Israel’s Punishment
1Israel, do not rejoice;
don’t shout for joy as the other nations do.
You have been like a prostitute against your God.
You love the pay of prostitutes on every threshing floor.
2But the threshing floor and the winepress will not feed the people,
and there won’t be enough new wine.
3The people will not stay in the Lord’s land.
Israel will return to being captives as they were in Egypt,
and in Assyria they will eat food that they are not allowed to eat.
4The Israelites will not give offerings of wine to the Lord;
they will not give him sacrifices.
Their sacrifices will be like food that is eaten at a funeral;
it is unclean, and everyone who eats it becomes unclean.
Their food will only satisfy their hunger;
they cannot sacrifice it in the Temple.
5What will you do then on the day of feasts
and on the day of the Lord’s festival?
6Even if the people are not destroyed,
Egypt will capture them;
Memphis will bury them.
Weeds will grow over their silver treasures,
and thorns will drive them out of their tents.
7The time of punishment has come,
the time to pay for sins.
Let Israel know this:
You think the prophet is a fool,
and you say the spiritual person is crazy.
You have sinned very much,
and your hatred is great.
8Is Israel a watchman?
Are God’s people prophets?
Everywhere Israel goes, traps are set for him.
He is an enemy in God’s house.
9The people of Israel have gone deep into sin
as the people of Gibeah did.
The Lord will remember the evil things they have done,
and he will punish their sins.
10“When I found Israel,
it was like finding grapes in the desert.
Your ancestors were like
finding the first figs on the fig tree.
But when they came to Baal Peor,
they began worshiping an idol,
and they became as hateful as the thing they worshiped.
11Israel’s glory will fly away like a bird;
there will be no more pregnancy, no more births, no more getting pregnant.
12But even if the Israelites bring up children,
I will take them all away.
How terrible it will be for them
when I go away from them!
13I have seen Israel, like Tyre,
given a pleasant place.
But the people of Israel will soon bring out
their children to be killed.”
14Lord, give them what they should have.
What will you give them?
Make their women unable to have children;
give them dried-up breasts that cannot feed their babies.
15“The Israelites were very wicked in Gilgal,
so I have hated them there.
Because of the sinful things they have done,
I will force them to leave my land.
I will no longer love them;
their leaders have turned against me.
16Israel is beaten down;
its root is dying, and it has no fruit.
If they have more children,
I will kill the children they love.”
17God will reject them,
because they have not obeyed him;
they will wander among the nations.
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.