1The Lord said, “Look at these children. They don’t obey me. They make plans, but they don’t ask me to help them. They make agreements with other nations, but my Spirit does not want those agreements. These people are adding more and more sins to themselves. 2These children are going down to Egypt for help, but they did not ask me if that was the right thing to do. They hope they will be saved by the Pharaoh. They want Egypt to protect them. 3“But I tell you, hiding in Egypt will not help you. Egypt will not be able to protect you. 4Your leaders have gone to Zoan and your ambassadors have gone to Hanes. 5But they will be disappointed. They are depending on a nation that can’t help them. Egypt is useless—Egypt will give no help. Egypt will cause only shame and embarrassment.” 6The sad message about the animals in the Negev: The Negev is a dangerous place. This land is full of lions, and adders, and fast snakes. ˻But some people are traveling through the Negev—they are going to Egypt.˼ Those people have put their wealth on the backs of donkeys. Those people have put their treasure on the backs of camels. ˻This means that˼ the people are depending on a nation that cannot help. 7That useless nation is Egypt. Egypt’s help will be worth nothing. So I call Egypt the “Do-Nothing Dragon.” 8Now write this on a sign so all people can see it. And write this in a book. Write these things for the last days. This will be far, far in the future: 9These people are like children that refuse to obey ˻their parents˼. They lie and refuse to listen to the Lord’s teachings. 10They tell the prophets, “Don’t see dreams about things we should do! Don’t tell us the truth! Say nice things to us and make us feel good! See only good things for us! 11Stop seeing things that will really happen! Get out of our way! Stop telling us about the Holy One of Israel.” 12The Holy One ˻(God)˼ of Israel says, “You people have refused to accept this message from the Lord. You people want to depend on fighting and lies to help you. 13You are guilty of these things so you are like a tall wall with cracks in it. That wall will fall and break into small pieces. 14You will be like a large clay jar that breaks and becomes many, many small pieces. Those pieces are useless. You can’t use those pieces to get a hot coal from the fire or to get water from a pool in the ground.” 15The Lord my Master, the Holy One of Israel, says, “If you come back to me you will be saved. The only strength you have will come if you trust me. But you must be calm.” But you don’t want to do that! 16You say, “No, we need horses to run away on!” That is true—you will run away on horses. But the enemy will chase you. And the enemy will be faster than your horses. 17One enemy will make threats and a thousand of your men will run away. Five enemies will make threats and all of you will run from them. The only thing that will be left of your army will be a flagpole on a hill. 18The Lord wants to show his mercy to you. The Lord is waiting. The Lord wants to rise and comfort you. The Lord God is fair, and every person that waits for the Lord’s help will be blessed ˻(happy)˼. 19The Lord’s people will live in Jerusalem on Mount Zion. You people will not continue crying. The Lord will hear your crying and he will comfort you. The Lord will hear you, and he will help you. 20˻In the past,˼ my Master ˻(God)˼ gave you sorrow and hurt—it was like the bread and water you ate every day. But God is your teacher, and he will not continue to hide from you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. 21Then, if you do wrong and go ˻(live)˼ the wrong way ˻(to the right or to the left)˼, you will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the right way. You should go this way!” 22You have statues covered with silver and gold. Those false gods have made you dirty ˻(sinful)˼. But you will stop serving those false gods. You will throw away those gods like waste and dirty rags. 23At that time, the Lord will send rain for you. You will plant seeds in the ground, and the ground will grow food for you. You will have a very large harvest. You will have plenty of food in the fields for your animals. There will be large fields for your sheep. 24Your cattle and donkeys will have all the food they need. There will be very much food. You will have to use shovels and pitchforks to spread all the food for your animals to eat. 25Every mountain and hill will have streams filled with water. These things will happen after many people are killed and the towers are pulled down. 26At that time, the light from the moon will be bright like the sun. The light from the sun will be seven times brighter than now. The light from the sun in one day will be like a full week. These things will happen when the Lord bandages his broken people and heals the hurts from their beatings. 27Look! The Lord’s Name is coming from far away. His anger is like a fire with thick clouds of smoke. The Lord’s mouth is filled with anger, and his tongue is like a burning fire. 28The Lord’s breath ˻(Spirit)˼ is like a great river—rising until it reaches the throat. The Lord will judge the nations. It will be like he shakes them through the 'Strainer of Destruction.’ The Lord will control them. It will be like a bit that controls an animal is in the mouths of the people. 29˻At that time, you will sing happy songs. That time˼ will be like the nights when you begin a holiday. You are very happy while walking to the Lord’s mountain. You are happy while listening to the flute on the way to worship ˻the Lord,˼ the Rock of Israel. 30The Lord will cause all people to hear his great voice. The Lord will cause all people to see his powerful arm come down with anger. That arm will be like a great fire that burns everything. The Lord’s power will be like a great storm with much rain and hail. 31Assyria will be afraid when he hears the Lord’s voice. The Lord will beat Assyria with a stick. 32The Lord will beat Assyria, and it will be like playing music on drums and harps. The Lord will defeat Assyria with his great arm ˻(power)˼. 33Topheth has been made ready for a long time. It is ready for the king. It was made very deep and wide. There is a very big pile of wood and fire there. And the Lord’s breath ˻(Spirit)˼ will come like a stream of burning sulfur and burn it.