24 See here, the Eternal One will empty the earth. He will lay it waste, contort the mountains and plains, And scatter its inhabitants all over the place. 2 Things will be topsy-turvy, hierarchies upended. No one will be safe, not laypeople or priests, not servants or masters, not maids or mistresses, not buyers or sellers, not lenders or borrowers, not debtors or creditors. 3 The earth will be emptied, all emptied, despoiled, utterly despoiled. The Eternal said that it should be so.
4 So the earth mourns, droops wearily down; the world languishes and droops; the high and mighty languish in grief. 5 The earth is polluted by those who live on it; they pay no attention to God’s teaching. They violate His directives and break the everlasting covenant. 6 Consequently, a nasty curse consumes the earth, and those who inhabit it are to blame for it. They’ll be burned up, leaving very few people to survive. 7 Luscious wine grapes shrivel to nothing. The vines rot, and everyone who had taken joy from their nectar sighs in deep depression. 8 No more music, no more songs, no more dancing to tambourines, laughing with revelers, or playing the harps. 9 People don’t drink wine and sing with pleasure anymore; the stronger stuff is mostly bitter to those who drink it. 10 The chaotic city is in shambles, and every house is boarded up so no one can go in. 11 People rebel in the streets, demanding wine. All joy turns to gloom; happiness has been banished from the land. 12 In the city nothing is left but desolation, and the gate is battered and ruined.
13 This is how it will be on the earth for the nations— only a few survivors will be left— as when an olive tree is shaken and a few olives hold on or when the grape harvest is in and a few grapes remain for gleaning.
14 But people will take joy again. They will shout out and sing of the Eternal One’s majesty across the ocean. 15 Join in the song and praise the Eternal from the east. Praise the Eternal, the God of Israel, all along the coast of the sea.
16 Listen and you can hear the merry voices from the corners of the earth singing, “Honor to the Righteous One.” But as for me, I say, “I am wasting away, wasting away. Woe is me! I can see treachery, treachery, and it wears me down. Traitors deal in treachery.”
17 Terror, pit, and trap face you, you people of the earth. 18 And whoever runs from the sound of terror will only fall into a pit; when he climbs out of the pit, he’ll run and be caught in a trap. The sky above will open up and the ground below will quake—nothing will be safe. 19 The earth is broken and shattered and splits apart. It shakes and quakes violently. 20 Like a drunk, the earth staggers and reels; it shudders and shakes, like a shack in the wind. For its rebellion weighs so heavily on it, that it will fall and have no chance for repair.
21 On that day, even the heavenly powers and earthly rulers will feel the Eternal’s punishing wrath. 22 They’ll be gathered up like prisoners, thrown in a dungeon, and suffer the punishment of God after many days. 23 A shadow of shame will settle over the full moon and bright sun, and their brilliance will begin to fade; for the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, Will rule from His chosen place on earth—Mount Zion in Jerusalem, and His glory will shine out with brilliance for the elders to see.
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