SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
13:1 This is an oracle about Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw:
2 On a bare hill raise a signal flag;
shout to them,
wave your hand
so they might enter the gates of the princes!
3 I have given orders to my chosen soldiers;
I have summoned the warriors through whom I will vent my anger—
my boasting, arrogant ones.
4 There is a loud noise on the mountains—
it sounds like a large army!
There is great commotion among the kingdoms—
nations are being assembled!
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is mustering
forces for battle.
5 They come from a distant land,
from the horizon.
It is the Lord with his instruments of judgment
coming to destroy the whole earth.
6 Wail, for the Lord’s day of judgment is near;
it comes with all the destructive power of the Sovereign One.
7 For this reason all hands hang limp,
every human heart loses its courage.
8 They panic—
cramps and pain seize hold of them
like those of a woman who is straining to give birth.
They look at one another in astonishment;
their faces are flushed red.
9 Look, the Lord’s day of judgment is coming;
it is a day of cruelty and savage, raging anger,
destroying the earth
and annihilating its sinners.
10 Indeed the stars in the sky and their constellations
no longer give out their light;
the sun is darkened as soon as it rises,
and the moon does not shine.
11 I will punish the world for its evil
and wicked people for their sin.
I will put an end to the pride of the insolent,
I will bring down the arrogance of tyrants.
12 I will make human beings more scarce than pure gold
and people more scarce than gold from Ophir.
13 So I will shake the heavens,
and the earth will shake loose from its foundation,
because of the fury of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
in the day he vents his raging anger.
14 Like a frightened gazelle
or a sheep with no shepherd,
each will turn toward home,
each will run to his homeland.
15 Everyone who is caught will be stabbed;
everyone who is seized will die by the sword.
16 Their children will be smashed to pieces before their very eyes;
their houses will be looted
and their wives raped.
17 Look, I am stirring up the Medes to attack them;
they are not concerned about silver,
nor are they interested in gold.
18 Their arrows will cut young men to ribbons;
they have no compassion on a person’s offspring;
they will not look with pity on children.
19 Babylon, the most admired of kingdoms,
the Chaldeans’ source of honor and pride,
will be destroyed by God
just as Sodom and Gomorrah were.
20 No one will live there again;
no one will ever reside there again.
No bedouin will camp there,
no shepherds will rest their flocks there.
21 Wild animals will rest there,
the ruined houses will be full of hyenas.
Ostriches will live there,
wild goats will skip among the ruins.
22 Wild dogs will yip in her ruined fortresses,
jackals will yelp in the once-splendid palaces.
Her time is almost up,
her days will not be prolonged.
14:1 The Lord will certainly have compassion on Jacob; he will again choose Israel as his special people and restore them to their land. Resident foreigners will join them and unite with the family of Jacob. 2 Nations will take them and bring them back to their own place. Then the family of Israel will make foreigners their servants as they settle in the Lord’s land. They will make their captors captives and rule over the ones who oppressed them. 3 When the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and anxiety and from the hard labor that you were made to perform, 4 you will taunt the king of Babylon with these words:
“Look how the oppressor has met his end!
Hostility has ceased!
5 The Lord has broken the club of the wicked,
the scepter of rulers.
6 It furiously struck down nations
with unceasing blows.
It angrily ruled over nations,
oppressing them without restraint.
7 The whole earth rests and is quiet;
they break into song.
8 The evergreens also rejoice over your demise,
as do the cedars of Lebanon, singing,
‘Since you fell asleep,
no woodsman comes up to chop us down!’
9 Sheol below is stirred up about you,
ready to meet you when you arrive.
It rouses the spirits of the dead for you,
all the former leaders of the earth;
it makes all the former kings of the nations
rise from their thrones.
10 All of them respond to you, saying:
‘You too have become weak like us!
You have become just like us!
11 Your splendor has been brought down to Sheol,
as well as the sound of your stringed instruments.
You lie on a bed of maggots,
with a blanket of worms over you.’
12 “Look how you have fallen from the sky,
O shining one, son of the dawn!
You have been cut down to the ground,
O conqueror of the nations!
13 You said to yourself,
‘I will climb up to the sky.
Above the stars of El
I will set up my throne.
I will rule on the mountain of assembly
on the remote slopes of Zaphon.
