22 This message came to me concerning Jerusalem—the Valley of Vision[a]:
What is happening? Why is everyone running to the rooftops? 2 The whole city is in a terrible uproar. What do I see in this reveling city? Bodies are lying everywhere, killed not in battle but by famine and disease. 3 All your leaders have fled. They surrendered without resistance. The people tried to slip away, but they were captured, too. 4 That’s why I said, “Leave me alone to weep; do not try to comfort me. Let me cry for my people as I watch them being destroyed.”
5 Oh, what a day of crushing defeat! What a day of confusion and terror brought by the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, upon the Valley of Vision! The walls of Jerusalem have been broken, and cries of death echo from the mountainsides. 6 Elamites are the archers, with their chariots and charioteers. The men of Kir hold up the shields. 7 Chariots fill your beautiful valleys, and charioteers storm your gates. 8 Judah’s defenses have been stripped away. You run to the armory[b] for your weapons. 9 You inspect the breaks in the walls of Jerusalem.[c] You store up water in the lower pool. 10 You survey the houses and tear some down for stone to strengthen the walls. 11 Between the city walls, you build a reservoir for water from the old pool. But you never ask for help from the One who did all this. You never considered the One who planned this long ago.
12 At that time the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, called you to weep and mourn. He told you to shave your heads in sorrow for your sins and to wear clothes of burlap to show your remorse. 13 But instead, you dance and play; you slaughter cattle and kill sheep. You feast on meat and drink wine. You say, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
14 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has revealed this to me: “Till the day you die, you will never be forgiven for this sin.” That is the judgment of the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
A Message for Shebna
15 This is what the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, said to me: “Confront Shebna, the palace administrator, and give him this message:
16 “Who do you think you are, and what are you doing here, building a beautiful tomb for yourself— a monument high up in the rock? 17 For the Lord is about to hurl you away, mighty man. He is going to grab you, 18 crumple you into a ball, and toss you away into a distant, barren land. There you will die, and your glorious chariots will be broken and useless. You are a disgrace to your master!
19 “Yes, I will drive you out of office,” says the Lord. “I will pull you down from your high position.20 And then I will call my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah to replace you.21 I will dress him in your royal robes and will give him your title and your authority. And he will be a father to the people of Jerusalem and Judah.22 I will give him the key to the house of David—the highest position in the royal court. When he opens doors, no one will be able to close them; when he closes doors, no one will be able to open them.23 He will bring honor to his family name, for I will drive him firmly in place like a nail in the wall.24 They will give him great responsibility, and he will bring honor to even the lowliest members of his family.[d]”
25 But the Lord of Heaven’s Armies also says: “The time will come when I will pull out the nail that seemed so firm. It will come out and fall to the ground. Everything it supports will fall with it. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
A Message about Tyre
23 This message came to me concerning Tyre:
Wail, you trading ships of Tarshish, for the harbor and houses of Tyre are gone! The rumors you heard in Cyprus[e] are all true. 2 Mourn in silence, you people of the coast and you merchants of Sidon. Your traders crossed the sea,[f] 3 sailing over deep waters. They brought you grain from Egypt[g] and harvests from along the Nile. You were the marketplace of the world.
4 But now you are put to shame, city of Sidon, for Tyre, the fortress of the sea, says,[h] “Now I am childless; I have no sons or daughters.” 5 When Egypt hears the news about Tyre, there will be great sorrow. 6 Send word now to Tarshish! Wail, you people who live in distant lands! 7 Is this silent ruin all that is left of your once joyous city? What a long history was yours! Think of all the colonists you sent to distant places.
8 Who has brought this disaster on Tyre, that great creator of kingdoms? Her traders were all princes, her merchants were nobles. 9 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has done it to destroy your pride and bring low all earth’s nobility. 10 Come, people of Tarshish, sweep over the land like the flooding Nile, for Tyre is defenseless.[i] 11 The Lord held out his hand over the sea and shook the kingdoms of the earth. He has spoken out against Phoenicia,[j] ordering that her fortresses be destroyed. 12 He says, “Never again will you rejoice, O daughter of Sidon, for you have been crushed. Even if you flee to Cyprus, you will find no rest.”
13 Look at the land of Babylonia[k]— the people of that land are gone! The Assyrians have handed Babylon over to the wild animals of the desert. They have built siege ramps against its walls, torn down its palaces, and turned it to a heap of rubble.
14 Wail, you ships of Tarshish, for your harbor is destroyed!
15 For seventy years, the length of a king’s life, Tyre will be forgotten. But then the city will come back to life as in the song about the prostitute:
16 Take a harp and walk the streets, you forgotten harlot. Make sweet melody and sing your songs so you will be remembered again.
17 Yes, after seventy years the Lord will revive Tyre. But she will be no different than she was before. She will again be a prostitute to all kingdoms around the world.18 But in the end her profits will be given to the Lord. Her wealth will not be hoarded but will provide good food and fine clothing for the Lord’s priests.
Destruction of the Earth
24 Look! The Lord is about to destroy the earth and make it a vast wasteland. He devastates the surface of the earth and scatters the people. 2 Priests and laypeople, servants and masters, maids and mistresses, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, bankers and debtors—none will be spared. 3 The earth will be completely emptied and looted. The Lord has spoken!
4 The earth mourns and dries up, and the land wastes away and withers. Even the greatest people on earth waste away. 5 The earth suffers for the sins of its people, for they have twisted God’s instructions, violated his laws, and broken his everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore, a curse consumes the earth. Its people must pay the price for their sin. They are destroyed by fire, and only a few are left alive. 7 The grapevines waste away, and there is no new wine. All the merrymakers sigh and mourn. 8 The cheerful sound of tambourines is stilled; the happy cries of celebration are heard no more. The melodious chords of the harp are silent. 9 Gone are the joys of wine and song; alcoholic drink turns bitter in the mouth. 10 The city writhes in chaos; every home is locked to keep out intruders. 11 Mobs gather in the streets, crying out for wine. Joy has turned to gloom. Gladness has been banished from the land. 12 The city is left in ruins, its gates battered down. 13 Throughout the earth the story is the same— only a remnant is left, like the stray olives left on the tree or the few grapes left on the vine after harvest.
14 But all who are left shout and sing for joy. Those in the west praise the Lord’s majesty. 15 In eastern lands, give glory to the Lord. In the lands beyond the sea, praise the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 16 We hear songs of praise from the ends of the earth, songs that give glory to the Righteous One!
But my heart is heavy with grief. Weep for me, for I wither away. Deceit still prevails, and treachery is everywhere. 17 Terror and traps and snares will be your lot, you people of the earth. 18 Those who flee in terror will fall into a trap, and those who escape the trap will be caught in a snare.
Destruction falls like rain from the heavens; the foundations of the earth shake. 19 The earth has broken up. It has utterly collapsed; it is violently shaken. 20 The earth staggers like a drunk. It trembles like a tent in a storm. It falls and will not rise again, for the guilt of its rebellion is very heavy.
21 In that day the Lord will punish the gods in the heavens and the proud rulers of the nations on earth. 22 They will be rounded up and put in prison. They will be shut up in prison and will finally be punished. 23 Then the glory of the moon will wane, and the brightness of the sun will fade, for the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will rule on Mount Zion. He will rule in great glory in Jerusalem, in the sight of all the leaders of his people.
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