1The righteous person perishes,
and no one takes it to heart.
Loyal people are gathered together,
and no one understands that because of evil
the righteous one passed away.
2They will find peace;
those who walk in straight paths
will find rest on their burial beds.
Accusations against idolators
3Come here, you children of sorcery,
offspring of adultery and prostitution!
4Whom are you mocking?
Against whom do you open your mouth wide
and stick out your tongue?
Aren’t you children of rebellion, offspring of lies,
5who console yourselves with idols under every green tree,
who slaughter children in the valleys, under the rocky cliffs?
6You belong with the smooth talkers#Or smooth things in the valley;
they, they are your lot.
For them you poured out a drink offering,
and presented a grain offering.
Should I condone these things?
7On a very high mountain you made your bed.
You went up there to offer a sacrifice.
8Behind the door and the doorpost
you placed your symbols.
You abandoned me and lay down,
making room in your bed
and making deals for yourself with them.#Heb uncertain
You loved their bed;
you saw their nakedness.
9You went down to Molech#Or the king with oil,
and you slathered on your ointments;
you sent your messengers far away,
sent them down to the underworld.#Heb Sheol
10Worn out by all your efforts,
yet you wouldn’t say, "This is useless."
You found new strength;
therefore, you weren’t tired.
11Whom did you dread and fear so that you lied,
didn’t remember me or give me a thought?
Isn’t it because I was silent and closed my eyes
that you stopped fearing me?
12I will bring evidence about your righteousness and your actions;
they won’t help you.
13When you cry out,
let those things you’ve gathered save you!
The wind will lift them all;
one breath will take them away.
but those taking refuge in me will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain.
Peace for the remorseful
14It will be said: "Survey, survey; build a road!
Remove barriers from my people’s road!"
15The one who is high and lifted up,
who lives forever, whose name is holy, says:
I live on high, in holiness,
and also with the crushed#Or contrite and the lowly,
reviving the spirit of the lowly,
reviving the heart of those who have been crushed.#Or contrite
16I won’t always accuse,
nor will I be enraged forever.
It is my own doing that their spirit is exhausted—
I gave them breath!
17I was enraged about their illegal profits;
I struck them; in rage I withdrew from them.
Yet they went on wandering wherever they wanted.
18I have seen their ways, but I will heal them.
I will guide them,
and reward them with comfort.
And for those who mourn,
19I will create reason for praise:#Heb uncertain
utter prosperity to those far and near,
and I will heal them, says the LORD.
20But the wicked are like the churning sea that can’t keep still.
They churn up from their waters muck and mud.
21There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.