A summary of the revolutionary message of the Jewish Prophets
The purpose of this summation is to refute the claim that religion is somehow based upon Jewish prophets. I am also concerned about the bad influence of that Ramon Watkins, who claims to be 'a prophet of Yahweh', but is actually a preacher of some weird sounding superstitions.
Introductory notesThroughtout history our religions have claimed that they are the fulfillment of the message of Jewish prophets. I thought it would be interesting to summarize the message of these ancient writers for the purposes of comparison.
The following could serve as a useful summation of the message of these ancient Jewish writers. The Jewish prophets were the revolutionaries of their day, and the closest modern parallel might be the Marxists. They were violent revolutionaries who spoke of the downfall of the ruling powers and of the rich and the powerful. This would be achieved, they predicted, at some point in the future when a very powerful revolutionary army would be called by YAHWEH and would then march accross the earth bringing revolutionary justice to the planet by destroying all the armies of the world and bringing about the downfall of all the kings and the powerful people of the earth. The poorest people in the world would then rise up and plunder the spoils after their oppressors had been crushed.
The point to be made here is that for some strange reason our religions claim to be 'fulfilling prophecy' but it is impossible to note any similarities between the messages of religion we are all so familiar with and the violent revolutioanry preaching of Jewish prophets. What this suggests is that religion is 'counter-revolutionary' and this would then explain why religion insists on expropriating and then distorting the message of Jewish prophets, rather than just ignoring Jewish prophets, for by distorting the message of Jewish prophets it was possible for religion to destroy the message of Jewish prophets and replace revolutionary preaching with the hollowness of religious doctrine. In this way religion would neutralize the potential threat posed by having copies of ancient Marxist type writings in houses and hotel rooms all over the world, and in this way religion could nullify the prophets while at the same time protecting the prevailing status quo. If you can't beat them, join them, and sometimes the worst enemies of a revolutionary movement are found within the movement itself, its so called friends. Religion has very little in common with the Revolutionary movement of the Jewish prophets, and so we could compare this strange phenomena with the idea that someday a superstition could develop around the writings of Karl Marx, which would be similar to the superstitious religion that has attached itself like a parasite to the cause of the Jewish prophets.
The Message of the Jewish ProphetsCan the prey be taken from the mighty, or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?
But thus says YAHWEH: Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued; for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children.
Bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.
Now, I will make of you a threshing sledge, sharp, new, and having teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and crush them, and you shall make the hills like chaff.
You shall winnow them and the wind shall carry them away, and the tempest shall scatter them. Then you shall rejoice in YAHWEH; in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.
He will raise a signal for a nation far away, and whistle for a people at the ends of the earth; Here they come, swiftly, speedily!
None of them is weary, none stumbles, none slumbers or sleeps, not a loincloth is loose, not a sandal-thong broken;
their arrows are sharp, all their bows bent, their horses' hoofs seem like flint, and their wheels like the whirlwind.
Their roaring is like a lion, like young lions they roar; they growl and seize their prey, they carry it off, and no one can rescue.
They will roar over it on that day, like the roaring of the sea. And if one look to the land? only darkness and distress; and the light grows dark with clouds.
For wickedness burned like a fire, consuming briers and thorns; it kindled the thickets of the forest, and they swirled upward in a column of smoke.
Through the wrath of YAHWEH of hosts the land was burned, and the people became like fuel for the fire.
Listen, a tumult on the mountains as of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar of kingdoms, of nations gathering together! YAHWEH of hosts is mustering an army for battle.
They come from a distant land, from the end of the heavens, YAHWEH and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole earth.
Wail, for the day of YAHWEH is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty!
Therefore all hands will be feeble, and every human heart will melt,
and they will be dismayed. Pangs and agony will seize them; they will be in anguish like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at one another; their faces will be aflame.
See, the day of YAHWEH comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the earth a desolation, and to destroy its sinners from it.
For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.
Woe to you who make iniquitous decrees, who write oppressive statutes,
to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be your spoil, and that you may make the orphans your prey!
What will you do on the day of punishment, in the calamity that will come from far away? To whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth,
so as not to crouch among the prisoners or fall among the slain? For all this his anger has not turned away; his hand is stretched out still.
