1Woe to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim and to the fading flower of its glorious beauty that is on the head of the fertile valley the crown of those who are overcome with wine!
2Behold, the Lord has a strong and powerful one. Like a storm of hail, a destroying storm, and like a storm of mighty overflowing waters, he will cast it down to the earth with his hand.
3The crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim will be trampled underfoot.
4The fading flower of its glorious beauty that is on the head of the fertile valley will be like the first-ripe fig before the summer, which when someone sees it, he eats it as soon as it is in his hand.
5(In that day, Yahweh of Armies will become a crown of glory 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).
7And these also stumble around because of wine and stagger because of beer. The priest and the prophet stumble around because of beer. They are confused by wine. They stagger because of beer. They stumble around while having visions. They totter when giving judgments.
8Indeed, all the tables are full of filthy vomit, with no clean space left.
9To whom will he teach knowledge? To whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk and just taken from the breasts?
10For it is precept by precept, precept by precept; line by line, line by line; here a little, there a little.
11Indeed, he will speak to this nation with stammering lips and in another language.
12He had said to them, “This is the resting place, let the weary rest,” and “This is the place of repose,” yet they would not listen.
13Therefore the word of Yahweh will be to them precept on precept, precept on precept; line on line, line on line; here a little, there a little; that they may go, fall backward, be broken, be snared, and be captured.
14Therefore hear the word of Yahweh, you scoffers that rule this people in Jerusalem:
15“Because you have said, ‘We have cut a covenant with death, and with Sheol are we in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge and we have hidden ourselves under falsehood.’”
16Therefore this is what the Lord Yahweh says, “Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone of a sure foundation. He who believes will not act hastily.
17I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line. The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place.
18Your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand. When the overflowing scourge passes through, then you will be trampled down by it.
19As often as it passes through, it will seize you; for morning by morning it will pass through, by day and by night, and it will be nothing but terror to understand the message.”
20For the bed is too short to stretch out on, and the blanket is too narrow to wrap oneself in.
21For Yahweh will rise up as on Mount Perazim. He will be angry as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his unusual work, and bring to pass his act, his extraordinary act.
22Now therefore do not be scoffers, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard a decree of destruction from the Lord, Yahweh of Armies, on the whole earth.
23Give ear, and hear my voice! Listen, and hear my speech!
24Does he who plows to sow plow continually? Does he keep turning the soil and breaking the clods?
25When he has leveled its surface, doesn’t he plant the dill and scatter the cumin seed, and put in the wheat in rows, the barley in the appointed place and the spelt in its place?
26For his God instructs him in right judgment, and teaches him.
27For the dill are not threshed with a sharp instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned over the cumin; but the dill is beaten out with a stick, and the cumin with a rod.
28Bread flour must be ground, so he will not always be threshing it. Although he drives the wheel of his threshing cart over it, his horses do not grind it.
29This also comes forth from Yahweh of Armies, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.