Evil Leaders Rebuked
1The righteous man perishes [at the hand of evil], and no one takes it to heart;
Faithful and devout men are taken away, while no one understands
That the righteous person is taken away [to be spared] from disaster and evil.
2He enters into peace [through death];
They rest in their beds (graves),
Each one who walked uprightly [following God’s will, living with integrity].
3“But come here, you sons of a sorceress [raised in deception and superstition],
Offspring of an adulterer and a prostitute.
4Of whom do you make fun?
Against whom do you open wide your mouth
And stick out your tongue?
Are you not children of rebellion (sin),
Offspring of deceit,
5Who inflame yourselves [with lust in pagan rites] among the oaks (terebinth trees),
Under every green and leafy tree,
Who slaughter the children [in sacrifice] in the ravines
Under the clefts of the rocks?
6Among the smooth stones of the ravine
Is your portion, they (the idols) are your lot;
Even to them you have poured out a drink offering,
You have offered a grain offering.
Should I be quiet concerning these things [leaving them unpunished—bearing them with patience]?
7Upon a high and lofty mountain
You have [openly and shamelessly] made your [idolatrous and adulterous] bed;
Even there you went up to offer sacrifice [to idols, in spiritual unfaithfulness to Me].
8Behind the door and the doorpost
You have set up your [pagan] symbol;
Indeed, far removed from Me, you have uncovered yourself,
And have gone up and made your bed wide.
And you have made a [new] agreement for yourself with the adulterers,
You have loved their bed,
You have looked [with passion] on their manhood.
9You have gone to the king [of a pagan land] with oil
And increased your perfumes;
You have sent your messengers a great distance
And made them go down to Sheol (the realm of the dead).
10You were wearied by the length of your road,
Yet you did not say, ‘It is no use.’
You found renewed strength,
Therefore you did not grow weak.
11“About whom were you worried and fearful
That you lied and did not remember Me,
Nor give Me a thought?
Was I not silent even for a long time
And [as a result] you do not fear Me?
12I will declare your [hypocritical] righteousness and your deeds,
But they will not benefit you.
13When you cry out [for help], let your [ridiculous] collection of idols save you.
But the wind will carry them all away,
A [mere] breath will take them.
But he who takes refuge in Me will possess the land [Judea]
And will inherit My holy mountain.”
14And it will be said,
“Build up, build up, clear the way.
Remove the stumbling block out of the way [of the spiritual return] of My people.”
15For the high and exalted One
He who inhabits eternity, Whose name is Holy says this,
“I dwell on the high and holy place,
But also with the contrite and humble in spirit
In order to revive the spirit of the humble
And to revive the heart of the contrite [overcome with sorrow for sin].
16For I will not contend forever,
Nor will I always be angry;
For [if I did stay angry] the spirit [of man] would grow weak before Me,
And the breath of those whom I have created.
17Because of the wickedness of his unjust gain I was angry and struck him;
I hid My face and was angry,
And he went on turning away and backsliding, in the way of his [own willful] heart.
18I have seen his [willful] ways, but I will heal him;
I will lead him [also] and will restore comfort to him and to those who mourn for him,
19As I create the praise of his lips,
Peace, peace, to him who is far away [both Jew and Gentile] and to him who is near!”
Says the Lord;
“And I will heal him [making his lips blossom anew with thankful praise].”
20But the wicked are like the tossing sea,
For it cannot be quiet,
And its waters toss up mire and mud.
21“There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”