The Bible – Old Testament
Alas! I am as when the fruit is gathered, as when the vines have been gleaned; There is no cluster to eat, no early fig that I crave.
The faithful are gone from the earth, among men the upright are no more! They all lie in wait to shed blood, each one ensnares the other.
Their hands succeed at evil; the prince makes demands, The judge is had for a price, The great man speaks as he pleases,
The best of them is like a brier, the most upright like a thorn hedge. The day announced by your watchmen! your punishment has come; now is the time of your confusion.
1 Put no trust in a friend, have no confidence in a companion; Against her who lies in your bosom guard the portals of your mouth.
For the son dishonors his father, the daughter rises up against her mother, The daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and a man’s enemies are those of his household.
But as for me, I will look to the LORD, I will put my trust in God my savior; my God will hear me!
2 Rejoice not over me, O my enemy! though I have fallen, I will arise; though I sit in darkness, the LORD is my light.
The wrath of the LORD I will endure because I have sinned against him, Until he takes up my cause, and establishes my right. He will bring me forth to the light; I will see his justice.
When my enemy sees this, shame shall cover her: She who said to me, “Where is the LORD, thy God?” My eyes shall see her downfall; now shall she be trampled underfoot, like the mire in the streets.
3 It is the day for building your walls; on that day the boundary shall be taken away.
It is the day; and they shall come to you from Assyria and from Egypt, From Tyre even to the River, from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain;
And the land shall be a waste because of its citizens, as a result of their deeds.
4 Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, That dwells apart in a woodland, in the midst of Carmel. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old;
As in the days when you came from the land of Egypt, show us wonderful signs.
The nations shall behold and be put to shame, in spite of all their strength; They shall put their hands over their mouths; their ears shall become deaf.
They shall lick the dust like the serpent, like reptiles on the ground; They shall come quaking from their fastnesses, trembling in fear of you (the LORD, our God).
Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; Who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency,
And will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our guilt? You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins;
You will show faithfulness to Jacob, and grace to Abraham, As you have sworn to our fathers from days of old.
1 [5-6] Corresponding to the widespread civil corruption and apostasy from religion is the breakdown of normal human and family relations.
2 [8-10] The unnamed enemy of Judah mentioned in these verses may be Assyria or one of the neighboring countries, such as Edom, which stood by to profit at Judah’s downfall.
3 [11-13] This prophecy of restoration and repopulation of the promised land by the Jews now in exile appears to be from the period after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans (587 B.C.).
4 [14-17] This prayer appears to be from the time after the return from exile (537 B.C.), when the people, few in number, possessed only a fragment of their former land, and were surrounded by hostile nations.