27 At that time 1 the Lord will punish
with his destructive, 2 great, and powerful sword
Leviathan the fast-moving 3 serpent,
Leviathan the squirming serpent;
he will kill the sea monster. 4
2 When that time comes, 5
sing about a delightful vineyard! 6
3 I, the Lord, protect it; 7
I water it regularly. 8
I guard it night and day,
so no one can harm it. 9
4 I am not angry.
I wish I could confront some thorns and briers!
Then I would march against them 10 for battle;
I would set them 11 all on fire,
5 unless they became my subjects 12
and made peace with me;
let them make peace with me. 13
6 The time is coming when Jacob will take root; 14
Israel will blossom and grow branches.
The produce 15 will fill the surface of the world. 16
7 Has the Lord struck down Israel like he did their oppressors? 17
Has Israel been killed like their enemies? 18
8 When you summon her for divorce, you prosecute her; 19
he drives her away 20 with his strong wind in the day of the east wind. 21
9 So in this way Jacob’s sin will be forgiven, 22
and this is how they will show they are finished sinning: 23
They will make all the stones of the altars 24
like crushed limestone,
and the Asherah poles and the incense altars will no longer stand. 25
10 For the fortified city 26 is left alone;
it is a deserted settlement
and abandoned like the desert.
Calves 27 graze there;
they lie down there
and eat its branches bare. 28
11 When its branches get brittle, 29 they break;
women come and use them for kindling. 30
For these people lack understanding, 31
therefore the one who made them has no compassion on them;
the one who formed them has no mercy on them.
12 At that time 32 the Lord will shake the tree, 33 from the Euphrates River 34 to the Stream of Egypt. Then you will be gathered up one by one, O Israelites. 35 13 At that time 36 a large 37 trumpet will be blown, and the ones lost 38 in the land of Assyria will come, as well as the refugees in 39 the land of Egypt. They will worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem. 40
28 The splendid crown of Ephraim’s drunkards is doomed, 1
the withering flower, its beautiful splendor, 2
situated 3 at the head of a rich valley,
the crown of those overcome with wine. 4
2 Look, the sovereign master 5 sends a strong, powerful one. 6
With the force of a hailstorm or a destructive windstorm, 7
with the might of a driving, torrential rainstorm, 8
he will knock that crown 9 to the ground with his hand. 10
3 The splendid crown of Ephraim’s drunkards
will be trampled underfoot.
4 The withering flower, its beautiful splendor,
situated at the head of a rich valley,
will be like an early fig before harvest –
as soon as someone notices it,
he grabs it and swallows it. 11
5 At that time 12 the Lord who commands armies will become a beautiful crown
and a splendid diadem for the remnant of his people.
6 He will give discernment to the one who makes judicial decisions,
and strength to those who defend the city from attackers. 13
7 Even these men 14 stagger because of wine,
they stumble around because of beer –
priests and prophets stagger because of beer,
they are confused 15 because of wine,
they stumble around because of beer;
they stagger while seeing prophetic visions, 16
they totter while making legal decisions. 17
8 Indeed, all the tables are covered with vomit;
no place is untouched. 18
9 Who is the Lord 19 trying to teach?
To whom is he explaining a message? 20
Those just weaned from milk!
Those just taken from their mother’s breast! 21
10 Indeed, they will hear meaningless gibberish,
a syllable here, a syllable there. 22
11 For with mocking lips and a foreign tongue
he will speak to these people. 23
12 In the past he said to them, 24
“This is where security can be found.
Provide security for the one who is exhausted!
This is where rest can be found.” 25
But they refused to listen.
13 So the Lord’s word to them will sound like
a syllable here, a syllable there. 26
As a result, they will fall on their backsides when they try to walk, 27
and be injured, ensnared, and captured. 28
14 Therefore, listen to the Lord’s word,
you who mock,
you rulers of these people
who reside in Jerusalem! 29
15 For you say,
“We have made a treaty with death,
with Sheol 30 we have made an agreement. 31
When the overwhelming judgment sweeps by 32
it will not reach us.
For we have made a lie our refuge,
we have hidden ourselves in a deceitful word.” 33
16 Therefore, this is what the sovereign master, the Lord, says:
“Look, I am laying 34 a stone in Zion,
an approved 35 stone,
set in place as a precious cornerstone for the foundation. 36
The one who maintains his faith will not panic. 37
17 I will make justice the measuring line,
fairness the plumb line;
hail will sweep away the unreliable refuge, 38
the floodwaters will overwhelm the hiding place.
18 Your treaty with death will be dissolved; 39
your agreement 40 with Sheol will not last. 41
When the overwhelming judgment sweeps by, 42
you will be overrun by it. 43
19 Whenever it sweeps by, it will overtake you;
indeed, 44 every morning it will sweep by,
it will come through during the day and the night.” 45
When this announcement is understood,
it will cause nothing but terror.
20 For the bed is too short to stretch out on,
and the blanket is too narrow to wrap around oneself. 46
21 For the Lord will rise up, as he did at Mount Perazim, 47
he will rouse himself, as he did in the Valley of Gibeon, 48
to accomplish his work,
his peculiar work,
to perform his task,
his strange task. 49
22 So now, do not mock,
or your chains will become heavier!
For I have heard a message about decreed destruction,
from the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, against the entire land. 50
23 Pay attention and listen to my message! 51
Be attentive and listen to what I have to say! 52
24 Does a farmer just keep on plowing at planting time? 53
Does he keep breaking up and harrowing his ground?
25 Once he has leveled its surface,
does he not scatter the seed of the caraway plant,
sow the seed of the cumin plant,
and plant the wheat, barley, and grain in their designated places? 54
26 His God instructs him;
he teaches him the principles of agriculture. 55
27 Certainly 56 caraway seed is not threshed with a sledge,
nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin seed. 57
Certainly caraway seed is beaten with a stick,
and cumin seed with a flail.
28 Grain is crushed,
though one certainly does not thresh it forever.
The wheel of one’s wagon rolls over it,
but his horses do not crush it.
29 This also comes from the Lord who commands armies,
who gives supernatural guidance and imparts great wisdom. 58