3 Listen carefully, the Lord God of hosts is removing from Jerusalem and from Judah
Both supply and support, the whole supply of bread
And the whole supply of water;
The brave man and the warrior [He is also removing],
The judge and the prophet,
The diviner and the elder,
The captain of fifty and the man of honor,
The counselor and the expert artisan,
And the skillful enchanter.
And I will make mere boys their princes,
And capricious (impulsive, unpredictable) children will rule over them.
And the people will be oppressed,
Each one by another, and each one by his neighbor;
The boy will be arrogant and insolent toward the elder
And the vulgar (common) toward the honorable [person of rank].
When a man takes hold of his brother in the house of his father, saying,
“You have a robe, you shall be our judge and ruler,
And this pile of ruins will be under your control,”
He will protest on that day, saying,
“I will not be a [a]governor;
For in my house there is neither bread nor clothing;
You should not make me a judge and ruler of the people.”
For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen,
Because their words and their actions are against the Lord,
To rebel against His glorious presence and defiantly provoke Him.
Their partiality testifies against them,
They display their sin like Sodom;
They do not even hide it.
Woe (judgment is coming) to [b]them!
For they have brought evil on themselves [as a reward].
Say to the righteous that it will go well with them,
For they will eat the fruit of their [righteous] actions.
Woe (judgment is coming) to the wicked! It shall go badly with him,
For what his hand has done shall be done to him.
O My people! Children are their oppressors,
And women rule over them.
O My people! Your leaders lead you astray
And confuse (destroy, swallow up) the direction of your paths.
The Lord rises to contend,
And stands to judge the people.
The Lord enters into judgment with the elders of His people and their princes,
“For it is you who have devoured the vineyard [with your oppression, you have robbed the people and ruined the country];
The plunder of the poor is in your houses.
“What do you mean by crushing My people
And grinding the face of the poor?”
Declares the Lord God of hosts.
Moreover, the Lord said, “Because the daughters of Zion are proud
And walk with outstretched necks and seductive (flirtatious, alluring) eyes,
And trip along with mincing steps and an affected gait
And walk with jingling [c]anklets on their feet,
Therefore the Lord will afflict the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion with scabs [making them bald],
And the Lord will expose their foreheads (send them into captivity).”
18 In that day the Lord will take away the beauty of their anklets, [braided] caps, crescent [head] ornaments, 19 dangling earrings, bracelets, and the hanging veils and scarves, 20 head wraps (turbans), [short, jingling] ankle chains, sashes, perfume boxes, amulets (charms), 21 signet [finger] rings, nose rings, 22 festival robes, outer tunics, shawls, handbags, 23 hand mirrors, [fine linen] undergarments, headbands, and veils [covering the entire body].
Now it will come to pass that instead of the sweet fragrance of spices there will be [the stench of] rottenness;
Instead of a belt, a rope;
Instead of well-set hair, baldness;
Instead of fine clothes, a robe of sackcloth;
And branding [of captives by the scorching heat] instead of beauty.
Your men will fall by the sword
And your mighty men in battle.
And Jerusalem’s gates will lament (cry out in grief) and mourn [as those who wail for the dead];
And she, being ruined and desolate, will sit upon the ground.
4 And in that day seven women will take hold of one man, saying, “We will eat our own food and wear [and provide] our own clothes; only let us be called by your name; take away our shame [of being unmarried].”
2 In that day the Branch of the Lord will be splendid and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be excellent and lovely to those of Israel who have survived. 3 It will come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy (set apart for God)—everyone who is recorded for [eternal] life in Jerusalem. 4 When the Lord has washed away the [moral] filth of the daughters of Zion and has cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, 5 then the Lord will create over the entire site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies, a cloud by day, smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory and brilliance will be a canopy [a defense, a covering of His divine love and protection]. 6 And there will be a pavilion for shade from the heat by day, and a refuge and a shelter from the storm and the rain.
6 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any sin, you who are spiritual [that is, you who are responsive to the guidance of the Spirit] are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness [not with a sense of superiority or self-righteousness], keeping a watchful eye on yourself, so that you are not tempted as well. 2 Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the requirements of the law of Christ [that is, the law of Christian love]. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something [special] when [in fact] he is nothing [special except in his own eyes], he deceives himself. 4 But each one must carefully scrutinize his own work [examining his actions, attitudes, and behavior], and then he can have the personal satisfaction and inner joy of doing something commendable [a]without comparing himself to another. 5 For every person will have to bear [with patience] his own burden [of faults and shortcomings for which he alone is responsible].
6 The one who is taught the word [of God] is to share all good things with his teacher [contributing to his spiritual and material support]. 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap. 8 For the one who sows to his flesh [his sinful capacity, his worldliness, his disgraceful impulses] will reap from the flesh ruin and destruction, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in. 10 So then, while we [as individual believers] have the opportunity, let us do good to all people [not only being helpful, but also doing that which promotes their spiritual well-being], and especially [be a blessing] to those of the household of faith (born-again believers).
11 See with what [b]large letters I [c]am writing to you with my own hand. 12 Those who want to make a good impression in public [before the Jews] try to compel you to be circumcised, just so they will escape being persecuted for [faithfulness to] the cross of Christ. 13 For even the circumcised [Jews] themselves do not [really] keep the Law, but they want to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh [that is, in the fact that they convinced you to be circumcised]. 14 But far be it from me to boast [in anything or anyone], except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither is circumcision anything [of any importance], nor uncircumcision, but [only] a new creation [which is the result of a new birth—a spiritual transformation—a new nature in Christ Jesus]. 16 Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule [who discipline themselves and conduct their lives by this principle], and upon the [true] Israel of God (Jewish believers).
17 From now on let no one trouble me [by making it necessary for me to justify my authority as an apostle, and the absolute truth of the gospel], for I bear on my body the [d]branding-marks of Jesus [the wounds, scars, and other outward evidence of persecutions—these testify to His ownership of me].
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, my [e]brothers and sisters. Amen.