The Lord Will Punish the World 24 1Look! The Lord will destroy the earth and leave it empty; he will ruin the surface of the land and scatter its people. 2At that time the same thing will happen to everyone: to common people and priests, to slaves and masters, to women slaves and their women masters, to buyers and sellers, to those who borrow and those who lend, to bankers and those who owe the bank. 3The earth will be completely empty. The wealth will all be taken, because the Lord has commanded it. 4The earth will dry up and die; the world will grow weak and die; the great leaders in this land will become weak. 5The people of the earth have ruined it, because they do not follow God’s teachings or obey God’s laws or keep their agreement with God that was to last forever. 6So a curse will destroy the earth. The people of the world are guilty, so they will be burned up; only a few will be left. 7The new wine will be bad, and the grapevines will die. People who were happy will be sad. 8The happy music of the tambourines will end. The happy sounds of wild parties will stop. The joyful music from the harps will end. 9People will no longer sing while they drink their wine. The beer will taste bitter to those who drink it. 10The ruined city will be empty, and people will hide behind closed doors. 11People in the streets will ask for wine, but joy will have turned to sadness; all the happiness will have left. 12The city will be left in ruins, and its gates will be smashed to pieces. 13This is what will happen all over the earth and to all the nations. The earth will be like an olive tree after the harvest or like the few grapes left on a vine after harvest.   14The people shout for joy. From the west they praise the greatness of the Lord. 15People in the east, praise the Lord. People in the islands of the sea, praise the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 16We hear songs from every part of the earth praising God, the Righteous One.   But I said, “I am dying! I am dying! How terrible it will be for me! Traitors turn against people; with their dishonesty, they turn against people.” 17There are terrors, holes, and traps for the people of the earth. 18Anyone who tries to escape from the sound of terror will fall into a hole. Anyone who climbs out of the hole will be caught in a trap. The clouds in the sky will pour out rain, and the foundations of the earth will shake. 19The earth will be broken up; the earth will split open; the earth will shake violently. 20The earth will stumble around like someone who is drunk; it will shake like a hut in a storm. Its sin is like a heavy weight on its back; it will fall and never rise again.   21At that time the Lord will punish the powers in the sky above and the rulers on earth below. 22They will be gathered together like prisoners thrown into a dungeon; they will be shut up in prison. After much time they will be punished. 23The moon will be embarrassed, and the sun will be ashamed, because the Lord All-Powerful will rule as king on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Jerusalem’s leaders will see his greatness.
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