Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city
and will become a heap of ruins.
2 The cities of uAroer are deserted;
they will be for flocks,
which will lie down, and vnone will make them afraid.
3 The fortress will disappear from wEphraim,
and the kingdom from wDamascus;
and the remnant of Syria will be
like xthe glory of the children of Israel,
declares the Lord of hosts.
4 And in that day xthe glory of Jacob will be brought low,
and ythe fat of his flesh will grow lean.
5 And it shall be zas when the reaper gathers standing grain
and his arm harvests the ears,
and as when one gleans the ears of grain
in athe Valley of Rephaim.
6 bGleanings will be left in it,
as when an olive tree is beaten—
two or three berries
in the top of the highest bough,
four or five
on the branches of a fruit tree,
declares the Lord God of Israel.
7 cIn that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. 8 dHe will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made, either the eAsherim or the altars of incense.
9 fIn that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the wooded heights and the hilltops, which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation.
10 For gyou have forgotten the God of your salvation
and have not remembered the hRock of your refuge;
therefore, though you plant pleasant plants
and sow the vine-branch of a stranger,
11 though you make them grow1 on the day that you plant them,
and make them blossom in the morning that you sow,
yet the harvest will flee away2
in a day of grief and incurable pain.
12 Ah, ithe thunder of many peoples;
they thunder like the thundering of the sea!
Ah, the roar of nations;
they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!
13 jThe nations roar like the roaring of many waters,
kbut he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away,
chased llike chaff on the mountains before the wind
and mwhirling dust before the storm.
14 nAt evening time, behold, terror!
Before morning, they are no more!
This is the portion of those who loot us,
and the lot of those who plunder us.
18 Ah, land of owhirring wings
2 which qsends ambassadors by the sea,
in vessels of papyrus on the waters!
Go, you swift messengers,
to a nation rtall and smooth,
to a people feared near and far,
a nation smighty and conquering,
whose land the rivers divide.
you who dwell on the earth,
when ta signal is raised on the mountains, look!
When a trumpet is blown, hear!
“I will quietly look ufrom my dwelling
like clear heat in sunshine,
like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
5 vFor before the harvest, when the blossom is over,
and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
he cuts off the shoots with pruning hooks,
and the spreading branches he lops off and clears away.
6 vThey shall all of them be left
to the birds of prey of the mountains
and to the beasts of the earth.
And the birds of prey will summer on them,
and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them.
7 wAt that time tribute will be brought to the Lord of hosts
from a people xtall and smooth,
from a people feared near and far,
a nation mighty and conquering,
whose land the rivers divide,
Or though you carefully fence them
Or will be a heap