Introduction


1Ask rain from the LORD at the time
of the spring rain—
The LORD who makes the storm
clouds;
And He will give them showers of
rain, vegetation in the field to
each man.

2For the teraphim speak iniquity,
And the diviners see lying visions
And tell false dreams;
They comfort in vain.
Therefore the people wander like
sheep,
They are afflicted, because there is
no shepherd.
3“My anger is kindled against the
shepherds,
And I will punish the male goats;

 
For the Lord of hosts has visited
His flock, the house of Judah,
And will make them like His majestic
horse in battle.
4From them will come the
cornerstone,
From them the tent peg,
From them the bow of battle,
From them every ruler, all of them
together.
5They will be as mighty men,
Treading down the enemy in the
mire of the streets in battle;
And they will fight, for the Lord
will be with them;
And the riders on horses will be
put to shame.
 
6I will strengthen the house of
Judah,
And I will save the house of
Joseph,
And I will bring them back,
Because I have had compassion
on them;
And they will be as though I had
not rejected them,
For I am the Lord their God
and I will answer them.
7Ephraim will be like a mighty
man,
And their heart will be glad as
if from wine;
Indeed, their children will see
it and be glad,
Their heart will rejoice in
the Lord.
 
8I will whistle for them to gather
them together,
For I have redeemed them;
And they will be as numerous as they
were before.
9When I scatter them among the
peoples,
They will remember Me in far
countries,
And they with their children will
live and come back.
10I will bring them back from the
land of Egypt
And gather them from Assyria;
And I will bring them into the
land of Gilead and Lebanon
Until no room can be found for
them.
11And they will pass through the
sea of distress
And He will strike the waves in
the sea,
So that all the depths of the Nile
will dry up;
And the pride of Assyria will be
brought down
And the scepter of Egypt will
depart.
12And I will strengthen them in
the Lord,
And in His name they will walk,”
declares the Lord.