And these also stagger1 from wine2 and reel3 from beer: Priests4 and prophets5 stagger from beer and are befuddled with wine; they reel from beer, they stagger when seeing visions,6 they stumble when rendering decisions.
All the tables are covered with vomit7 and there is not a spot without filth.
"Who is it he is trying to teach?8 To whom is he explaining his message?9 To children weaned10 from their milk,11 to those just taken from the breast?
For it is: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rulea; a little here, a little there.12"
Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues13 God will speak to this people,1412
to whom he said, "This is the resting place, let the weary rest";15 and, "This is the place of repose"-- but they would not listen.
So then, the word of the LORD to them will become: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there16-- so that they will go and fall backward, be injured17 and snared and captured.1814
Therefore hear the word of the LORD,19 you scoffers20 who rule this people in Jerusalem.
You boast, "We have entered into a covenant with death,21 with the graveb we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by,22 it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie23 our refuge and falsehoodc our hiding place.24"
So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion,25 a tested stone,26 a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;27 the one who trusts will never be dismayed.2817
I will make justice29 the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line;30 hail31 will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow32 your hiding place.
Your covenant with death will be annulled; your agreement with the grave will not stand.33 When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by,34 you will be beaten down35 by it.
As often as it comes it will carry you away;36 morning after morning,37 by day and by night, it will sweep through." The understanding of this message will bring sheer terror.3820
The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you.3921
The LORD will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim,40 he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon41-- to do his work,42 his strange work, and perform his task, his alien task.
Now stop your mocking,43 or your chains will become heavier; the Lord, the LORD Almighty, has told me of the destruction decreed44 against the whole land.4523
Listen46 and hear my voice; pay attention and hear what I say.
When a farmer plows for planting,47 does he plow continually? Does he keep on breaking up and harrowing the soil?
When he has leveled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cummin?48 Does he not plant wheat in its place,d barley49 in its plot,e and spelt50 in its field?
His God instructs him and teaches51 him the right way.
Caraway is not threshed52 with a sledge,53 nor is a cartwheel rolled over cummin; caraway is beaten out with a rod,54 and cummin with a stick.
Grain must be ground to make bread; so one does not go on threshing it forever. Though he drives the wheels of his threshing cart55 over it, his horses do not grind it.
All this also comes from the LORD Almighty, wonderful in counsel56 and magnificent in wisdom.57