Howl with grief, you sailors out on the ocean! Your home port of Tyre has been destroyed; its houses and its harbour are in ruins. As your ships return from Cyprus, you learn the news. 2Wail, you merchants of Sidon! You sent men 3across the sea to buy and sell the corn that grew in Egypt and to do business with all the nations.
4City of Sidon, you are disgraced! The sea and the great ocean depths disown you and say, “I never had any children. I never brought up sons or daughters.”
5Even the Egyptians will be shocked and dismayed when they learn that Tyre has been destroyed.
6Howl with grief, you people of Phoenicia! Try to escape to Spain! 7Can this be the joyful city of Tyre, founded so long ago? Is this the city that sent settlers across the sea to establish colonies? 8Who was it that planned to bring all this on Tyre, that imperial city, whose merchant princes were the most honoured men on earth? 9The LORD Almighty planned it. He planned it in order to put an end to their pride in what they had done and to humiliate their honoured ones.
10Go and farm the land, you people in the colonies in Spain! There is no one to protect you any more.11The LORD has stretched out his hand over the sea and overthrown kingdoms. He has ordered the Phoenician centres of commerce to be destroyed. 12City of Sidon, your happiness has ended, and your people are oppressed. Even if they escape to Cyprus, they will still not be safe.
13(It was the Babylonians, not the Assyrians, who let the wild animals overrun Tyre. It was the Babylonians who put up siege towers, tore down the fortifications of Tyre, and left the city in ruins.)
14Howl with grief, you sailors out on the ocean! The city you relied on has been destroyed.
15A time is coming when Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the lifetime of a king. When those years are over, Tyre will be like the prostitute in the song:
16Take your harp, go round the town,
you poor forgotten whore!
Play and sing your songs again
to bring men back once more.
17When the seventy years are over, the LORD will let Tyre go back to her old trade, and she will hire herself out to all the kingdoms of the world. 18The money she earns by commerce will be dedicated to the LORD. She will not store it away, but those who worship the LORD will use her money to buy the food and the clothing they need.
The LORD will Punish the Earth
1The LORD is going to devastate the earth and leave it desolate. He will twist the earth's surface and scatter its people. 2Everyone will meet the same fate — the priests and the people, slaves and masters, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, rich and poor. 3The earth will lie shattered and ruined. The LORD has spoken and it will be done.
4The earth dries up and withers; the whole world grows weak; both earth and sky decay. 5The people have defiled the earth by breaking God's laws and by violating the covenant he made to last for ever. 6So God has pronounced a curse on the earth. Its people are paying for what they have done. Fewer and fewer remain alive. 7The grapevines wither, and wine is becoming scarce. Everyone who was once happy is now sad, 8and the joyful music of their harps and drums has ceased. 9There is no more happy singing over wine; no one enjoys its taste any more. 10In the city everything is in chaos, and people lock themselves in their houses for safety. 11People shout in the streets because there is no more wine. Happiness is gone for ever; it has been banished from the land. 12The city is in ruins, and its gates have been broken down. 13This is what will happen in every nation all over the world. It will be like the end of harvest, when the olives have been beaten off every tree and the last grapes picked from the vines.
14Those who survive will sing for joy. Those in the west will tell how great the LORD is, 15and those in the east will praise him. The people who live along the sea will praise the LORD, the God of Israel. 16From the most distant parts of the world we will hear songs in praise of Israel, the righteous nation.
But there is no hope for me! I am wasting away! Traitors continue to betray, and their treachery grows worse and worse. 17Listen to me, everyone! There are terrors, pits, and traps waiting for you. 18Anyone who tries to escape from the terror will fall into a pit, and anyone who escapes from the pit will be caught in a trap. Torrents of rain will pour from the sky, and earth's foundations will shake. 19The earth will crack and shatter and split open. 20The earth itself will stagger like a drunken man and sway like a hut in a storm. The world is weighed down by its sins; it will collapse and never rise again.
