An Oracle concerning Damascus

An oracle concerning Damascus.

Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city,

and will become a heap of ruins.

Her cities will be deserted for ever;[a]

they will be for flocks,

which will lie down, and none will make them afraid.

The fortress will disappear from E′phraim,

and the kingdom from Damascus;

and the remnant of Syria will be

like the glory of the children of Israel,

says the Lord of hosts.

And in that day

the glory of Jacob will be brought low,

and the fat of his flesh will grow lean.

And it shall be as when the reaper gathers standing grain

and his arm harvests the ears,

and as when one gleans the ears of grain

in the Valley of Reph′aim.

Gleanings will be left in it,

as when an olive tree is beaten—

two or three berries

in the top of the highest bough,

four or five

on the branches of a fruit tree,

says the Lord God of Israel.

In that day men will regard their Maker, and their eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel; they will not have regard for the altars, the work of their hands, and they will not look to what their own fingers have made, either the Ashe′rim or the altars of incense.

In that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the Hivites and the Amorites,[b] which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation.

10 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation,

and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge;

therefore, though you plant pleasant plants

and set out slips of an alien god,

11 though you make them grow on the day that you plant them,

and make them blossom in the morning that you sow;

yet the harvest will flee away

in a day of grief and incurable pain.

12 Ah, the thunder of many peoples,

they thunder like the thundering of the sea!

Ah, the roar of nations,

they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!

13 The nations roar like the roaring of many waters,

but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away,

chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind

and whirling dust before the storm.

14 At evening time, behold, terror!

Before morning, they are no more!

This is the portion of those who despoil us,

and the lot of those who plunder us.


  1. Isaiah 17:2 Cn Compare Gk: Heb the cities of Aroer are deserted
  2. Isaiah 17:9 Cn Compare Gk: Heb the wood and the highest bough