1Ah, the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim, and the fading flower of its glorious beauty, which is on the head of the rich valley of those overcome with wine!
2Behold, the Lord has one who is mighty and strong; like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest, like a storm of mighty, overflowing waters, he casts down to the earth with his hand.
3The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim will be trodden underfoot;
4and the fading flower of its glorious beauty, which is on the head of the rich valley, will be like a first-ripe fig1 before the summer: when someone sees it, he swallows it as soon as it is in his hand.
5In that day the Lord of hosts will be a crown of glory,2 and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people,
6and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
7These also reel with wine and stagger with strong drink; the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are swallowed by3 wine, they stagger with strong drink, they reel in vision, they stumble in giving judgment.
8For all tables are full of filthy vomit, with no space left.
9“To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, those taken from the breast?
10For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.”
11For by people of strange lips and with a foreign tongue the Lord will speak to this people,
12to whom he has said, “This is rest; give rest to the weary; and this is repose”; yet they would not hear.
13And the word of the Lord will be to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little, that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
14Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers, who rule this people in Jerusalem!
15Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have an agreement, when the overwhelming whip passes through it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and in falsehood we have taken shelter”;
16therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am the one who has laid4 as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
17And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plumb line; and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and waters will overwhelm the shelter.”
18Then your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overwhelming scourge passes through, you will be beaten down by it.
19As often as it passes through it will take you; for morning by morning it will pass through, by day and by night; and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.
20For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on, and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in.
21For the Lord will rise up as on Mount Perazim; as in the Valley of Gibeon he will be roused; to do his deed—strange is his deed! and to work his work—alien is his work!
22Now therefore do not scoff, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard a decree of destruction from the Lord God of hosts against the whole land.
23Give ear, and hear my voice; give attention, and hear my speech.
24Does he who plows for sowing plow continually? Does he continually open and harrow his ground?
25When he has leveled its surface, does he not scatter dill, sow cumin, and put in wheat in rows and barley in its proper place, and emmer5 as the border?
26For he is rightly instructed; his God teaches him.
27Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin, but dill is beaten out with a stick, and cumin with a rod.
28Does one crush grain for bread? No, he does not thresh it forever;6 when he drives his cart wheel over it with his horses, he does not crush it.
29This also comes from the Lord of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.
1 Or fruit
2 The Hebrew words for glory and hosts sound alike
3 Or confused by
4 Dead Sea Scroll I am laying
5 A type of wheat
6 Or Grain is crushed for bread; he will surely thresh it, but not forever