Note: this is not a neat symmetry but there is clear inversion. The passage begins and ends with the absence of “destroy” in the “holy mountain”. Verse 12 – call and answer – is in contrastive parallel with verse 24. Verses 13-16 describe the blessings of the faithful, as do verses 19b-23, and in both sections this is in contrast to the former troubles. The centre focuses on the creation of a new heavens and earth i.e.New Jerusalem’s rulers and ruled, and the joy and rejoicing of the Kingdom.
A. 8 Thus saith the LORD,
As the new wine is found in the cluster,
and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it:
so will I do for my servants’ sakes,
that I may not destroy them all.
9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob,
and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains:
and mine elect shall inherit it,
and my servants shall dwell there.
10 And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks,
and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in,
for my people that have sought me.
11 But ye are they that forsake the LORD,
that forget my holy mountain,
that prepare a table for that troop,
and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.
B. 12 Therefore will I number you to the sword,
and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter:
because when I called, ye did not answer;
when I spake, ye did not hear;
but did evil before mine eyes,
and did choose that wherein I delighted not.
C. 13 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD,
Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty:
behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:
14 Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart,
but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart,
and shall howl for vexation of spirit.
15 And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name:
16 That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth;
and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten,
and because they are hid from mine eyes.
D. 17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth:
and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create:
D’. for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. 19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people:
C’. and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days,
nor an old man that hath not filled his days:
for the child shall die an hundred years old;
but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them;
and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
22 They shall not build, and another inhabit;
they shall not plant, and another eat:
for as the days of a tree are the days of my people,
and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23 They shall not labour in vain,
nor bring forth for trouble;
for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD,
and their offspring with them.
B’. 24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer;
and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
A’. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock:
and dust shall be the serpent’s meat.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.