1Woe is me! I am like the one who gathers summer fruit,
when the vines have been gleaned;
There is no cluster to eat,
no early fig that I crave.
2The faithful have vanished from the earth,
no mortal is just!
They all lie in wait to shed blood,
each one ensnares the other.a
3Their hands succeed at evil;
the prince makes demands,
The judge is bought for a price,
the powerful speak as they please.b
4The best of them is like a brier,
the most honest like a thorn hedge.
The day announced by your sentinels!
Your punishment has come;
now is the time of your confusion.
5Put no faith in a friend,
do not trust a companion;
With her who lies in your embrace
watch what you say.c
6For the son belittles his father,
the daughter rises up against her mother,
The daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law,
and your enemies are members of your household.d
IV. CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S FUTURE
7But as for me, I will look to the LORD,
I will wait for God my savior;
my God will hear me!e
though I have fallen, I will arise;
though I sit in darkness, the LORD is my light.
9I will endure the wrath of the LORD
because I have sinned against him,
Until he pleads my case,
and establishes my right.
He will bring me forth to the light;
I will see his righteousness.
10When my enemy sees this,
shame shall cover her:
She who said to me,
“Where is the LORD, your God?”
My eyes shall see her downfall;
now she will be trampled* underfoot,
like mud in the streets.
11* It is the day for building your walls;
on that day your boundaries shall be enlarged.
12It is the day when those from Assyria to Egypt
shall come to you,
And from Tyre even to the River,
from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain;f
13And the earth shall be a waste
because of its inhabitants,
as a result of their deeds.
14* Shepherd your people with your staff,
the flock of your heritage,
That lives apartg in a woodland,
in the midst of an orchard.
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,
as in the days of old;
15As in the days when you came from the land of Egypt,
show us wonderful signs.
16The nations will see and will be put to shame,
in spite of all their strength;
They will put their hands over their mouths;
their ears will become deaf.
17They will lick the dust like a snake,
like crawling things on the ground;
They will come quaking from their strongholds;
they will tremble in fear of you, the LORD, our God.
18* Who is a God like you, who removes guilt
and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
Who does not persist in anger forever,
but instead delights in mercy,h
19And will again have compassion on us,
treading underfoot our iniquities?
You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins;
20You will show faithfulness to Jacob,
and loyalty to Abraham,
As you have sworn to our ancestors
from days of old.i
* [7:8–20] The book concludes with a collection of confident prayers for deliverance, affirmations of faith, and announcements of salvation. Most of these verses bear the marks of use in worship, and probably arose in the exilic or postexilic periods.
* [7:10] She who said…she will be trampled: in the Old Testament, cities are often personified as women. Here, the prophet is speaking of the enemies’ cities.
* [7:11–13] An announcement of salvation to Zion. The walls of Jerusalem will be rebuilt, its inhabitants who are now scattered from Assyria to Egypt shall return, but the other peoples will suffer for their evil deeds.
* [7:14–17] A prayer that God will care for the people as in ancient days (v. 14) is answered (vv. 15–17) when the Lord promises to do marvelous things. The nations shall be afraid and turn to the Lord.
* [7:18–20] The final lines of the book contain a hymn of praise for the incomparable God, who pardons sin and delights in mercy. Thus the remnant, those left after the exile, is confident in God’s compassion and in the ancient promises sworn to the ancestors.