Why do you continue to invite punishment? Must you rebel forever? Your head is injured, and your heart is sick.
You are battered from head to foot— covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds— without any soothing ointments or bandages.
Your country lies in ruins, and your towns are burned. Foreigners plunder your fields before your eyes and destroy everything they see.
Beautiful Jerusalem stands abandoned like a watchman’s shelter in a vineyard, like a lean-to in a cucumber field after the harvest, like a helpless city under siege.
If the LORD of Heaven’s Armies had not spared a few of us, we would have been wiped out like Sodom, destroyed like Gomorrah.
Listen to the LORD, you leaders of “Sodom.” Listen to the law of our God, people of “Gomorrah.”
“What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?” says the LORD . “I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle. I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
When you come to worship me, who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony?
Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts; the incense of your offerings disgusts me! As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath and your special days for fasting— they are all sinful and false. I want no more of your pious meetings.
I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals. They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them!
When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.
Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways.
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD . “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.
If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat.
But if you turn away and refuse to listen, you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies. I, the LORD, have spoken!”
See how Jerusalem, once so faithful, has become a prostitute. Once the home of justice and righteousness, she is now filled with murderers.
Once like pure silver, you have become like worthless slag. Once so pure, you are now like watered-down wine.
Your leaders are rebels, the companions of thieves. All of them love bribes and demand payoffs, but they refuse to defend the cause of orphans or fight for the rights of widows.
Therefore, the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the Mighty One of Israel, says, “I will take revenge on my enemies and pay back my foes!
I will raise my fist against you. I will melt you down and skim off your slag. I will remove all your impurities.