Judgments on Judah’s Enemies
1Gather yourselves together [in repentance], yes, gather [in submission],
O nation without shame,
2Before the decree takes effect [and the time for repentance is lost]—
The day passes like the chaff [whirled by the wind]—
Before the burning and fierce anger of the Lord comes upon you,
Before the day of the wrath of the Lord comes upon you.
3Seek the Lord [search diligently for Him and regard Him as the foremost necessity of your life],
All you humble of the land
Who have practiced His ordinances and have kept His commandments;
Seek righteousness, seek humility [regard them as vital].
Perhaps you will be hidden [and pardoned and rescued]
In the day of the Lord’s anger.
4For [this is the fate of the Philistines:] Gaza will be abandoned
And Ashkelon a desolation;
[The people of] Ashdod will be driven out at noon [in broad daylight]
And Ekron will be uprooted and destroyed.
5Woe (judgment is coming) to the inhabitants of the seacoast,
The nation of the Cherethites [in Philistia]!
The word of the Lord is against you,
O Canaan, land of the Philistines;
I will destroy you
So that no inhabitant will be left.
6So the [depopulated] seacoast shall be pastures,
With [deserted] meadows for shepherds and folds for flocks.
7The seacoast will belong
To the remnant of the house of Judah;
They will pasture [their flocks] on it.
In the [deserted] houses of Ashkelon [in Philistia] they [of Judah] will lie down and rest in the evening,
For the Lord their God will care for them;
And restore their fortune [permitting them to occupy the land].
8“I have heard the taunting of Moab
And the revilings of the sons of Ammon,
With which they have taunted My people
And become arrogant against their territory [by violating Israel’s boundary and trying to seize its land].
9Therefore, as I live,” declares the Lord of hosts,
The God of Israel,
“Moab will in fact become like Sodom
And the sons of Ammon like Gomorrah,
A land possessed by nettles and salt pits,
And a perpetual desolation.
The remnant of My people will plunder them
And what is left of My nation will inherit them [as their own].”
10This they shall have in return for their pride, because they have taunted and become arrogant against the people of the Lord of hosts. 11The Lord will be terrifying and awesome to them, for He will starve all the gods of the earth; and all the coastlands of the nations will bow down and worship Him, everyone from his own place.
12“You also, O Ethiopians, will be slain by My sword.”
13And the Lord will stretch out His hand against the north
And destroy Assyria,
And He will make Nineveh a desolation [a wasteland],
Parched as the desert.
14Flocks will lie down in her midst,
All the animals which range in herds;
Both the pelican and the short-eared owl
Will roost on the top of Nineveh’s pillars.
Birds will sing in the window,
Desolation will be on the threshold;
For He has uncovered the cedar paneling.
15This is the joyous city
Which dwells carelessly [feeling so secure],
Who says in her heart,
“I am, and there is no one besides me.”
What a desolation she has become,
A lair for [wild] animals!
Everyone who passes by her will hiss [in scorn]
And wave his hand in contempt.