1 [The burden of Damascus.] "Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city and it shall be a ruinous heap.
2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken. They shall be for flocks, which shall lie down and no one shall make them afraid.
3 The fortress shall also cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria. They shall be as the glory of the children of Israel," says the LORD of hosts.
4 "And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be diminished and the fatness of his flesh shall become lean.
5 And it shall be as when the harvester gathers the grain and reaps the heads with his arm. And it shall be as he who gathers heads [of grain] in the valley of Rephaim.
6 Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive-tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in its outermost fruitful branches," says the LORD God of Israel.
7 In that day a man shall look to his Maker and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.
8 And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall he respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.
9 In that day his strong cities shall be as a forsaken bough and an uppermost branch which they left because of the children of Israel. And there shall be desolation.
10 Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not been mindful of the rock of your strength, therefore you shall plant pleasant plants and shall set it with foreign cuttings.
11 In the day you shall make your plant to grow and in the morning you shall make your seed to flourish, but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.
12 Woe to the multitude of many people who make a noise like the noise of the seas, and to the rushing of nations who make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters, but God will rebuke them, and they shall flee far off and be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
14 And behold at the time of evening trouble. And before the morning he is no more. This is the portion of those who ravage us and the lot of those who rob us.
[v.5] - Text in square brackets added for implied meaning.
[v.10] - "foreign cuttings" - From the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary: "Cuttings of plants from far, and therefore valuable."