1I will go up to the lookout tower.
I'll station myself on the city wall.
I'll wait to see how the Lord will reply to me.
Then I'll try to figure out how to answer him.
The Lord Gives His Answer
2The Lord replies, "Write down the message I am showing you in a vision.
Write it clearly on the tablets you use.
Then a messenger can read it
and run to announce it.
3The message I give you
waits for the time I have appointed.
It speaks about what is going to happen.
And all of it will come true.
It might take a while.
But wait for it.
You can be sure it will come.
It will happen when I want it to.
4"The Babylonians are very proud.
What they want is not good. "But the one who is right with God
will live by faith.
5"Wine makes the Babylonians do foolish things.
They are proud. They never rest.
Like the grave, they are always hungry for more.
Like death, they are never satisfied.
They gather all of the nations to themselves.
They take their people away as prisoners.
6"Won't those people laugh at the Babylonians? Won't they make fun of them? They will say to them, " 'How terrible it will be for you
who pile up stolen goods!
You get rich by cheating others.
How long will that go on?
7Those who owe you money will suddenly rise up.
You charge them too much interest.
So they will wake up
and make you tremble with fear.
Then they will take away
everything you have.
8You have robbed many nations.
So the nations that are left will rob you.
You have spilled man's blood.
You have destroyed lands and cities
and everyone in them.'
9"How terrible it will be for the Babylonians!
They build their kingdom with money
they gained by cheating others.
They have tried to make the kingdom
as secure as possible.
After all, they did not want to be destroyed.
10They have planned to wipe out many nations.
But they have brought shame on their own kingdom.
So they must pay with their own lives.
11The stones in the walls of their homes will cry out.
And the wooden beams will echo that cry.
12"How terrible it will be for the Babylonians!
They build cities by spilling the blood of others.
They establish towns by committing crimes.
13I am the Lord who rules over all.
Human effort is no better than wood that feeds a fire.
So the nations wear themselves out for nothing.
14The oceans are full of water.
In the same way, the earth will be filled
with the knowledge of my glory.
15"How terrible it will be for the Babylonians!
They give drinks to their neighbors.
They pour the drinks from wineskins
until their neighbors are drunk.
They want to look at their naked bodies.
16But the Babylonians will be filled
with shame instead of glory.
So now it is their turn to drink
and be stripped of their clothes.
The cup of anger in my powerful right hand
is going to punish them.
They will be covered with shame instead of glory.
17The harm they have done to Lebanon
will bring them down.
Because they have killed so many animals,
animals will terrify them.
They have spilled man's blood.
They have destroyed lands and cities
and everyone in them.
18"If someone carves a statue of a god, what is it worth?
What value is there in a god
that teaches lies?
The one who trusts in another god
worships his own creation.
He makes statues of gods that can't speak.
19How terrible it will be for the Babylonians!
They say to a wooden god, 'Come to life!'
They say to a stone god, 'Wake up!'
Can those gods give advice?
They are covered with gold and silver.
They can't even breathe.
20But I am in my holy temple.
Let the whole earth be silent in front of me."