14 I will climb up to the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High!’
15 But you were brought down to Sheol,
to the remote slopes of the Pit.
16 Those who see you stare at you,
they look at you carefully, thinking:
‘Is this the man who shook the earth,
the one who made kingdoms tremble?
17 Is this the one who made the world like a wilderness,
who ruined its cities
and refused to free his prisoners so they could return home?’
18 As for all the kings of the nations,
all of them lie down in splendor,
each in his own tomb.
19 But you have been thrown out of your grave
like a shoot that is thrown away.
You lie among the slain,
among those who have been slashed by the sword,
among those headed for the stones of the Pit,
as if you were a mangled corpse.
20 You will not be buried with them,
because you destroyed your land
and killed your people.
“The offspring of the wicked
will never be mentioned again.
21 Prepare to execute his sons
for the sins their ancestors have committed.
They must not rise up and take possession of the earth
or fill the surface of the world with cities.
22 “I will rise up against them,”
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
“I will blot out all remembrance of Babylon and destroy all her people,
including the offspring she produces,”
says the Lord.
23 “I will turn her into a place that is overrun with wild animals
and covered with pools of stagnant water.
I will get rid of her, just as one sweeps away dirt with a broom,”
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
24 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies makes this solemn vow:
“Be sure of this:
Just as I have intended, so it will be;
just as I have planned, it will happen.
25 I will break Assyria in my land,
I will trample them underfoot on my hills.
Their yoke will be removed from my people,
the burden will be lifted from their shoulders.
26 This is the plan I have devised for the whole earth;
my hand is ready to strike all the nations.”
27 Indeed, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has a plan,
and who can possibly frustrate it?
His hand is ready to strike,
and who can possibly stop it?
28 This oracle came in the year that King Ahaz died:
29 Don’t be so happy, all you Philistines,
just because the club that beat you has been broken!
For a viper will grow out of the serpent’s root,
and its fruit will be a darting adder.
30 The poor will graze in my pastures;
the needy will rest securely.
But I will kill your root by famine;
it will put to death all your survivors.
31 Wail, O city gate!
Cry out, O city!
Melt with fear, all you Philistines!
For out of the north comes a cloud of smoke,
and there are no stragglers in its ranks.
32 How will they respond to the messengers of this nation?
Indeed, the Lord has made Zion secure;
the oppressed among his people will find safety in her.
15:1 This is an oracle about Moab:
Indeed, in a night it is devastated,
Ar of Moab is destroyed!
Indeed, in a night it is devastated,
Kir of Moab is destroyed!
2 They went up to the temple;
the people of Dibon went up to the high places to lament.
Because of what happened to Nebo and Medeba, Moab wails.
Every head is shaved bare,
every beard is trimmed off.
3 In their streets they wear sackcloth;
on their roofs and in their town squares
all of them wail;
they fall down weeping.
4 The people of Heshbon and Elealeh cry out;
their voices are heard as far away as Jahaz.
For this reason Moab’s soldiers shout in distress;
their courage wavers.
5 My heart cries out because of Moab’s plight
and for the fugitives stretched out as far as Zoar and Eglath Shelishiyah.
For they weep as they make their way up the ascent of Luhith;
they loudly lament their demise on the road to Horonaim.
6 For the waters of Nimrim are gone;
the grass is dried up,
the vegetation has disappeared,
and there are no plants.
7 For this reason what they have made and stored up,
they carry over the Stream of the Poplars.
8 Indeed, the cries of distress echo throughout Moabite territory;
their wailing can be heard in Eglaim and Beer Elim.
9 Indeed, the waters of Dimon are full of blood!
Indeed, I will heap even more trouble on Dimon.
A lion will attack the Moabite fugitives
and the people left in the land.
16:1 Send rams as tribute to the ruler of the land,
from Sela in the wilderness
to the hill of Daughter Zion.
2 At the fords of the Arnon
the Moabite women are like a bird
that flies about when forced from its nest.
3 “Bring a plan, make a decision.
Provide some shade in the middle of the day.
Hide the fugitives! Do not betray the one who tries to escape.
4 Please let the Moabite fugitives live among you.
Hide them from the destroyer!”
Certainly the one who applies pressure will cease;
the destroyer will come to an end;
those who trample will disappear from the earth.
