God’s Message to Jerusalem
1The message about the Valley of Vision:# This probably means a valley near Jerusalem.
What is wrong with you people?
Why are you on your roofs?# In Bible times houses were built with flat roofs. The roof was used for drying things such as flax and fruit. And it was used as an extra room, as a place for worship and as a place to sleep in the summer.
2This city was a very busy city.
It was full of noise and wild parties.
But your people have been killed,
but not with swords.
They did not die in battle.
3All your leaders ran away together.
But they all have been captured without using a bow.
All you who were captured
tried to run away before the enemy came near.
4So I say, “Don’t look at me.
Let me cry loudly.
Don’t hurry to comfort me
about the destruction of Jerusalem.”
5The Master, the Lord of heaven’s armies, has chosen a special day.
There will be riots and confusion.
People will trample each other in the Valley of Vision.
The city walls will be knocked down.
The people will cry out to the mountain.
6The soldiers from Elam will take their bags of arrows.
Men in chariots and on horses will attack.
Kir will prepare their shields.
7Your nicest valleys will be filled with chariots.
Horsemen will be ordered to guard the gates of the city.
8The walls protecting Judah will fall.
At that time the people of Jerusalem depended on
the weapons kept at the Palace of the Forest.
9You saw that the walls of Jerusalem
had many cracks that needed repairing.
You stored up water in the lower pool.
10You counted the houses of Jerusalem.
You tore them down to fix the walls with their stones.
11You made a pool between the two walls.
It was to save water from the old pool.
But you did not trust the God who made these things.
You did not respect the One who planned them long ago.
12The Master, the Lord of heaven’s armies, told the people
to cry and be sad.
He told them to shave their heads and wear rough cloth.
13But look. The people are happy.
There are wild parties.
They kill the cattle and the sheep.
They eat the food and drink the wine.
They say, “Let us eat and drink,
because tomorrow we will die.”
14The Lord of heaven’s armies said to me: “You people will die before this guilt is forgiven.” The Master, the Lord of heaven’s armies, said this.
God’s Message to Shebna
15This is what the Master, the Lord of heaven’s armies, says:
“Go to this servant Shebna.
He is the manager of the palace.
16Say to him, ‘What are you doing here?
Who said you could cut out a tomb for yourself here?
Why are you preparing your tomb in a high place?
Why are you carving out a tomb from the rock?
17Look, mighty man! The Lord will throw you away.
He will take firm hold of you.
18He will roll you tightly into a ball
and throw you into another country.
There you will die.
Your fine chariots will remain there.
You are a disgrace to your master’s house.
19I will force you out of your important job here.
You will be thrown down from your important place.’
20“At that time I will call for my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah. 21I will take your robe and put it on him. I will give him your belt. I will give him the important job you have. He will be like a father to the people of Jerusalem and the family of Judah. 22I will put the key to the house of David 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. 23He will be like an honored chair in his father’s house. I will make him strong like a peg that is hammered into a strong board. 24All the honored and important things of his family will depend on him. All the adults and little children will depend on him. They will be like bowls and jars hanging on him.
25“At that time,” says the Lord of heaven’s armies, “the peg hammered into the strong board will weaken. It will break and fall. And everything hanging on it will be destroyed.” The Lord says this.