The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Jeremias
And thus the Lord speaks to the Ammonites: Did Israel, then, leave no sons, no heirs to follow him? How comes it that Melchom boasts possession of Gad, and worshippers of his dwell in yonder cities?
A time is coming, the Lord says, when Rabbath Ammon shall hear the din of fighting, and shall be thrown down in ruins; when her daughter cities shall be burnt to the ground, and Israel, so runs the divine promise, shall drive out the intruder.
Shall Hesebon mourn for Hai laid waste, and the women of Rabbath for Rabbath make no lament?✻ Nay, put on sackcloth, raise the dirge as you scatter among the hedge-rows; Melchom goes into banishment, his priests and his votary chieftains with him.
So proud of thy valleys! Wasted away, now, is that vale of thine, pampered maiden; confident in thy rich store, thou didst flatter thyself none should come near to harm thee,
but I mean to fill thee with dread, says the Lord, the God of hosts, dread of all thy neighbours. Each man shall take his own path, scattering in flight, and there shall be none to rally the fugitives.
Yet afterwards, the Lord says, I will bring the exiled sons of Ammon back to their home.
And for Edom, this. No more is Theman wise, as of old, says the Lord of hosts; the prudence of that breed is lost, its wisdom all gone to waste.
Flee away, men of Dedan, and never look behind you, or hide deep in earth; I am bringing ruin upon Esau, calling him to account at last.
Here are such vintagers as will leave thee never a cluster, such night-robbers as will have their fill;
mine to strip Esau bare, dig up his lairs till there is no hiding in them. The whole brood of him must be destroyed, never a kinsman or neighbour left, that will say,✻
To my care entrust thy orphans, to me let thy widows look for support.
So many there are, the Lord says, that must drink the cup of vengeance all undeserving; and wouldst thou be spared, wouldst thou be acquitted? Acquittal for thee is none; thou shalt drain it to the dregs.
By my own honour I have sworn it, the Lord says, that Bosra shall be an empty wilderness, a name to revile and to curse by; that her daughter cities shall for ever be desolate.
Hue and cry the Lord has brought to my ears, that even now goes out among the nations, Muster we and march we against her; on to battle!
A little thing I mean thee to be in the world’s eyes henceforward, unregarded among the nations;
till now, pride and the insolence of thy heart deluded thee, so safe thy nest among the rock-crevices, so close thou didst cling to the mountain summits; but now, be thy eyrie high as the eagle’s, I will yet drag thee down, the Lord says.✻
A very desert Edom shall be; no passer-by but will stand amazed, and hiss derision at its sufferings;
not more ruinously Sodom fell, and Gomorrha, and their neighbour cities, that lie uninhabited, far from the homes of men.
See how lion from the fens of Jordan sallies out against yonder protected fold! Not less sudden the alarm shall be;✻ and the flock shall have a master of my own choosing. Match for me is none, there is none dare implead me, no rival shepherd may challenge a claim like mine!
Would you know what the Lord’s design is for Edom, what plans he is devising against the homesteads of Theman? Why, he says, it will but need an array of weaklings to dislodge them,✻ pull their dwelling-place down about their ears!
And with the crash of that ruin earth shakes, far as the Red Sea ring the echoes of it.
An eagle’s flight yonder conqueror has, to soar high and sweep down on Bosra; cowed as woman’s heart in child-bearing are the warrior hearts of Edom.
And for Damascus, this. Hamath and Arphad see their hopes betray them; grievous the news that reaches them, and they are rocked on a sea of doubt; anxiety gives them no respite.
As for Damascus, her strength has left her; no thought has she but for flight, daunted by her peril, overcome, like woman in child-bearing, with sharp pangs.
City so renowned, home of such delights, must all abandon her?
In her streets they lie slain, all the flower of her youth, all her brave warriors lie silent now, the Lord says;
and such a fire I will light within Damascus walls as shall feed on the palaces of Benadad.
And this for Cedar, and the realms of Asor, that were destroyed by Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon. Word comes from the Lord: Up, march against Cedar, despoil we these children of the East!
Pillage there shall be of home and herd, plundering of tents and gear and camels, and cries of Danger everywhere.
Flee away, wander far away, men of Asor; deep, says the Lord, be your hiding-places! Here is Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon holding a council of war, devising plans against you.
Up, march against a people that lives at ease, fearing no attack, the Lord says; gates and bars they have none, dwelling there in the wilderness;
camels for your plunder, herds a many for your prey! Scattered they shall be to all the winds, the folk that clip their foreheads bare, and from every corner of their lands death shall threaten them, the Lord says.
Asor shall be a lair for serpents, a land for ever desolate; uninhabited it shall lie, far from the homes of men.
And here is the doom the Lord pronounced to the prophet Jeremias against Aelam, at the beginning of Sedecias’ reign in Juda.
A message from the Lord of hosts! I mean to break the bows of yonder Aelamites, wherein lies all their strength.
Upon Aelam I will bid the winds blow from the four corners of heaven, and before each scatter them like chaff, till nation is none that has not seen their fugitives.
Daunted the Aelamites shall be by the onset of their mortal enemies; my angry vengeance I will let loose against them, the Lord says, and my sword shall go at their heels till I have taken full toll of them.
In Aelam I will set up my throne, he says, and rid it altogether of kings and princes.
Yet afterwards, so runs the divine promise, I will bring the exiled sons of Aelam back to their home.
The Holy Bible