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)
On that day seven women
will seize one man,(W) saying,
“We will eat our own bread
and provide our own clothing.
Just let us bear your name.
Take away our disgrace.”(X)

Zion’s Future Glory

On that day the Branch[e] of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious,(Y) and the fruit of the land(Z) will be the pride and glory(AA) of Israel’s survivors.(AB) Whoever remains in Zion and whoever is left in Jerusalem(AC) will be called holy(AD)—all in Jerusalem written in the book of life[f](AE) when the Lord has washed away the filth(AF) of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodguilt(AG) from the heart of Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment(AH) and a spirit of burning.(AI) Then the Lord will create(AJ) a cloud of smoke by day(AK) and a glowing flame of fire by night over the entire site of Mount Zion and over its assemblies. For there will be a canopy over all the glory,[g] and there will be a shelter for shade from heat by day and a refuge and shelter from storm and rain.(AL)

Song of the Vineyard

I will sing about the one I love,
a song about my loved one’s vineyard:(AM)
The one I love had a vineyard
on a very fertile hill.
He broke up the soil, cleared it of stones,
and planted it with the finest vines.(AN)
He built a tower in the middle of it
and even dug out a winepress there.
He expected(AO) it to yield good grapes,
but it yielded worthless grapes.(AP)

So now, residents of Jerusalem
and men of Judah,
please judge between me
and my vineyard.
What more could I have done for my vineyard
than I did?(AQ)
Why, when I expected a yield of good grapes,
did it yield worthless grapes?
Now I will tell you
what I am about to do to my vineyard:
I will remove its hedge,(AR)
and it will be consumed;
I will tear down its wall,(AS)
and it will be trampled.
I will make it a wasteland.(AT)
It will not be pruned or weeded;
thorns and briers will grow up.(AU)
I will also give orders to the clouds
that rain should not fall on it.
For the vineyard of the Lord of Armies
is the house of Israel,(AV)
and the men[h] of Judah,
the plant he delighted in.
He expected justice
but saw injustice;
he expected righteousness
but heard cries of despair.

Judah’s Sins Denounced

Woe to those who add house to house(AW)
and join field to field
until there is no more room
and you alone are left in the land.

I heard the Lord of Armies say:

Indeed, many houses(AX) will become desolate,
grand and lovely ones without inhabitants.
10 For a ten-acre[i] vineyard will yield
only six gallons of wine,[j]
and ten bushels[k] of seed will yield
only one bushel of grain.[l]

11 Woe to those who rise early in the morning
in pursuit of beer,(AY)
who linger into the evening,
inflamed by wine.
12 At their feasts they have lyre, harp,
tambourine, flute, and wine.
They do not perceive the Lord’s actions,(AZ)
and they do not see the work of his hands.(BA)

13 Therefore my people will go into exile
because they lack knowledge;(BB)
her[m] dignitaries are starving,
and her masses are parched with thirst.
14 Therefore Sheol enlarges its throat
and opens wide its enormous jaws,(BC)
and down go Zion’s dignitaries, her masses,
her crowds, and those who celebrate in her!
15 Humanity is brought low, each person is humbled,
and haughty eyes are humbled.(BD)
16 But the Lord of Armies is exalted by his justice,(BE)
and the holy God(BF) demonstrates his holiness through his righteousness.(BG)
17 Lambs will graze
as if in[n] their own pastures,(BH)
and resident aliens[o] will eat
among the ruins of the rich.

18 Woe to those who drag iniquity
with cords of deceit(BI)
and pull sin along with cart ropes,
19 to those who say,
“Let him hurry up and do his work quickly
so that we can see it!
Let the plan(BJ) of the Holy One of Israel(BK) take place
so that we can know it!”
20 Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,(BL)
who substitute darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who substitute bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.
21 Woe to those who consider themselves wise
and judge themselves clever.[p](BM)
22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
who are champions at pouring beer,(BN)
23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe(BO)
and deprive the innocent of justice.

24 Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes straw
and as dry grass shrivels in the flame,
so their roots will become like something rotten
and their blossoms will blow away like dust,
for they have rejected(BP)
the instruction of the Lord of Armies,
and they have despised
the word of the Holy One of Israel.(BQ)
25 Therefore the Lord’s anger burned(BR) against his people.
He raised his hand against them and struck them;
the mountains quaked,(BS)
and their corpses were like garbage in the streets.
In all this, his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is still raised to strike.(BT)

26 He raises a signal flag for the distant nations(BU)
and whistles(BV) for them from the ends of the earth.
Look—how quickly and swiftly they come!
27 None of them grows weary or stumbles;(BW)
no one slumbers or sleeps.
No belt is loose
and no sandal strap broken.
28 Their arrows are sharpened,
and all their bows strung.
Their horses’ hooves are like flint;
their chariot wheels are like a whirlwind.
29 Their roaring is like a lion’s;(BX)
they roar like young lions;(BY)
they growl and seize their prey
and carry it off,
and no one can rescue it.
30 On that day they will roar over it,
like the roaring of the sea.
When one looks at the land,
there will be darkness and distress;
light will be obscured by clouds.[q]


  1. 3:3 Or skilled craftsmen
  2. 3:3 Or mediums
  3. 3:4 Or mischief-makers
  4. 3:24 DSS read shame
  5. 4:2 Or plant
  6. 4:3 Lit Jerusalem recorded for life
  7. 4:5 Or For glory will be a canopy over all
  8. 5:7 Lit man
  9. 5:10 Lit ten-yoke
  10. 5:10 Lit one bath
  11. 5:10 Lit one homer
  12. 5:10 Lit yield an ephah
  13. 5:13 Lit its
  14. 5:17 Syr reads graze in
  15. 5:17 LXX reads sheep
  16. 5:21 Lit and clever before their face
  17. 5:30 Lit its clouds

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