Out on the rebellious city, the defiled city, so full of wrong!✻
Never the call heard, the warning heeded; trust in the Lord is none; nay, they would keep God at a distance.
Here be rulers no better than ravening lions, judges like wolf that prowls at night, and not a bone left on the morrow;
prophets that are heedless men and treacherous, priests that profane the sanctuary and do violence to the law.
And all the while the Lord is there in the midst of it! Not his the blame; never morning passes but he makes known his award for their enlightening, without fail; and still injustice goes on unashamed!
Short work I have made of other nations; crumbling battlements, unfrequented streets, with never a foot-fall, their cities lie ruined and forlorn, with none to dwell in them;
Ah, thought I, now at least thou wilt learn to fear me, wilt profit by the warning! Here at least is a city that may be left habitable, send them what plagues I may! But no, early and late they would be at their perverse doings still!
And after that, all the peoples of the world shall have pure lips, invoking one and all the Lord’s name, straining at a single yoke in the Lord’s service.
From far away, beyond Ethiop rivers, my suppliants shall come to me, sons✻ of my exiled people the bloodless offering shall bring.
No need, then, to blush for wayward thoughts that defied me; gone from thy midst the high-sounding boast; no room, in that mountain sanctuary of mine, for pride henceforward;
a poor folk and a friendless I will leave in thy confines, but one that puts its trust in the Lord’s name.
The remnant of Israel, strangers now to treachery and wrong, the true word ever on their lips! Yonder flock may graze and lie down to rest, none to dismay it.
Break into song, fair Sion, all Israel cry aloud; here is joy and triumph, Jerusalem, for thy royal heart.
Thy doom the Lord has revoked, thy enemy repulsed; the Lord, there in the midst of thee, Israel’s king! Peril for thee henceforth is none.
Such is the message yonder day shall bring to Jerusalem: Courage, Sion! What means it, the unnerved hand?
Thou hast one in the midst of thee, the Lord thy God, whose strength shall deliver thee. Joy and pride of his thou shalt be henceforward; silent till now in his love for thee, he will greet thee with cries of gladness.
Truants that were lost to the covenant I will reclaim; of thy company they are, thou shalt be taunted with them no longer;✻
only for thy persecutors that hour shall be the hour of doom. Lame sheep medicined, and strayed sheep brought home! Lands that despised them shall hear name and fame of them now.
Name and fame you shall have, all the world over, the Lord says, when I call you back and gather you in; when you see the fortunes of Israel retrieved at last.
The Holy Bible