Yahweh will bless the descendants of Abraham
1 Yahweh says, “You people who desire to act righteously/justly,
who want to do what I want you to do,
listen to me!
Think about Abraham!
It is as though [MET] he was a huge rock cliff;
and when you people of Israel became a nation,
it was as though [MET] you were cut from that rock [DOU].
2 Think about your ancestor Abraham and his wife Sarah, of whom all of you are descendants.
When I first spoke to Abraham,
he had no children.
But after I blessed him, he had a huge number of descendants.
3 Some day I, Yahweh, will encourage his descendants again,
and I will comfort all the people who live in the ruins of Jerusalem.
The desert in that area will become like Eden;
it will be like the garden that I, Yahweh, made/planted.
All the people there will be joyful and happy;
they will thank me and sing.
4 My people of Judah, listen carefully [DOU] to me,
because I want you to proclaim my laws;
the just/right things that I do will be like [MET] a light for the people of the nations.
5 I will soon/quickly rescue you [DOU];
by my power [MTY] I will bring you back from being exiled in Babylonia [DOU].
The people who live on islands in the ocean will wait for me to help them,
confidently expecting for me to use my power [MTY].
6 Look up at the sky,
and look at the earth,
and see what they are like now,
because some day the sky will disappear like [SIM] smoke,
and the earth will wear out like [SIM] old clothes wear out,
and people on the earth will die like gnats/flies.
But I will rescue/save you, and you will remain free forever,
and I will rule you righteously/fairly forever.
7 You people who know what things are right to do,
and who know in your inner beings what is written in my laws,
listen to me!
Do not be afraid of people who taunt/insult you;
do not be disturbed/upset when people revile you,
8 because some day they will be destroyed
like [MET] clothing that is eaten by ◄ larvae of moths/cockroaches►,
like wool garments that have been eaten by worms.
I will save them, and they will be saved forever.”
A prayer for God's help
9 Yahweh, wake up and do something for us
Show your power!
Do mighty things
like you did long ago,
when you stabbed [RHQ] that sea monster/dragon Rahab and cut it into pieces.
10 Surely you are [RHQ] the one who caused the Red Sea to become dry
and made a path through that deep water
in order that your people could cross it!
11 And those whom Yahweh will rescue from being exiled in Babylonia
will similarly return to Jerusalem, singing.
Their being joyful forever will be like [MET] a crown on their heads.
They will not be sad or mourn anymore;
they will be completely joyful and happy.
12 Yahweh says,
“I am the one who encourages you.
So ◄why are you/you should not be► [RHQ] afraid of humans
who will wither and disappear like [MET] grass.
13 ◄Why have you/You should not have► [RHQ] forgotten me, Yahweh, the one who created your nation,
the one who stretched out the sky
and laid the foundations of the earth.
◄Why are you/You should not be► [RHQ] continually afraid of those who are angry with you and ◄oppress you/treat you cruelly►
and want to get rid of you.
You should not be afraid of them now,
because those angry people have now disappeared!
14 Soon you people who have been caused to be slaves in Babylonia will be freed!
You will not remain in prison, and you will not die of hunger,
15 because I am Yahweh, your God,
the one who stirs up the sea and causes the waves to roar;
I am the Almighty Commander of the armies of angels!
16 I have given you my message [MTY] to proclaim,
and I have protected you by my hand [MTY].
I stretched out the sky
and laid the foundation of the earth.
And I am the one who says to you Israeli people,
‘You are my people!’ ”
A warning to the people of Jerusalem
17 You people of [APO] Jerusalem, wake up [DOU]!
You have experienced Yahweh severely punishing [MTY] you.
Yahweh has caused you to suffer much,
all that he wanted you to suffer,
like [MET] someone who causes another person to suffer
by forcing him to drink every drop of [MTY] a cupful of bitter liquid.
18 Now you do not have any children who are alive [DOU]
and able to take your hand and guide you.
19 You have experienced several disasters:
Your country has become desolate/deserted;
your cities have been destroyed;
many people have died from hunger;
many people have been killed by your enemies' swords.
Now, there is no one [RHQ] left to console/comfort you and sympathize with you.
20 Your children have fainted and lie in the streets;
they are as helpless as [SIM] an antelope that has been caught in a net.
What has happened to them is because Yahweh has been very angry with them;
he has rebuked them severely.
21 So now, you people who have suffered much,
you act as though you are drunk,
but it is not because you have drunk a lot of wine.
22 Yahweh, your Lord and your God,
the one who argues/pleads your case, says this:
“Note this: It is as though [MET] I have taken that cup of bitter liquid from your hands;
I will not be angry with you and cause you to suffer anymore.
23 Instead, I will cause those who have tormented you to suffer;
I will severely punish those who said to you,
‘Prostrate yourselves in order that we may walk on you;
lie down on your stomachs
in order that your backs will be like [SIM] streets that we can walk on.’ ”