New English Translation
Ariel is Besieged
1 Ariel is as good as dead - Ariel, the town David besieged! Keep observing your annual rituals, celebrate your festivals on schedule.
2 I will threaten Ariel, and she will mourn intensely and become like an altar hearth before me.
3 I will lay siege to you on all sides; I will besiege you with troops; I will raise siege works against you.
4 You will fall; while lying on the ground you will speak; from the dust where you lie, your words will be heard. Your voice will sound like a spirit speaking from the underworld; from the dust you will chirp as if muttering an incantation.
5 But the horde of invaders will be like fine dust, the horde of tyrants like chaff that is blown away. It will happen suddenly, in a flash.
6 Judgment will come from the LORD who commands armies, accompanied by thunder, earthquake, and a loud noise, by a strong gale, a windstorm, and a consuming flame of fire.
7 It will be like a dream, a night vision. There will be a horde from all the nations that fight against Ariel, those who attack her and her stronghold and besiege her.
8 It will be like a hungry man dreaming that he is eating, only to awaken and find that his stomach is empty. It will be like a thirsty man dreaming that he is drinking, only to awaken and find that he is still weak and his thirst unquenched. So it will be for the horde from all the nations that fight against Mount Zion.
God's People are Spiritually Insensitive
9 You will be shocked and amazed! You are totally blind! They are drunk, but not because of wine; they stagger, but not because of beer.
10 For the LORD has poured out on you a strong urge to sleep deeply. He has shut your eyes (the prophets), and covered your heads (the seers).
11 To you this entire prophetic revelation is like words in a sealed scroll. When they hand it to one who can read and say, "Read this," he responds, "I can't, because it is sealed." 12 Or when they hand the scroll to one who can't read and say, "Read this," he says, "I can't read."
13 The sovereign master says, "These people say they are loyal to me; they say wonderful things about me, but they are not really loyal to me. Their worship consists of nothing but man-made ritual.
14 Therefore I will again do an amazing thing for these people - an absolutely extraordinary deed. Wise men will have nothing to say, the sages will have no explanations."
15 Those who try to hide their plans from the LORD are as good as dead, who do their work in secret and boast, "Who sees us? Who knows what we're doing?"
16 Your thinking is perverse! Should the potter be regarded as clay? Should the thing made say about its maker, "He didn't make me"? Or should the pottery say about the potter, "He doesn't understand"?
Changes are Coming
17 In just a very short time Lebanon will turn into an orchard, and the orchard will be considered a forest.
18 At that time the deaf will be able to hear words read from a scroll, and the eyes of the blind will be able to see through deep darkness.
19 The downtrodden will again rejoice in the LORD; the poor among humankind will take delight in the Holy One of Israel.
20 For tyrants will disappear, those who taunt will vanish, and all those who love to do wrong will be eliminated -
21 those who bear false testimony against a person, who entrap the one who arbitrates at the city gate and deprive the innocent of justice by making false charges.
22 So this is what the LORD, the one who delivered Abraham, says to the family of Jacob: "Jacob will no longer be ashamed; their faces will no longer show their embarrassment.
23 For when they see their children, whom I will produce among them, they will honor my name. They will honor the Holy One of Jacob; they will respect the God of Israel.
24 Those who stray morally will gain understanding; those who complain will acquire insight.
King James Version
1 Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices.
2 Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel.
3 And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.
4 And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.
5 Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly.
6 Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.
7 ¶ And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.
8 It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.
9 ¶ Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.
10 For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.
11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:
12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.
13 ¶ Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
15 Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?
16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?
17 Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?
18 ¶ And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.
19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
20 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:
21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.
22 Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale.
23 But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.
24 They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.