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The Siege of Jerusalem

1Ah, Ariel, Ariel,

the city where David encamped!

Add year to year;

let the festivals run their round.

2Yet I will distress Ariel,

and there shall be moaning and lamentation,

and Jerusalem shall be to me like an Ariel.

3And like David I will encamp against you;

I will besiege you with towers

and raise siegeworks against you.

4Then deep from the earth you shall speak,

from low in the dust your words shall come;

your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost,

and your speech shall whisper out of the dust.

5But the multitude of your foes shall be like small dust,

and the multitude of tyrants like flying chaff.

And in an instant, suddenly,

6you will be visited by the Lord of hosts

with thunder and earthquake and great noise,

with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.

7And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel,

all that fight against her and her stronghold, and who distress her,

shall be like a dream, a vision of the night.

8Just as when a hungry person dreams of eating

and wakes up still hungry,

or a thirsty person dreams of drinking

and wakes up faint, still thirsty,

so shall the multitude of all the nations be

that fight against Mount Zion.

9Stupefy yourselves and be in a stupor,

blind yourselves and be blind!

Be drunk, but not from wine;

stagger, but not from strong drink!

10For the Lord has poured out upon you

a spirit of deep sleep;

he has closed your eyes, you prophets,

and covered your heads, you seers.

11The vision of all this has become for you like the words of a sealed document. If it is given to those who can read, with the command, “Read this,” they say, “We cannot, for it is sealed.” 12And if it is given to those who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” they say, “We cannot read.”

13The Lord said:

Because these people draw near with their mouths

and honor me with their lips,

while their hearts are far from me,

and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote;

14so I will again do

amazing things with this people,

shocking and amazing.

The wisdom of their wise shall perish,

and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden.

15Ha! You who hide a plan too deep for the Lord,

whose deeds are in the dark,

and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”

16You turn things upside down!

Shall the potter be regarded as the clay?

Shall the thing made say of its maker,

“He did not make me”;

or the thing formed say of the one who formed it,

“He has no understanding”?

Hope for the Future

17Shall not Lebanon in a very little while

become a fruitful field,

and the fruitful field be regarded as a forest?

18On that day the deaf shall hear

the words of a scroll,

and out of their gloom and darkness

the eyes of the blind shall see.

19The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord,

and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.

20For the tyrant shall be no more,

and the scoffer shall cease to be;

all those alert to do evil shall be cut off—

21those who cause a person to lose a lawsuit,

who set a trap for the arbiter in the gate,

and without grounds deny justice to the one in the right.

22Therefore thus says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:

No longer shall Jacob be ashamed,

no longer shall his face grow pale.

23For when he sees his children,

the work of my hands, in his midst,

they will sanctify my name;

they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob,

and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.

24And those who err in spirit will come to understanding,

and those who grumble will accept instruction.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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