So I will go and speak to their leaders. Surely they know the ways of the LORD and understand God’s laws.” But the leaders, too, as one man, had thrown off God’s yoke and broken his chains.
So now a lion from the forest will attack them; a wolf from the desert will pounce on them. A leopard will lurk near their towns, tearing apart any who dare to venture out. For their rebellion is great, and their sins are many.
“How can I pardon you? For even your children have turned from me. They have sworn by gods that are not gods at all! I fed my people until they were full. But they thanked me by committing adultery and lining up at the brothels.
They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor’s wife.
Should I not punish them for this?” says the LORD . “Should I not avenge myself against such a nation?
“Go down the rows of the vineyards and destroy the grapevines, leaving a scattered few alive. Strip the branches from the vines, for these people do not belong to the LORD .
The people of Israel and Judah are full of treachery against me,” says the LORD .
“They have lied about the LORD and said, ‘He won’t bother us! No disasters will come upon us. There will be no war or famine.
God’s prophets are all windbags who don’t really speak for him. Let their predictions of disaster fall on themselves!’”
Therefore, this is what the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies says: “Because the people are talking like this, my messages will flame out of your mouth and burn the people like kindling wood.
O Israel, I will bring a distant nation against you,” says the LORD . “It is a mighty nation, an ancient nation, a people whose language you do not know, whose speech you cannot understand.