Day of vegetarian wolves
The LORD says:
I answered questions no one asked.
I visited where I wasn’t invited.
I said, “Here I am. I’m right here now.”
No one knew who I was.
All day long they brushed me off.
They went about their business, Doing whatever they wanted to do.
3And what they wanted to do was provoke me.
They sacrifice in gardens.
They burn incense on bricks.
4They sit in tombs with the dead.
They sleep in places they won’t talk about.
The eat the forbidden pork
And drink forbidden drinks.
5Yet they tell others, “Keep your distance.
I’m holy and don’t want you to contaminate me.”
Hypocrites like that are as irritating
As sour smoke up your nose all day long.
6I have it in writing:
I don’t have to suffer their sins in silence.
I’ll make them suffer the consequences.
7And I’ll make them pay for the sins of their ancestors.
Yes, they’ll pay for that, too.
They burned incense on the mountains.
For worshiping idols like that,
They’ll pay the premium price.
They get no discount this time.
8But there’s an old saying:
“If there’s a grape left on the cluster,
Don’t throw it all away.
There’s still a blessing in there somewhere.”
So, when the grapes face my wrath,
I won’t destroy them all.
9I’ll leave some of Jacob’s family.
Judah will inherit the hills
And settle in this land.
10The Plain of Sharon will feed the flocks.
Achor Valley will bed the herds
Of people who follow me.
Bad news for bad folks11
But there’s a different future
For you who don’t worship on my sacred mountain.
You set up a meal for the god called Good Luck.
You serve blended wine to the god called Destiny.
Here’s why: When I called, you didn’t answer.
When I talked, you didn’t listen.
You did what you knew was wrong.
You did what you knew I didn’t like.
13The LORD says this:
My obedient people will eat.
You’ll go hungry.
My people will drink.
You’ll get thirsty.
My people will celebrate.
You’ll be ashamed.
14My people will sing their hearts out.
You will cry your eyes out.
You’ll sob and howl in pain.
15My people will remember your name.
But they’ll use it when they cuss.
You won’t know it because you’ll be dead,
The LORD God will see to it.
My people, however, get a new name.
16Whoever asks for a blessing
Will ask the dependable God.
Whoever swears an oath
Will swear by the reliable God.
And God will forget their sins of the past.
New heavens, new earth17
I’m going to make new heavens
And a new earth.
The past will be forgotten,
Never thought about again.
And never lose your sense of joy.
I’ll make Jerusalem a happy town,
A delightful destination for people to enjoy.
19Jerusalem will make me happy.
The people will delight.
Crying time is over.
You’ll be crying there no more.
20Children won’t die as babies.
Elders won’t die too young.
People who live 100 years
Will be considered youngsters.
People who die before then
Will be considered sinners.
21They’ll build houses and live there.
They’ll plant vineyards and eat the grapes.
22They won’t build houses for others.
They won’t work another’s farm.
They’ll live as long as trees
And outlive whatever they make.
23They won’t work for nothing.
Their children won’t face terror.
The children are their future, blessed by God.
So, they’ll get to keep their children.
24Before they pray, I’ll answer.
While they pray, I’ll answer.
25The LORD says,
Wolves and lambs will eat together.
Lions will eat straw, like cattle.
Low-down snakes will still eat dust,
But they’ll do no harm on my holy hill.
These are apparently sacrifices and offerings to the wrong god in the wrong place. Jews were supposed to offer sacrifices only to God (Exodus 20:3) and only at the centrally located designation God chose, which became the Jerusalem Temple (Deuteronomy 12:11).
Jews became ritually unclean when they encountered a corpse (Leviticus 5:2; 21:11). A person ritually unclean was not supposed to touch another person or go to the worship center because they ritually defiled whatever they touched. Israelites were able to get ritually clean again by following a set of procedures that included bathing, washing their clothes, getting sprinkled with “water of purification” (Numbers 19), and waiting for a stretch of time, often seven days.
Some of the local religions included fertility sex rituals. People would engage in sex with pagan priests and priestesses to entertain the gods and to ask for fertility in the family, fields, and flocks.
Possibly blood, (Leviticus 17:11).
Jacob and Judah refer to the Jewish people who returned from Babylonian exile into what is now Iraq. The Jewish people descended from Jacob’s 12 sons. Those sons produced extended families that became the 12 tribes of Israel. Judah was one of the tribes, a leading tribe in the southland. After Israel split in two, Judah became the southern nation.
Jerusalem’s Temple was built on top of a ridge above the Kidron Valley, across the valley from the Mount of Olives ridge of hills.
Rulers sometimes renamed people, to mark an important event or simply to show that they had the power to do it. Bible writers report God renaming people to commemorate an event. God renamed Abram as Abraham, which is Hebrew for “Father of Many” (Genesis 17:5). That marked God’s promise to give Abraham many descendants. He renamed Sarai as well, Sarah.
This doesn’t mean they were sinners, only that many people would presume they died young because God was punishing them for sin. Many people seemed to think God controlled everything in such a way that rich people were blessed of God and sick or poor were deserving of what God was doing to them. The story of Job refutes that by showing that Job was innocent, yet he suffered great losses. Jesus, using a man born blind, taught the same thing, that suffering doesn’t always mean the sufferer sinned (John 9:3).
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.