3 Understand what I am telling you. The Master, the Lord of heaven’s armies, will take away everything Judah and Jerusalem need. He will take away all the food and water. 2 He will take away all the heroes and great soldiers. He will take away all the judges, prophets, people who do magic and elders. 3 He will take away the military leaders and government leaders. He will take away the counselors, the skilled craftsmen and those who try to tell the future. 4 The Lord says, “I will cause young boys to be your leaders. Foolish children will rule over you. 5 Everyone will be against everyone else. Young people will not respect older people. Common people will not respect important people.” 6 At that time a man will grab one of his brothers from his own family and say, “You have a coat. So you will be our leader. You will be the leader over all these ruins.” 7 But that brother will stand up and say, “I cannot help you. I do not have food or clothes in my house. You will not make me your leader.” 8 This will happen because Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen. The things they say and do are against the Lord. They sin openly against the Lord. 9 The look on their faces shows they are guilty of doing wrong. Like the people of Sodom, they are proud of their sin. They don’t care who sees it. How terrible it will be for them! They have brought much trouble to themselves.
10 Tell the good people that good things will happen to them. They will receive a reward for the good they do. 11 But how terrible it will be for wicked people! They will be punished for all the wrong they have done. 12 Children treat my people cruelly. Women rule over them. My people, your guides lead you in the wrong way. They turn you away from what is right.
13 The Lord takes his place in court. He stands to judge the people. 14 The Lord presents his case against the elders and other leaders of his people. He says, “You have burned my vineyard. Your houses are full of what you took from the poor. 15 What gives you the right to crush my people? How can you grind the faces of the poor into the dirt?” The Master, the Lord of heaven’s armies, said this.
A Warning to Women of Jerusalem
16 The Lord says, “The women of Jerusalem are proud. They walk around with their heads held high. They flirt with their eyes. They take quick, short steps, making noise with their ankle bracelets.” 17 So the Lord will put sores on the heads of those women in Jerusalem. He will make them lose all their hair.
18 At that time the Lord will take away everything that makes them proud. He will take away their beautiful ankle bracelets, their headbands and their necklaces shaped like the moon. 19 He will take away their earrings, bracelets and veils. 20 He will take away their scarves, ankle chains, the cloth belts worn around their waists, their bottles of perfume and charms. 21 He will take away their signet rings, nose rings, 22 their fine robes, capes, shawls and purses. 23 And he will take away their mirrors, linen dresses, turbans and long shawls.
24 Instead of having sweet-smelling perfume, they will stink. Instead of fine cloth belts, they will have ropes of captives to wear. Instead of having their hair fixed in fancy ways, they will be bald. Instead of fine clothes, they will have rough clothes of sadness. Instead of having beauty, they will have the brand of a captive. 25 At that time your men will be killed with swords. Your heroes will die in war. 26 There will be crying and sadness in the meeting places near the city gates. Jerusalem will be like a woman who has lost everything and sits on the ground.
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