21A time is coming when the LORD will punish the powers above and the rulers of the earth. 22God will crowd kings together like prisoners in a pit. He will shut them in prison until the time of their punishment comes. 23The moon will grow dark, and the sun will no longer shine, for the LORD Almighty will be king. He will rule in Jerusalem on Mount Zion, and the leaders of the people will see his glory.
A Hymn of Praise
1LORD, you are my God;
I will honour you and praise your name.
You have done amazing things;
you have faithfully carried out
the plans you made long ago.
2You have turned cities into ruins
and destroyed their fortifications.
The palaces which our enemies built
are gone for ever.
3The people of powerful nations will praise you;
you will be feared in the cities of cruel nations.
4The poor and the helpless have fled to you
and have been safe in times of trouble.
You give them shelter from storms
and shade from the burning heat.
Cruel enemies attack like a winter storm,
5like drought in a dry land.
But you, LORD, have silenced our enemies;
you silence the shouts of cruel people,
as a cloud cools a hot day.
God Prepares a Banquet
6Here on Mount Zion the LORD Almighty will prepare a banquet for all the nations of the world — a banquet of the richest food and the finest wine. 7Here he will suddenly remove the cloud of sorrow that has been hanging over all the nations. 8The Sovereign LORD will destroy death for ever! He will wipe away the tears from everyone's eyes and take away the disgrace his people have suffered throughout the world. The LORD himself has spoken!
9When it happens, everyone will say, “He is our God! We have put our trust in him, and he has rescued us. He is the LORD! We have put our trust in him, and now we are happy and joyful because he has saved us.”
God will Punish Moab
10The LORD will protect Mount Zion, but the people of Moab will be trampled down, just as straw is trampled in manure. 11They will stretch out their hands as if they were trying to swim, but God will humiliate them, and their hands will sink helplessly. 12He will destroy the fortresses of Moab with their high walls and bring them tumbling down into the dust.
God will Give his People Victory
1A day is coming when the people will sing this song in the land of Judah:
Our city is strong!
God himself defends its walls!
2Open the city gates
and let the faithful nation enter,
the nation whose people do what is right.
3You, LORD, give perfect peace
to those who keep their purpose firm
and put their trust in you.
4Trust in the LORD for ever;
he will always protect us.
5He has humbled those who were proud;
he destroyed the strong city they lived in,
and sent its walls crashing into the dust.
6Those who were oppressed walk over it now
and trample it under their feet.
7LORD, you make the path smooth for good people;
the road they travel is level.
8We follow your will and put our hope in you;
you are all that we desire.
9At night I long for you with all my heart;
when you judge the earth and its people,
they will all learn what justice is.
10Even though you are kind to the wicked,
they never learn to do what is right.
Even here in a land of righteous people they still do wrong;
they refuse to recognize your greatness.
11Your enemies do not know that you will punish them.
LORD, put them to shame and let them suffer;
let them suffer the punishment you have prepared.
Show them how much you love your people.
12You will give us prosperity, LORD;
everything that we achieve
is the result of what you do.
13LORD our God, we have been ruled by others,
but you alone are our LORD.
14Now they are dead and will not live again;
their ghosts will not rise,
for you have punished them and destroyed them.
No one remembers them any more.
15LORD, you have made our nation grow,
enlarging its territory on every side,
and this has brought you honour.
16You punished your people, LORD,
and in anguish they prayed to you.
17You, LORD, have made us cry out,
as a woman in labour cries out in pain.
18We were in pain and agony,
but we gave birth to nothing.
We have won no victory for our land;
we have accomplished nothing.
19Those of our people who have died will live again!
Their bodies will come back to life.
All those sleeping in their graves
will wake up and sing for joy.
As the sparkling dew refreshes the earth,
so the LORD will revive those who have long been dead.
Judgement and Restoration
20Go into your houses, my people, and shut the door behind you. Hide yourselves for a little while until God's anger is over. 21The LORD is coming from his heavenly dwelling place to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The murders that were secretly committed on the earth will be revealed, and the ground will no longer hide those who have been killed.