God Will Bless Judah and Ephraim
1Ask for rain from the Lord at the time of the spring rain.
It is the Lord who makes the thunder clouds;
And He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field to everyone.
For the teraphim (household idols) speak wickedness (emptiness, worthlessness),
And the diviners see lying visions
And tell false dreams;
They comfort in vain.
Therefore the people wander like sheep,
They are afflicted and suffer because there is no shepherd.
“My anger is kindled against the shepherds [who are not true shepherds],
And I shall punish the male goats (leaders);
For the Lord of hosts has visited His flock, the house of Judah (the Southern Kingdom),
And will make them like His beautiful and majestic horse in the battle.
“From them (Judah) shall come the [a]Cornerstone,
From them the tent peg,
From them the bow of battle,
From them every ruler, all of them together.
“They will be like mighty men
Trampling down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle;
And they will fight because the Lord is with them,
And the [enemies’] riders on horses will be shamed.
“I will strengthen the house of Judah [making it superior],
And I will save the house of Joseph.
I will bring them back [and allow them to live securely],
Because I have had compassion on them.
They will be as though I had not rejected them,
For I am the Lord their God, and I will listen and answer them.
“Then [b]Ephraim will be like a mighty warrior,
And their heart will rejoice as if from wine;
Yes, their children will see it and rejoice;
Their heart will rejoice and shout triumphantly in the Lord.
“I will [c]whistle for them and gather them together,
For I have redeemed them;
And they will increase [again] as they have increased before [in Egypt].
“When I scatter them among the nations,
They will remember Me in far countries,
And with their children they will live and come back [to Me and the land I gave them].
“I will bring them (all Israel) back home again from the land of Egypt
And gather them from Assyria,
And I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon [the land on the east and on the west of the Jordan]
Until no room can be found for them.
“And they will pass through the sea of distress and anxiety [with the Lord leading His people, as at the Red Sea]
And He will strike the waves in the sea,
So that all the depths of the Nile will dry up;
And the pride of Assyria will be brought down
And the scepter [of the taskmasters] of Egypt will pass away.
“And I will strengthen Israel in the Lord,
And they will walk [and glory] in His name,” declares the Lord.