1 Righteous people often die when they are still young,
and no one is concerned about it.
Truly, godly people die because of disasters
and no one understands why.
They are taken away from enduring more calamities,
2 and now they have peace.
They lived righteously,
and now they rest peacefully in their graves.
3 You who practice sorcery, come here!
You who worship idols [MET],
come and listen to me!
4 Do you realize whom you are ridiculing,
and whom you are insulting?
Do you realize to whom you are sticking out your tongues?
You are insulting me, Yahweh!
You are always rebelling against me and always lying.
5 You worship your gods by having sex under every big green tree.
You kill your children in the dry riverbeds
and then offer them as sacrifices to your idols in the rocky caves.
6 You take big smooth stones from the riverbeds
and worship them as your gods.
You pour out wine as an offering to them,
and you bring grain to burn as offerings to them.
Do you think that I should not punish you for all those things?
7 You have sex [EUP] with cult prostitutes on every hill and mountain,
and you go there to offer sacrifices to your gods.
8 You have put fetishes behind your doors and doorposts
and have deserted me.
You have taken off your clothes
and climbed into bed
and invited more of your lovers to come to bed with you.
9 You have given fragrant oil and lots of perfume to your god Molech,
and you sent messengers to distant countries to find other gods to worship;
you even tried to send messengers to the place of the dead to search for new gods.
10 You became weary from doing all those things,
but you never said, “It is useless.”
You found new strength for worshiping idols,
so you continued to do it [LIT].
11 Was it because you were afraid of those idols more than you were afraid of me that you lied about what you were doing?
Why is it that you do not even think about me?
Was it because I did not punish you for a long time that you are not afraid of me?
12 You think that [IRO] the things that you have done are righteous,
but I will tell the truth.
None of those things will help you.
13 When you cry out to your collection of idols for their help,
they will not rescue you.
The wind will blow them away.
But all those who trust in me will own the land of Israel
and worship me on Zion, my sacred hill.
Yahweh will rescue his people.
14 Yahweh will say, “Prepare yourselves to receive me,
like people build and prepare a road for a king to come on.
Get rid of the things that are causing you to sin
like [MET] people remove obstacles on a road.
15 Because this is what I, Yahweh, who am holy and who live forever, say:
I live in the highest heaven, where everything is holy,
but I also am present with those who are humble and who are sorry for the sinful things they have done.
16 I will not accuse people forever;
I will not always be angry with them,
because if I did that, people would become weak/discouraged;
all the human beings whom I created would die.
17 I was angry with my people because they sinned by wanting the things that others had.
So because I was angry, I punished them,
but they continued sinning.
18 I have seen the evil things that they do,
but I will restore them and lead them.
I will encourage/comfort them.
And to those who are mourning,
19 I will enable them to start singing songs to praise me.
I will cause things to go well for all my people, those who live near Jerusalem and those who live far away,
and will restore them.
20 Wicked people are like a sea whose waves are always churning up mud,
21 but I, Yahweh, say that things will never ‘go well/be peaceful’ for those who are evil.