New Life Version
Trouble for Jerusalem
29 It is bad for Ariel, Ariel the city where David once set up his tents! Add year to year. Keep your special suppers at the right times. 2 I will bring trouble to Ariel. She will be a city of sorrow and crying. She will be like an altar covered with blood to me. 3 I will camp against you, all around you. And I will build battle walls against you, and towers from which to fight you. 4 Then you will be brought low. From the earth you will speak. Your words will come from the dust. Your voice will be like that of a spirit from the ground. Your quiet speaking will come from the dust.
5 But the many who hate you will become like fine dust. The many who show no pity will be like the part of the grain that is of no worth and blows away. It will happen all at once. 6 You will be visited by the Lord of All, with thunder and earth-shaking and loud noise, and with wind and storm and a destroying fire. 7 And the many nations that fight against Ariel, all who fight against her and her strong-place and bring trouble to her, will be like a dream. They will be like a special dream of the night. 8 It will be as when a hungry man dreams he is eating, but when he wakes up, he is not filled. It will be as when a thirsty man dreams he is drinking, but when he wakes up, he is weak and still thirsty. This is how the many nations will be that fight against Mount Zion.
The Locked Book
9 Stop and wait. Blind yourselves and be blind. They are drunk, but not with wine. They walk from side to side, but not because of strong drink. 10 For the Lord has given you a deep sleep. He has shut your eyes, you who speak for God. He has covered your heads, men of God. 11 And the special dream of all this will be to you like the words of a locked book. When they give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot, for it is locked.” 12 Then they will give the book to one who cannot read, saying, “Read this.” And he will say, “I cannot read.”
13 The Lord said, “These people show respect to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. Their worship of Me is worth nothing. They teach rules that men have made. 14 So see, I will once again do great things with these people, great and wonderful things. And the wisdom of their wise men will be gone. The understanding of their wise men will be hidden.”
Hope for the Future
15 It is bad for those who try to hide their plans from the Lord, and whose works are done in a dark place. They say, “Who sees us?” or, “Who knows us?” 16 You turn things up-side-down! Is the pot-maker the same as the clay? Should what is made say to its maker, “He did not make me”? Should what is made say to him who made it, “He has no understanding”?
17 Is it not yet a very little while before Lebanon will be turned into a rich good field? The rich good field will be thought of as being full of many trees. 18 In that day those who cannot hear will hear the words of a book. And the eyes of the blind will see out of the darkness. 19 Those who have suffered will be happier in the Lord. Those who are in need will have joy in the Holy One of Israel. 20 For those who show no pity will come to an end. And those who laugh at the truth will be stopped. All who want to be sinful will be cut off. 21 Those who say something to make a man seem to be in the wrong, and who trap the one who acts as a judge at the gate, and who tell lies to cause a good man to be punished, will be cut off.
22 So this is what the Lord, Who made Abraham free, said about the family of Jacob: “Jacob will not be ashamed. No more will their faces become white with fear. 23 But when they see their children with them, the work of My hands, they will keep My Name holy, and will give honor to the Holy One of Jacob. They will stand in wonder of the God of Israel. 24 Those who do wrong in spirit will understand the truth. And those who complain will receive teaching.”