This final woe foresees the LORD’s destruction of the destroyer, and his deliverance of the righteous.
VERSE 1. Woe to you who destroy, but you weren’t destroyed, and who betray, but nobody betrayed you! When you have finished destroying, you will be destroyed; and when you have finished betrayal, you will be betrayed.
NLT translation. What sorrow awaits you Assyrians who have destroyed others but have never been destroyed yourselves. You betray others, but you have never been betrayed.
What sorrow awaits you Assyrians. The deeds of Assyria have finally caught up with them. They are now reaping what they had sown.
There is a law of “sowing and reaping” throughout the Bible. We don’t know how to fully reconcile it with grace and mercy. Here are the verses we’ve found »
We have waited for you. They were waiting upon God. They were letting God do things on his own timetable.
Be our strength every morning. As they wait upon God each day, they find themselves filled with fresh strength.
VERSE 3. At the noise of the thunder, the peoples have fled. When you lift yourself up, the nations are scattered.
VERSE 4. Your plunder will be gathered as the caterpillar gathers. Men will leap on it as locusts leap.
NLT translation. Though the LORD is very great and lives in heaven, he will make Jerusalem his home of justice and righteousness.
he will make Jerusalem his home. Jerusalem is usually at the center of God’s activity. Whatever he’s doing seems to begin in Jerusalem. Then from Jerusalem, it spreads throughout the earth.
filled Zion with justice. Despite the best intentions of believers, we have not yet filled the world with justice. Instead, churches are often sources of injustice.
BBE translation. And she will have no more fear of change, being full of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge: the fear of the Lord is her wealth.
no more fear of change. After a lifetime of calamities and never-ending transition, she will now be given the gift of stability.
the fear of the Lord is her wealth. That’s a wonderful phrase!
VERSE 7. Behold, their valiant ones cry outside; the ambassadors of peace weep bitterly.
He doesn’t respect man. They have no respect for anyone.
VERSE 9. The land mourns and languishes. Lebanon is confounded and withers away. Sharon is like a desert, and Bashan and Carmel are stripped bare.
Now I will arise. The time is right for the LORD to act.
BBE translation. Your designs will be without profit, and their effect will be nothing: you will be burned up by the fire of my breath.
Your designs will be without profit. Some people are unable to produce positive outcomes for themselves or for others. All they can do is destroy.
John 10:10. The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.
VERSE 12. The peoples will be like the burning of lime, like thorns that are cut down and burned in the fire.
you who are far off. God speaks to nations that are far away. He is reaching out to the Gentiles.
The Old Testament foresee Gentiles coming to faith in the One God of Israel and bringing gifts to Jerusalem. Here are the key Bible verses about this »
the devouring fire. God first appeared to Abraham in the form of fire. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended as tongues of fire. Many people who experience the presence of God describe him as a devouring fire. John of the Cross wrote of him as The Living Flame of Love.
VERSE 15. He who walks righteously and speaks blamelessly, he who despises the gain of oppressions, who gestures with his hands, refusing to take a bribe, who stops his ears from hearing of blood, and shuts his eyes from looking at evil—
This very is very much like Psalm 15.
VERSE 16. he will dwell on high. His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks. His bread will be supplied. His waters will be sure.
VERSE 17. Your eyes will see the king in his beauty. They will see a distant land.
VERSE 18. Your heart will meditate on the terror. Where is he who counted? Where is he who weighed? Where is he who counted the towers?
You will no longer see the fierce people. Their oppressors will be gone forever.
VERSE 20. Look at Zion, the city of our appointed festivals. Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet habitation, a tent that won’t be removed. Its stakes will never be plucked up, nor will any of its cords be broken.
VERSE 21. But there the LORD will be with us in majesty, a place of wide rivers and streams, in which no galley with oars will go, neither will any gallant ship pass by there.
VERSE 22. For the LORD is our judge. The LORD is our lawgiver. The LORD is our king. He will save us.
VERSE 23. Your rigging is untied. They couldn’t strengthen the foot of their mast. They couldn’t spread the sail. Then the prey of a great plunder was divided. The lame took the prey.
BBE translation. And the men of Zion will not say, I am ill: for its people will have forgiveness for their sin.
will not say, I am ill. Godʼs people will no longer be ill. In our day, why do godly people still become ill?
Christians have lots of opinions about that:
- They are not godly enough
- God is punishing their sins
- They are cursed
- They are in a state of sin, even if they do not know it
- Bad genetics
- Random chance
- Some fluke of nature
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.