A Message About Jerusalem
1Here is a message the Lord gave me about the Valley of Vision. People of Jerusalem, what's the matter with you?
Why have all of you gone up on the roofs of your houses?
2Why is your town so full of noise?
Why is your city so full of the sound of wild parties?
Those among you who died weren't killed with swords.
They didn't die in battle.
3All of your leaders have run away.
They've been captured without a single arrow being shot.
All those who were caught were taken away as prisoners.
They ran off while your enemies were still far away.
4So I said, "Leave me alone.
Let me sob bitter tears.
Don't try to comfort me.
My people have been destroyed."
5The Lord who rules over all sent the noise of battle against you.
The Lord brought disorder and terror
to the Valley of Vision.
The walls of the city were knocked down.
Cries for help were heard in the mountains.
6Soldiers from Elam came armed with bows and arrows.
They came with their chariots and horses.
Soldiers from Kir got their shields ready.
7Your rich valleys filled up with chariots.
Horsemen took up their battle positions at your city gates.
8Judah wasn't a safe place to live in anymore. When all of that happened, you depended
on the weapons in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.
9You saw that the City of David
had many holes in its walls.
They needed to be repaired.
You stored up water
in the Lower Pool.
10You picked out the weaker buildings in Jerusalem.
You tore them down and used their stones
to strengthen the city walls against attack.
11You built a pool between the two walls.
You used it to save the water
that was running down from the Old Pool.
But you didn't look to the One who made it all possible.
You didn't pay any attention to the One
who planned everything long ago.
12The Lord who rules over all
called out to you at that time.
The Lord told you to sob and cry.
He told you to tear your hair out.
And he told you to put black clothes on.
13Instead, you are enjoying yourselves at wild parties!
You are killing cattle and sheep.
You are eating their meat and drinking wine.
You are saying, "Let's eat and drink,
because tomorrow we'll die."
14I heard the Lord who rules over all speaking. "Your sin can never be paid for as long as you people live," says the Lord.
15The Lord who rules over all speaks. The Lord says, "Go. Speak to the head servant Shebna.
He is in charge of the palace. Tell him,
16'What are you doing here outside the city?
Who allowed you to cut out a tomb for yourself here?
Who said you could carve out your grave on the hillside?
Who allowed you to cut out your resting place in the rock?
17" 'Watch out, you mighty man!
The Lord is about to grab hold of you.
He is about to throw you away.
18He will roll you up tightly like a ball.
He will throw you into a very large country.
There you will die.
And there the chariots you are so proud of will remain.
You bring shame on your master's family!
19The Lord will remove you from your job.
You will be brought down from your high position.
20" 'At that time he will send for his servant Eliakim. He is the son of Hilkiah. 21The Lord will put your robe on Eliakim. He will tie your belt around him. He will hand your authority over to him. Eliakim will be like a father to the people of Jerusalem and Judah.
22" 'The Lord will give Eliakim the key of authority in David's royal house. No one can shut what he opens. And no one can open what he shuts. 23The Lord will set him firmly in place like a peg that is driven into a wall. He will hold a position of honor in his family. 24The good name of his whole family will depend on him. They will be like bowls and jars hanging on a peg.
25" 'But a new day is coming,' " announces the Lord who rules over all. " 'At that time the peg that was driven into the wall will give way. It will break off and fall down. And the heavy load hanging on it will also fall.' " The Lord has spoken.