Judgment on Jerusalem and Judah
See now, the Lord,
the Lord Almighty,
is about to take from Jerusalem and Judah
both supply and support:
all supplies of food and all supplies of water,
the hero and the warrior,
the judge and the prophet,
the diviner and the elder,
the captain of fifty and the man of rank,
the counsellor, skilled craftsman and clever enchanter.
‘I will make mere youths their officials;
children will rule over them.’
People will oppress each other –
man against man, neighbour against neighbour.
The young will rise up against the old,
the nobody against the honoured.
A man will seize one of his brothers
in his father’s house, and say,
‘You have a cloak, you be our leader;
take charge of this heap of ruins!’
But in that day he will cry out,
‘I have no remedy.
I have no food or clothing in my house;
do not make me the leader of the people.’
Judah is falling;
their words and deeds are against the Lord,
defying his glorious presence.
The look on their faces testifies against them;
they parade their sin like Sodom;
they do not hide it.
Woe to them!
They have brought disaster upon themselves.
Tell the righteous it will be well with them,
for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.
Woe to the wicked!
Disaster is upon them!
They will be paid back
for what their hands have done.
Youths oppress my people,
women rule over them.
My people, your guides lead you astray;
they turn you from the path.
The Lord takes his place in court;
he rises to judge the people.
The Lord enters into judgment
against the elders and leaders of his people:
‘It is you who have ruined my vineyard;
the plunder from the poor is in your houses.
What do you mean by crushing my people
and grinding the faces of the poor?’
declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.
The Lord says,
‘The women of Zion are haughty,
walking along with outstretched necks,
flirting with their eyes,
strutting along with swaying hips,
with ornaments jingling on their ankles.
Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion;
the Lord will make their scalps bald.’
In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils, the head-dresses and anklets and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the signet rings and nose rings, the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls.
Instead of fragrance there will be a stench;
instead of a sash, a rope;
instead of well-dressed hair, baldness;
instead of fine clothing, sackcloth;
instead of beauty, branding.
Your men will fall by the sword,
your warriors in battle.
The gates of Zion will lament and mourn;
destitute, she will sit on the ground.
In that day seven women
will take hold of one man
and say, ‘We will eat our own food
and provide our own clothes;
only let us be called by your name.
Take away our disgrace!’
The Branch of the Lord
In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel. Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem. The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit[a] of judgment and a spirit[b] of fire. Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over everything the glory[c] will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding-place from the storm and rain.
The song of the vineyard
I will sing for the one I love
a song about his vineyard:
my loved one had a vineyard
on a fertile hillside.
He dug it up and cleared it of stones
and planted it with the choicest vines.
He built a watchtower in it
and cut out a winepress as well.
Then he looked for a crop of good grapes,
but it yielded only bad fruit.
‘Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah,
judge between me and my vineyard.
What more could have been done for my vineyard
than I have done for it?
When I looked for good grapes,
why did it yield only bad?
Now I will tell you
what I am going to do to my vineyard:
I will take away its hedge,
and it will be destroyed;
I will break down its wall,
and it will be trampled.
I will make it a wasteland,
neither pruned nor cultivated,
and briers and thorns will grow there.
I will command the clouds
not to rain on it.’
The vineyard of the Lord Almighty
is the nation of Israel,
and the people of Judah
are the vines he delighted in.
And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed;
for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.