"The people of Judah have lived evil lives while I've stood by and watched." God's Decree. "In deliberate insult to me, they've set up their obscene god-images in the very Temple that was built to honor me.
They've constructed Topheth altars for burning babies in prominent places all through the valley of Ben-hinnom, altars for burning their sons and daughters alive in the fire - a shocking perversion of all that I am and all I command.
"But soon, very soon" - God's Decree! - "the names Topheth and Ben-hinnom will no longer be used. They'll call the place what it is: Murder Meadow. Corpses will be stacked up in Topheth because there's no room left to bury them!
Corpses abandoned in the open air, fed on by crows and coyotes, who have the run of the place.
And I'll empty both smiles and laughter from the villages of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. No wedding songs, no holiday sounds. Dead silence.
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)