28** Ha, crown of the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards and fading flower of his magnificent splendor, that is on the head of a fat valley, of men stupefied with wine! 2*** Here, Jehovah has strength and vigor like a squall of hail, a baneful tempest, like a big squall of flooding water; he has laid on the earth with his hand— 3 they shall be trodden underfoot—the crown of the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards 4* and the fading flower of his magnificent splendor that is on the head of a fat valley; and it shall be like a rareripe fig before summer, which the one who sees it gulps down while he still has it in his hand. 5 On that day the remnant of his people will have Jehovah of Armies for a crown of splendor and a garland of magnificence, 6 and for a spirit of judgment to him who sits in judgment, and for prowess to men who drive the fighting back to the gate.
7 And these too have gone wrong by wine and missed their way by beer; priest and prophet have been going wrong by beer, getting muddled with wine, missing their way because of beer, going wrong in vision-seeing, wobbling in adjudication. 8* For all tables are full of filthy vomit so that there is no place clean.
9 “Whom is he instructing in knowledge? whom is he tutoring in information? people weaned from milk, just beyond breasts? 10* that he tells us well, tells us well, he aims to claim, aims to claim, a bit here, a bit here”—
11 —Because it is with jabber of lip and with a different language he will speak to this people! 12 to whom he has said “This is the rest, give rest to the exhausted man” and “This is the chance to relax” and they would not listen. 13* And to them Jehovah’s word will be “he tells [us] well, tells [us] well, [he] aims to claim, aims to claim, a bit here, a bit here” in order that they may go stumbling backward and break their bones and be snared and caught.
14 So hear Jehovah’s word, cynicism-mongers, rulers of this people in Jerusalem: 15** because you say “We have struck a bargain with death and made terms with the world below; when a flooding scourge goes by it will not come to us, because we have arranged lies for our refuge and screened ourselves with falsehood,” 16 therefore the Lord Jehovah says “Here I am laying for a foundation in Sion a stone, a select stone, a well-based superfine cornerstone; he who believes will not be hasty; 17 and I will lay justice as line and honesty as level. And hail will sweep down a refuge of lies, and water will wash out a screen. 18 And your bargain with death will be canceled, and your terms with the world below will not hold good; when a flooding scourge goes by, you will be for its trampling. 19 As often as it goes by, it will get you; for it will go by morning after morning, day and night, and taking in things that you hear will be sheer torment. 20 For the bedstead is too short for lying stretched out and the coverlet is too narrow for lying drawn up.”
21* For Jehovah will stand up as he did at Perasim Mountain, will thrill as he did at Gibeon, to do his deed—an unnatural deed is his! and his work—incongruous work! 22* Now do not play the cynics, for fear your bonds should be too strong; for I have heard from Jehovah of Armies of a crisis and a finish to come upon all the earth.
23 Give ear and hear my voice; listen and hear my say. 24 Does a man that plows take all day plowing to sow, loosening and harrowing his soil? 25* does he not, if he has leveled its surface, scatter nutmeg-flower and toss in cummin and lay wheat in rows and barley in hills and spelt along his boundary line, 26* his God schooling him to method and Jehovah instructing him? 27 For nutmeg-flower seed is not threshed with a drag, nor is a cart-wheel run around over cummin; for nutmeg-flower seed is beaten out with a stick and cummin with a club. 28* Is breadstuff pulverized? for he does not endlessly thresh it, and his horses and the trundling of his cart churn it about without pulverizing it. 29 This too came from Jehovah of Armies, matchless in guidance, great in sense.