YAHWEH has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers,
that struck down the peoples in wrath with unceasing blows, that ruled the nations in anger with unrelenting persecution.
The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing.
The cypresses exult over you, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, "Since you were laid low, no one comes to cut us down."
Your pomp is brought down to the grave, and the sound of your harps; maggots are the bed beneath you, and worms are your covering.
How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!
You have destroyed your land, you have killed your people. May the descendants of evildoers nevermore be named!
Prepare the slaughter! I will sweep it with the broom of destruction, says YAHWEH of hosts.
YAHWEH of hosts has sworn: As I have designed, so shall it be; and as I have planned, so shall it come to pass:
On my mountains trample him under foot; his yoke shall be removed from them, and his burden from their shoulders.
This is the plan that is planned concerning the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.
For YAHWEH of hosts has planned, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?
Though you plant pleasant plants and set out slips of an alien god,
though you make them grow on the day that you plant them, and make them blossom in the morning that you sow; yet the harvest will flee away in a day of grief and incurable pain.
Ah, the thunder of many peoples, they thunder like the thundering of the sea! Ah, the roar of nations, they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!
The nations roar like the roaring of many waters, but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away, chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind and whirling dust before the storm.
At evening time, lo, terror! Before morning, they are no more. This is the fate of those who despoil us, and the lot of those who plunder us.
The earth is utterly broken, the earth is rent asunder, the earth is violently shaken.
The earth staggers like a drunken man, it sways like a hut; its transgression lies heavy upon it, and it falls, and will not rise again.
On that day YAHWEH will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth.
They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit; they will be shut up in a prison, and after many days they will be punished.
Then the moon will be confounded, and the sun ashamed; for YAHWEH of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before his elders he will manifest his glory.
Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust from the terror of YAHWEH, and from the glory of his majesty.
The haughty eyes of people shall be brought low, and the pride of everyone shall be humbled; and YAHWEH alone will be exalted in that day.
For YAHWEH of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up and high;
against all the cedars of Lebanon, lofty and lifted up; and against all the oaks of Bashan;
against all the high mountains, and against all the lofty hills;
against every high tower, and against every fortified wall;
against all the ships of Tarshish, and against all the beautiful craft.
The haughtiness of people shall be humbled, and the pride of everyone shall be brought low; and YAHWEH alone will be exalted on that day. The idols shall utterly pass away.
Enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground, from the terror of YAHWEH, and from the glory of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth.
On that day people will throw away to the moles and to the bats their idols of silver and their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship,
to enter the caverns of the rocks and the clefts in the crags, from the terror of YAHWEH, and from the glory of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth.
Desolation is left in the city, the gates are battered into ruins.
For thus it shall be on the earth and among the nations, as when an olive tree is beaten, as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is ended. They lift up their voices, they sing for joy; they shout from the west over the majesty of YAHWEH.
Therefore in the east give glory to YAHWEH; in the coastlands of the sea glorify the name of YAHWEH, the God of Israel.
Tell the innocent how fortunate they are, for they shall eat the fruit of their labors.
Woe to the guilty! How unfortunate they are, for what their hands have done shall be done to them.
With righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins.
The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.
If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of YAHWEH has spoken.
For you shall be like an oak whose leaf withers, and like a garden without water.
The strong shall become like tinder, and their work like a spark; they and their work shall burn together, with no one to quench them.
YAHWEH enters into judgment with the elders and princes of his people: It is you who have devoured the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor? says YAHWEH GOD of hosts.
Your silver has become dross, your wine is mixed with water.
Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts. They do not defend the orphan, and the widow's cause does not come before them.
Therefore says the Sovereign, YAHWEH of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel: Ah, I will pour out my wrath on my enemies, and avenge myself on my foes!
I will turn my hand against you; I will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy.
Woe to you who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is room for no one but you, and you are left to live alone in the midst of the land!
YAHWEH of hosts has sworn in my hearing: Surely many houses shall be desolate, large and beautiful mansions, without inhabitant.
Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil upon their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand.
They covet fields, and seize them; and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.
Therefore thus says YAHWEH: Behold, against this family I am devising evil, from which you cannot remove your necks; and you shall not walk haughtily, for it will be an evil time.
In that day they shall take up a taunt song against you, and wail with bitter lamentation, and say, "We are utterly ruined; he changes the portion of my people; how he removes it from me! Among our captors he divides our fields."
