Israel's Futile Idolatry
1The righteous man perishes,
and no one lays it to heart;
devout men are taken away,
while no one understands.
For the righteous man is taken away from calamity,
2he enters into peace;
they rest in their beds
who walk in their uprightness.
3But you, draw near hither,
sons of the sorceress,
offspring of the adulterer and the harlot.
4Of whom are you making sport?
Against whom do you open your mouth wide
and put out your tongue?
Are you not children of transgression,
the offspring of deceit,
5you who burn with lust among the oaks,
under every green tree;
who slay your children in the valleys,
under the clefts of the rocks?
6Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion;
they, they, are your lot;
to them you have poured out a drink offering,
you have brought a cereal offering.
Shall I be appeased for these things?
7Upon a high and lofty mountain
you have set your bed,
and thither you went up to offer sacrifice.
8Behind the door and the doorpost
you have set up your symbol;
for, deserting me, you have uncovered your bed,
you have gone up to it,
you have made it wide;
and you have made a bargain for yourself with them,
you have loved their bed,
you have looked on nakedness.a
9You journeyed to Molechb with oil
and multiplied your perfumes;
you sent your envoys far off,
and sent down even to Sheol.
10You were wearied with the length of your way,
but you did not say, "It is hopeless";
you found new life for your strength,
and so you were not faint.
11Whom did you dread and fear,
so that you lied,
and did not remember me,
did not give me a thought?
Have I not held my peace, even for a long time,
and so you do not fear me?
12I will tell of your righteousness and your doings,
but they will not help you.
13When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you!
The wind will carry them off,
a breath will take them away.
But he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land,
and shall inherit my holy mountains.
A Promise of Help and Healing
14And it shall be said,
"Build up, build up, prepare the way,
remove every obstruction from my people's way."
15For thus says the high and lofty One
who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
"I dwell in the high and holy place,
and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble,
and to revive the heart of the contrite.
16For I will not contend for ever,
nor will I always be angry;
for from me proceeds the spirit,
and I have made the breath of life.
17Because of the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry,
I smote him, I hid my face and was angry;
but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart.
18I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;
I will lead him and requite him with comfort,
creating for his mourners the fruit of the lips.
19Peace, peace, to the far and to the near, says the Lord;
and I will heal him.
20But the wicked are like the tossing sea;
for it cannot rest,
and its waters toss up mire and dirt.
21There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked."