"This is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel, says: 'You saw with your own eyes the terrible doom that I brought down on Jerusalem and the Judean cities. Look at what's left: ghost towns of rubble and smoking ruins,
and all because they took up with evil ways, making me angry by going off to offer sacrifices and worship the latest in gods - no-gods that neither they nor you nor your ancestors knew the first thing about.
And why do you deliberately make me angry by what you do, offering sacrifices to these no-gods in the land of Egypt where you've come to live? You'll only destroy yourselves and make yourselves an example used in curses and an object of ridicule among all the nations of the earth.
We're going to go right on offering sacrifices to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, keeping up the traditions set by our ancestors, our kings and government leaders in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem in the good old days. We had a good life then - lots of food, rising standard of living, and no bad luck.
But the moment we quit sacrificing to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out offerings to her, everything fell apart. We've had nothing but massacres and starvation ever since.
" And then the women chimed in: "Yes! Absolutely! We're going to keep at it, offering sacrifices to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out offerings to her. Aren't our husbands behind us? They like it that we make goddess cookies and pour out our offerings to her."
God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel, says: 'You women! You said it and then you did it. You said, "We're going to keep the vows we made to sacrifice to the Queen of Heaven and pour out offerings to her, and nobody's going to stop us!"'
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)