Therefore you will have none to cast the line by lot in the assembly of YAHWEH (you will not be left with even one square acre).
"Do not preach" ?thus they preach?"one should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us."
Should this be said, O house of Jacob? Is the Spirit of YAHWEH impatient? Are these his doings? Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly?
But you rise against my people as an enemy; you strip the robe from the peaceful, from those who pass by trustingly with no thought of war.
The women of my people you drive out from their pleasant houses; from their young children you take away my glory for ever.
Arise and go, for this is no place to rest; because of uncleanness that destroys with a grievous destruction.
If a man should go about and utter wind and lies, saying, "I will preach to you of wine and strong drink," he would be the preacher for this people!
Therefore the grave has enlarged its appetite and opened its mouth beyond measure; the aristocrats and her multitude go down, her throng and all who exult in her.
People are bowed down, everyone is brought low, and the eyes of the haughty are humbled.
But YAHWEH of hosts is exalted by justice, and the Holy God shows himself holy by righteousness.
Then the lambs shall graze as in their pasture, fatlings and kids shall feed among the ruins.
Woe to you you who drag iniquity along with cords of falsehood, who drag sin along as with cart ropes,
who say, "Let him make haste, let him speed his work that we may see it; let the plan of the Holy One of Israel hasten to fulfillment, that we may know it!"
Woe to you you who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Woe to you you who are wise in your own eyes, and shrewd in your own sight!
Woe to you you who are heroes in drinking wine and valiant at mixing drink,
who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of their rights!
Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and as dry grass sinks down in the flame, so their root will become rotten, and their blossom go up like dust; for they have rejected the instruction of the YAHWEH of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
O YAHWEH, you are my God; I will exalt you, I will praise your name; for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
For you have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the palace of aliens is a city no more, it will never be rebuilt.
Therefore strong peoples will glorify you; cities of ruthless nations will fear you.
For you have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat. When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm,
the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place, you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds; the song of the ruthless was stilled.
On that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; he sets up victory like walls and bulwarks.
Open the gates, so that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.
Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace? in peace because they trust in you.
Trust in YAHWEH forever, for in YAHWEH GOD you have an everlasting rock.
For he has brought low the inhabitants of the height; the lofty city he lays low. He lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust.
The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.
The way of the righteous is level; O Just One, you make smooth the path of the righteous.
In the path of your judgments, O YAHWEH, we wait for you; your name and your renown are the soul's desire.
My soul yearns for you in the night, my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
If favor is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness they deal perversely and do not see the majesty of YAHWEH.
O YAHWEH, your hand is lifted up, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed. Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.
Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the wrath is past.
For YAHWEH comes out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no longer cover its slain.
On that day YAHWEH with his cruel and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea.
On that day: A pleasant vineyard, sing about it!
I, YAHWEH, am its keeper; every moment I water it. I guard it night and day so that no one can harm it;
I have no wrath. If it gives me thorns and briers, I will march to battle against it. I will burn it up.
Woe to the proud garland of the drunkards of Ephraim, and the fading flower of its glorious beauty, which is on the head of those bloated with rich food, of those overcome with wine!
See, YAHWEH has one who is mighty and strong; like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest, like a storm of mighty, overflowing waters; with his hand he will hurl them down to the earth.
Trampled under foot will be the proud garland of the drunkards of Ephraim.
And the fading flower of its glorious beauty, which is on the head of those bloated with rich food, will be like a first-ripe fig before the summer; whoever sees it, eats it up as soon as it comes to hand.
In that day YAHWEH of hosts will be a garland of glory, and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people;
and a spirit of justice to the one who sits in judgment, and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
For YAHWEH will rise up as on Mount Perazim, he will rage as in the valley of Gibeon; to do his deed?strange is his deed! and to work his work?alien is his work!
Now therefore do not scoff, or your bonds will be made stronger; for I have heard a decree of destruction from YAHWEH GOD of hosts upon the whole land.
On every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water?on a day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.
Moreover the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days, on the day when YAHWEH binds up the injuries of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.
See, the name of YAHWEH comes from far away, burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke; his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue is like a devouring fire;
his breath is like an overflowing stream that reaches up to the neck? to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction, and to place on the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads them astray.
