1I will stand like a guard to watch
and place myself at the tower.
I will wait to see what he will say to me;
I will wait to learn how God will answer my complaint.
The Lord Answers
2The Lord answered me:
“Write down the vision;
write it clearly on clay tablets
so whoever reads it can run to tell others.
3It is not yet time for the message to come true,
but that time is coming soon;
the message will come true.
It may seem like a long time,
but be patient and wait for it,
because it will surely come;
it will not be delayed.
4The evil nation is very proud of itself;
it is not living as it should.
But those who are right with God will live by faith.
5“Just as wine can trick a person,
those who are too proud will not last,
because their desire is like a grave’s desire for death,
and like death they always want more.
They gather other nations for themselves
and collect for themselves all the countries.
6But all the nations the Babylonians have hurt will laugh at them.
They will make fun of the Babylonians
and say, ‘How terrible it will be for the one that steals many things.
How long will that nation get rich by forcing others to pay them?’
7“One day the people from whom you have taken money will turn against you.
They will realize what is happening and make you shake with fear.
Then they will take everything you have.
8Because you have stolen from many nations,
those who are left will take much from you.
This is because you have killed many people,
destroying countries and cities and everyone in them.
9“How terrible it will be for the nation that becomes rich by doing wrong,
thinking they will live in a safe place
and escape harm.
10Because you have made plans to destroy many people,
you have made your own houses ashamed of you.
Because of it, you will lose your lives.
11The stones of the walls will cry out against you,
and the boards that support the roof will agree that you are wrong.
12“How terrible it will be for the nation that kills people to build a city,
that wrongs others to start a town.
13The Lord All-Powerful will send fire
to destroy what those people have built;
all the nations’ work will be for nothing.
14Then, just as water covers the sea,
people everywhere will know the Lord’s glory.
15“How terrible for the nation that makes its neighbors drink,
pouring from the jug of wine until they are drunk
so that it can look at their naked bodies.
16You Babylonians will be filled with disgrace, not respect.
It’s your turn to drink and fall to the ground like a drunk person.
The cup of anger from the Lord’s right hand is coming around to you.
You will receive disgrace, not respect.
17You hurt many people in Lebanon,
but now you will be hurt.
You killed many animals there,
and now you must be afraid
because of what you did
to that land, those cities, and the people who lived in them.
The Message About Idols
18“An idol does no good, because a human made it;
it is only a statue that teaches lies.
The one who made it expects his own work to help him,
but he makes idols that can’t even speak!
19How terrible it will be for the one who says to a wooden statue, ‘Come to life!’
How terrible it will be for the one who says to a silent stone, ‘Get up!’
It cannot tell you what to do.
It is only a statue covered with gold and silver;
there is no life in it.
20The Lord is in his Holy Temple;
all the earth should be silent in his presence.”