria. I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon, but there will not be enough space for them.
11They will pass through the sea of affliction, and they will strike the waves in that sea. All of the depths of the Nile will evaporate, Assyria's arrogance will be brought down low, and the ruling power of Egypt will disappear.
12"I will strengthen them in the LORD, and they will march here and there in his name," declares the LORD.