You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of YAHWEH, to the Rock of Israel.
And YAHWEH will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and tempest and hailstones.
Then the eyes of those who have sight will not be closed, and the ears of those who have hearing will listen.
The minds of the rash will have good judgment, and the tongues of stammerers will speak readily and distinctly.
A fool will no longer be called noble, nor a villain said to be honorable.
For fools speak folly, and their minds plot iniquity: to practice ungodliness, to utter error concerning YAHWEH, to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied, and to deprive the thirsty of drink.
The villainies of villains are evil; they devise wicked devices to ruin the poor with lying words, even when the plea of the needy is right.
But those who are noble plan noble things, and by noble things they stand.
Woe to you, you destroyer, who yourself have not been destroyed; you treacherous one, with whom no one has dealt treacherously! When you have ceased to destroy, you will be destroyed; and when you have stopped dealing treacherously, you will be dealt with treacherously.
O YAHWEH, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble.
At the sound of tumult, peoples fled; before your majesty, nations scattered.
Spoil was gathered as the caterpillar gathers; as locusts leap, they leaped upon it.
YAHWEH is exalted, he dwells on high; he filled Zion with justice and righteousness.
"Now I will arise," says YAHWEH, "now I will lift myself up; now I will be exalted.
You conceive chaff, you bring forth stubble; your breath is a fire that will consume you.
And the peoples will be as if burned to lime, like thorns cut down, that are burned in the fire."
Those who walk righteously and speak uprightly, who despise the gain of oppression, who wave away a bribe instead of accepting it, who stop their ears from hearing of bloodshed and shut their eyes from looking on evil,
they will live on the heights; their refuge will be the fortresses of rocks; their food will be supplied, their water assured.
Your mind will muse on the terror: "Where is the one who counted? Where is the one who weighed the tribute? Where is the one who counted the towers?"
No longer will you see the insolent people, the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend, stammering in a language that you cannot understand.
For YAHWEH is enraged against all the nations, and furious against all their armies; he has doomed them, has given them over for slaughter.
Their slain shall be cast out, and the stench of their corpses shall rise; the mountains shall flow with their blood.
All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall wither like a leaf withering on a vine, or fruit withering on a fig tree.
Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands at a distance; for truth stumbles in the public square, and uprightness cannot enter.
Truth is lacking, and whoever turns from evil is despoiled. YAHWEH saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.
He saw that there was no one, and was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm brought him victory, and his righteousness upheld him.
He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in fury as in a mantle.
According to their deeds, so will he repay; wrath to his adversaries, requital to his enemies; to the coastlands he will render requital.
So those in the west shall fear the name of YAHWEH, and those in the east, his glory; for he will come like a pent-up stream that the wind of YAHWEH drives on.
Who is this so splendidly robed, marching in his great might?" "It is I, announcing vindication, mighty to save."
"Why are your robes red, and your garments like theirs who tread the wine press?"
"I have trodden the wine press alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their juice spattered on my garments, and stained all my robes.
For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year for my redeeming work had come.
I looked, but there was no helper; I stared, but there was no one to sustain me; so my own arm brought me victory, and my wrath sustained me.
I trampled down peoples in my anger, I crushed them in my wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth."
I will recount the gracious deeds of YAHWEH, the praiseworthy acts of YAHWEH, because of all that YAHWEH has done for us.
See the great tumults within her, and the oppressions in her midst."
"They do not know how to do right," says YAHWEH, "those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds."
Therefore thus says YAHWEH GOD: "An adversary shall surround the land, and bring down your defenses from you, and your strongholds shall be plundered."
I will punish the altars of Bethel, and the horns of the altar shall be cut off and fall to the ground.
I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall come to an end," says YAHWEH.
"Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are in the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to their husbands, 'Bring, that we may drink!'
YAHWEH GOD has sworn by his holiness that, behold, the days are coming upon you, when they shall take you away with hooks, even the last of you with fishhooks.
And you shall go out through the breaches, every one straight before her; and you shall be cast forth into Harmon," says YAHWEH.
YAHWEH makes destruction flash forth against the strong, so that destruction comes upon the fortress.
They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks the truth.
Therefore because you trample upon the poor and take from him exactions of wheat, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not dwell in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine.
