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The Siege of Jerusalem


Ah, Ariel, Ariel,

the city where David encamped!

Add year to year;

let the festivals run their round.


Yet I will distress Ariel,

and there shall be moaning and lamentation,

and Jerusalem shall be to me like an Ariel.


And like David I will encamp against you;

I will besiege you with towers

and raise siegeworks against you.


Then deep from the earth you shall speak,

from low in the dust your words shall come;

your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost,

and your speech shall whisper out of the dust.



But the multitude of your foes shall be like small dust,

and the multitude of tyrants like flying chaff.

And in an instant, suddenly,


you will be visited by the L ord of hosts

with thunder and earthquake and great noise,

with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.


And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel,

all that fight against her and her stronghold, and who distress her,

shall be like a dream, a vision of the night.


Just as when a hungry person dreams of eating

and wakes up still hungry,

or a thirsty person dreams of drinking

and wakes up faint, still thirsty,

so shall the multitude of all the nations be

that fight against Mount Zion.



Stupefy yourselves and be in a stupor,

blind yourselves and be blind!

Be drunk, but not from wine;

stagger, but not from strong drink!


For the L ord has poured out upon you

a spirit of deep sleep;

he has closed your eyes, you prophets,

and covered your heads, you seers.

11 The vision of all this has become for you like the words of a sealed document. If it is given to those who can read, with the command, “Read this,” they say, “We cannot, for it is sealed.” 12And if it is given to those who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” they say, “We cannot read.”



The Lord said:

Because these people draw near with their mouths

and honor me with their lips,

while their hearts are far from me,

and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote;


so I will again do

amazing things with this people,

shocking and amazing.

The wisdom of their wise shall perish,

and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden.



Ha! You who hide a plan too deep for the L ord,

whose deeds are in the dark,

and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”


You turn things upside down!

Shall the potter be regarded as the clay?

Shall the thing made say of its maker,

“He did not make me”;

or the thing formed say of the one who formed it,

“He has no understanding”?


Hope for the Future


Shall not Lebanon in a very little while

become a fruitful field,

and the fruitful field be regarded as a forest?


On that day the deaf shall hear

the words of a scroll,

and out of their gloom and darkness

the eyes of the blind shall see.


The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the L ord,

and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.


For the tyrant shall be no more,

and the scoffer shall cease to be;

all those alert to do evil shall be cut off—


those who cause a person to lose a lawsuit,

who set a trap for the arbiter in the gate,

and without grounds deny justice to the one in the right.


22 Therefore thus says the L ord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:

No longer shall Jacob be ashamed,

no longer shall his face grow pale.


For when he sees his children,

the work of my hands, in his midst,

they will sanctify my name;

they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob,

and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.


And those who err in spirit will come to understanding,

and those who grumble will accept instruction.


14. Therefore, behold, I add to do. 274274    {Bogus footnote} He threatens that he will punish by blinding not only the ignorant or the ordinary ranks, but those wise men who were held in admiration by the people. From this vengeance we may easily learn how hateful a vice hypocrisy is, and how greatly it is abhorred by God, as the Prophet spoke a little before about human inventions; for what kind of punishment is more dreadful than blindness of mind and stupidity? This indeed is not commonly perceived by men, nor are they aware of the greatness of this evil; but it is the greatest and most wretched of all.

For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish. He does not speak of the common herd of men, but of their very leaders, who ought to have been like eyes. The common people in themselves are blind, like the other members of the body; and when the eyes are blinded, what shall become of the rest of the body? “If the light be darkness,” as Christ says, “how great shall be the darkness!” This is added in order to place that vengeance in a more striking light.

Hence also, we may infer how vain and foolish is the boasting of the Papists, who think that they have shut the mouths of all men, when they have brought forward the name of Bishops, or other titles of the same kind, such as Doctors, or Pastors, or the Apostolic See. They have perhaps a different kind of wisdom from that which was possessed by the Jews; but whence did they derive it? They pretend that it came from God; but we see that the Prophet does not speak of the wise men of the Chaldeans or Egyptians, but of the order of priesthood which God had appointed, of the teachers, and chief rulers, and ensign bearers, of the chosen people and of the only Church; for under this term “wise men,” he includes all superior excellence and authority among the people.

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