5 Then a trustworthy king will be established;
he will rule in a reliable manner,
this one from David’s family.
He will be sure to make just decisions
and will be experienced in executing justice.
6 We have heard about Moab’s pride—
their great arrogance—
their boasting, pride, and excess.
But their boastful claims are empty.
7 So Moab wails over its demise—
they all wail!
Completely devastated, they moan
about what has happened to the raisin cakes of Kir Hareseth.
8 For the fields of Heshbon are dried up,
as well as the vines of Sibmah.
The rulers of the nations trample all over its vines,
which reach Jazer and spread to the wilderness;
their shoots spread out and cross the sea.
9 So I weep along with Jazer
over the vines of Sibmah.
I will saturate you with my tears, Heshbon and Elealeh,
for the conquering invaders shout triumphantly
over your fruit and crops.
10 Joy and happiness disappear from the orchards,
and in the vineyards no one rejoices or shouts;
no one treads out juice in the wine vats—
I have brought the joyful shouts to an end.
11 So my heart constantly sighs for Moab, like the strumming of a harp,
my inner being sighs for Kir Hareseth.
12 When the Moabites plead with all their might at their high places
and enter their temples to pray, their prayers will be ineffective.
13 This is the message the Lord previously announced about Moab. 14 Now the Lord makes this announcement: “Within exactly three years Moab’s splendor will disappear, along with all her many people; there will be only a few insignificant survivors left.”
17:1 This is an oracle about Damascus:
“Look, Damascus is no longer a city,
it is a heap of ruins!
2 The cities of Aroer are abandoned.
They will be used for herds,
which will lie down there in peace.
3 Fortified 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 of Heaven’s Armies.
4 “At that time
Jacob’s splendor will be greatly diminished,
and he will become skin and bones.
5 It 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.
6 There will be some left behind,
as 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.
7 At that time men will trust in their Creator;
they will depend on the Holy One of Israel.
8 They will no longer trust in the altars their hands made,
or depend on the Asherah poles and incense altars their fingers made.
9 At 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.
10 For 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.
11 The 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.
12 Beware, you many nations massing together,
those who make a commotion as loud as the roaring of the sea’s waves.
Beware, you people making such an uproar,
those who make an uproar as loud as the roaring of powerful waves.
13 Though 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.
14 In 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!
18:1 Beware, land of buzzing wings,
the one beyond the rivers of Cush,
2 that sends messengers by sea,
who glide over the water’s surface in boats made of papyrus.
Go, you swift messengers,
to a nation of tall, smooth-skinned people,
to a people that are feared far and wide,
to a nation strong and victorious,
whose land rivers divide.
3 All you who live in the world,
who reside on the earth,
you will see a signal flag raised on the mountains;
you will hear a trumpet being blown.
4 For this is what the Lord has told me:
“I will wait and watch from my place,
like scorching heat produced by the sunlight,
like a cloud of mist in the heat of harvest.”
5 For before the harvest, when the bud has sprouted
and the ripening fruit appears,
he will cut off the unproductive shoots with pruning knives;
he will prune the tendrils.
6 They will all be left for the birds of the hills
and the wild animals;
the birds will eat them during the summer,
and all the wild animals will eat them during the winter.
7 At that time
tribute will be brought to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
by a people that are tall and smooth-skinned,
a people that are feared far and wide,
a nation strong and victorious,
whose land rivers divide.
The tribute will be brought to the place where the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has chosen to reside, on Mount Zion.
19:1 This is an oracle about Egypt:
Look, the Lord rides on a swift-moving cloud
and approaches Egypt.
The idols of Egypt tremble before him;
the Egyptians lose their courage.
2 “I will provoke civil strife in Egypt:
brothers will fight with one another,
as will neighbors,
cities, and kingdoms.
3 The Egyptians will panic,
and I will confuse their strategy.
They will seek guidance from the idols and from the spirits of the dead,
from the pits used to conjure up underworld spirits, and from the magicians.
4 I will hand Egypt over to a harsh master;
a powerful king will rule over them,”
says the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
5 The water of the sea will be dried up,
and the river will dry up and be empty.
6 The canals will stink;
the streams of Egypt will trickle and then dry up;
the bulrushes and reeds will decay,
7 along with the plants by the mouth of the river.
All the cultivated land near the river
will turn to dust and be blown away.
