Disaster Is Coming to Jerusalem
1 Then the word of the LORD came to me.
2 He said, “Now, son of man, here is a message from the Lord GOD. This message is for the land of Israel:
The end is coming.
The whole country will be destroyed.
3 Your end is coming now!
I will show how angry I am with you.
I will punish you for the evil things you did.
I will make you pay for all the terrible things you did.
4 I will not show you any mercy or feel sorry for you.
I am punishing you for the evil things you did.
You have done such terrible things.
Now, you will know that I am the LORD.”
5 This is what the Lord GOD said: “There will be one disaster after another!
6 The end is coming, and it will come quickly!
7 You people living in Israel, disaster is coming. It is time for punishment. Those are not shouts of joy in the mountains. Those are cries of panic.
8 Very soon now, I will show you how angry I am. I will show all of my anger against you. I will punish you for the evil things you did. I will make you pay for all the terrible things you did.
9 I will not show you any mercy or feel sorry for you. I am punishing you for the evil things you did. You have done such terrible things. Now, you will know that I am the LORD.
10 “That time of punishment has come like a plant sprouting, budding, and flowering. God has given the signal, the enemy is prepared, and their proud king is ready.
11 This violent man is ready to punish the evil people. There are many people in Israel—but he is not one of them. He is not a person in that crowd. He is not some important leader from them.
12 “The time of punishment has come. The day is here. Those who buy things will not be happy, and those who sell things will not feel bad about selling them because that terrible punishment will happen to everyone.
13 The people who sold their property will never go back to it. Even if some people escape alive, they will never go back to their property, because this vision is for the whole crowd. So even if some people escape alive, it will not make everyone feel better.
14 “They will blow the trumpet to warn the people. The people will get ready for battle, but they will not go out to fight because I will show the whole crowd how angry I am.
15 The enemy with his sword is outside the city. Disease and hunger is inside the city. If some people go out into the fields, enemy soldiers will kill them. If they stay in the city, hunger and disease will destroy them.
16 “But some people will escape. The survivors will run to the mountains, but they will not be happy. They will be sad for all their sins. They will cry and make sad noises like doves.
17 They will be too tired and sad to raise their arms. Their legs will be like water.
18 They will wear sackcloth and be covered with fear. You will see the shame on every face. They will shave their heads to show their sadness.
19 They will throw their silver idols into the streets. They will treat their gold statues like dirty rags, because those things will not be able to save them when the LORD shows his anger. Those things were nothing but a trap that caused the people to fall. They will not give food to the people or put food in their bellies.
20 “They used their beautiful jewelry and made an idol. They were proud of that statue. They made their terrible statues. They made those filthy things, so I will throw them away like a dirty rag.
21 I will let strangers take them. Those strangers will make fun of them. They will kill some of the people and take others away as prisoners.
22 I will turn my head away from them—I will not look at them. The strangers will ruin my Temple—they will go into the secret parts of that holy building and make it unfit for worship.
23 “Make chains for the prisoners, because many people will be punished for killing other people. There will be violence every place in the city.
24 I will bring evil people from other nations, and they will get all the houses of the people of Israel. I will stop all you powerful people from being so proud. Those people from other nations will get all your places of worship.
25 “You will shake with fear. You will look for peace, but there will be none.
26 You will hear one sad story after another. You will hear nothing but bad news. You will look for a prophet and ask him for a vision. The priests will have nothing to teach you, and the elders will not have any good advice to give you.
27 Your king will be crying for the people who died. The leaders will wear sackcloth. The common people will be very afraid, because I will pay them back for what they did. I will decide their punishment, and I will punish them. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”