Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
O inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the cedars, how gracious shalt thou be when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail!
"'For the Lord says concerning the palace of the king of Judah, "This place looks like a veritable forest of Gilead to me. It is like the wooded heights of Lebanon in my eyes. But I swear that I will make it like a wilderness whose towns have all been deserted.
Open your gates, Lebanon, so that the fire may consume your cedars.
Listen, you who sit enthroned above the valley on a rocky plateau. I am opposed to you,' says the Lord. 'You boast, "No one can swoop down on us. No one can penetrate into our places of refuge."
Leave your towns, you inhabitants of Moab. Go and live in the cliffs. Be like a dove that makes its nest high on the sides of a ravine.
The terror you inspire in others and the arrogance of your heart have deceived you. You may make your home in the clefts of the rocks; you may occupy the highest places in the hills. But even if you made your home where the eagles nest, I would bring you down from there," says the Lord.
Then he looked on the Kenites and uttered this oracle: "Your dwelling place seems strong, and your nest is set on a rocky cliff.
Even if they could dig down into the netherworld, my hand would pull them up from there. Even if they could climb up to heaven, I would drag them down from there.
Even if you were to soar high like an eagle, even if you were to make your nest among the stars, I can bring you down even from there!" says the Lord.
The one who builds his house by unjust gain is as good as dead. He does this so he can build his nest way up high and escape the clutches of disaster.
"A noise is heard on the hilltops. It is the sound of the people of Israel crying and pleading to their gods. Indeed they have followed sinful ways; they have forgotten to be true to the Lord their God.
In fact, I hear a cry like that of a woman in labor, a cry of anguish like that of a woman giving birth to her first baby. It is the cry of Daughter Zion gasping for breath, reaching out for help, saying, "I am done in! My life is ebbing away before these murderers!"
The people cry out, "We have heard reports about them! We have become helpless with fear! Anguish grips us, agony like that of a woman giving birth to a baby!
Yes, here is what he says: "You hear cries of panic and of terror; there is no peace in sight.
"When that time comes," says the Lord, "the people of Israel and Judah will return to the land together. They will come back with tears of repentance as they seek the Lord their God.
Then I will return again to my lair until they have suffered their punishment. Then they will seek me; in their distress they will earnestly seek me.
"Come on! Let's return to the Lord! He himself has torn us to pieces, but he will heal us! He has injured us, but he will bandage our wounds!
They do not pray to me, but howl in distress on their beds; They slash themselves for grain and new wine, but turn away from me.
And you, Zion, city doomed to destruction, you accomplish nothing by wearing a beautiful dress, decking yourself out in jewels of gold, and putting on eye shadow! You are making yourself beautiful for nothing. Your lovers spurn you. They want to kill you.
When he struck them down, they sought his favor; they turned back and longed for God.