For I know how many are your transgressions, and how great are your sins?you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate.
Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time; for it is an evil time.
Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so YAHWEH, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said.
Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that YAHWEH, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant.
O you who put far away the evil day, and bring near the seat of violence?
"Woe to those who lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat lambs from the flock, and calves from the midst of the stall;
who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp, and like David invent for themselves instruments of music;
who drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!
Therefore they shall now be the first of those to go into exile, and the revelry of those who stretch themselves shall pass away."
Hear this, you who trample upon the needy, and bring the poor of the land to an end,
saying, "When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great, and deal deceitfully with false balances,
that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and sell the refuse of the wheat?"
YAHWEH has sworn by the pride of Jacob: "Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.
Shall not the land tremble on this account, and every one mourn who dwells in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?"
For the day of YAHWEH is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you, your deeds shall return on your own head.
For as you have drunk upon my holy mountain, all the nations round about shall drink; they shall drink, and stagger, and shall be as though they had not been.
And I said: Hear, you heads of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel! Is it not for you to know justice??
you who hate the good and love the evil, who tear the skin from off my people, and their flesh from off their bones;
who eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them, and break their bones in pieces, and chop them up like meat in a kettle, like flesh in a caldron.
Then they will cry to YAHWEH, but he will not answer them; he will hide his face from them at that time, because they have made their deeds evil.
Be silent before YAHWEH GOD! For the day of YAHWEH is at hand; YAHWEH has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests.
And on the day of YAHWEH's sacrifice? "I will punish the officials and the king's sons and all who array themselves in foreign attire.
On that day I will punish every one who leaps over the threshold, and those who fill their master's house with violence and fraud."
"On that day," says YAHWEH, "a cry will be heard from the Fish Gate, a wail from the Second Quarter, a loud crash from the hills.
Wail, O inhabitants of the Mortar! For all the traders are no more; all who weigh out silver are cut off.
At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are thickening upon their lees, those who say in their hearts, 'YAHWEH will not do good, nor will he do ill.'
Their goods shall be plundered, and their houses laid waste. Though they build houses, they shall not inhabit them; though they plant vineyards, they shall not drink wine from them."
The great day of YAHWEH is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of YAHWEH is bitter, the mighty man cries aloud there.
A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements.
I will bring distress on men, so that they shall walk like the blind, because they have sinned against YAHWEH; their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung.
Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the wrath of YAHWEH. In the fire of his jealous wrath, all the earth shall be consumed.
YAHWEH will be terrible against them; yea, he will famish all the gods of the earth, and to him shall bow down, each in its place, all the lands of the nations.
Woe to her that is rebellious and defiled, the oppressing city!
She listens to no voice, she accepts no correction. She does not trust in YAHWEH, she does not draw near to her God.
Her officials within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves that leave nothing till the morning.
Her prophets are wanton, faithless men; her priests profane what is sacred, they do violence to the law.
YAHWEH within her is righteous, he does no wrong; every morning he shows forth his justice, each dawn he does not fail; but the unjust knows no shame.
"I have cut off nations; their battlements are in ruins; I have laid waste their streets so that none walks in them; their cities have been made desolate, without a man, without an inhabitant.
Then I will remove from your midst your proudly exultant ones, and you shall no longer be haughty in my holy mountain.
For I will leave in the midst of you a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of YAHWEH,
those who are left they shall do no wrong and utter no lies, nor shall there be found in their mouth a deceitful tongue. For they shall pasture and lie down, and none shall make them afraid."
Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.
For I YAHWEH love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing
See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them.
Sing to YAHWEH a new song, his praise from the end of the earth! Let the sea roar and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants.
Let the desert and its towns lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the tops of the mountains.
Let them give glory to YAHWEH, and declare his praise in the coastlands.
YAHWEH goes forth like a soldier, like a warrior he stirs up his fury; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes.
See, YAHWEH GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.
It is YAHWEH who brings princes to naught, and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.
Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows upon them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for YAHWEH shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
It will be done to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages;
saying to the prisoners, "Come out," to those who are in darkness, "Show yourselves." They shall feed along the ways, on all the bare heights shall be their pasture;
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness? on them light has shined.
You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder.
For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.
