The Prophet Acknowledges Injustice
1Woe is me (judgment is coming)! For I am
Like one who gathers the summer fruits, like one who gleans the vintage grapes.
There is not a cluster of grapes to eat,
No first-ripe fig which my appetite craves.
2The godly person [who is faithful and loyal to God] has perished from the earth,
And there is no upright person [one with good character and moral integrity] among men.
They all lie in wait to shed blood;
Each hunts the other with a net.
3Concerning evil, both of their hands pursue it and do it diligently and thoroughly;
The prince asks, also the judge, for a bribe,
And a great man speaks the [evil] desire of his soul.
So they twist the course of justice between them.
4The best of them is [injurious] like a briar;
The most upright is [prickly] like a thorn hedge.
The day of your watchmen [that is, the time predicted by the prophets]
And your punishment comes;
Now shall be their confusion.
5Do not trust in a neighbor [because of the moral corruption in the land];
Do not have confidence in a friend.
Guard the doors of your mouth
From her who lies in your bosom.
6For the son dishonors the father and treats him contemptuously,
The daughter rises up [in hostility] against her mother,
The daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
A man’s enemies are the men (members) of his own household.
God Is the Source of Salvation and Light
7But as for me, I will look expectantly for the Lord and with confidence in Him I will keep watch;
I will wait [with confident expectation] for the God of my salvation.
My God will hear me.
8Do not rejoice over me [amid my tragedies], O my enemy!
Though I fall, I will rise;
Though I sit in the darkness [of distress], the Lord is a light for me.
9I will bear the indignation and wrath of the Lord
Because I have sinned against Him,
Until He pleads my case and executes judgment for me.
He will bring me out to the light,
And I will behold His [amazing] righteousness and His remarkable deliverance.
10Then my enemy [all the pagan nations] shall see it,
And shame [for despising the Lord] will cover her who said to me,
“Where is the Lord your God?”
My eyes will look on her [with satisfaction at her judgment];
Now she (unbelievers) will be trampled down
Like mud of the streets.
11It shall be a day for building your walls,
On that day the boundary [of Israel] shall be [greatly] extended.
12It shall be a day when the Gentiles will come to you
From Assyria and from the cities of Egypt,
And from Egypt even to the river Euphrates,
From sea to sea and from mountain to mountain.
13Yet the earth [beyond the land of Israel] shall become desolate because of those who dwell in it,
Because of the fruit of their deeds.
14Shepherd and rule Your people with Your scepter [of blessing],
The flock of Your inheritance and Your possession
Which dwells alone [separate and secure from attack] in the forest,
In the midst of a garden land.
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead
As in the days of old [the days of Moses and Elijah].
15“As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt,
I shall show you marvelous and miraculous things.”
16The [pagan] nations shall see [God’s omnipotence in delivering Israel] and be ashamed
Of all their might [which cannot be compared to His].
They shall put their hand on their mouth [in silent astonishment];
Their ears shall be deaf.
17They shall lick the dust like a serpent;
Like crawling things of the earth
They shall come trembling out of their fortresses and hiding places.
They shall turn and come with fear and dread to the Lord our God
And they shall be afraid and stand in awe before You [O Lord].
18Who is a God like You, who forgives wickedness
And passes over the rebellious acts of the remnant of His possession?
He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He [constantly] delights in mercy and lovingkindness.
19He shall again have compassion on us;
He will subdue and tread underfoot our wickedness [destroying sin’s power].
Yes, You will cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea.
20You shall give truth to Jacob
And lovingkindness and mercy to Abraham,
As You have sworn to our forefathers
From the days of old.