A prophecy against Damascus1A prophecy against Damascus: ‘See, Damascus will no longer be a city
but will become a heap of ruins.
2The cities of Aroer will be deserted
and left to flocks, which will lie down,
with no one to make them afraid.
3The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim,
and royal power from Damascus;
the remnant of Aram will be
like the glory of the Israelites,’
declares the Lord Almighty. 4‘In that day the glory of Jacob will fade;
the fat of his body will waste away.
5It will be as when reapers harvest the standing corn,
gathering the corn in their arms –
as when someone gleans ears of corn
in the Valley of Rephaim.
6Yet some gleanings will remain,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
leaving two or three olives on the topmost branches,
four or five on the fruitful boughs,’
declares the Lord, the God of Israel. 7In that day people will look to their Maker
and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.
8They will not look to the altars,
the work of their hands,
and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles ▼
▼That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah
and the incense altars their fingers have made.
9In that day their strong cities, which they left because of the Israelites, will be like places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth. And all will be desolation. 10You have forgotten God your Saviour;
you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress.
Therefore, though you set out the finest plants
and plant imported vines,
11though on the day you set them out, you make them grow,
and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud,
yet the harvest will be as nothing
in the day of disease and incurable pain.
12Woe to the many nations that rage –
they rage like the raging sea!
Woe to the peoples who roar –
they roar like the roaring of great waters!
13Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters,
when he rebukes them they flee far away,
driven before the wind like chaff on the hills,
like tumble-weed before a gale.
14In the evening, sudden terror!
Before the morning, they are gone!
This is the portion of those who loot us,
the lot of those who plunder us.
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