Isaiah 17
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The Lord Will Judge Damascus

1Here is a message about Damascus:

“Look, Damascus is no longer a city,

it is a heap of ruins!

2The cities of Aroer are abandoned.

They will be used for herds,

which will lie down there in peace.

3Fortified cities will disappear from Ephraim,

and Damascus will lose its kingdom.

The survivors in Syria

will end up like the splendor of the Israelites,”

says the Lord who commands armies.

4“At that time

Jacob’s splendor will be greatly diminished,

and he will become skin and bones.

5It will be as when one gathers the grain harvest,

and his hand gleans the ear of grain.

It will be like one gathering the ears of grain

in the Valley of Rephaim.

6There will be some left behind,

like when an olive tree is beaten –

two or three ripe olives remain toward the very top,

four or five on its fruitful branches,”

says the Lord God of Israel.

7At that time men will trust in their creator;

they will depend on the Holy One of Israel.

8They will no longer trust in the altars their hands made,

or depend on the Asherah poles and incense altars their fingers made.

9At that time their fortified cities will be

like the abandoned summits of the Amorites,

which they abandoned because of the Israelites;

there will be desolation.

10For you ignore the God who rescues you;

you pay no attention to your strong protector.

So this is what happens:

You cultivate beautiful plants

and plant exotic vines.

11The day you begin cultivating, you do what you can to make it grow;

the morning you begin planting, you do what you can to make it sprout.

Yet the harvest will disappear in the day of disease

and incurable pain.

12The many nations massing together are as good as dead,

those who make a commotion as loud as the roaring of the sea’s waves.

The people making such an uproar are as good as dead,

those who make an uproar as loud as the roaring of powerful waves.

13Though these people make an uproar as loud as the roaring of powerful waves,

when he shouts at them, they will flee to a distant land,

driven before the wind like dead weeds on the hills,

or like dead thistles before a strong gale.

14In the evening there is sudden terror;

by morning they vanish.

This is the fate of those who try to plunder us,

the destiny of those who try to loot us!

Isaiah 16
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