1 Woe be to the crown of pride, even to the drunken people of Ephraim, whose great pomp is as a flower that fadeth away upon the head of the valley of such as be in wealth, and are overladen with wine. 2 Behold, the strength and power of the LORD shall break into the land on every side, like a tempest of hail that beareth down strongholds, and like a horrible, mighty and overflowing water. 3 And the proud crown of the drunken Ephraimites shall be trodden under foot. 4 And as for the fading flower, the glory of his pomp, which is upon the top of the plenteous valley: it shall happen unto him, as to an untimely fruit before the harvest come. Which as soon as it is seen, is by and by devoured, before it come well in a man's hand. 5 In that day shall the LORD of Hosts be a joyful crown, and a glorious garland unto the remnant of his people. 6 Unto the lowly, he shall be a spirit of judgment; and unto them that drive away the enemies from the gates, he shall be a spirit of strength.
7 But they go wrong by the reason of wine, they fall and stagger because of strong drink. Yea even the priests and prophets themselves go amiss, they are drunken with wine, and weak brained through strong drink. They fail in prophesying, and stumble in judgment. 8 For all tables are so full of vomit and filthiness, that no place is clean. 9 Whom then shall such one teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand the thing that he heareth? For they are as ignorant as young children, which are weeded from suck or taken from the breasts. 10 Command that may be commanded, bid that may be bidden, forbid that may be forbidden, keep back that may be kept back, here a little, there a little. 11 And therefore the LORD also shall speak with lisping lips and with a strange language unto this people, to whom he spake afore of this manner: 12 "This shall bring rest, if one refresh the weary, yea this shall bring rest." But they had no will to hear.
13 And therefore the LORD shall answer their stubbornness, lesson upon lesson, commandment upon commandment, rule upon rule, instruction upon instruction, here a little, there a little. That they may go forth, fall backward, be bruised, snared, and taken.
14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye mockers that rule the LORD's people, which is at Jerusalem. 15 For ye comfort yourselves thus: "Tush, we have made a covenant with death, and with hell we are at an agreement. Though there break out any sore plague, it shall not come upon us. For with deceit will we escape, and with nimbleness will we defend ourselves." 16 Therefore thus sayeth the LORD God: "Behold, I will lay a stone in Zion, a great stone, a costly corner stone, for a sure foundation: that whoso putteth his trust in him, shall not be confounded. 17 Righteousness will I set up again in the balance, and judgment in the weights. The tempest of hail shall take away your refuge, that ye have to deceive withal: and the overflowing waters shall break down your strongholds of dissimulation." 18 Thus the covenant that ye have made with death shall be done away: and the condition that ye made with hell, shall not stand. Yea, when the sore plague goeth forth, ye shall be trodden down under it. 19 For it shall go forth early in the morning, and continue only that day and that night. And the very fear only shall teach you, when ye hear it. 20 For the bed shall be so narrow that a man cannot lie upon it: And the covering too small, that a man may not wind himself therein. 21 For the LORD shall step forth as he did upon the mount Perazim, and shall take on as he did upon the vale of Gibeon: that he may bring forth his device, his strange device: and fulfill his work, his wonderful work. 22 And therefore make no mocks at it, that your captivity increase not. For I have heard the LORD God of Hosts say that there shall come a sudden destruction and plague upon the whole earth.
23 Take heed, and hear my voice, ponder and mark my words well. 24 Goeth not the husbandman ever in due season earnestly to his land? He moweth and ploweth his ground to sow. 25 And when he hath made it plain, he soweth it with fitches or cumin. He soweth the wheat and Barley in their place, Milium and Rye also in their place. 26 And that he may do it right, his God teacheth him and showeth him. 27 For he treadeth not the fitches out with a waine, neither bringeth he the cart here and there over the cumin, but he thresheth the fitches out with a flail, and the cumin with a rod. 28 As for the wheat, he grindeth it to make bread thereof; Inasmuch as he cannot bring it to pass with treading out. For neither the bruising that the cart wheels make, nor his beasts, can grind it. 29 This and such like things come of the LORD of Hosts which is marvelous in counsel, and great in righteousness.