Woe to Jerusalem
1 Woe to Ariel, Ariel, the city where David camped! Continue year after year; let the festivals recur. 2 I will oppress Ariel, and there will be mourning and crying, and she will be to Me like an Ariel. 3 I will camp in a circle around you; I will besiege you with earth ramps, and I will set up my siege towers against you. 4 You will be brought down; you will speak from the ground, and your words will come from low in the dust. Your voice will be like that of a spirit from the ground; your speech will whisper from the dust.
5 The multitude of your foes will be like fine dust, and the multitude of the ruthless, like blowing chaff. Then suddenly, in an instant, 6 you will be visited by the Lord of Hosts with thunder, earthquake, and loud noise, storm, tempest, and a flame of consuming fire. 7 The multitude of all the nations going out to battle against Ariel- all the attackers, the siege-works against her, and those who oppress her- will then be like a dream, a vision in the night. 8 It will be like a hungry one who dreams he is eating, then wakes and is still hungry; and like a thirsty one who dreams he is drinking, then wakes and is still thirsty, longing for water. So will be the multitude of all the nations who go to battle against Mount Zion.
9 Stop and be astonished; blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with beer. 10 For the Lord has poured out on you an overwhelming urge to sleep; He has shut your eyes-the prophets, and covered your heads-the seers.
11 For you the entire vision will be like the words of a sealed document. If it is given to one who can read and he is asked to read it, he will say, "I can't read it, because it is sealed." 12 And if the document is given to one who cannot read and he is asked to read it, he will say, "I can't read."
13 The Lord said: Because these people approach Me with their mouths to honor Me with lip-service- yet their hearts are far from Me, and their worship [consists of] man-made rules learned [by rote]- 14 therefore I will again confound these people with wonder after wonder. The wisdom of their wise men will vanish, and the understanding of the perceptive will be hidden.
15 Woe to those who go to great lengths to hide their plans from the Lord. [They do] their works in darkness, and say, "Who sees us? Who knows us?" 16 You have turned things around, as if the potter were the same as the clay. How can what is made say about its maker, "He didn't make me"? How can what is formed say about the one who formed it, "He doesn't understand [what he's doing]"?
17 Isn't [it true that] in just a little while Lebanon will become an orchard, and the orchard will seem like a forest? 18 On that day the deaf will hear the words of a document, and out of a deep darkness the eyes of the blind will see. 19 The humble will have joy after joy in the Lord, and the poor people will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20 For the ruthless one will vanish, the scorner will disappear, and all those who lie in wait with evil intent will be killed- 21 those who, with [their] speech, accuse a person of wrongdoing, who set a trap at the gate for the mediator, and without cause deprive the righteous of justice.
22 Therefore, the Lord who redeemed Abraham says this about the house of Jacob: Jacob will no longer be ashamed and his face will no longer be pale. 23 For when he sees his children, the work of My hands within his [nation], they will honor My name, they will honor the Holy One of Jacob and stand in awe of the God of Israel. 24 Those who are confused will gain understanding and those who grumble will accept instruction.