1 Woe to the proud drunks who wear the crown of Ephraim for it is doomed! Its glory is fading like the crowns of flowers on their heads. They are at the entrance of a fertile valley. They are drunk from wine.
2 Behold, Jehovah has a strong and mighty one Assyria. He will cast down to the earth with military power. It will be like a destructive thunderstorm with hail and a mighty flood of water.
3 The crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim shall be trodden under foot.
4 The fading flower of his glorious beauty is found at the head of the fertile valley. He looks at the first-ripe fig before the summer. He picks it with his hand and eats it.
5 Jehovah of armies will then become a crown of glory and beauty to the remnant of his people.
6 He will be a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, a source of strength to those who repel the attack at the gate.
7 These also stagger from wine and reel from beer. Priests and prophets stagger from beer and are befuddled with wine. They reel from beer. They stagger when seeing visions. They stumble when rendering decisions.
8 The tables are covered with vomit and there is no spot without filth.
9 »Who is he is trying to teach? To whom is he explaining his message? To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast?
10 »For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.«
11 With stammering lips and another tongue he will speak to this people.
12 He said: »This is the rest with which you may cause the weary to rest, and, this is the refreshing.« Yet they would not listen.
13 But the word of Jehovah to them was: »Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little,« that they might go and fall backward, and be broken and snared and caught.
14 Therefore hear the word of Jehovah, you scornful men, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,
15 Because you have said: »We have made a covenant with death, and with the grave we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge. We have hidden under falsehood!«
16 Therefore this is what The Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: »Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation. It is a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily.
17 »I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plummet. The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place.
18 »Your covenant with death will be annulled. Your agreement with the grave will not stand when the overflowing scourge passes through. Then you will be trampled down by it.
19 »As often as it passes through it will take you. Morning by morning it will pass over, and by day and by night. It will be a terror just to understand the report.«
20 The bed is too short on which to stretch out, and the cover so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it.
21 Jehovah will rise up as at Mount Perazim. He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon. That he may do his work, his awesome work, and bring to pass his act, his unusual act.
22 Do not be scoffers, lest your bonds be made strong. For I have heard from the Sovereign Lord Jehovah of Hosts that destruction is determined decreed upon the whole earth.
23 Give ear and hear my voice. Listen and hear my speech.
24 Does the plowman keep plowing all day in order to sow seed? Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods?
25 When he has leveled its surface, does he not sow the black cummin and scatter the cummin, plant the wheat in rows, the barley in the appointed place, and the spelt in its place?
26 He instructs him in right judgment and his God teaches him.
27 The black cummin is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a cartwheel rolled over the cummin. But the black cummin is beaten out with a stick, and the cummin with a rod.
28 Bread flour must be ground. Therefore he does not thresh it forever, break it with his cartwheel, or crush it with his horsemen.
29 This also comes from Jehovah of Hosts. He is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance.