26 At that time people will sing this song in Judah:
We have a strong city.
God protects us with its strong walls and defenses.
Open the gates,
and the good people will enter.
They follow God’s good way of living.
You, Lord, give true peace.
You give peace to those who depend on you.
You give peace to those who trust you.
So, trust the Lord always.
Trust the Lord because he is our Rock forever.
But the Lord will destroy the proud city.
And he will punish the people living there.
He will bring that high city down to the ground.
He throws it down into the dust.
Then those who were hurt by the city will walk on its ruins.
Those who were made poor by the city will trample it under their feet.
The path of life of the people who are right with God is level.
Lord, you make the way of life smooth for those people.
But, Lord, we are waiting
for your way of justice.
Our souls want to remember
you and your name.
My soul wants to be with you at night.
And my spirit wants to be with you at the dawn of every day.
When your way of justice comes to the land,
people of the world will learn the right way of living.
An evil person will not learn to do good
even if you show him kindness.
He will continue doing evil, even if he lives in a good world.
He never sees the Lord’s greatness.
Lord, you are ready to punish those people.
But they do not see that.
Lord, show them your strong love for your people.
Then the evil people will be ashamed.
Burn them in the fire
you have prepared for your enemies.
Lord, all our success is because of what you have done.
So give us peace.
Lord, our God, other masters besides you have ruled us.
But we honor only you.
Those masters are now dead.
Their ghosts will not rise from death.
You decided to destroy them.
And you destroyed any memory of them.
Lord, you multiplied the number of your people.
You multiplied them and brought honor to yourself.
You made the borders of the land wide.
Lord, people remember you when they are in trouble.
They say quiet prayers to you when you punish them.
Lord, when we are with you,
we are like a woman giving birth to a baby.
She cries and has pain from the birth.
In the same way, we had pain.
We gave birth, but only to wind.
We don’t bring salvation to the land.
We don’t make new people for the world.
Your people have died, but they will live again.
Their bodies will rise from death.
Dead people in the ground,
get up and be happy!
The dew covering you is like the dew of a new day.
The ground will give birth to the dead buried in it.
My people, go into your rooms.
Shut your doors behind you.
Hide in your rooms for a short time.
Hide until God’s anger is finished.
The Lord will leave his place.
He will punish the people of the world for their sins.
The earth will show the blood of the people who have been killed.
It will not cover the dead any longer.
27 At that time the Lord will judge Leviathan, the gliding snake.
He will punish Leviathan, the coiled snake.
The Lord will use his great sword,
his hard and powerful sword.
He will kill the monster in the sea.
In that day
people will sing about the pleasant vineyard.
“I, the Lord, will care for that vineyard.
I will water it at the right time.
No one will hurt it.
I will guard it day and night.
I am not angry.
If anyone builds a wall of thornbushes in war,
I will march to it and burn it.
But if anyone comes to me for safety
and wants to make peace with me,
he should come and make peace with me.”
In the days to come, the people of Jacob will be like a plant with good roots.
Israel will grow like a plant beginning to bloom.
Then the world will be filled with their children.
The Lord has not hurt his people as he hurt their enemies.
His people have not been killed like those who tried to kill them.
The Lord will settle his argument with Israel by sending it far away.
Like a hot desert wind, he will drive Israel away.
This is how Israel’s guilt will be forgiven.
This is how its sins will be taken away.
Israel will crush the rocks of the altar to dust.
No statues or altars will be left standing for the Asherah idols.
At that time the strong, walled city will be empty.
It will be like a desert.
Calves will eat grass there.
They will lie down there.
They will eat leaves from the branches.
The limbs will become dry and break off.
Women will use them for firewood.
The people refuse to understand.
So God will not comfort them.
Their Maker will not be kind to them.
At that time the Lord will begin gathering his people one by one. He will gather all his people from the Euphrates River to the brook of Egypt. He will separate them from others as grain is separated from chaff. Many of my people are now lost in Assyria. Some of my people have run away to Egypt. But at that time a great trumpet will be blown. And all those people will come back to Jerusalem. They will bow down before the Lord on that holy mountain.