The Bible – Old Testament
1 I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and he said: Strike the bases, so that the doorjambs totter till you break them off on the heads of them all! Those who are left I will slay with the sword; not one shall flee, no survivor shall escape.
Though they break through to the nether world, even from there my hand shall bring them out; Though they climb to the heavens, I will bring them down;
2 Though they hide on the summit of Carmel, there too I will hunt them out and take them away; Though they hide from my gaze in the bottom of the sea, I will command the serpent there to bite them;
Though they are led into captivity by their enemies, there will I command the sword to slay them. I will fix my gaze upon them for evil, and not for good,
I, the Lord GOD of hosts. I melt the earth with my touch, so that all who dwell on it mourn, While it all rises up like the Nile, and settles back like the river of Egypt;
I have built heaven, my upper chamber, and established my vault over the earth; I summon the waters of the sea and pour them upon the surface of the earth, I, the LORD by name.
3 Are you not like the Ethiopians to me, O men of Israel, says the LORD? Did I not bring the Israelites from the land of Egypt As I brought the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?
The eyes of the Lord GOD are on this sinful kingdom; I will destroy it from off the face of the earth. But I will not destroy the house of Jacob completely, says the LORD.
For see, I have given the command to sift the house of Israel among all the nations, As one sifts with a sieve, letting no pebble fall to the ground.
By the sword shall all sinners among my people die, those who say, “Evil will not reach or overtake us.”
4 On that day I will raise up the fallen hut of David; I will wall up its breaches, raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old,
That they may conquer what is left of Edom and all the nations that shall bear my name, say I, the LORD, who will do this.
Yes, days are coming, says the LORD, When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the vintager, him who sows the seed; The juice of grapes shall drip down the mountains, and all the hills shall run with it.
I will bring about the restoration of my people Israel; they shall rebuild and inhabit their ruined cities, Plant vineyards and drink the wine, set out gardens and eat the fruits.
I will plant them upon their own ground; never again shall they be plucked From the land I have given them, say I, the LORD, your God.
1 [1-8] There will be no escape from God’s punishment, symbolized here by the destruction of a building, probably the schismatic temple at Bethel.
2  Serpent: the sea monster of familiar legend, subdued by God at the time of creation and lurking still in the ocean depths; cf ⇒ Psalm 89:9-10.
3  The Ethiopians . . . the Philistines . . . the Arameans: by nature Israel is not different from any other nation. It was not because of any merit on Israel’s part that God delivered them from Egypt. Caphtor: the island of Crete.
4 [11-12] In ⇒ Acts 15:15-17 St. James interprets this passage in a messianic sense. Fallen hut: the kingdom. The nations that shall bear my name: the Gentile peoples who shall be converted to the Lord, that is, conquered by him, and therefore shall bear his name.