God’s Judgment Unavoidable
1I saw [in a vision] the Lord standing at the altar, and He said,
“Destroy the capitals (tops) of the pillars so that the thresholds will shake,
And break them on the heads of all of the people!
Then I will kill the rest of them with the sword;
They will not have a fugitive who will get away,
Or a survivor who will escape.
2Though they dig into Sheol [to hide in the deepest pit],
From there My hand will take them [for judgment];
And though they climb up to heaven [to hide in the realm of light],
From there will I bring them down [for judgment].
3Though they hide on the summit of [Mount] Carmel,
I will track them down and take them from there;
And though they hide from My sight on the floor of the sea,
From there I shall command the serpent and it will bite them.
4And though they go into captivity before their enemies,
From there I shall command the sword to kill them,
And I will set My eyes against them for evil (judgment, punishment) and not for good [that is, not for correction leading to restoration].”
5The Lord God of hosts [the Omnipotent Ruler],
It is He who touches the earth [in judgment] and it melts,
And all who dwell on it mourn [in despair and fear],
And all of it rises up like the Nile
And subsides like the Nile of Egypt;
6It is He who builds His upper chambers in the heavens
And has established His vaulted dome (the firmament of heaven) over the earth,
He who calls to the waters of the sea
And pours them out on the face of the earth—
The Lord is His name.
7“Are you [degenerate ones] not as the [despised] sons of Ethiopia to Me,
O sons of Israel?” says the Lord.
“Have I not brought up Israel from the land of Egypt,
And the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans (Syrians) from Kir?
8Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are on the sinful [northern] kingdom [of Israel’s ten tribes]
And I shall destroy it from the face of the earth;
But I shall not totally destroy the house of Jacob [that is, the entire nation of Israel],”
Says the Lord.
9“For behold, I am commanding,
And I shall shake and sift the house of Israel among all nations [and cause it to tremble]
Like grain is shaken in a sieve [removing the chaff],
But not a kernel [of the faithful remnant] shall fall to the ground and be lost [from My sight].
10All the sinners among My people will die by the sword,
Those who say [defiantly], ‘The disaster will not overtake or confront us.’
The Restoration of Israel
11“In that day I shall raise up and restore the fallen tabernacle (booth) of David,
And wall up its breaches [in the city walls];
I will also raise up and restore its ruins
And rebuild it as it was in the days of old,
12That they may possess the remnant of Edom (ancient enemies)
And all the nations that are called by My name,”
Says the Lord who does this.
13“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord,
“When the plowman shall overtake the one who gathers the harvest,
And the one who treads the grapes [shall overtake] him who sows the seed [for the harvest continues until planting time];
When the mountains will drip sweet wine
And all the hills shall melt [that is, everything that was once barren will overflow with streams of blessing].
14Also I shall bring back the exiles of My people Israel,
And they will rebuild the deserted and ruined cities and inhabit them:
They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine,
And make gardens and eat their fruit.
15I will also plant them on their land,
And they shall never again be uprooted from their land
Which I have given them,”
Says the Lord your God.