The LORD declares, "How horrible it will be for those rebellious children. They carry out plans, but not mine. They make alliances against my will. They pile sin on top of sin.
They go to Egypt without asking me. They look for shelter under Pharaoh's protection and look for refuge in Egypt's shadow.
But Pharaoh's protection will be their shame, and the refuge in Egypt's shadow will be their disgrace.
Although Pharaoh's officials are in Zoan and his messengers have reached Hanes,
the people of Judah will be put to shame because that nation can't help them. That nation can't give aid or help to them. It can only offer shame and disgrace."
This is the divine revelation about the animals in the Negev. "My people travel through lands where they experience distress and hardship. Lions and lionesses live there. Vipers and poisonous snakes live there. They carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys and their treasures on the humps of camels to a nation that can't help them.
Egypt's help is completely useless. That is why I call it, 'Rahab who sits still.'
Now, write this on a tablet for them, and inscribe it in a book so that it will be there in the future as a permanent witness.
These people are rebellious and deceitful children, children who refuse to listen to the LORD's teachings.
They say to the seers, 'Don't see [the future].' They say to those who have visions, 'Don't have visions that tell us what is right. Tell us what we want to hear. See illusions.
Get out of our way! Stop blocking our path! Get the Holy One of Israel out of our sight.'"
This is what the Holy One of Israel says: You have rejected this warning, trusted oppression and deceit, and leaned on them.
That is why your sin will be like a high wall with a bulging crack, ready to fall. All of a sudden it will fall.
It will break like pottery. It will be smashed, and nothing will be left of it. No piece will be big enough to carry live coals from a fireplace or to dip water from a reservoir.
This is what the Almighty LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: You can be saved by returning to me. You can have rest. You can be strong by being quiet and by trusting me. But you don't want that.
You've said, "No, we'll flee on horses." So you flee. You've added, "We'll ride on fast horses." So those who chase you will also be fast.
One thousand people will flee when one person threatens them, and you will flee when five threaten you. Then you will be left alone like a flagpole on top of a mountain, like a signpost on a hill.
The LORD is waiting to be kind to you. He rises to have compassion on you. The LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all those who wait for him.
You will live in Zion, in Jerusalem. You won't cry anymore. The LORD will certainly have pity on you when you cry for help. As soon as he hears you, he will answer you.
The Lord may give you troubles and hardships. But your teacher will no longer be hidden from you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes.
You will hear a voice behind you saying, "This is the way. Follow it, whether it turns to the right or to the left."
Then you will dishonor your silver-plated idols and your gold-covered statues. You will throw them away like clothing ruined by stains. You will say to them, "Get out!"
The Lord will give you rain for the seed that you plant in the ground, and the food that the ground provides will be rich and nourishing. When that day comes, your cattle will graze in large pastures.
The oxen and the donkeys which work the soil will eat a mixture of food that has been winnowed with forks and shovels.
There will be brooks and streams on every lofty mountain and every high hill. When the day of the great slaughter comes, towers will fall.
Then the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun. The light of the sun will be seven times as strong, like the light of seven days. When that day comes, the LORD will bandage his people's injuries and heal the wounds he inflicted.
The name of the LORD is going to come from far away. His anger is burning. His burden is heavy. His lips are filled with fury. His tongue is like a devouring flame.
His breath is like an overflowing stream. It rises neck high, sifting the nations with a sieve of destruction, placing a bit in the mouths of the people to lead them astray.
You will sing a song like the song you sing on a festival night. Your hearts will be happy like someone going out with a flute on the way to the LORD's mountain, to the rock of Israel.
The LORD will make his majestic voice heard. He will come down with all his might, with furious anger, with fire storms, windstorms, rainstorms, and hailstones.
At the sound of the LORD, the people of Assyria will be shattered. He will strike them with his rod.
To the sound of tambourines and lyres, the LORD will pound on them. He will fight them in battle, swinging his fists.
Topheth was prepared long ago. It was made ready for the king. It was made deep and wide and piled high with plenty of burning logs. The LORD's breath will be like a flood of burning sulfur, setting it on fire.