1. An oracle concerning Damascus: "Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins.

2. Her towns will be abandoned and left as pasture for flocks; there they will lie down afraid of no one. Damascus will no longer be a kingdom,

3. so Ephraim will be left undefended. From now on the remnant of Aram will have no more power than the children of Israel." This is Yahweh Sabaoth speaking.

4. On that day the glory of Jacob will fade; the fat of his flesh will waste away.

5. It will be as when a reaper gathers the standing grain and lops off the stalks, or as when they gather the gleanings in the Valley of Rephaim.

6. Yet some gleanings remain, as when an olive tree is beaten - two or three olives are left on the topmost bough, four or five on the fruitful branches, says Yahweh, the God of Israel.

7. On that day people will look to their Creator, their eyes turned to the Holy One of Israel.

8. They will no longer look to the altars, to the work of their hand, the sacred pole or the incense stand which their fingers have made.

9. On that day your cities will be like the cities of the Hivites and the Amorites which they abandoned to the Israelites. All will be desolation.

10. For you have forgotten the God of your salvation, you have failed to remember the Rock of your refuge. You may plant the finest plants, you may plant out imported shoots,

11. you may make them grow on the day you plant them, you may make them blossom on the day you sow, yet they dwindle and the harvest is gone: then you may cry!

12. Oh, the rage of many peoples - they rage like the raging sea! Oh, the thunder of many nations - they thunder like the thundering of mighty waves!

13. But God rebukes them, and they flee far away, swept away like chaff on the hills before the wind, whirled away like eddying dust before the thunderstorm.

14. At eventide they sow terror; before morning they are no more. Such is the portion of our despoilers, such is the lot of our plunderers.



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