God Will Punish Israel
1 Look, the LORD is destroying this land.* land Or “earth.” He will clean out the land completely and force all the people to go far away. 2 At that time whatever happens to the common people will also happen to the priests. Slaves and masters will be the same. Women slaves and their women masters will be the same. Buyers and sellers will be the same. Those who borrow and those who lend will be the same. Bankers and those who owe the bank will be the same. 3 Everyone will be forced out of the land. All the wealth will be taken. This will happen because the LORD commanded it. 4 The country will be empty and sad. The world will be empty and weak. The great leaders of the people in this land will become weak.
5 The people have ruined the land. They did what God said was wrong. They did not obey God’s laws. They made an agreement with God a long time ago, but they broke their agreement with God. 6 The people living in this land are guilty of doing wrong, so God promised to destroy the land. The people will be punished, and only a few of them will survive.
7 The grapevines are dying. The new wine is bad. People who were happy are now sad. 8 They have stopped showing their joy. The happy music from the drums and harps has ended. 9 They no longer sing as they drink their wine. The beer now tastes bitter to those who drink it.
10 “Total Confusion” is a good name for this city. The city has been destroyed. People cannot enter the houses. The doors are blocked. 11 People still ask for wine in the marketplaces, but all the joy is gone. It was carried off with everything else. 12 All that is left is destruction. Even the gates are crushed.
13 At harvest time, people knock olives from the trees.
But a few olives are left in the trees.
It will be like that in this land and among the nations.
14 Those who are left will begin shouting louder than the ocean.
They will rejoice about the LORD’S greatness.
15 They will say, “People in the east, praise the LORD!
People in faraway lands,
praise the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.”
16 We hear songs of praise for God from every place on earth.
They praise the God who does what is right.
But I say, “Enough!
I have had enough.
What I see is terrible.
Traitors are turning against people and hurting them.”
17 I see troubles for you people living in this land.
I see fear, pits, and problems all around.
18 People will hear about the danger,
and they will be afraid.
Some of them will run away,
but they will fall into holes and be trapped.
Some of them will climb out of the holes,
but they will be caught in another trap.
The floodgates in the sky above will open,
and the floods will begin.
The foundations of the earth will shake.
19 There will be earthquakes,
and the earth will split open.
20 The sins of the world are very heavy,
so the earth will fall under the weight.
It will shake like an old house.
It will fall like a drunk.
It will not be able to stand.
21 At that time the LORD will judge
the heavenly armies in heaven
and the earthly kings on earth.
22 Many people will be gathered together.
They have been locked in the Pit.
They have been in prison.† Pit … prison This is probably “Sheol,” the grave.
But finally, after a long time, they will be judged.
23 The LORD will rule as king on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.
His Glory will be shown to the city leaders with such brightness that
the moon will be embarrassed
and the sun will be ashamed.