Chapter 8

  1. Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine. Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one, which, as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet, and the glorious beauty which is on the head of the fat valley shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer, which, when he that looks upon it sees, while it is yet in his hand, he eats it up.
  2. In that day shall the Lord of Hosts be for a crown of glory and for a diadem of beauty unto the residue of his people, and for a spirit of judgment to him that sits in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate. But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way. The priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.
  3. Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Those who are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts, for precept must be upon precept — precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, and there a little. For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people, to whom he said, This is the rest with which you may cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing — yet they would not hear. But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little and there a little, that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
  4. Wherefore, hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell 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 hidden ourselves — therefore, thus says the Lord God: Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation. He that believes shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then you shall be trodden down by it. From the time that it goes forth, it shall take you; for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night. And it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. 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. For the Lord shall rise up as in Mount Perazim, he shall be angry as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work, and bring to pass his act, his strange act. Now therefore, be not mockers, lest your bands be made strong; for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.
  5. Give ear, and hear my voice; listen, and hear my speech. Does the plowman plow all day to sow? Does he open and break the clods of his ground? When he has made plain the face thereof, does he not cast abroad the caraway, and scatter the cumin, and cast in the principal wheat, and the appointed barley and the rye in their place? For his God does instruct him to discretion, and does teach him. For the caraway are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cumin; but the caraway are beaten out with a staff, and the cumin with a rod. Bread grain is ground because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen. This also comes forth from the Lord of Hosts, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working.
  6. Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelled. Add year to year; let them kill sacrifices. Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow; for thus has the Lord said unto me: It shall be unto Ariel that I the Lord will camp against her round about, and will lay siege against her with a mount, and I will raise forts against her. And she shall be brought down and shall speak out of the ground, and her speech shall be low, out of the dust; and her voice shall be as of one that has a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and her speech shall whisper out of the dust. Moreover, the multitude of her strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passes away; yea, it shall be at an instant, suddenly. For they shall be visited of the Lord of Hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm, and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire. 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 of a night vision. Yea, it shall be unto them even as unto a hungry man who dreams, and behold, he eats, but he awakes and his soul is empty; or like unto a thirsty man who dreams, and behold, he drinks, but he awakes and behold, he is faint and his soul has appetite. Yea, even so shall the multitude of all the nations be that fight against Mount Zion.
  7. For behold, all you that do iniquity, pause yourselves and wonder, for you shall cry out and cry. Yea, you shall be drunk, but not with wine; you shall stagger, but not with strong drink. For behold, the Lord has poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, for behold, you have closed your eyes, and you have rejected the prophets, and your rulers and the seers has he covered because of your iniquities.