(2:1) 1 Look! A herald is running 2 on the mountains! A messenger is proclaiming deliverance: 3 “Celebrate your sacred festivals, O Judah! Fulfill your sacred vows to praise God! 4 For never again 5 will the wicked 6 Assyrians 7 invade 8 you, they 9 have been completely destroyed.”
Then Balaam 1 uttered 2 his oracle, saying, “Balak, the king of Moab, brought me 3 from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, ‘Come, pronounce a curse on Jacob for me; come, denounce Israel.’ 4
The men whose names are listed came during the time of King Hezekiah of Judah and attacked the Hamites’ settlements, 1 as well as the Meunites they discovered there, and they wiped them out to this very day. They dispossessed them, 2 for they found pasture for their sheep there.
1 The sinful nation is as good as dead, 2 the people weighed down by evil deeds. They are offspring who do wrong, children 3 who do wicked things. They have abandoned the Lord, and rejected the Holy One of Israel. 4 They are alienated from him. 5
The officials of Zoan are nothing but fools; 1 Pharaoh’s wise advisers give stupid advice. How dare you say to Pharaoh, “I am one of the sages, one well-versed in the writings of the ancient kings?” 2
In response to all this 1 I said, “Ah, Lord God, 2 you have surely allowed 3 the people of Judah and Jerusalem 4 to be deceived by those who say, ‘You will be safe!’ 5 But in fact a sword is already at our throats.” 6
This is what the Lord who rules over all 1 says, “Babylon’s thick wall 2 will be completely demolished. 3 Her high gates will be set on fire. The peoples strive for what does not satisfy. 4 The nations grow weary trying to get what will be destroyed.” 5
Then you will know that I, the Lord, have heard all the insults you spoke against the mountains of Israel, saying, “They are desolate, they have been given to us for food.”
But you will become drunk 1 with shame, not majesty. 2 Now it is your turn to drink and expose your uncircumcised foreskin! 3 The cup of wine in the Lord’s right hand 4 is coming to you, and disgrace will replace your majestic glory!
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, 1 but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings.
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, 1 regarding the affliction that happened to us in the province of Asia, 2 that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of living.
He said to his mother, “You know 1 the eleven hundred pieces of silver which were stolen 2 from you, about which I heard you pronounce a curse? Look here, I have the silver. I stole 3 it, but now I am giving it back to you.” 4 His mother said, “May the Lord reward 5 you, my son!”