Then the Word of God came to me:
"Son of man, now turn and face the mountains of Israel and preach against them:
'O Mountains of Israel, listen to the Message of God, the Master. God, the Master, speaks to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and the valleys: I'm about to destroy your sacred god and goddess shrines.
I'll level your altars, bust up your sun-god pillars, and kill your people as they bow down to your no-god idols.
I'll stack the dead bodies of Israelites in front of your idols and then scatter your bones around your shrines.
Every place where you've lived, the towns will be torn down and the pagan shrines demolished - altars busted up, idols smashed, all your custom-made sun-god pillars in ruins.
Corpses everywhere you look! Then you'll know that I am God.
"'But I'll let a few escape the killing as you are scattered through other lands and nations.
In the foreign countries where they're taken as prisoners of war, they'll remember me. They'll realize how devastated I was by their betrayals, by their voracious lust for gratifying themselves in their idolatries. They'll be disgusted with their evil ways, disgusting to God in the way they've lived.
They'll know that I am God. They'll know that my judgment against them was no empty threat.
"'This is what God, the Master, says: Clap your hands, stamp your feet, yell out, "No, no, no!" because of all the evil obscenities rife in Israel. They're going to be killed, dying of hunger, dying of disease -
death everywhere you look, people dropping like flies, people far away dying, people nearby dying, and whoever's left in the city starving to death. Why? Because I'm angry, furiously angry.
They'll realize that I am God when they see their people's corpses strewn over and around all their ruined sex-and-religion shrines on the bare hills and in the lush fertility groves, in all the places where they indulged their sensual rites.
I'll bring my hand down hard on them, demolish the country wherever they live, turn it into wasteland from one end to the other, from the wilderness to Riblah. Then they'll know that I am God!'"
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)