The Righteous Kingdom Announced
1 Indeed, a king will reign righteously, and rulers will rule justly. 2 Each will be like a shelter from the wind, a refuge from the rain, like streams of water in a dry land and the shade of a massive rock in an arid land. 3 Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen. 4 The reckless mind will gain knowledge, and the stammering tongue will speak clearly and fluently. 5 A fool will no longer be called a noble, nor a scoundrel said to be important. 6 For a fool speaks foolishness and his mind plots iniquity. He lives in a godless way and speaks falsely about the Lord. He leaves the hungry empty and deprives the thirsty of drink. 7 The scoundrel's weapons are destructive; he hatches plots to destroy the needy with lies, and by charging the poor during a judgment. 8 But a noble person plans noble things; he stands up for noble causes.
9 Stand up, you complacent women; listen to me. Pay attention to what I say, you overconfident daughters. 10 In a little more than a year you overconfident ones will shudder, for the vintage will fail and the harvest will not come. 11 Shudder, you complacent ones; tremble, you overconfident ones! Strip yourselves bare and put [sackcloth] about your waists. 12 Beat your breasts [in mourning] for the delightful fields and the fruitful vines, 13 for the ground of my people growing thorns and briers, indeed, for every joyous house in the joyful city. 14 For the palace will be forsaken, the busy city abandoned. The hill and the watchtower will become barren places forever, the joy of wild donkeys, and a pasture for flocks, 15 until the Spirit from heaven is poured out on us. Then the desert will become an orchard, and the orchard will seem like a forest. 16 Then justice will inhabit the wilderness, and righteousness will dwell in the orchard. 17 The result of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quiet confidence forever. 18 Then my people will dwell in a peaceful place, and in safe and restful dwellings. 19 But hail will level the forest, and the city will sink into the depths. 20 Happy are you who sow seed beside abundant waters, who let ox and donkey range freely.