8 The fishermen will mourn and lament;
all those who cast a fishhook into the river,
and those who spread out a net on the water’s surface will grieve.
9 Those who make clothes from combed flax will be embarrassed;
those who weave will turn pale.
10 Those who make cloth will be demoralized;
all the hired workers will be depressed.
11 The officials of Zoan are nothing but fools;
Pharaoh’s wise advisers give stupid advice.
How dare you say to Pharaoh,
“I am one of the sages,
one well versed in the writings of the ancient kings”?
12 But where, oh where, are your wise men?
Let them tell you, let them find out
what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has planned for Egypt.
13 The officials of Zoan are fools,
the officials of Memphis are misled;
the rulers of her tribes lead Egypt astray.
14 The Lord has made them undiscerning;
they lead Egypt astray in all she does,
so that she is like a drunk sliding around in his own vomit.
15 Egypt will not be able to do a thing,
head or tail, shoots or stalk.
16 At that time the Egyptians will be like women. They will tremble and fear because the Lord of Heaven’s Armies brandishes his fist against them. 17 The land of Judah will humiliate Egypt. Everyone who hears about Judah will be afraid because of what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is planning to do to them.
18 At that time five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. One will be called the City of the Sun. 19 At that time there will be an altar for the Lord in the middle of the land of Egypt, as well as a sacred pillar dedicated to the Lord at its border. 20 It will become a visual reminder in the land of Egypt of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. When they cry out to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a deliverer and defender who will rescue them. 21 The Lord will reveal himself to the Egyptians, and they will acknowledge the Lord’s authority at that time. They will present sacrifices and offerings; they will make vows to the Lord and fulfill them. 22 The Lord will strike Egypt, striking and then healing them. They will turn to the Lord, and he will listen to their prayers and heal them.
23 At that time there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will visit Egypt, and the Egyptians will visit Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. 24 At that time Israel will be the third member of the group, along with Egypt and Assyria, and will be a recipient of blessing in the earth. 25 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies will pronounce a blessing over the earth, saying, “Blessed be my people, Egypt, and the work of my hands, Assyria, and my special possession, Israel!”
20:1 The Lord revealed the following message during the year in which King Sargon of Assyria sent his commanding general to Ashdod, and he fought against it and captured it. 2 At that time the Lord announced through Isaiah son of Amoz: “Go, remove the sackcloth from your waist and take your sandals off your feet.” He did as instructed and walked around in undergarments and barefoot. 3 Later the Lord explained, “In the same way that my servant Isaiah has walked around in undergarments and barefoot for the past three years, as an object lesson and omen pertaining to Egypt and Cush, 4 so the king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, both young and old. They will be in undergarments and barefoot, with the buttocks exposed; the Egyptians will be publicly humiliated. 5 Those who put their hope in Cush and took pride in Egypt will be afraid and embarrassed. 6 At that time those who live on this coast will say, ‘Look what has happened to our source of hope to whom we fled for help, expecting to be rescued from the king of Assyria! How can we escape now?’”
21:1 This is an oracle about the wilderness by the Sea:
Like strong winds blowing in the south,
one invades from the wilderness,
from a land that is feared.
2 I have received a distressing message:
“The deceiver deceives,
the destroyer destroys.
Attack, you Elamites!
Lay siege, you Medes!
I will put an end to all the groaning.”
3 For this reason my stomach churns;
cramps overwhelm me
like the contractions of a woman in labor.
I am disturbed by what I hear,
horrified by what I see.
4 My heart palpitates,
I shake in fear;
the twilight I desired
has brought me terror.
5 Arrange the table,
lay out the carpet,
eat and drink!
Get up, you officers,
smear oil on the shields!
6 For this is what the Lord has told me:
“Go, post a guard!
He must report what he sees.
7 When he sees chariots,
teams of horses,
riders on donkeys,
riders on camels,
he must be alert,
8 Then the guard cries out:
“On the watchtower, O Lord,
I stand all day long;
at my post
I am stationed every night.
9 Look what’s coming!
a team of horses.”
When questioned, he replies,
“Babylon has fallen, fallen!
All the idols of her gods lie shattered on the ground!”
10 O my downtrodden people, crushed like stalks on the threshing floor,
what I have heard
from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
the God of Israel,
I have reported to you.
