Punishment for Wickedness Foretold
1Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Also, son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel, ‘An end! The end is coming on the four corners of the land. 3 Now the end is upon you, and I will send My anger against you and will judge you in accordance with your ways and I will bring [retribution for] all your abominations upon you. 4 For My eye will have no pity on you, nor will I spare you, but I will repay you for your evil ways, while your abominations are among you; and you will know (recognize, understand) [without any doubt] that I am the Lord.’
5 “Thus says the Lord God, ‘A disaster is coming, [one so destructive and injurious, so sudden and violent, that it stands alone,] a unique disaster, look it is coming! 6 An end is coming; the end has come! It has awakened against you. Look, it has come! 7 Your doom has come to you, O inhabitant of the land; the time has come, the day is near—tumult rather than joyful shouting on the mountains. 8 Now I will soon pour out My wrath on you and spend My anger against you, and I will judge you in accordance with your ways and will repay you [with punishment] for all your outrageous acts. 9 My eye will show no pity nor will I spare [you]. I will repay you in accordance with your ways, while your abominations are in your midst; then you will know and understand that it is I, the Lord, who strikes you.
10 ‘Behold, the day! Behold, it is coming! Your doom has gone forth, the rod has blossomed, arrogance has sprouted. 11 Violence has grown into a rod of wickedness; none of them (Israel) will remain, none of their people, none of their wealth, nor anything eminent among them. 12 The time has come, the day has arrived. Let not the buyer rejoice nor the seller mourn, for wrath is against all their multitude [of people]. 13 For the seller will not regain and return to [a]what he sold, even were they yet alive; for the vision [of punishment] regarding all the multitude [of people] will not be turned back, nor will any one of them sustain his life because of his sin.
14 ‘They have blown the trumpet and have made everything ready, but no one is going to the battle, for My wrath is against all their multitude [of people]. 15 The sword is outside and virulent disease and famine are within. He who is in the field will die by the sword, and famine and disease will devour those in the city. 16 Even when their survivors escape, they will be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them moaning, each over his [punishment for] sin. 17 All hands will hang limp and all knees will be as weak as water. 18 They will also cover themselves with sackcloth; horror will overwhelm them, and shame will be on all faces and baldness on all their heads [as evidence of grief]. 19 They will fling their silver into the streets and their gold will be [discarded] like something unclean; their silver and their gold shall not be able to save them in the day of the wrath of the Lord. These [things] cannot satisfy their soul nor fill their stomachs, for they have become their stumbling block and source of sin.
The Temple Profaned
20 As for the beauty of [gold for] ornaments, they turned it to pride and from it made the images of their repulsive things (idols) and of their vile things. Therefore I will make it an unclean thing to them. 21 I will give it into the hands of strangers (Babylonians) as plunder and to the wicked of the earth as spoil, and they shall profane it. 22 I will also turn My face away from them, and they will desecrate My secret treasure (the Jerusalem temple); and robbers will enter [irreverently] into it (the Holy of Holies) and violate it.
23 ‘Prepare the chain [for imprisonment], for the land is full of bloody crimes [murders committed under the pretense of civil justice] and the city is full of violence. 24 Therefore, I will bring the worst of the [Gentile] nations, and they will take possession of their houses [those of the people of Judah]; I will also silence their pride, and their holy places will be profaned. 25 When anguish comes, they [of Judah] shall seek peace, but there will be none. 26 Disaster will come upon disaster and rumor will be heaped on rumor; they will seek a vision from a prophet, but the law and guidance will be lost from the priest and [wise] counsel [will cease] from the elders. 27 The king [of Judah] will mourn and the prince (Zedekiah) will be clothed with [garments of] despair and anguish, and the hands of the people of the land shall tremble [in terror]. I will deal with them in accordance with their conduct, and by their judgments I will judge them. And they will know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord.’”