321Some day there will be a king who rules with integrity, and national leaders who govern with justice. 2Each of them will be like a shelter from the wind and a place to hide from storms. They will be like streams flowing in a desert, like the shadow of a giant rock in a barren land. 3Their eyes and ears will be open to the needs of the people. 4They will not be impatient any longer, but they will act with understanding and will say what they mean. 5No one will think that a fool is honourable or say that a scoundrel is honest. 6A fool speaks foolishly and thinks up evil things to do. What he does and what he says are an insult to the LORD, and he never feeds the hungry or gives thirsty people anything to drink. 7A stupid person is evil and does evil things; he plots to ruin the poor with lies and to prevent them getting their rights. 8But an honourable person acts honestly and stands firm for what is right.
9You women who live an easy life, free from worries, listen to what I am saying. 10You may be satisfied now, but this time next year you will be in despair because there will be no grapes for you to gather. 11You have been living an easy life, free from worries; but now, tremble with fear! Strip off your clothes and tie rags round your waist. 12Beat your breasts in grief because the fertile fields and the vineyards have been destroyed, 13and thorn bushes and briars are growing on my people's land. Weep for all the houses where people were happy and for the city that was full of life. 14Even the palace will be abandoned and the capital city totally deserted. Homes and the forts that guarded them will be in ruins for ever. Wild donkeys will roam there, and sheep will find pasture there.
15But once more God will send us his Spirit. The waste land will become fertile, and fields will produce rich crops. 16Everywhere in the land righteousness and justice will be done. 17Because everyone will do what is right, there will be peace and security for ever. 18God's people will be free from worries, and their homes peaceful and safe. 19(But hail will fall on the forests, and the city will be torn down.) 20How happy everyone will be with plenty of water for the crops and safe pasture everywhere for the donkeys and cattle.
331Our enemies are doomed! They have robbed and betrayed, although no one has robbed them or betrayed them. But their time to rob and betray will end, and they themselves will become victims of robbery and treachery.
2LORD, have mercy on us. We have put our hope in you. Protect us day by day and save us in times of trouble. 3When you fight for us, nations run away from the noise of battle. 4Their belongings are pounced upon and taken as loot.
5How great the LORD is! He rules over everything. He will fill Jerusalem with justice and integrity 6and give stability to the nation. He always protects his people and gives them wisdom and knowledge. Their greatest treasure is their reverence for the LORD.
7The brave are calling for help. The ambassadors who tried to bring about peace are crying bitterly. 8The highways are so dangerous that no one travels on them. Treaties are broken and agreements are violated. No one is respected any more. 9The land lies idle and deserted. The forests of Lebanon have withered, the fertile valley of Sharon is like a desert, and in Bashan and on Mount Carmel the leaves are falling from the trees.
10The LORD says to the nations, “Now I will act. I will show how powerful I am. 11You make worthless plans and everything you do is useless. My spirit is like a fire that will destroy you.33.11 One ancient translation My spirit… you; Hebrew You are destroying yourselves. 12You will crumble like rocks burnt to make lime, like thorns burnt to ashes. 13Let everyone near and far hear what I have done and acknowledge my power.”
14The sinful people of Zion are trembling with fright. They say, “God's judgement is like a fire that burns for ever. Can any of us survive a fire like that?” 15You can survive if you say and do what is right. Don't use your power to cheat the poor and don't accept bribes. Don't join with those who plan to commit murder or to do other evil things. 16Then you will be safe; you will be as secure as if you were in a strong fortress. You will have food to eat and water to drink.
17Once again you will see a king ruling in splendour over a land that stretches in all directions. 18Your old fears of foreign tax collectors and spies will be only a memory. 19You will no longer see any arrogant foreigners who speak a language that you can't understand. 20Look at Zion, the city where we celebrate our religious festivals. Look at Jerusalem! What a safe place it will be to live in! It will be like a tent that is never moved, whose pegs are never pulled up and whose ropes never break. 21The LORD will show us his glory. We will live beside broad rivers and streams, but hostile ships will not sail on them.33.21 Verse 21 in Hebrew is unclear. 22-23All the rigging on those ships is useless; the sails cannot be spread! We will seize all the wealth of enemy armies, and there will be so much that even the lame can have a share. The LORD himself will be our king; he will rule over us and protect us. 24No one who lives in our land will ever again complain of being ill, and all sins will be forgiven.
341Come, people of all nations! Gather round and listen. Let the whole earth and everyone living on it come here and listen. 2The LORD is angry with all the nations and all their armies. He has condemned them to destruction. 3Their corpses will not be buried, but will lie there rotting and stinking; and the mountains will be red with blood. 4
The sun, moon, and stars will crumble to dust. The sky will disappear like a scroll being rolled up, and the stars will fall like leaves dropping from a vine or a fig tree.
The LORD has prepared his sword in heaven, and now it will strike Edom, those people whom he has condemned to destruction. 6His sword will be covered with their blood and fat, like the blood and fat of lambs and goats that are sacrificed. The LORD will offer this sacrifice in the city of Bozrah; he will make this a great slaughter in the land of Edom. 7The people will fall like wild oxen and young bulls, and the earth will be red with blood and covered with fat. 8This is the time when the LORD will rescue Zion and take vengeance on her enemies.
9The rivers of Edom will turn into tar, and the soil will turn into sulphur. The whole country will burn like tar. 10
It will burn day and night, and smoke will rise from it for ever. The land will lie waste age after age, and no one will ever travel through it again. 11Owls and ravens will take over the land. The LORD will make it a barren waste again, as it was before the creation. 12There will be no king to rule the country, and the leaders will all be gone.34.12 Verse 12 in Hebrew begins with a word, the meaning of which is unclear. 13Thorns and thistles will grow up in all the palaces and walled towns, and jackals and owls will live in them. 14Wild animals will roam there, and demons will call to each other. The night monster34.14 night monster: A female demon, believed to live in desolate places. will come there looking for a place to rest. 15Owls will build their nests, lay eggs, hatch their young, and care for them there. Vultures will gather there, one after another.
16Search in the LORD's book of living creatures and read what it says. Not one of these creatures will be missing, and not one will be without its mate. The LORD has commanded it to be so; he himself will bring them together. 17It is the LORD who will divide the land among them and give each of them a share. They will live in the land age after age, and it will belong to them for ever.