17
Yahweh will punish Syria
I received this message from Yahweh about Damascus the capital of Syria:
“Listen carefully! Damascus will no longer be a city;
it will be only a heap of ruins!
The towns near Aroer city will be abandoned.
Flocks of sheep will eat grass in the streets and lie down there,
and there will be no one to chase them away.
The cities in Israel will not have walls around them to protect them.
The power of the kingdom of Damascus will be ended,
and the few people who will remain in Damascus will be disgraced like the people in Israel were disgraced.”
That is what the Commander of the armies of angels says.
The destruction of Israel
“At that time, Israel will become insignificant.
It will be like [MET] a fat person who has become very thin.
The entire land will be like [SIM] a field where the harvesters have cut all the grain;
there will be nothing left,
like [SIM] the fields in the Rephaim Valley after all the crops have been harvested.
Only a few of the Israeli people will remain [MET],
like [SIM] the few olives that remain on the top of a tree after the workers have caused all the other olives to fall to the ground.
There will be only two or three olives in the top branches,
or four or five olives on the other branches.”
That is what the Commander of the armies of angels says.
 
Then, at that time, you people of Israel will ◄turn for help to/look up to► God, your creator,
the Holy One of Israel.
You will no longer seek to get help from your idols
or worship the idols that you have made with your own hands [DOU].
You will never again bow down in front of the poles where you worship the goddess Asherah.
You will never again worship at the shrines that you have built for burning incense.
The largest cities in Israel will be abandoned, like the land that the Hiv and Amor people-groups abandoned (OR, like the forests that the Canaan people-group abandoned) when the Israelis attacked them long ago. No people will live there.
10  That will happen because you have stopped worshiping God
who is like [MET] a huge rock under which you can be safe.
You have forgotten that he is the one who can hide/protect you.
So, now you plant very nice grapevines
and even plant very expensive ones that come from other countries.
11  But even if they sprout leaves on the day that you plant them,
and even if they produce blossoms on that same morning,
at harvest time, there will not be any grapes for you to pick.
All that you will get is a lot of agony/misery.
 
12 Listen! The armies of many nations will roar like the sea roars.
It will sound like noise of crashing waves.
13 But even though their loud roaring will be like the sound of crashing waves,
when Yahweh rebukes them, they will run far away.
They will flee like [SIM] chaff on the hills scatters when the wind blows,
like tumbleweeds scatter when a windstorm blows.
14 And, even though you people of Israel will be terrified,
in the morning your enemies will all be gone/dead.
That is what will happen to those who invade our land and then steal our possessions.