Prophecies Against Damascus and Israel
1Here is a prophecy against Damascus that the Lord gave me. He said,
“Damascus will not be a city anymore.
Instead, all its buildings will be knocked down.
2The cities of Aroer will be deserted.
They will be left to the flocks that lie down there.
No one will make them afraid.
3Ephraim’s people will no longer have cities with high walls around them.
Royal power will disappear from Damascus.
Those who are left alive in Aram
will be like the glory of the people of Israel,”
announces the Lord who rules over all.
4“In days to come, the glory of Jacob’s people will fade.
Their strength will get weaker and weaker.
5It will be as when workers cut and gather grain
in the Valley of Rephaim.
They gather up stalks in their arms.
Only a few heads of grain are left.
6In the same way, only a few people will be left alive.
It will be as when workers knock olives off the trees.
Only two or three olives are left on the highest branches.
Four or five at most are left on the limbs that produce fruit,”
announces the Lord, the God of Israel.
7In days to come, people will look to their Maker for help.
They will turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.
8They won’t trust in the altars
they made with their own hands.
They won’t pay any attention to the poles they used
to worship the female god named Asherah.
And they won’t depend on the incense altars
they made with their own fingers.
9At that time the strong cities in Israel will be deserted. They will be as they were when the Israelites drove the Canaanites away. They will be like places that are taken over by bushes and weeds. The whole land will become dry and empty.
10Israel, you have forgotten God, who saves you.
You have not remembered the Rock, who keeps you safe.
You might set out the finest plants.
You might plant vines from other lands.
11The plants might start to grow on the day you set them out.
The vines might begin to bud on the morning you plant them.
But even if they do, there won’t be any harvest.
Instead, there will be sickness and pain that won’t go away.
12How terrible it will be for the nations that attack us!
The noise of their armies is like the sound of the ocean.
How terrible it will be for the nations who fight against us!
They are as loud as huge waves crashing on the shore.
13They sound like the roar of rushing waters.
But when the Lord speaks out against them, they run far away.
The wind blows them away like straw on the hills.
A strong wind drives them along like tumbleweeds.
14In the evening, the nations terrify us.
But before morning comes, they are gone.
That’s what happens to those who steal our goods.
That’s what happens to those who take what belongs to us.