Vision of the Lord Standing by the Altar
1 I saw the Lord standing by the altar, and he said,
“Hit the top of the columns,
and shake them to the ground.
Push them and they will fall
on everyone’s head.
As for those who survive,
I will kill them with a sword.
None of them will run away.
None of them will escape.
If they dig deep into the ground,*
I will pull them from there.
If they go up into the skies,†
I will bring them down from there.
If they hide at the top of Mount Carmel,‡
I will find them there and take them from that place.
If they try to hide from me at the bottom of the sea,
I will command the snake, and it will bite them.
4 If they are captured and taken away by their enemies,
I will command the sword,
and it will kill them there.
Yes, I will watch over them,
but I will watch for ways to give them troubles,
not for ways to do good things.”
Punishment Will Destroy the People
5 The Lord GOD All-Powerful will touch the land,
and the land will melt.
Then all the people who live in the land will cry for the dead.
The land will rise and fall
like the Nile River in Egypt.
6 He built his upper rooms above the skies.
He put his skies§
over the earth.
He calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out as rain on the land.
YAHWEH is his name.
The Lord Promises Destruction
7 This is what the LORD says:
“Israel, you are like the Ethiopians to me.
I brought Israel out of the land of Egypt,
the Philistines from Caphtor,*
and the Arameans from Kir.†
8 The Lord GOD is watching this sinful kingdom.
The LORD says,
“I will wipe Israel off the face of the earth,
but I will never completely destroy Jacob’s family.
9 I am giving the command
to scatter the people of Israel among all nations.
But it will be like someone sifting flour.
A person shakes flour through a sifter.‡
The good flour falls through, but the bad lumps are caught.
10 “Sinners among my people say,
‘Nothing bad will happen to us.’
But all of them will be killed with swords.”
God Promises to Restore the Kingdom
but at that time I will set it up again.
I will fix its holes and repair its ruined parts.
I will set it up as it was before.
12 Then the people left alive in Edom,
and all the people called by my name, will look to me for help.”
This is what the LORD said,
and he will make it happen.
13 The LORD says, “A time of great blessing is coming.
Workers will still be harvesting
when it is time to plow the fields again.
They will still be trampling the grapes
when it is time for a new crop.
Sweet wine will drip from the mountains
and pour from the hills.
14 I will bring my people, Israel,
back from captivity.
They will rebuild the ruined cities,
and they will live in them.
They will plant vineyards
and drink the wine they produce.
They will plant gardens
and eat the crops they produce.
15 I will plant my people on their land,
and never again will they be pulled up out of the land that I gave them.”
This is what the LORD your God said.