1 At that time this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
“We have a strong city!
The Lord’s deliverance, like walls and a rampart, makes it secure.
2 Open the gates so a righteous nation can enter –
one that remains trustworthy.
3 You keep completely safe the people who maintain their faith,
for they trust in you.
4 Trust in the Lord from this time forward,
even in Yah, the Lord, an enduring protector!
5 Indeed, the Lord knocks down those who live in a high place,
he brings down an elevated town;
he brings it down to the ground,
he throws it down to the dust.
6 It is trampled underfoot
by the feet of the oppressed,
by the soles of the poor.”
God’s People Anticipate Vindication
7 The way of the righteous is level,
the path of the righteous that you make is straight.
8 Yes, as your judgments unfold,
O Lord, we wait for you.
We desire your fame and reputation to grow.
9 I look for you during the night,
my spirit within me seeks you at dawn,
for when your judgments come upon the earth,
those who live in the world learn about justice.
10 If the wicked are shown mercy,
they do not learn about justice.
Even in a land where right is rewarded, they act unjustly;
they do not see the Lord’s majesty revealed.
11 O Lord, you are ready to act,
but they don’t even notice.
They will see and be put to shame by your angry judgment against humankind,
yes, fire will consume your enemies.
12 O Lord, you make us secure,
for even all we have accomplished, you have done for us.
13 O Lord, our God,
masters other than you have ruled us,
but we praise your name alone.
14 The dead do not come back to life,
the spirits of the dead do not rise.
That is because you came in judgment and destroyed them,
you wiped out all memory of them.
15 You have made the nation larger, O Lord,
you have made the nation larger and revealed your splendor,
you have extended all the borders of the land.
16 O Lord, in distress they looked for you;
they uttered incantations because of your discipline.
17 As when a pregnant woman gets ready to deliver
and strains and cries out because of her labor pains,
so were we because of you, O Lord.
18 We were pregnant, we strained,
we gave birth, as it were, to wind.
We cannot produce deliverance on the earth;
people to populate the world are not born. 19
Your dead will come back to life;
your corpses will rise up.
Wake up and shout joyfully, you who live in the ground!
For you will grow like plants drenched with the morning dew,
and the earth will bring forth its dead spirits.
20 Go, my people! Enter your inner rooms!
Close your doors behind you!
Hide for a little while,
until his angry judgment is over!
21 For look, the Lord is coming out of the place where he lives,
to punish the sin of those who live on the earth.
The earth will display the blood shed on it;
it will no longer cover up its slain.