Judah’s Leaders Judged

Note this: The Lord God of Armies
is about to remove from Jerusalem and from Judah
every kind of security:
the entire supply of bread and water,
heroes and warriors,(A)
judges and prophets,
fortune-tellers and elders,
commanders of fifty and dignitaries,
counselors, cunning magicians,[a] and necromancers.[b]
“I will make youths their leaders,(B)
and unstable rulers[c] will govern them.”
The people will oppress one another,(C)
man against man, neighbor against neighbor;
the young will act arrogantly toward the old,
and the worthless toward the honorable.
A man will even seize his brother
in his father’s house, saying,
“You have a cloak—you be our leader!
This heap of rubble will be under your control.”
On that day he will cry out, saying,
“I’m not a healer.
I don’t even have food or clothing in my house.
Don’t make me the leader of the people!”
For Jerusalem has stumbled
and Judah has fallen
because they have spoken and acted against the Lord,(D)
defying his glorious presence.(E)
The look on their faces testifies against them,
and like Sodom,(F) they flaunt their sin;
they do not conceal it.
Woe to them,
for they have brought disaster on themselves.(G)
10 Tell the righteous that it will go well for them,
for they will eat the fruit of their labor.
11 Woe to the wicked—it will go badly for them,
for what they have done will be done to them.
12 Youths oppress my people,(H)
and women rule over them.
My people, your leaders mislead you;
they confuse the direction of your paths.(I)

13 The Lord rises to argue the case
and stands to judge the people.(J)
14 The Lord brings this charge
against the elders and leaders of his people:(K)
“You have devastated the vineyard.
The plunder from the poor is in your houses.(L)
15 Why do you crush my people
and grind the faces of the poor?”
This is the declaration of the Lord God of Armies.

Jerusalem’s Women Judged

16 The Lord also says:

Because the daughters of Zion are haughty,(M)
walking with heads held high
and seductive eyes,
prancing along,
jingling their ankle bracelets,
17 the Lord will put scabs on the heads
of the daughters of Zion,
and the Lord will shave their foreheads bare.

18 On that day(N) the Lord will strip their finery: ankle bracelets, headbands, crescents,(O) 19 pendants, bracelets, veils, 20 headdresses, ankle jewelry, sashes, perfume bottles, amulets,(P) 21 signet rings, nose rings,(Q) 22 festive robes, capes, cloaks, purses, 23 garments, linen clothes, turbans, and shawls.

24 Instead of perfume there will be a stench;
instead of a belt, a rope;
instead of beautifully styled hair,(R) baldness;(S)
instead of fine clothes, sackcloth;(T)
instead of beauty, branding.[d]
25 Your men will fall by the sword,
your warriors in battle.
26 Then her gates(U) will lament and mourn;
deserted, she will sit on the ground.(V)


  1. 3:3 Or skilled craftsmen
  2. 3:3 Or mediums
  3. 3:4 Or mischief-makers
  4. 3:24 DSS read shame

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