Isaiah 17
Contemporary English Version

Damascus Will Be Punished

1 This is a message about Damascus:

Damascus is doomed!

It will end up in ruins.

2The villages around Aroer+

will be deserted,

with only sheep living there

and no one to bother them.

3Israel+ will lose its fortresses.

The kingdom of Damascus

will be destroyed;

its survivors will suffer

the same fate as Israel.

The Lord All-Powerful

has promised this.

Sin and Suffering

4When that time comes,

the glorious nation of Israel

will be brought down;

its prosperous people

will be skin and bones.

5Israel will be like wheat fields

in Rephaim Valley

picked clean of grain.

6It will be like an olive tree

beaten with a stick,

leaving two or three olives

or maybe four or five

on the highest

or most fruitful branches.

The Lord God of Israel

has promised this.

7At that time the people will turn and trust their Creator, the holy God of Israel. 8They have built altars and places for burning incense to their goddess Asherah, and they have set up sacred poles+ for her. But they will stop worshiping at these places.

9Israel captured powerful cities and chased out the people who lived there. But these cities will lie in ruins, covered over with weeds and underbrush.+

10Israel, you have forgotten

the God who saves you,

the one who is the mighty rock+

where you find protection.

You plant the finest flowers

to honor a foreign god.

11The plants may sprout

and blossom

that very same morning,

but it will do you no good,

because you will suffer

endless agony.

God Defends His People

12The nations are a noisy,

thunderous sea.

13But even if they roar

like a fearsome flood,

God will give the command

to turn them back.

They will be like dust,

or like a tumbleweed

blowing across the hills

in a windstorm.

14In the evening

their attack is fierce,

but by morning

they are destroyed.

This is what happens to those

who raid and rob us.


17.2 Aroer: Either a city near Damascus with the same name as the Moabite city or the Moabite city itself, here used as an example of what will happen to Damascus.
17.3 Israel: The Hebrew text has “Ephraim,” another name for the northern kingdom.
17.8 sacred poles: Or “trees,” used as symbols of Asherah, the goddess of fertility.
17.9 covered … underbrush: Hebrew; one ancient translation “like the cities of the Hivites and the Amorites.”
17.10 mighty rock: The Hebrew text has “rock,” which is sometimes used in poetry to compare the Lord to a mountain where his people can run for protection from their enemies.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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