11 This is an oracle about Dumah:
Someone calls to me from Seir,
“Watchman, what is left of the night?
Watchman, what is left of the night?”
12 The watchman replies,
“Morning is coming, but then night.
If you want to ask, ask;
come back again.”
13 This is an oracle about Arabia:
In the thicket of Arabia you spend the night,
you Dedanite caravans.
14 Bring out some water for the thirsty.
You who live in the land of Tema,
bring some food for the fugitives.
15 For they flee from the swords—
from the drawn sword,
and from the battle-ready bow,
and from the severity of the battle.
16 For this is what the Lord has told me: “Within exactly one year all the splendor of Kedar will come to an end. 17 Just a handful of archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be left.” Indeed, the Lord God of Israel has spoken.
22:1 This is an oracle about the Valley of Vision:
What is the reason
that all of you go up to the rooftops?
2 The noisy city is full of raucous sounds;
the town is filled with revelry.
Your slain were not cut down by the sword;
they did not die in battle.
3 All your leaders ran away together—
they fled to a distant place;
all your refugees were captured together—
they were captured without a single arrow being shot.
4 So I say:
“Don’t look at me!
I am weeping bitterly.
Don’t try to console me
concerning the destruction of my defenseless people.”
5 For the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies
has planned a day of panic, defeat, and confusion.
In the Valley of Vision people shout
and cry out to the hill.
6 The Elamites picked up the quiver
and came with chariots and horsemen;
the men of Kir prepared the shield.
7 Your very best valleys were full of chariots;
horsemen confidently took their positions at the gate.
8 They removed the defenses of Judah.
At that time you looked
for the weapons in the House of the Forest.
9 You saw the many breaks
in the walls of the City of David;
you stored up water in the lower pool.
10 You counted the houses in Jerusalem
and demolished houses so you could have material to reinforce the wall.
11 You made a reservoir between the two walls
for the water of the old pool—
but you did not trust in the one who made it;
you did not depend on the one who formed it long ago.
12 At that time the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies called for weeping and mourning,
for shaved heads and sackcloth.
13 But look, there is outright celebration!
You say, “Kill the ox and slaughter the sheep,
eat meat and drink wine.
Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
14 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies told me this: “Certainly this sin will not be forgiven as long as you live,” says the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
15 This is what the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:
“Go visit this administrator, Shebna, who supervises the palace, and tell him:
16 ‘What right do you have to be here? What relatives do you have buried here?
Why do you chisel out a tomb for yourself here?
He chisels out his burial site in an elevated place,
he carves out his tomb on a cliff.
17 Look, the Lord will throw you far away, you mere man!
He will wrap you up tightly.
18 He will wind you up tightly into a ball
and throw you into a wide, open land.
There you will die,
and there with you will be your impressive chariots,
which bring disgrace to the house of your master.
19 I will remove you from your office;
you will be thrown down from your position.
20 “‘At that time I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah. 21 I will put your robe on him, tie your belt around him, and transfer your authority to him. He will become a protector of the residents of Jerusalem and of the people of Judah. 22 I will place the key to the house of David on his shoulder. When he opens the door, no one can close it; when he closes the door, no one can open it. 23 I will fasten him like a peg into a solid place; he will bring honor and respect to his father’s family. 24 His father’s family will gain increasing prominence because of him, including the offspring and the offshoots. All the small containers, including the bowls and all the jars, will hang from this peg.’
25 “At that time,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “the peg fastened into a solid place will come loose. It will be cut off and fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut off.” Indeed, the Lord has spoken.
23:1 This is an oracle about Tyre:
Wail, you large ships,
for the port is too devastated to enter!
From the land of Cyprus this news is announced to them.
2 Lament, you residents of the coast,
you merchants of Sidon who travel over the sea,
whose agents sail over 3 the deep waters.
Grain from the Shihor region,
crops grown near the Nile she receives;
she is the trade center of the nations.
4 Be ashamed, O Sidon,
for the sea says this, O fortress of the sea:
“I have not gone into labor
or given birth;
I have not raised young men
or brought up young women.”
5 When the news reaches Egypt,
they will be shaken by what has happened to Tyre.
6 Travel to Tarshish!
Wail, you residents of the coast!
7 Is this really your boisterous city
whose origins are in the distant past
and whose feet led her to a distant land to reside?
