Death over Life 8 1“At that time”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of her officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the residents of Jerusalem will be brought out of their graves. 2They will be exposed to the sun, the moon, and the whole heavenly host, which they have loved, served, followed, consulted, and worshiped. Their bones will not be collected and buried but will become like manure on the surface of the soil. 3Death will be chosen over life by all the survivors of this evil family, those who remain wherever I have banished them.” This is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts. 4“You are to say to them: This is what the Lord says: Do people fall and not get up again? If they turn away, do they not return? 5Why have these people turned away? Why is Jerusalem always turning away? They take hold of deceit; they refuse to return. 6I have paid careful attention. They do not speak what is right. No one regrets his evil, asking, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone has stayed his course like a horse rushing into battle. 7Even the stork in the sky knows her seasons. The turtledove, swallow, and crane[D] are aware of their migration, but My people do not know the requirements of the Lord. Punishment for Judah’s Leaders 8“How can you claim, ‘We are wise; the law of the Lord is with us’? In fact, the lying pen of scribes has produced falsehood. 9The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and snared. They have rejected the word of the Lord, so what wisdom do they really have? 10Therefore, I will give their wives to other men, their fields to new occupants, for from the least to the greatest, everyone is making profit dishonestly. From prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. 11They have treated superficially the brokenness of My dear[E] people, claiming, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. 12Were they ashamed when they acted so abhorrently? They weren’t at all ashamed. They can no longer feel humiliation. Therefore, they will fall among the fallen. When I punish them, they will collapse,” says the Lord. 13I will gather them and bring them to an end.[F] This is the Lord’s declaration. There will be no grapes on the vine, no figs on the fig tree, and even the leaf will wither. Whatever I have given them will be lost to them. God’s People Unrepentant 14Why are we just sitting here? Gather together; let us enter the fortified cities and perish there,[G] for the Lord our God has destroyed[H] us. He has given us poisoned water to drink, because we have sinned against the Lord. 15We hoped for peace, but there was nothing good; for a time of healing, but there was only terror. 16From Dan the snorting of horses is heard. At the sound of the neighing of mighty steeds, the whole land quakes. They come to devour the land and everything in it, the city and all its residents. 17Indeed, I am about to send snakes among you, poisonous vipers that cannot be charmed. They will bite you. This is the Lord’s declaration. Lament over Judah 18My joy has flown away; grief has settled on me. My heart is sick. 19Listen—the cry of my dear[I] people from a far away land, “Is the Lord no longer in Zion, her King not within her?” Why have they provoked me to anger with their carved images, with their worthless foreign idols? 20Harvest has passed, summer has ended, but we have not been saved. 21I am broken by the brokenness of my dear[J] people. I mourn; horror has taken hold of me. 22Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? So why has the healing of my dear[K] people not come about?
Holman Christian Standard Bible® / © 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers About