3 “Note this! The Lord God of the Heavenly Armies is taking away from Jerusalem and Judah everything that your society needs—[a] all food supplies and all water supplies, 2 the mighty man and the warrior, the judge and the prophet, the fortune-teller and the elder, 3 the commander of fifty and the man of rank, and the counselor, the expert magician, and the medium.
4 “I will make youths their princes, and infants will rule over them. 5 People will oppress one another— It will be man against man and neighbor against neighbor. The young will be disrespectful to the old, and the worthless to the honorable.
6 “For a man will grab his brother in his own father’s house, and say, ‘You have a cloak, so you be our leader, and this heap of ruins will be under your rule!’
7 “But[b] at that time,[c] he’ll protest![d] He’ll say, ‘I won’t be your healer. I have neither food nor clothing in my house! You’re not going to make me a leader of the people!’
8 “For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah has fallen, because what they say and do opposes[e] the Lord; they keep defying him.[f]
9 “The expressions on their faces give them away.[g] They parade their sin around like Sodom; they don’t even try to[h] hide it. How horrible it will be for them, because they have brought disaster on themselves!”
Encouragement to the Righteous
10 “Tell[i] the righteous that things will go well, because they will enjoy[j] the fruit of their actions.”
Warning to the Wicked
11 “How terrible it will be for the wicked! Disaster is headed their way, because what they did with their hand[k] will be repaid[l] to them.
12 “As for my people, children[m] are their oppressors, and women rule over them. My people, your leaders are misleading you— they’re giving you confusing directions.”[n]
When God Goes to Court
13 The Lord is taking his place to argue his case; he’s standing up to judge the people. 14 The Lord will go to court[o] to oppose[p] the elders and princes of his people:
“You’re the ones who have been devouring the vineyard, the plunder of the poor is in your own houses! 15 How dare you crush[q] my people as you grind down the face of the poor?” declares the Lord God of the Heavenly Armies.[r]
Judgment of Jerusalem’s Women
16 The Lord also says:
“Because Zion’s women are so haughty, and walk with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, prancing[s] along as they walk, and making tinkling noises with their ankle bracelets,[t] 17 therefore the Lord[u] will afflict sores on the heads of Zion’s women, and the Lord[v] will expose their private parts.
18 “At that time,[w] the Lord[x] will take away the finery of the ankle bracelets, headbands, crescents, 19 pendants, bracelets, veils, 20 headdresses, armlets, sashes, perfume boxes, charms, 21 signet rings, nose rings, 22 fine robes, capes,[y] purses, 23 mirrors, linen garments, tiaras, and veils.
24 “And it will come about that instead of fragrance there will be[z] a stench; instead of a belt, a rope; instead of well-set hair, baldness; instead of a fine robe, sackcloth; and instead of beauty, shame.[aa] 25 Your men will die violently,[ab] while your forces[ac] fall[ad] in battle 26 and her gates lament and mourn. Ravaged, she will sit on the ground.”
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