1 The Lord Will Judge His Stubborn People
1 "How terrible it will be for these stubborn children of mine!" 1 announces the Lord. 1 "How terrible for those who carry out plans that did not come from me! 1 Their agreement with Egypt did not come from my Spirit. 1 So they pile up one sin on top of another.
5 But the people of Judah will be put to shame 5 because they are trusting in a nation that is useless to them. 5 Egypt will not bring them any help or advantage. 5 Instead, it will bring them shame and dishonor."
6 Here is a message the Lord gave me about the animals in the Negev Desert. 6 Judah's messengers carry their riches on the backs of donkeys. 6 They carry their treasures on the humps of camels. 6 They travel through a land of danger and suffering. 6 It's a land that is filled with lions. 6 Poisonous snakes are also there. 6 The messengers travel to a nation 6 that can't do them any good.
10 They say to the seers, 10 'Don't see any more visions!' 10 They say to the prophets, 10 'Don't give us any more visions of what is right! 10 Tell us pleasant things. 10 Prophesy things we want to hear even if they aren't true.
14 It breaks into small pieces like a clay pot. 14 It breaks up completely. 14 Not one piece is left big enough 14 for taking coals from a fireplace. 14 Not one piece is left for dipping water out of a well."
15 The Lord and King is the Holy One of Israel. He says, 15 "You will find peace and rest 15 when you turn away from your sins and depend on me. 15 You will receive the strength you need 15 when you stay calm and trust in me. 15 But you do not want to do what I tell you to.
17 When one of them dares you to fight, 17 a thousand of you will run away. 17 When five of them dare you, 17 all of you will run away. 17 So few of you will be left that you will be 17 like a flagpole on top of a mountain. 17 You will be like only one banner on a hill."
19 People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you won't sob anymore. When you cry out to the Lord for help, he will show you his favor. As soon as he hears you, he'll answer you. 20 He might treat you like prisoners. You might eat the bread of trouble. You might drink the water of suffering. But he will be your Teacher. He won't hide himself anymore. You will see him with your own eyes. 21 You will hear your Teacher's voice behind you. You will hear it whether you turn to the right or the left. It will say, "Here is the path I want you to take. So walk on it."
22 Then you will get rid of the silver statues of your gods. You won't have anything to do with the gold statues either. All of them are "unclean." So you will throw them away like dirty rags. You will say to them, "Get away from us!"
23 The Lord will send rain on the seeds you plant in the ground. The crops that grow will be rich and plentiful. At that time your cattle will eat grass in rolling meadows. 24 The oxen and donkeys that work the soil will eat the finest feed and crushed grain. The farmers will use pitchforks and shovels to separate it from the straw.
25 At that time the towers of your enemies will fall down. Their soldiers will die. Streams of water will flow on every high mountain and hill.
26 The moon will shine like the sun. And the sunlight will be seven times brighter than usual. It will be like the light of seven full days. That will happen when the Lord bandages and heals the wounds and bruises he has brought on his people.
27 The Lord will come from far away 27 in all of his power and glory. 27 He will show his burning anger. 27 Thick clouds of smoke will be all around him. 27 His mouth will speak angry words. 27 The words from his tongue will be like a destroying fire.
28 His breath will be like a rushing flood 28 that rises up to the neck. 28 He'll separate out the nations he is going to destroy. 28 He'll place a bit in their jaws. 28 It will lead them down the road to death.
29 You will sing 29 as you do on the night you celebrate a holy feast. 29 Your hearts will be filled with joy. 29 You will be as joyful as people playing their flutes 29 as they go up to the mountain of the Lord. 29 He is the Rock of Israel.
30 The Lord will cause people to hear his powerful voice. 30 He will make them see his arm coming down to punish them. 30 It will come down with burning anger and destroying fire. 30 It will come down with rain, thunderstorms and hail.
32 He will strike them 32 with his rod to punish them. 32 Each time he does, his people will celebrate 32 with the music of harps and tambourines. 32 He will use his powerful arm 32 to strike the Assyrians down in battle.
33 In the Valley of Ben Hinnom, Topheth has been prepared for a long time. 33 It has been made ready for the king of Assyria. 33 Its fire pit has been made deep and wide. 33 It has plenty of wood for the fire. 33 The breath of the Lord 33 will be like a stream of burning sulfur. 33 It will set the wood on fire.