When the oppressor is no more, and destruction has ceased, and marauders have vanished from the land,
then a throne shall be established in steadfast love in the tent of David, and on it shall sit in faithfulness a ruler who seeks justice and is swift to do what is right.
The spirit of YAHWEH GOD is upon me, because YAHWEH has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of YAHWEH's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
to provide for those who mourn in Zion? to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of YAHWEH, to display his glory.
They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.
I will greatly rejoice in YAHWEH, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so YAHWEH GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.
Thus says YAHWEH: In a time of favor I have answered you, on a day of salvation I have helped you; I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, You have forgotten YAHWEH, your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth. You fear continually all day long because of the fury of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction. But where is the fury of the oppressor?
The oppressed shall speedily be released; they shall not die and go down to the Pit, nor shall they lack bread.
For I am YAHWEH your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar? YAHWEH of hosts is his name.
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus
it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of YAHWEH, the majesty of our God.
Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are of a fearful heart, "Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you."
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God's people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.
No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.
And the ransomed of YAHWEH shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
A voice cries out: "In the wilderness prepare the way of YAHWEH, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of YAHWEH shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of YAHWEH has spoken."
Set forth your case, says YAHWEH; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.
Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, so that we may consider them, and that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come.
Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be afraid and terrified.
You, indeed, are nothing and your work is nothing at all; whoever chooses you is an abomination.
I stirred up one from the north, and he has come, from the rising of the sun he was summoned by name. He shall trample on rulers as on mortar, as the potter treads clay.
Who declared it from the beginning, so that we might know, and beforehand, so that we might say, "He is right"? There was no one who declared it, none who proclaimed, none who heard your words.
Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
And he said, "Go and say to this people: 'Keep listening, but do not comprehend; keep looking, but do not understand.' Make the mind of this people dull, and stop their ears, and shut their eyes, so that they may not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and comprehend with their minds, and turn and be healed." Then I said, "How long, O YAHWEH?" And he said: "Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is utterly desolate; until YAHWEH sends everyone far away, and vast is the emptiness in the midst of the land.
Confuse yourselves and be confused, blind yourselves and be blind! Be drunk, but not from wine; stagger, but not from beer! For YAHWEH has poured out upon you a spirit of deep stupor; he has closed the eyes of your prophets, and covered the heads of your seers. And to them the meaning of all this has become like words sealed within a scroll. If it is given to those who can read, with the command, "Read this," they say, "We cannot, for it is sealed." "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 nothing more than human commandments learned by memory; so I will again do amazing things with this people, shocking and amazing. The wisdom of their wise shall perish." On 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. The meek shall obtain fresh joy in YAHWEH, and the poorest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. For the tyrant shall be no more, and the scoffer shall cease to be; all those who love to do evil shall be cut off? those who set traps and without grounds deny justice to the one in the right.
Therefore thus says YAHWEH, the God of hosts, the Lord: "In all the squares there shall be wailing; and in all the streets they shall say, 'Alas! alas!' They shall call the farmers to mourning and to wailing those who are skilled in lamentation,
and in all vineyards there shall be wailing, for I will pass through the midst of you," says YAHWEH.
Woe to you who desire the day of YAHWEH! Why would you have the day of YAHWEH? It is darkness, and not light;
as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house and leaned with his hand against the wall, and a serpent bit him.
Is not the day of YAHWEH darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?
"I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and cereal offerings, I will not accept them, and the peace offerings of your fatted beasts I will not look upon.
Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
"Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?
You shall take up Sakkuth your king, and Kaiwan your star-god, your images, which you made for yourselves;
therefore I will take you into exile beyond Damascus," says YAHWEH, whose name is the God of hosts.
For behold, YAHWEH is coming forth out of his place, and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.
And the mountains will melt under him and the valleys will be cleft, like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place.
All this is for the transgression of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And what is the sin of the house of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem?
Therefore I will make Samaria a heap in the open country, a place for planting vineyards; and I will pour down her stones into the valley, and uncover her foundations.
All her images shall be beaten to pieces, all her hires shall be burned with fire, and all her idols I will lay waste; for from the hire of a harlot she gathered them, and to the hire of a harlot they shall return.
Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision, and darkness to you, without divination. The sun shall go down upon the prophets, and the day shall be black over them;
the seers shall be disgraced, and the diviners put to shame.
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