God’s Message to Jerusalem
This is a message*
about the Valley of Vision†
Jerusalem, what is wrong?
Why has everyone gone up to hide in their upper rooms?
2 This city was so happy,
but now there is a terrible uproar.
There are bodies lying everywhere,
but they were not killed with swords.
The people died,
but not while fighting.
3 All your officers ran away together,
but they have all been captured without bows.‡
All the leaders ran away together,
but they were found and captured.
4 So I say, “Don’t look at me!
Let me cry!
Don’t rush to comfort me
about the destruction of Jerusalem.”
The Lord GOD All-Powerful chose a special day for there to be riots and confusion. People trampled on each other in the Valley of Vision. The city walls were pulled down. People in the valley shouted up at those on the mountain. 6
Horse soldiers from Elam took their bags of arrows and rode into battle. Soldiers from Kir rattled their shields. 7
Your favorite valley was filled with chariots. Horse soldiers were stationed in front of the city gates. 8
Then the cover protecting Judah§
was removed, and the people turned to the weapons they kept at the Forest Palace.*
Then you noticed how many cracks there were in the walls around the City of David, so you began collecting water from the Lower Pool.†
You counted the houses and used stones from them to repair the walls. Then you built a pool between the double walls‡
for storing water from the Old Pool.§
You did all this to protect yourselves, but you did not trust the God who made all these things. You did not even notice the one who made all these things so long ago. 12 So the Lord GOD All-Powerful told the people to cry and mourn for their dead friends. He told them to shave their heads and wear mourning clothes. 13 But look, everyone was happy. The people rejoiced, saying,
“Kill the cattle and sheep,
and let’s celebrate.
Let’s eat meat and drink wine.
Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
14 The LORD All-Powerful said this to me and I heard it with my own ears: “You are guilty of doing wrong, and I promise that you will die before this guilt is forgiven.” The Lord GOD All-Powerful said these things.
God’s Message to Shebna
15 The Lord GOD All-Powerful told me to go to Shebna, the palace manager, 16 and say this: “What are you doing here? None of your relatives are buried here, are they? Then what right do you have to prepare a tomb for yourself in this high place? Why are you cutting a tomb out of this rock?
17-18 “What a big man you are! But the LORD will crush you. He will roll you into a small ball and throw you far away into the open arms of another country, and there you will die.
“You are very proud of your chariots. But in that faraway land, your new ruler will have better chariots. And your chariots will not look important in his palace. 19
I will force you out of your position here. Your new leader will take you away from your important job. 20
At that time I will call for my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah. 21
I will take your robe and put it on him. I will give him your scepter. I will give him the important job you have, and he will be like a father to the people of Jerusalem and Judah’s family.*
22 “I will put the key to David’s house around his neck. If he opens a door, no one will be able to close it. If he closes a door, no one will be able to open it. 23 He will be like a favorite chair in his father’s house. I will make him like a strong peg in a solid board. 24 All the honored and important things of his father’s house will hang on him. All the adults and little children will depend on him. They will be like little dishes and big water bottles hanging on him.”
25 The LORD All-Powerful said, “At that time the peg that is now in the solid board will get weak and break. It will fall to the ground, and everything hanging on it will be destroyed. Then everything I said in this message will happen. It will happen because the LORD said it would.”