1The Lord will have compassion on Jacob; once again he will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land. Foreigners will join them and unite with the descendants of Jacob.2Nations will take them and bring them to their own place. And Israel will take possession of the nations and make them male and female servants in the Lord’s land. They will make captives of their captors and rule over their oppressors.3On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labour forced on you,4you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended!5The Lord has broken the rod of the wicked, the sceptre of the rulers,6which in anger struck down peoples with unceasing blows, and in fury subdued nations with relentless aggression.7All the lands are at rest and at peace; they break into singing.8Even the junipers and the cedars of Lebanon gloat over you and say, ‘Now that you have been laid low, no-one comes to cut us down.’9The realm of the dead below is all astir to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you – all those who were leaders in the world; it makes them rise from their thrones – all those who were kings over the nations.10They will all respond, they will say to you, ‘You also have become weak, as we are; you have become like us.’11All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you.12How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!13You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.14I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’15But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.16Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: ‘Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble,17the man who made the world a wilderness, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?’18All the kings of the nations lie in state, each in his own tomb.19But you are cast out of your tomb like a rejected branch; you are covered with the slain, with those pierced by the sword, those who descend to the stones of the pit. Like a corpse trampled underfoot,20you will not join them in burial, for you have destroyed your land and killed your people. Let the offspring of the wicked never be mentioned again.21Prepare a place to slaughter his children for the sins of their ancestors; they are not to rise to inherit the land and cover the earth with their cities.22‘I will rise up against them,’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘I will wipe out Babylon’s name and survivors, her offspring and descendants,’ declares the Lord.23‘I will turn her into a place for owls and into swampland; I will sweep her with the broom of destruction,’ declares the Lord Almighty.24The Lord Almighty has sworn, ‘Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.25I will crush the Assyrian in my land; on my mountains I will trample him down. His yoke will be taken from my people, and his burden removed from their shoulders.’26This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations.27For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?
A prophecy against the Philistines
28This prophecy came in the year King Ahaz died:29Do not rejoice, all you Philistines, that the rod that struck you is broken; from the root of that snake will spring up a viper, its fruit will be a darting, venomous serpent.30The poorest of the poor will find pasture, and the needy will lie down in safety. But your root I will destroy by famine; it will slay your survivors.31Wail, you gate! Howl, you city! Melt away, all you Philistines! A cloud of smoke comes from the north, and there is not a straggler in its ranks.32What answer shall be given to the envoys of that nation? ‘The Lord has established Zion, and in her his afflicted people will find refuge.’