Therefore, this is what the Lord God of Hosts says: Because you have spoken this word, I am going to make My words become fire in your mouth. These people are the wood, and the fire will consume them.
I am about to bring a nation from far away against you, house of Israel. [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. It is an established nation, an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know and whose speech you do not understand.a16
Their quiver is like an open grave; they are all mighty warriors.
They will consume your harvest and your food. They will consume your sons and your daughters. They will consume your flocks and your herds. They will consume your vines and your fig trees. They will destroy with the sword your fortified cities in which you trust.
"But even in those days"-[this is] the Lord's declaration-"I will not finish you off.b19
When people ask: For what offense has the Lord our God done all these things to us? You will respond to them: Just as you abandoned Me and served foreign gods in your land, so will you serve strangers in a land that is not yours.
"Declare this in the house of Jacob; proclaim it in Judah, saying:
Hear this, you foolish and senselessc people. They have eyes, but they don't see. They have ears, but they don't hear.d22
Do you not fear Me? [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. Do you not tremble before Me, the One who set the sand as the boundary of the sea, an enduring barrier that it cannot cross?e The waves surge, but they cannot prevail. They roar but cannot pass over it.
But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts.f They have turned aside and have gone away.
They have not said to themselves: Let's fear the Lord our God, who gives the rain, both early and late, in its season,g who guarantees to us the fixed weeks of the harvest.
Your guilty acts have diverted these things [from you]. Your sins have withheld [My] bounty from you,
for wicked men live among My people. They watch like fowlers lying in wait.h They set a trap; they catch men.
Like a cage full of birds, so their houses are full of deceit. Therefore they have grown powerful and rich.
They have become fat and sleek. They have also excelled in evil matters. They have not taken up cases, such as the case of orphans, so they might prosper, and they have not defended the rights of the needy.
Should I not punish them for these things? [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. Should I not avenge Myselfi on such a nation as this?
A horrible, terrible thing has taken place in the land.
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own authority. My people love it like this. But what will you do at the end of it?