The Basket of Ripe Fruit
1 I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and he said,
“Strike the tops of the pillars,
that the thresholds may shake.
Break them in pieces on the head of all of them,
and I will kill the last of them with the sword.
None of them shall escape–not one.
2 Though they dig to Sheol,
from there my hand will take them,
and though they climb up to heaven,
there I will bring them down.
3 Though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel,
I will search and take them out there,
and though they be hidden from my sight in the bottom of the sea,
there I will command the serpent, and it will bite them.
4 Though they go into captivity before their enemies,
there I will command the sword, and it will kill them.
I will set my eyes on them for disaster and not for good.
5 For the Lord, God of Hosts,
is he who touches the land, and it melts,
and all who dwell in it will mourn,
and it will rise up wholly like the Nile,
and will sink again, like the River of Egypt.
6 It is he who builds his rooms in the heavens
and has founded his vault on the earth,
he who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out on the surface of the earth.
The Lord is his name.
Judgement is Proclaimed
7 Are you not like the children of the Ethiopians to me,
O children of Israel?” says the Lord.
“Have I not brought Israel out of the land of Egypt
and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Syrians from Kir?
8 The eyes of the Lord God are on the sinful kingdom,
and I will destroy it from the face of the earth.
Yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,” says the Lord.
9 “For I will command it,
and I will sift the house of Israel among all the nations,
as grain is sifted in a sieve,
yet not the least kernel will fall to the earth.
10 All the sinners among my people
will die by the sword, who say,
‘Disaster will not overtake nor meet us.’
11 On that day I will raise up
the tent of David who is fallen
and close up its breaches,
and I will raise up its ruins,
and I will build it as in the days of old,
12 that they may possess the remnant of Edom,
and all the nations who are called by my name,” says the Lord who does this.
13 “The days are coming,” says the Lord,
“that the plowman shall overtake the reaper
and the treader of grapes, the one who sows seed,
and sweet wine will drip from the mountains
and flow from the hills.
14 I will bring my people Israel back from captivity,
and they will rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them.
They will plant vineyards and drink wine from them.
They shall also make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 I will plant them on their land,
and they will no longer be uprooted
from their land which I have given them,”
says the Lord your God.