New English Translation
The LORD Will Judge Damascus
1 Here is a message about Damascus: "Look, Damascus is no longer a city, it is a heap of ruins!
2 The cities of Aroer are abandoned. They will be used for herds, which will lie down there in peace.
3 Fortified cities will disappear from Ephraim, and Damascus will lose its kingdom. The survivors in Syria will end up like the splendor of the Israelites," says the LORD who commands armies.
4 "At that time Jacob's splendor will be greatly diminished, and he will become skin and bones.
5 It will be as when one gathers the grain harvest, and his hand gleans the ear of grain. It will be like one gathering the ears of grain in the Valley of Rephaim.
6 There will be some left behind, like when an olive tree is beaten - two or three ripe olives remain toward the very top, four or five on its fruitful branches," says the LORD God of Israel.
7 At that time men will trust in their creator; they will depend on the Holy One of Israel.
8 They will no longer trust in the altars their hands made, or depend on the Asherah poles and incense altars their fingers made.
9 At that time their fortified cities will be like the abandoned summits of the Amorites, which they abandoned because of the Israelites; there will be desolation.
10 For you ignore the God who rescues you; you pay no attention to your strong protector. So this is what happens: You cultivate beautiful plants and plant exotic vines.
11 The day you begin cultivating, you do what you can to make it grow; the morning you begin planting, you do what you can to make it sprout. Yet the harvest will disappear in the day of disease and incurable pain.
12 The many nations massing together are as good as dead, those who make a commotion as loud as the roaring of the sea's waves. The people making such an uproar are as good as dead, those who make an uproar as loud as the roaring of powerful waves.
13 Though these people make an uproar as loud as the roaring of powerful waves, when he shouts at them, they will flee to a distant land, driven before the wind like dead weeds on the hills, or like dead thistles before a strong gale.
14 In the evening there is sudden terror; by morning they vanish. This is the fate of those who try to plunder us, the destiny of those who try to loot us!
King James Version
1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
3 The 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 the LORD of hosts.
4 And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean.
5 And it shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm; and it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim.
6 ¶ Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the LORD God of Israel.
7 At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.
8 And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.
9 ¶ In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.
10 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips:
11 In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.
12 ¶ Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
14 And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.