8 Who planned this for royal Tyre,
whose merchants are princes,
whose traders are the dignitaries of the earth?
9 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies planned it—
to dishonor the pride that comes from all her beauty,
to humiliate all the dignitaries of the earth.
10 Daughter Tarshish, travel back to your land, as one crosses the Nile;
there is no longer any marketplace in Tyre.
11 The Lord stretched out his hand over the sea,
he shook kingdoms;
he gave the order
to destroy Canaan’s fortresses.
12 He said,
“You will no longer celebrate,
oppressed virgin daughter Sidon!
Get up, travel to Cyprus,
but you will find no relief there.”
13 Look at the land of the Chaldeans,
these people who have lost their identity!
The Assyrians have made it a home for wild animals.
They erected their siege towers,
demolished its fortresses,
and turned it into a heap of ruins.
14 Wail, you large ships,
for your fortress is destroyed!
15 At that time Tyre will be forgotten for 70 years, the typical life span of a king. At the end of 70 years Tyre will try to attract attention again, like the prostitute in the popular song:
16 “Take the harp,
go through the city,
Play it well,
play lots of songs,
so you’ll be noticed.”
17 At the end of 70 years the Lord will revive Tyre. She will start making money again by selling her services to all the earth’s kingdoms. 18 Her profits and earnings will be set apart for the Lord. They will not be stored up or accumulated, for her profits will be given to those who live in the Lord’s presence and will be used to purchase large quantities of food and beautiful clothes.
24:1 Look, the Lord is ready to devastate the earth
and leave it in ruins;
he will mar its surface
and scatter its inhabitants.
2 Everyone will suffer—the priest as well as the people,
the master as well as the servant,
the elegant lady as well as the female attendant,
the seller as well as the buyer,
the borrower as well as the lender,
the creditor as well as the debtor.
3 The earth will be completely devastated
and thoroughly ransacked.
For the Lord has decreed this judgment.
4 The earth dries up and withers,
the world shrivels up and withers;
the prominent people of the earth fade away.
5 The earth is defiled by its inhabitants,
for they have violated laws,
disregarded the regulation,
and broken the permanent treaty.
6 So a treaty curse devours the earth;
its inhabitants pay for their guilt.
This is why the inhabitants of the earth disappear,
and are reduced to just a handful of people.
7 The new wine dries up,
the vines shrivel up,
all those who like to celebrate groan.
8 The happy sound of the tambourines stops,
the revelry of those who celebrate comes to a halt,
the happy sound of the harp ceases.
9 They no longer sing and drink wine;
the beer tastes bitter to those who drink it.
10 The ruined town is shattered;
all the houses are shut up tight.
11 They howl in the streets because of what happened to the wine;
all joy turns to sorrow;
celebrations disappear from the earth.
12 The city is left in ruins;
the gate is reduced to rubble.
13 This is what will happen throughout the earth,
among the nations.
It will be like when they beat an olive tree,
and just a few olives are left at the end of the harvest.
14 They lift their voices and shout joyfully;
they praise the majesty of the Lord in the west.
15 So in the east extol the Lord,
along the seacoasts extol the fame of the Lord God of Israel.
16 From the ends of the earth we hear songs—
the Just One is majestic.
But I say, “I’m wasting away! I’m wasting away! I’m doomed!
Deceivers deceive, deceivers thoroughly deceive!”
17 Terror, pit, and snare
are ready to overtake you, inhabitants of the earth!
18 The one who runs away from the sound of the terror
will fall into the pit;
the one who climbs out of the pit
will be trapped by the snare.
For the floodgates of the heavens are opened up
and the foundations of the earth shake.
19 The earth is broken in pieces,
the earth is ripped to shreds,
the earth shakes violently.
20 The earth will stagger around like a drunk;
it will sway back and forth like a hut in a windstorm.
Its sin will weigh it down,
and it will fall and never get up again.
21 At that time the Lord will punish
the heavenly forces in the heavens
and the earthly kings on the earth.
22 They will be imprisoned in a pit,
locked up in a prison,
and after staying there for a long time, they will be punished.
23 The full moon will be covered up,
the bright sun will be darkened;
for the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will rule
on Mount Zion in Jerusalem
in the presence of his assembly, in majestic splendor.