Woe to the Leaders of Ephraim and Judah
28 Woef to that wreath, the pride of Ephraim’sg drunkards,
to the fading flower, his glorious beauty,
set on the head of a fertile valleyh—
to that city, the pride of those laid low by wine!i
2 See, the Lord has one who is powerfulj and strong.
Like a hailstormk and a destructive wind,l
like a driving rain and a floodingm downpour,
he will throw it forcefully to the ground.
3 That wreath, the pride of Ephraim’sn drunkards,
will be trampledo underfoot.
4 That fading flower, his glorious beauty,
set on the head of a fertile valley,p
will be like figsq ripe before harvest—
as soon as people see them and take them in hand,
they swallow them.
5 In that dayr the Lord Almighty
a beautiful wreath
for the remnantu of his people.
6 He will be a spirit of justicev
to the one who sits in judgment,w
a source of strength
to those who turn back the battlex at the gate.
7 And these also staggery from winez
and reela from beer:
Priestsb and prophetsc stagger from beer
and are befuddled with wine;
they reel from beer,
they stagger when seeing visions,d
they stumble when rendering decisions.
8 All the tables are covered with vomite
and there is not a spot without filth.
9 “Who is it he is trying to teach?f
To whom is he explaining his message?g
To children weanedh from their milk,i
to those just taken from the breast?
Do this, do that,
a rule for this, a rule for thata;
a little here, a little there.j”
11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tonguesk
God will speak to this people,l
“This is the resting place, let the weary rest”;m
and, “This is the place of repose”—
but they would not listen.
13 So then, the word of the Lord to them will become:
Do this, do that,
a rule for this, a rule for that;
a little here, a little theren—
so that as they go they will fall backward;
they will be injuredo and snared and captured.p
14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord,q you scoffersr
who rule this people in Jerusalem.
15 You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death,s
with the realm of the dead we have made an agreement.
When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by,t
it cannot touch us,
for we have made a lieu our refuge
and falsehoodb our hiding place.v”
16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,w a tested stone,x
a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;y
the one who relies on it
will never be stricken with panic.z
17 I will make justicea the measuring line
and righteousness the plumb line;b
hailc will sweep away your refuge, the lie,
and water will overflowd your hiding place.
18 Your covenant with death will be annulled;
your agreement with the realm of the dead will not stand.e
When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by,f
you will be beaten downg by it.
19 As often as it comes it will carry you away;h
morning after morning,i by day and by night,
it will sweep through.”
The understanding of this message
will bring sheer terror.j
20 The bed is too short to stretch out on,
the blanket too narrow to wrap around you.k
21 The Lord will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim,l
he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeonm—
to do his work,n his strange work,
and perform his task, his alien task.
22 Now stop your mocking,o
or your chains will become heavier;
the Lord, the Lord Almighty, has told me
of the destruction decreedp against the whole land.q
23 Listenr and hear my voice;
pay attention and hear what I say.
24 When a farmer plows for planting,s does he plow continually?
Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil?
25 When he has leveled the surface,
does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin?t
Does he not plant wheat in its place,c
and speltv in its field?
and teachesw him the right way.
27 Caraway is not threshedx with a sledge,y
nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin;
caraway is beaten out with a rod,z
and cumin with a stick.
28 Grain must be ground to make bread;
so one does not go on threshing it forever.
The wheels of a threshing carta may be rolled over it,
but one does not use horses to grind grain.
29 All this also comes from the Lord Almighty,
whose plan is wonderful,b
whose wisdom is magnificent.c
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