New English Translation
Justice and Wisdom Will Prevail
1 Look, a king will promote fairness; officials will promote justice.
2 Each of them will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from a rainstorm; like streams of water in a dry region and like the shade of a large cliff in a parched land.
3 Eyes will no longer be blind and ears will be attentive.
4 The mind that acts rashly will possess discernment and the tongue that stutters will speak with ease and clarity.
5 A fool will no longer be called honorable; a deceiver will no longer be called principled.
6 For a fool speaks disgraceful things; his mind plans out sinful deeds. He commits godless deeds and says misleading things about the LORD; he gives the hungry nothing to satisfy their appetite and gives the thirsty nothing to drink.
7 A deceiver's methods are evil; he dreams up evil plans to ruin the poor with lies, even when the needy are in the right.
8 An honorable man makes honorable plans; his honorable character gives him security.
The LORD Will Give True Security
9 You complacent women, get up and listen to me! You carefree daughters, pay attention to what I say!
10 In a year's time you carefree ones will shake with fear, for the grape harvest will fail, and the fruit harvest will not arrive.
11 Tremble, you complacent ones! Shake with fear, you carefree ones! Strip off your clothes and expose yourselves - put sackcloth on your waist!
12 Mourn over the field, over the delightful fields and the fruitful vine!
13 Mourn over the land of my people, which is overgrown with thorns and briers, and over all the once-happy houses in the city filled with revelry.
14 For the fortress is neglected; the once-crowded city is abandoned. Hill and watchtower are permanently uninhabited. Wild donkeys love to go there, and flocks graze there.
15 This desolation will continue until new life is poured out on us from heaven. Then the desert will become an orchard and the orchard will be considered a forest.
16 Justice will settle down in the desert and fairness will live in the orchard.
17 Fairness will produce peace and result in lasting security.
18 My people will live in peaceful settlements, in secure homes, and in safe, quiet places.
19 Even if the forest is destroyed and the city is annihilated,
20 you will be blessed, you who plant seed by all the banks of the streams, you who let your ox and donkey graze.
King James Version
1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.
2 And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
3 And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken.
4 The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly.
5 The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful.
6 For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.
7 The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.
8 But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.
9 ¶ Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech.
10 Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come.
11 Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins.
12 They shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine.
13 Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city:
14 Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks;
15 Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.
16 Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.
17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;
19 When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place.
20 Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.