3 The Lord will cut off Jerusalem’s and Judah’s food and water supplies 2 and kill her leaders; he will destroy her armies, judges, prophets, elders, 3 army officers, businessmen, lawyers, magicians, and politicians. 4 Israel’s kings will be like babies, ruling childishly. 5 And the worst sort of anarchy will prevail—everyone stepping on someone else, neighbors fighting neighbors, youths revolting against authority, criminals sneering at honorable men.
6 In those days a man will say to his brother, “You have some extra clothing, so you be our king and take care of this mess.”
7 “No!” he will reply. “I cannot be of any help! I have no extra food or clothes. Don’t get me involved!”
8 Israel’s civil government will be in utter ruin because the Jews have spoken out against their Lord and will not worship him; they offend his glory. 9 The very look on their faces gives them away and shows their guilt. And they boast that their sin is equal to the sin of Sodom; they are not even ashamed. What a catastrophe! They have doomed themselves.
10 But all is well for the godly man. Tell him, “What a reward you are going to get!” 11 But say to the wicked, “Your doom is sure. You too shall get your just deserts. Your well-earned punishment is on the way.”
12 O my people! Can’t you see what fools your rulers are? Weak as women! Foolish as little children playing king. True leaders? No, misleaders! Leading you down the garden path to destruction.
13 The Lord stands up! He is the great Prosecuting Attorney presenting his case against his people! 14 First to feel his wrath will be the elders and the princes, for they have defrauded the poor. They have filled their barns with grain extorted from the helpless peasants.
15 “How dare you grind my people in the dust like that?” the Lord Almighty will demand of them.
16 Next he will judge the haughty Jewish women, who mince along, noses in the air, tinkling bracelets on their ankles, with wanton eyes that rove among the crowds to catch the glances of the men. 17 The Lord will send a plague of scabs to ornament their heads! He will expose their nakedness for all to see. 18 No longer shall they tinkle with self-assurance as they walk. For the Lord will strip away their artful beauty and their ornaments, 19 their necklaces and bracelets and veils of shimmering gauze. 20 Gone shall be their scarves and ankle chains, headbands, earrings, and perfumes; 21 their rings, jewels, 22 party clothes, negligees, capes, ornate combs, and purses; 23 their mirrors, lovely lingerie, beautiful dresses, and veils. 24 Instead of smelling of sweet perfume, they’ll stink; for sashes they’ll use ropes; their well-set hair will all fall out; they’ll wear sacks instead of robes.
All their beauty will be gone; all that will be left to them is shame and disgrace. 25-26 Their husbands shall die in battle; the women, ravaged, shall sit crying on the ground.