1I will climb up to my watchtower
and stand at my guardpost.
There I will wait to see what the lord says
and how he#  As in Syriac version; Hebrew reads I. will answer my complaint.
The lord’s Second Reply
2Then the lord said to me,
“Write my answer plainly on tablets,
so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.
3This vision is for a future time.
It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,
for it will surely take place.
It will not be delayed.
4“Look at the proud!
They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked.
But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.#  Greek version reads If the vision is delayed, wait patiently, / for it will surely come and not delay. / 4I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away. / But the righteous person will live by my faith. Compare Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:37-38.
5Wealth#  As in Dead Sea Scroll 1QpHab; other Hebrew manuscripts read Wine. is treacherous,
and the arrogant are never at rest.
They open their mouths as wide as the grave,#  Hebrew as Sheol.
and like death, they are never satisfied.
In their greed they have gathered up many nations
and swallowed many peoples.
6“But soon their captives will taunt them.
They will mock them, saying,
‘What sorrow awaits you thieves!
Now you will get what you deserve!
You’ve become rich by extortion,
but how much longer can this go on?’
7Suddenly, your debtors will take action.
They will turn on you and take all you have,
while you stand trembling and helpless.
8Because you have plundered many nations,
now all the survivors will plunder you.
You committed murder throughout the countryside
and filled the towns with violence.
9“What sorrow awaits you who build big houses
with money gained dishonestly!
You believe your wealth will buy security,
putting your family’s nest beyond the reach of danger.
10But by the murders you committed,
you have shamed your name and forfeited your lives.
11The very stones in the walls cry out against you,
and the beams in the ceilings echo the complaint.
12“What sorrow awaits you who build cities
with money gained through murder and corruption!
13Has not the lord of Heaven’s Armies promised
that the wealth of nations will turn to ashes?
They work so hard,
but all in vain!
14For as the waters fill the sea,
the earth will be filled with an awareness
of the glory of the lord.
15“What sorrow awaits you who make your neighbors drunk!
You force your cup on them
so you can gloat over their shameful nakedness.
16But soon it will be your turn to be disgraced.
Come, drink and be exposed!#  Dead Sea Scrolls and Greek and Syriac versions read and stagger!
Drink from the cup of the lord’s judgment,
and all your glory will be turned to shame.
17You cut down the forests of Lebanon.
Now you will be cut down.
You destroyed the wild animals,
so now their terror will be yours.
You committed murder throughout the countryside
and filled the towns with violence.
18“What good is an idol carved by man,
or a cast image that deceives you?
How foolish to trust in your own creation—
a god that can’t even talk!
19What sorrow awaits you who say to wooden idols,
‘Wake up and save us!’
To speechless stone images you say,
‘Rise up and teach us!’
Can an idol tell you what to do?
They may be overlaid with gold and silver,
but they are lifeless inside.
20But the lord is in his holy Temple.
Let all the earth be silent before him.”
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Holy Bible, New Living Translation copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois, 60188. All rights reserved.