2 I will stand like a guard to watch and ·place [station] myself at the tower. I will wait to see what he will say to me; I will wait to learn how ·God will answer [or I will answer concerning] my complaint.
The Lord Answers
2 The Lord answered me: “Write down the vision; write it ·clearly [plainly] on clay tablets so whoever reads it can run to tell others. 3 ·It is not yet time for the message to come true [L For the vision awaits an appointed time], ·but that time is coming soon [it hastens to the end; or it speaks about the end]; the message will ·come true [not lie]. ·It may seem like a long time, but [Though it tarries/lingers] be patient and wait for it, because it will surely come; it will not be delayed. 4 [L Look; T Behold] ·The evil nation [L He] is ·very proud of itself [puffed up]; ·it [L his soul] is not ·living as it should [upright]. But ·those who are right with God [the righteous] will live ·by faith [or because of their faithfulness; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38].
5 “Just as wine ·can trick [betrays] a person, those who are too proud will not ·last, [have rest; settle down] ·because their desire is like a grave’s desire for death [L he opens wide his throat like Sheol; C the grave or the underworld], and like death they always want more. They gather other nations for themselves and collect for themselves all the ·countries [peoples]. 6 But all ·the nations the Babylonians have hurt [L these] will ·laugh at [taunt] them. They will ·make fun of the Babylonians [ridicule with riddles] and say, ‘·How terrible it will be for [L Woe to] the one that ·steals many things [L piles up what is not his]. How long will that nation get rich by ·forcing others to pay them [extortion; goods taken in pledge]?’
7 “·One day the people from whom you have taken money will [L Will not your creditors…?] turn against you. They will ·realize what is happening [L wake up] and make you shake with fear. Then ·they will take everything you have [L you will become their plunder]. 8 Because you have ·stolen from [plundered] many nations, those who are left will ·take much from [plunder] you. ·This is because you have killed many people [For the human blood you have shed], ·destroying [violently attacking] countries and cities and everyone in them.
9 “·How terrible it will be for the nation [L Woe to him] that ·becomes rich by doing wrong [builds his house with unjust gain; or acquires evil gain for his own house], thinking they will ·live in a safe place [L set his nest on high] and escape ·harm [L the hand of evil]. 10 Because you have ·made plans [plotted; schemed] to ·destroy [L cut off] many people, you have brought shame to your house. Because of it, you will ·lose your lives [forfeit your soul/life]. 11 The stones of the walls [C of the “house” of Babylon] will cry out against you, and the ·boards that support the roof [beams of the woodwork] will ·agree that you are wrong [echo the complaint; L answer back].
12 “·How terrible it will be for the nation [L Woe to him] that ·kills people [uses bloodshed] to build a city, that ·wrongs others [uses injustice] to start a town. 13 [L Look; T Behold] The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] will send fire to destroy what those people have built; all the nations’ ·work [weariness] will be for nothing. 14 Then, just as water covers the sea, ·people everywhere will know [L the earth will be filled with the knowledge of] the Lord’s glory.
15 “·How terrible for the nation that [L Woe to him who] makes its neighbors drink, pouring ·from the jug of wine [or out your wrath] until they are drunk so that it can look at their naked bodies. 16 ·You Babylonians [L You] will be filled with ·disgrace [shame], not ·respect [glory]. It’s your turn to drink and ·fall to the ground [or expose your uncircumcision] like a drunk person. The ·cup of anger [L cup; Jer. 25:15–29] from the Lord’s right hand is coming around to you. You will receive ·disgrace [shame], not ·respect [glory]. 17 You ·hurt many people [did violence] in Lebanon, but now you will be ·hurt [overwhelmed by it]. You killed many animals there, and now you must be afraid because of ·what you did [the blood and violence you did] to that land, those cities, and the people who lived in them.
The Message About Idols
18 “·An idol does no good [L What value does an idol have…?], because a human made it; it is only a ·statue [metal image] that teaches lies. The one who made it ·expects his own work to help him [trusts in his own creation], but he makes idols that can’t even speak! 19 ·How terrible it will be for [L Woe to] the one who says to a wooden statue, ‘·Come to life [Wake up]!’ ·How terrible it will be for [L Woe to] the one who says to a silent stone, ‘·Get up [Arise]!’ It cannot ·tell you what to do [teach/guide us]. It is only a statue covered with gold and silver; there is no ·life [breath] in it. 20 The Lord is in his Holy Temple; all the earth should be silent ·in his presence [before him].”
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