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A Nation of Right Living

32 See, a king will rule by what is right and good and princes will be fair. Each will be like a safe place from the wind, and a covering from the storm. Each will be like rivers of water in a dry country, and like the shadow of a large rock in a waste land. Then the eyes of those who see will be able to see. And the ears of those who hear will listen. The mind of those who act in a hurry will understand the truth. And the tongue of those who have trouble speaking will hurry to speak well. The fool will no more be called great. The bad man will no more be called a man of honor. For a fool speaks foolish things. His mind plans wrong-doing, to sin and to say false things against the Lord, to keep the hungry person hungry, and to keep drink from the thirsty. The ways of the bad man are sinful. He makes sinful plans to destroy the suffering with lies, even when the one in need asks for what is right. But the man of honor makes good plans, and he stands for what is good.

The Women of Jerusalem

Rise up, you women who live an easy life, and hear my voice. Listen to what I say, you daughters. 10 In a little more than a year, you will be troubled. There will be no grapes to gather, the wine will not be made. 11 Shake with fear, you women who live an easy life. Be troubled, you daughters, who feel safe. Take off your clothes and cover your bodies with cloth made from hair. 12 Beat your breasts for the good fields, for the vine full of fruit, 13 and for the land of my people in which thorns and thistles will come up. Yes, be sorry for all the houses of joy, and for the happy city, 14 because the king’s house will be empty. The city full of people will be left empty. The hill and the watch-tower will become a place for wild animals forever, a happy place for wild donkeys, a field for flocks. 15 It will be this way until the Spirit is poured out upon us from heaven, and the desert becomes a field giving so much fruit, that it seems as if it has many trees. 16 Then what is right and fair will be in the desert. What is right and good will be in the field of much fruit. 17 The work of being right and good will give peace. From the right and good work will come quiet trust forever. 18 Then my people will live in a place of peace, in safe homes, and in quiet resting places. 19 But it will hail when the many trees come down and all the city will be laid waste. 20 How happy will you be, you who plant seeds beside all waters, and let the cattle and donkeys eat in any field.