A Bright Future for Judah and Israel
1 I, the Lord, am the one
who sends storm clouds
and showers of rain
to make fields produce.
So when the crops need rain,
you should pray to me.

2 You can't believe idols
and fortunetellers,
or depend on the hope
you receive from witchcraft
and interpreters of dreams.
But you have tried all of these,
and now you are like sheep
without a shepherd.

3 I, the Lord All-Powerful,
am fiercely angry
with you leaders,
and I will punish you.
I care for my people,
the nation of Judah,
and I will change
this flock of sheep
into charging war horses.

4 From this flock will come leaders
who will be strong
like cornerstones and tent pegs
and weapons of war.
5 They will join in the fighting,
and together they will trample
their enemies like mud.
They will fight,
because I, the Lord,
will be on their side.
And they will crush
the enemy cavalry.

6 I will strengthen
the kingdoms of Judah
and Israel.
And I will show mercy
because I am the Lord,
their God.
I will answer their prayers
and bring them home.
Then it will seem as though
I had never rejected them.
7 Israel will be like
a tribe of warriors
celebrating with wine.
When their children see this,
they will also be happy
because of me, the Lord.

8 I will give a signal
for them to come together
because I have rescued them.
And there will be as many
as ever before.
9 Although I scattered my people
in distant countries,
they won't forget me.
Once their children are raised,
they will return—
10 I will bring them home
from Egypt and Assyria,
then let them settle
as far as Gilead and Lebanon,
until the land overflows
with them.
11 My people will go through
an ocean of troubles,
but I will overcome the waves
and dry up the deepest part
of the Nile.
Assyria's great pride
will be put down,
and the power of Egypt
will disappear.
12 I'll strengthen my people
because of who I am,
and they will follow me.
I, the Lord, have spoken!