1 Ask the LORD for rain in the springtime; ¶ it is the LORD who sends the thunderstorms. ¶ He gives showers of rain to all people, ¶ and plants of the field to everyone.
2 The idols speak deceitfully, diviners see visions that lie; ¶ they tell dreams that are false, ¶ they give comfort in vain. ¶ Therefore the people wander like sheep ¶ oppressed for lack of a shepherd.
3 "My anger burns against the shepherds, ¶ and I will punish the leaders; ¶ for the LORD Almighty will care ¶ for his flock, the people of Judah, ¶ and make them like a proud horse in battle.
4 From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, ¶ from him the battle bow, ¶ from him every ruler.
5 Together they [^1] will be like warriors in battle trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets. ¶ They will fight because the LORD is with them, ¶ and they will put the enemy horsemen to shame.
6 "I will strengthen Judah ¶ and save the tribes of Joseph. ¶ I will restore them ¶ because I have compassion on them. ¶ They will be as though ¶ I had not rejected them, ¶ for I am the LORD their God ¶ and I will answer them.
7 The Ephraimites will become like warriors, and their hearts will be glad as with wine. ¶ Their children will see it and be joyful; ¶ their hearts will rejoice in the LORD.
8 I will signal for them and gather them in. ¶ Surely I will redeem them; ¶ they will be as numerous as before.
9 Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me. ¶ They and their children will survive, ¶ and they will return.
10 I will bring them back from Egypt and gather them from Assyria. ¶ I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon, ¶ and there will not be room enough for them.
11 They will pass through the sea of trouble; the surging sea will be subdued ¶ and all the depths of the Nile will dry up. ¶ Assyria's pride will be brought down ¶ and Egypt's scepter will pass away.
12 I will strengthen them in the LORD and in his name they will live securely," ¶ declares the LORD.