1Those who are right with God die. And no one really cares about it. Men who are faithful to the Lord are swept away by trouble. And no one understands why that happens to those who do what is right.2Those who lead honest lives will enjoy peace and rest when they die.3The Lord says, “Come here, you children of women who practice evil magic! You are children of prostitutes and those who commit adultery.4Who are you making fun of? Who are you laughing at? Who are you sticking your tongue out at? You are people who refuse to obey me. You are just a bunch of liars!5You burn with sinful longing among the oak trees. You worship your gods by having sex under every green tree. You sacrifice your children in the valleys. You also do it under the cliffs.6You have chosen some of the smooth stones in the valleys to be your gods. You have joined yourselves to them. You have even poured out drink offerings to them. You have given grain offerings to them. So why should I take pity on you?7You have made your bed to have sex on a very high hill. You went up there to offer your sacrifices.8You have set up statues to remind you of your gods. You have put them behind your doors and doorposts. You deserted me. You invited other lovers into your bed. You climbed into it and welcomed them. You made a deal with them. And you looked at their naked bodies.9You went to the god Molech with olive oil. You took a lot of perfume along with you. You sent your messengers to places far away. You even sent them down to the place of the dead.10All of your efforts wore you out. But you would not say, ‘It's hopeless.’ You received new strength. So you did not give up.11“Who are you so afraid of that you have not been true to me? You have not remembered me. You do not even care about me. I have not punished you for a long time. That is why you are not afraid of me.12You have not done what is right or good. I will let everyone know about it. And that will not be of any benefit to you.13Go ahead and cry out for help to all of the statues of your gods. See if they can save you! The wind will carry them off. Just a puff of air will blow them away. But anyone who comes to me for safety will receive the land. He will possess my holy mountain of Zion.”
The Lord Comforts Those Who Aren't Proud
14A messenger says, “Build up the road! Build it up! Get it ready! Remove anything that would keep my people from coming back.”15The One who is highly honored lives forever. His name is holy. He says, “I live in a high and holy place. But I also live with anyone who turns away from his sins. I live with anyone who is not proud. I give new life to him. I give it to anyone who turns away from his sins.16I will not find fault with my people forever. I will not always be angry with them. If I were, I would cause their spirits to grow weak. The very breath of life would go out of the people I created.17I was very angry with them. They always longed for more and more of everything. So I punished them for that sin. I turned my face away from them because I was angry. But they kept on wanting their own way.18I have seen what they have done. But I will heal them. I will guide them. And I will comfort them just as I did before.19Then the people of Israel who are sorry for their sins will praise me. I will give perfect peace to those who are far away and those who are near. And I will heal them,” says the Lord.20But those who are evil are like the rolling sea. It never rests. Its waves toss up mud and sand.21“There is no peace for those who are evil,” says my God.
English Standard Version
Israel’s Futile Idolatry
1The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; (Ps 12:1)2he enters into peace; they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness. (2Ch 16:14; Eze 32:25; Lu 2:29)3But you, draw near, sons of the sorceress, offspring of the adulterer and the loose woman. (Joh 8:41)4Whom are you mocking? Against whom do you open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue? Are you not children of transgression, the offspring of deceit, (Ps 35:21; Isa 1:4; Isa 46:8)5you who burn with lust among the oaks, under every green tree, who slaughter your children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks? (2Ki 16:4; Isa 1:29; Eze 16:20)6Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion; they, they, are your lot; to them you have poured out a drink offering, you have brought a grain offering. Shall I relent for these things? (2Ki 23:10)7On a high and lofty mountain you have set your bed, and there you went up to offer sacrifice. (1Ki 14:23; Eze 16:16; Eze 16:24)8Behind the door and the doorpost you have set up your memorial; for, deserting me, you have uncovered your bed, you have gone up to it, you have made it wide; and you have made a covenant for yourself with them, you have loved their bed, you have looked on nakedness. (Eze 16:25; Eze 23:17; Ho 1:2)9You journeyed to the king with oil and multiplied your perfumes; you sent your envoys far off, and sent down even to Sheol. (Eze 16:26; Eze 16:28)10You were wearied with the length of your way, but you did not say, “It is hopeless”; you found new life for your strength, and so you were not faint. (Jer 2:25; Jer 18:12)11Whom did you dread and fear, so that you lied, and did not remember me, did not lay it to heart? Have I not held my peace, even for a long time, and you do not fear me? (Ps 50:21; Ps 78:10; Ps 78:36; Isa 51:12)12I will declare your righteousness and your deeds, but they will not profit you.13When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you! The wind will carry them all off, a breath will take them away. But he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land and shall inherit my holy mountain. (Ps 37:9; Isa 11:9; Isa 56:7; Isa 65:11; Isa 65:25; Jer 11:12)
Comfort for the Contrite
14And it shall be said, “Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from my people’s way.” (Isa 40:3; Isa 62:10)15For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Ps 34:18; Ps 113:6; Ps 138:6; Isa 42:3; Mic 6:6; Lu 1:49)16For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would grow faint before me, and the breath of life that I made. (Ge 6:3; Ps 103:9)17Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry, I struck him; I hid my face and was angry, but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart. (Isa 56:11; Jer 6:13)18I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners, (Isa 61:3; Jer 3:22)19creating the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,” says the Lord, “and I will heal him. (Isa 50:4; Isa 57:18; Ac 2:39; Eph 2:17; Heb 13:15)20But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt. (Jud 1:13)21There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.” (Isa 48:22)