Ephraim Will Fall
1 How horrible it will be for the arrogant drunks of Ephraim.
Their glorious beauty is ⌊like⌋ a withered flower.
They are at the entrance to a fertile valley
where they lie drunk from wine.
2 The Lord has one who is strong and powerful.
He is like a hailstorm, a destructive wind.
He is like a thunderstorm, an overwhelming flood.
He will throw them to the ground forcefully.
3 The arrogant drunks of Ephraim will be trampled underfoot.
4 Their glorious beauty is ⌊like⌋ a withered flower.
They are at the entrance to a fertile valley.
They will be like figs that ripened early.
As soon as someone sees them,
they will be taken and eaten.
5 When that day comes, the Lord of Armies will be
like a glorious crown for his few remaining people.
6 He will give a spirit of justice to those who judge.
He will give strength to those who defend the city gates in battle.
7 Priests and prophets stagger from wine and wobble from too much liquor.
They stagger from too much liquor
and become confused from too much wine.
They wobble because of their liquor.
They stagger when they see visions.
They swerve as they judge.
8 All the tables are covered with vomit and excrement.
There isn’t a clean place left.
9 To whom will they make the message understood?
To whom will they explain this message?
To children just weaned from milk?
To those just taken from their ⌊mother’s⌋ breasts?
10 They speak utter nonsense.#Or “Command for command, command for command, line for line, line for line, a little here, a little there.” Also in verse 13.
11 The Lord will speak to these people.
He will mock them by speaking in a foreign language.
12 He will say to them,
“This is a place for comfort.
This is a place of rest for those who are tired.
This is a place for them to rest.”
But they weren’t willing to listen.
13 The Lord speaks utter nonsense to them.
That is why they will fall backwards.
That is why they will be hurt, trapped, and captured.
A Message to Jerusalem
14 So hear the word of the Lord, you foolish talkers
who rule the people in Jerusalem.
15 You say, “We made a treaty with death
and an agreement with the grave.
When the overwhelming disaster passes by,
it won’t matter to us,
because we have taken refuge in our lies,
and falsehood is our hiding place.”
16 This is what the Almighty Lord says:
I am going to lay a rock in Zion,
a rock that has been tested,
a precious cornerstone,
a solid foundation.
Whoever believes ⌊in him⌋ will not worry.
17 I will make justice a measuring line
and righteousness a plumb line.
Hail will sweep away your refuge of lies,
and floodwaters will wash away your hiding place.
18 Your treaty with death will be wiped away.
Your agreement with the grave will not stand.
When the overwhelming disaster passes by,
you will be trampled by it.
19 Each time it passes by it will take you.
It will pass by morning after morning,
during the day and during the night.
Understanding this message brings only terror.
20 The bed is too short to stretch out on.
The blanket is too narrow to serve as a cover.
21 The Lord will rise as he did on Mount Perazim.
He will wake up as he did in Gibeon Valley.
He will do his work, his unexpected work,
and perform his deeds, his mysterious deeds.
22 Now stop laughing, or your chains will be tightened,
because I have heard that the Almighty Lord of Armies
has finally determined to destroy the whole land.
23 Open your ears, and listen to me!
Pay attention, and hear me!
24 Does a farmer go on plowing every day so he can plant?
Does he continue to break up the soil and make furrows in the ground?
25 When he has smoothed its surface,
doesn’t he scatter black cumin seed and plant cumin?
Doesn’t he plant wild wheat in rows?
Doesn’t he put barley in its own area
and winter wheat at its borders?
26 God will guide him in judgment,
and his God will teach him.
27 Black cumin isn’t threshed #Threshing is the process of beating stalks to separate them from the grain. with a sledge,
and wagon wheels aren’t rolled over cumin.
Black cumin is beaten with a rod
and cumin with a stick.
28 Grain is ground into flour, but the grinding eventually stops.
It will be threshed.
The wheels of his cart will roll over it,
but his horses won’t crush it.
29 All of this has come from the Lord of Armies.
His counsel is wonderful, and his wisdom is great.