1 Look, a king will promote fairness; officials will promote justice. 2 Each of them will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from a rainstorm; like streams of water in a dry region and like the shade of a large cliff in a parched land. 3 Eyes will no longer be blind and ears will be attentive. 4 The mind that acts rashly will possess discernment and the tongue that stutters will speak with ease and clarity. 5 A fool will no longer be called honorable; a deceiver will no longer be called principled. 6 For a fool speaks disgraceful things; his mind plans out sinful deeds. He commits godless deeds and says misleading things about the Lord; he gives the hungry nothing to satisfy their appetite and gives the thirsty nothing to drink. 7 A deceiver's methods are evil; he dreams up evil plans to ruin the poor with lies, even when the needy are in the right. 8 An honorable man makes honorable plans; his honorable character gives him security.
9 You complacent women, get up and listen to me! You carefree daughters, pay attention to what I say! 10 In a year's time you carefree ones will shake with fear, for the grape harvest will fail, and the fruit harvest will not arrive. 11 Tremble, you complacent ones! Shake with fear, you carefree ones! Strip off your clothes and expose yourselves -- put sackcloth on your waist! 12 Mourn over the field, over the delightful fields and the fruitful vine! 13 Mourn over the land of my people, which is overgrown with thorns and briers, and over all the once-happy houses in the city filled with revelry. 14 For the fortress is neglected; the once-crowded city is abandoned. Hill and watchtower are permanently uninhabited. Wild donkeys love to go there, and flocks graze there. 15 This desolation will continue until new life is poured out on us from heaven. Then the desert will become an orchard and the orchard will be considered a forest. 16 Justice will settle down in the desert and fairness will live in the orchard. 17 Fairness will produce peace and result in lasting security. 18 My people will live in peaceful settlements, in secure homes, and in safe, quiet places. 19 Even if the forest is destroyed and the city is annihilated, 20 you will be blessed, you who plant seed by all the banks of the streams, you who let your ox and donkey graze.