Perilous those times shall be, when the hour has come for reversing my sentence against Juda and Jerusalem.
Into the valley of Josaphat I will herd the heathen folk, one and all, and there hold assize over them for the wrong they did to my people, to Israel, my own domain. People of mine they scattered through the world, land of mine they parcelled out between them.
Must they be awarded by lot, such captives, and then sold cheap, boy-slave for a harlot’s hire, girl-slave for the draining of a wine-stoup?
What, would you chaffer with me, men of Tyre and Sion, men from the pale of Philistia? Must there be barter and exchange between us? Nay, if you will have exchanges with me, look to it that the reward does not fall on your own heads, swift and sudden!✻
Would you carry off silver of mine and gold, lay up the choicest of my treasures in yonder temples?
Citizens of Jerusalem, men of Juda’s breed, would you sell them to Grecian masters, far away from their home?
See if I do not summon them back from exile that was of your contriving, and, for that service done, pay you in your own coin;
make over son and daughter of yours to these same men of Juda, slaves they can barter at will to the remote Sabaeans; I, the Lord, have decreed it.
Cry it to the nations, they should do sacrifice and muster their tried warriors for battle; rally they, march they, all that bear arms.
Ploughshare beat into sword, spade into spear; weakling is none but must summon up his manhood now!
To arms, to the rendezvous, nations all about; doom of the Lord awaits you, warriors all!
Up, up, to Josaphat’s valley betake you; here, upon all neighbouring peoples, I will hold assize.
The sickle, there! Harvest is ripe already. Down to the vineyard with you! Are not the vats full, the presses overflowing? Has it not come to a head, the measure of their wickedness?
Thronging, thronging they come, in yonder valley to try their destiny, appointed trysting-place of a divine audit;
dark grow sun and moon, light of the stars is none.
Loud as roaring of lion speaks the Lord in thunder from his citadel at Jerusalem, till heaven and earth quake at the sound. To his own people, the sons of Israel, refuge he is and stronghold;
doubt you shall have none thenceforward that I, the Lord your God, have my dwelling-place at Jerusalem; a holy city Jerusalem shall be, never again shall alien foe breach the walls of her.
Drip now with sweet wine the mountain-slopes, bathed in milk the upland pastures; never a stream in all Juda but flows full and strong. What fountain is this that comes out from the Lord’s temple, and waters the dry valley of Setim?
A lonely ruin Egypt shall be, and Edom a desert waste; here was great wrong done to Jewry’s people, here unoffending lives were taken.
For Juda, for Jerusalem, there shall be peace undisturbed, long as time shall last;
for these, guilt of blood that went still unpardoned shall be pardoned now; here, in Sion, the Lord will have his dwelling-place.
The Holy Bible