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Isaiah 17

17
XVII
1THE ORACLE CONCERNING DAMASCUS.
Behold, Damascus is removed from being a city;
And it shall become a ruinous heap.
2The cities of Aroer are forsaken:
They shall be for flocks,
And they shall lie down, and none shall scare them away.
3The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim,
And the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria:
They shall be as the glory of the children of Israel,
Saith Jehovah of hosts.
4And in that day it shall come to pass,
That the glory of Jacob shall be diminished,
And the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean.
5And it shall be as when a reaper gathereth the standing corn,
And his arm reapeth the ears of corn;
Or as when one gleaneth the ears in the valley of Rephaim.
6A gleaning only shall be left in it, as in the shaking of an olive tree,
Two or three berries on the top of the uppermost bough;
Four or five on the fruitful branches thereof:
Saith Jehovah the God of Israel.
7In that day shall a man regard his Maker,
And toward the Holy One of Israel shall his eyes look:
8And he shall not regard the altars, the work of his hands;
And what his fingers have made he shall not respect;
Neither the idols, nor the images.
9In that day shall his strongly fenced cities become
Like the abandoned remains of a forest, and the topmost branches,
Which they left from before the children of Israel;
And there shall be utter desolation.
10Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation,
And hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength;
Therefore thou shaft plant pleasant plants,
And engraft them with foreign shoots.
11In the day shalt thou make thy plants to grow,
And in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish;
But the harvest, in the day of possession, flieth away;
And painful is the disaster.
12Ah! the noise of many people;
They make a noise like the noise of the seas:
And ah! the rushing of nations;
They make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters.
13 Ah! the rushing of nations; like the rushing of mighty waters do they rush:
But He shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far away;
And they shall be driven, like the chaff of the mountains before the wind,
And like the rolling dust before the whirlwind,
14At eveningtide, behold terror!
Before the morning he is no more!
This is the portion of those who spoil us;
And the lot of those who plunder us.

Isaiah 17

17
Damascus Will Be Punished
1 # Jr 49.23-27; Am 1.3-5; Zec 9.1. This is a message about Damascus:
Damascus is doomed!
It will end up in ruins.
2The villages around Aroer#17.2 Aroer: Either a city near Damascus with the same name as the Moabite city or the Moabite city itself, here used as an example of what will happen to Damascus.
will be deserted,
with only sheep living there
and no one to bother them.
3Israel#17.3 Israel: The Hebrew text has “Ephraim,” another name for the northern kingdom. will lose its fortresses.
The kingdom of Damascus
will be destroyed;
its survivors will suffer
the same fate as Israel.
The Lord All-Powerful
has promised this.
Sin and Suffering
4When that time comes,
the glorious nation of Israel
will be brought down;
its prosperous people
will be skin and bones.
5Israel will be like wheat fields
in Rephaim Valley
picked clean of grain.
6It will be like an olive tree
beaten with a stick,
leaving two or three olives
or maybe four or five
on the highest
or most fruitful branches.
The Lord God of Israel
has promised this.
7At that time the people will turn and trust their Creator, the holy God of Israel. 8They have built altars and places for burning incense to their goddess Asherah, and they have set up sacred poles#17.8 sacred poles: Or “trees,” used as symbols of Asherah, the goddess of fertility. for her. But they will stop worshiping at these places.
9Israel captured powerful cities and chased out the people who lived there. But these cities will lie in ruins, covered over with weeds and underbrush.#17.9 covered … underbrush: Hebrew; one ancient translation “like the cities of the Hivites and the Amorites.”
10Israel, you have forgotten
the God who saves you,
the one who is the mighty rock#17.10 mighty rock: The Hebrew text has “rock,” which is sometimes used in poetry to compare the Lord to a mountain where his people can run for protection from their enemies.
where you find protection.
You plant the finest flowers
to honor a foreign god.
11The plants may sprout
and blossom
that very same morning,
but it will do you no good,
because you will suffer
endless agony.
God Defends His People
12The nations are a noisy,
thunderous sea.
13But even if they roar
like a fearsome flood,
God will give the command
to turn them back.
They will be like dust,
or like a tumbleweed
blowing across the hills
in a windstorm.
14In the evening
their attack is fierce,
but by morning
they are destroyed.
This is what happens to those
who raid and rob us.