29 Jerusalem, city of David, the place of my altar,[a] you are in for trouble! Celebrate your festivals year after year. 2 I will still make you suffer, and your people will cry when I make an altar of you.[b] 3 I will surround you and prepare to attack from all sides.[c] 4 From deep in the earth, you will call out for help with only a faint whisper.
5 Then your cruel enemies will suddenly be swept away like dust in a windstorm. 6 I, the Lord All-Powerful, will come to your rescue with a thundering earthquake and a fiery whirlwind.
7 Every brutal nation that attacks Jerusalem and makes it suffer will disappear like a dream when night is over. 8 Those nations that attack Mount Zion will suffer from hunger and thirst. They will dream of food and drink but wake up weary and hungry and thirsty as ever.
Prophets Who Fool Themselves
9 Be shocked and stunned, you prophets! Refuse to see. Get drunk and stagger, but not from wine. 10 The Lord has made you drowsy; he put you into a deep sleep and covered your head.
11 Now his message is like a sealed letter to you. Some of you say, “We can’t read it, because it’s sealed.” 12 Others say, “We can’t read it, because we don’t know how to read.”
13 The Lord has said:
“These people praise me with their words, but they never really think about me. They worship me by repeating rules made up by humans. 14 So once again I will do things that shock and amaze them, and I will destroy the wisdom of those who claim to know and understand.”
15 You are in for trouble, if you try to hide your plans from the Lord! Or if you think what you do in the dark can’t be seen. 16 You have it all backwards. A clay dish doesn’t say to the potter, “You didn’t make me. You don’t even know how.”
Hope for the Future
17 Soon the forest of Lebanon will become a field with crops, thick as a forest.[d] 18 The deaf will be able to hear whatever is read to them; the blind will be freed from a life of darkness. 19 The poor and the needy will celebrate and shout because of the Lord, the holy God of Israel.
20 All who are cruel and arrogant will be gone forever. Those who live by crime will disappear, 21 together with everyone who tells lies in court and keeps innocent people from getting a fair trial.
22 The Lord who rescued Abraham has this to say about Jacob’s descendants: “They will no longer be ashamed and disgraced. 23 When they see how great I have made their nation, they will praise and honor me, the holy God of Israel. 24 Everyone who is confused will understand, and all who have complained will obey my teaching.”
29.1the place of my altar: One possible meaning for “ariel, ariel” of the Hebrew text. In Hebrew “ariel” can mean “God’s hero” or “God’s lion” or “God’s altar.”
29.2when. . . you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
29.3from all sides: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. One ancient translation has “like David.”
29.17with. . . forest: Or “and Mount Carmel will be covered with forests.”
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