Jerusalem Will Suffer
The Lord said:

1 Jerusalem, city of David,
the place of my altar,
you are in for trouble!
Celebrate your festivals
year after year.
2 I will still make you suffer,
and your people will cry
when I make an altar of you.
3 I will surround you and prepare
to attack from all sides.
4 From deep in the earth,
you will call out for help
with only a faint whisper.

5 Then your cruel enemies
will suddenly be swept away
like dust in a windstorm.
6 I, the Lord All-Powerful,
will come to your rescue
with a thundering earthquake
and a fiery whirlwind.

7 Every brutal nation
that attacks Jerusalem
and makes it suffer
will disappear like a dream
when night is over.
8 Those nations that attack
Mount Zion
will suffer from hunger
and thirst.
They will dream of food and drink
but wake up weary and hungry
and thirsty as ever.
Prophets Who Fool Themselves
9 Be shocked and stunned,
you prophets!
Refuse to see.
Get drunk and stagger,
but not from wine.
10 The Lord has made you drowsy;
he put you into a deep sleep
and covered your head.

11 Now his message is like a sealed letter to you. Some of you say, “We can't read it, because it's sealed.” 12 Others say, “We can't read it, because we don't know how to read.”
13 The Lord has said:

“These people praise me
with their words,
but they never really
think about me.
They worship me by repeating
rules made up by humans.
14 So once again I will do things
that shock and amaze them,
and I will destroy the wisdom
of those who claim to know
and understand.”

15 You are in for trouble,
if you try to hide your plans
from the Lord!
Or if you think what you do
in the dark can't be seen.
16 You have it all backwards.
A clay dish doesn't say
to the potter,
“You didn't make me.
You don't even know how.”
Hope for the Future
17 Soon the forest of Lebanon
will become a field with crops,
thick as a forest.
18 The deaf will be able to hear
whatever is read to them;
the blind will be freed
from a life of darkness.
19 The poor and the needy
will celebrate and shout
because of the Lord,
the holy God of Israel.

20 All who are cruel and arrogant
will be gone forever.
Those who live by crime
will disappear,
21 together with everyone
who tells lies in court
and keeps innocent people
from getting a fair trial.

22 The Lord who rescued Abraham
has this to say
about Jacob's descendants:
“They will no longer
be ashamed and disgraced.
23 When they see how great
I have made their nation,
they will praise and honor me,
the holy God of Israel.
24 Everyone who is confused
will understand,
and all who have complained
will obey my teaching.”