28 ·How terrible it will be for [L Woe to] Samaria [C the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel], the pride of ·Israel’s [L Ephraim’s] drunken people! That beautiful ·crown [wreath; garland] of flowers is ·just a dying plant [fading] set on ·a hill above [L the head of] a rich valley ·where drunkards live [of those overcome with wine]. 2 Look, the Lord has someone who is strong and powerful. Like a storm of hail and ·strong [destructive] wind, like a sudden flood of water pouring over the country, he will throw Samaria down to the ground [L with his hand]. 3 That city, the pride of ·Israel’s [L Ephraim’s] drunken people, will be trampled underfoot. 4 That beautiful ·crown [wreath; garland] of flowers is ·just a dying plant [fading] set on ·a hill above [L the head of] a rich valley. That city will be like the first ripe fig of summer. Anyone who sees it quickly ·picks it [takes it in hand] and ·eats [swallows] it.
5 ·At that time [L In that day] the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] ·will be like [L will be] a beautiful crown, ·like a wonderful [a beautiful] ·crown of flowers [wreath; garland; diadem] for ·his people who are left alive [the remnant of his people]. 6 Then he will give ·wisdom [a spirit of justice/judgment] to ·the judges who must decide cases [L those who sit in judgment] and strength to those who battle at the city gate. 7 But now those leaders ·are drunk [reel] with wine; they ·stumble [stagger] from drinking too much ·beer [T strong drink; C alcoholic beverage made from grain]. The priests and prophets ·are drunk [stagger] with ·beer [T strong drink] and are ·filled with [swallowed by; or confused because of] wine. They stumble from too much ·beer [T strong drink]. ·The prophets [L They] ·are drunk [stagger] when they see their visions; ·the judges [they] stumble ·when they make their decisions [in judgment]. 8 Every table is covered with vomit, so there is not a clean place anywhere.
9 ·The Lord is trying to teach the people a lesson [L Who is he teaching knowledge?]; ·he is trying to make them understand his teachings [L To whom is he explaining the message?]. ·But the people are like babies too old for breast milk [Those weaned from milk?], ·like those who no longer nurse at their mother’s breast [Those taken from the breast?]. 10 So ·they make fun of the Lord’s prophet and say [or the Lord must repeat himself again and again; L For it is]: “·A command here, a command there [T Precept upon precept, precept upon precept]. ·A rule here, a rule there [T Line upon line, line upon line; C Hebrew: tsav latsav tsav latsav / kav lakav kav lakav; it may be the people mocking the words of the prophets as nonsense; or it may refer to God repeating himself because the people will not listen]. A little lesson here, a little lesson there [L A little there, a little there].” 11 So the Lord will use ·strange words [mocking/stammering lips] and foreign ·languages [tongues] to speak to these people. 12 God said to them, “Here is a place of rest; let the ·tired people [weary] come and rest. This is the place of peace.” But the people would not listen. 13 So the words of the Lord will be, “·A command here, a command there [T Precept upon precept, precept upon precept]. ·A rule here, a rule there [T Line upon line, line upon line]. ·A little lesson here, a little lesson there [L A little there, a little there; C see v. 10; God now uses the same words to mimic the foreign language of the Assyrian invaders].” They will fall back and be ·defeated [broken]; they will be ·trapped and captured [snared and taken].
14 So listen to the Lord’s message, you who ·brag [mock; scoff; Prov. 1:22; 9:7, 8, 12; 13:1], you ·leaders [L who rule this people] in Jerusalem. 15 You say, “We have made an ·agreement [treaty; covenant] with death; we have a ·contract [agreement; pact] with ·death [or the grave; L Sheol]. When ·terrible punishment [an overwhelming scourge/flood] passes by, it won’t ·hurt [touch; reach] us. Our lies ·will keep us safe [L are our refuge], and ·our tricks [falsehood] ·will hide us [is our refuge/shelter].”
16 Because of these things, this is what the Lord God says:
“I will ·put [lay; establish] a stone in the ground in ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple], a tested stone. ·Everything will be built on this important and precious rock [L …a precious cornerstone for a firm foundation]. Anyone who trusts in it will never ·be disappointed [or panic; waver; be shaken; Rom. 9:33; 1 Pet. 2:6]. 17 I will use justice as a measuring line and ·goodness [righteousness] as the ·standard [plumb line]. The lies you ·hide behind [take refuge in] will be ·destroyed [swept away] as if by hail. ·They [Your hiding place/shelter] will be washed away as if in a flood. 18 Your ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with death will be ·erased [annulled]; your contract with ·death [or the grave; L Sheol] will not ·help you [stand; last]. When ·terrible punishment [overwhelming scourge/flood] comes, you will be ·crushed [beaten down] by it. 19 Whenever ·punishment [L it] comes, it will take you away. It will come morning after morning; it will ·defeat you [sweep through] by day and by night. Those who understand this punishment will be terrified.” 20 ·You will be like the person who tried to sleep on a bed that was too short [L For the bed is too short to stretch out on] and ·with a blanket that [L the blanket] was too narrow to wrap around himself. 21 The Lord will ·fight [L rise up] as he did at Mount Perazim [2 Sam. 5:20]. He will be ·angry [rouse himself] as he was in the Valley of Gibeon [Josh. 10:10–14]. He will do his work, his ·strange [peculiar] work. He will finish his job, his ·strange [unusual] job. 22 Now, ·you must not make fun of these things [do not mock; or stop your mocking], or the ·ropes [or chains; bonds] around you will become ·tighter [or heavier]. The Lord God ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] has ·told me [decreed to me] how the whole ·earth [land] will be destroyed.
The Lord Punishes Fairly
23 Listen closely to ·what I tell you [my voice]; ·listen carefully to [pay attention to; heed] what I say. 24 ·A farmer does not [L Does the plower…?] plow his field all the time; ·he does not [L does he…?] go on working the soil. 25 ·He makes [Does he not make…?] the ground flat and smooth. Then he plants the dill and scatters the cumin. ·He plants [Does he not plant…?] the wheat in rows, the barley in its special place, and other wheat as a border around the field. 26 His God ·teaches [instructs] him and ·shows [teaches] him the right way. 27 A farmer doesn’t use ·heavy boards to crush [a sledge to thresh] dill; he doesn’t use a wagon wheel to crush cumin. He uses a small stick to break open the dill, and with a ·stick [rod; flail] he opens the cumin. 28 The grain is ground to make bread. People do not ruin it by ·crushing [threshing] it forever. The farmer separates the wheat from the chaff with his cart, but he does not let his horses ·grind [crush] it. 29 This lesson [C that the Lord’s punishment fits the sin] also comes from the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], who gives wonderful ·advice [counsel; 9:6], who ·is very wise [or gives excellent/great wisdom].
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Now that you've created a Bible Gateway account, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus, the ultimate online Bible reading & study experience!
Bible Gateway Plus equips you to answer the toughest questions about faith, God, and the Bible. There's no software to install; it's all integrated seamlessly into your Bible Gateway experience. Try it free for 30 days!