Condemnation of Ephraim
28 1 Woe to the crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of his glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley of them that are overcome with wine! 2 Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one; as a tempest of hail, a destroying storm, as a tempest of mighty waters overflowing, will he cast down to the earth with the hand. 3 The crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim shall be trodden under foot: 4 and the fading flower of his glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be as the first-ripe fig before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up. 5 In that day will Jehovah of hosts become a crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people; 6 and a spirit of justice to him that sitteth in judgment, and strength to them that turn back the battle at the gate. 7 And even these reel with wine, and stagger with strong drink; the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they stagger with strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. 8 For all tables are full of vomit [and] filthiness, [so that there is] no place [clean].
9 Whom will he teach knowledge? and whom will he make to understand the message? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts? 10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little. 11 Nay, but by [men of] strange lips and with another tongue will he speak to this people; 12 to whom he said, This is the rest, give ye rest to him that is weary; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13 Therefore shall the word of Jehovah be unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little; that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
The Warning to Jerusalem
14 Wherefore hear the word of Jehovah, ye scoffers, that rule this people that is in Jerusalem: 15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us; for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: 16 therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner -[stone] of sure foundation: he that believeth shall not be in haste. 17 And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding-place. 18 And your covenant with death shall be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. 19 As often as it passeth though, it shall take you; for morning by morning shall it pass through, by day and by night: and it shall be nought but terror to understand the message. 20 For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it; and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. 21 For Jehovah will rise up as in mount Perazim, he will be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon; that he may do his work, his strange work, and bring to pass his act, his strange act. 22 Now therefore be ye not scoffers, lest your bonds be made strong; for a decree of destruction have I heard from the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, upon the whole earth.
23 Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech. 24 Doth he that ploweth to sow plow continually? doth he [continually] open and harrow his ground? 25 When he hath levelled the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and put in the wheat in rows, and the barley in the appointed place, and the spelt in the border thereof? 26 For his God doth instruct him aright, [and] doth teach him. 27 For the fitches are not threshed with a sharp [threshing] instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. 28 Bread [grain] is ground; for he will not be always threshing it: and though the wheel of his cart and his horses scatter it, he doth not grind it. 29 This also cometh forth from Jehovah of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in wisdom.
Ariel and Her Enemies
29 1 Ho Ariel, Ariel, the city where David encamped! add ye year to year; let the feasts come round: 2 then will I distress Ariel, and there shall be mourning and lamentation; and she shall be unto me as Ariel. 3 And I will encamp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with posted troops, and I will raise siege works against thee. 4 And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust; and thy voice shall be as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust. 5 But the multitude of thy foes shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be in an instant suddenly. 6 She shall be visited of Jehovah of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire. 7 And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her stronghold, and that distress her, shall be as a dream, a vision of the night. 8 And it shall be as when a hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.
The Blindness and Hypocrisy of Israel
9 Tarry ye and wonder; take your pleasure and be blind: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. 10 For Jehovah hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes, the prophets; and your heads, the seers, hath he covered. 11 And all vision is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I cannot, for it is sealed: 12 and the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I am not learned. 13 And the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw nigh [unto me], and with their mouth and with their lips to honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment of men which hath been taught [them]; 14 therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. 15 Woe unto them that hide deep their counsel from Jehovah, and whose works are in the dark, and that say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? 16 Ye turn things upside down! Shall the potter be esteemed as clay; that the thing made should say of him that made it, He made me not; or the thing formed say of him that formed it, He hath no understanding?
The Redemption of Israel
17 Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest? 18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness. 19 The meek also shall increase their joy in Jehovah, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scoffer ceaseth, and all they that watch for iniquity are cut off; 21 that make a man an offender in [his] cause, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just with a thing of nought. 22 Therefore thus saith Jehovah, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. 23 But when he seeth his children, the work of my hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name; yea, they shall sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall stand in awe of the God of Israel. 24 They also that err in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmur shall receive instruction.
Pressing toward the Mark
3 1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not irksome, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the concision: 3 for we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God, and glory in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh:
4 though I myself might have confidence even in the flesh: if any other man thinketh to have confidence in the flesh, I yet more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 as touching zeal, persecuting the church; as touching the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless. 7 Howbeit what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ,
9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, [even] that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith: 10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death; 11 if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on, if so be that I may lay hold on that for which also I was laid hold on by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I could not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing [I do], forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, 14 I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye are otherwise minded, this also shall God reveal unto you: 16 only, whereunto we have attained, by that same [rule] let us walk.
17 Brethren, be ye imitators together of me, and mark them that so walk even as ye have us for an ensample. 18 For many walk, of whom I told you often, and now tell you even weeping, [that they are] the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is perdition, whose god is the belly, and [whose] glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, [that it may be] conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working whereby he is able even to subject all things unto himself.