A message to the people in Israel
6 The Lord says, ‘The people in Israel have done more and more wrong things. So I will certainly punish them.
They sold people that did not do wrong things. They sold them for silver. And they sold poor people for only the price of shoes. 7 They are not kind to poor people and they do not help them. A father and his son have sex with the same woman. They do not respect the holy way that I want them to live. 8 When they lend money to poor people, they take the poor people's clothes. They do not return the clothes each night, as they should do. Instead they sleep on the clothes themselves. They do that at the places where they worship their gods. The rich people take money from poor people. They use that money to buy wine for themselves. Then they drink the wine in the temples of their gods.
2:8When a poor person gave clothes to a rich person, the poor person was giving a promise. That was what it meant. He was promising to pay money back to the rich person. God had said this to rich people about those poor people's clothes. ‘Do not keep the clothes at night. Give the clothes back to the poor people for the nights. Then they will not be cold.’
9 Remember the Amorites. They were big and strong. They were like the tallest cedar trees and the strongest oak trees. But I destroyed all of them. 10 I brought you out of Egypt. After that, I led you through the wilderness for 40 years. Then I took you to the land where the Amorites lived, so that it would belong to you. 11 I chose some men among you to be prophets, and some to be Nazirites. You Israelites know that it is true,’ says the Lord. 12 ‘But you told the Nazirites to drink wine, like everyone else. And you said to the prophets, “Do not speak messages from God.”
2:11Nazirites were people that had made a special promise. So they lived in a different way from other people. They did not drink alcohol and they did not cut their hair. And they did not touch anything that was dead.
13 So I will punish you. A cart that has a heavy load pushes down on the ground. That is how I will push down on you. 14 You might try to run away. But nobody will get free. Even the fastest runner will not get free. The strong people will not be strong enough to stop me. The soldiers will not be able to save their lives. 15 Soldiers who shoot arrows will have to turn back. Fast runners will not save their lives. Soldiers who ride on horses will also die. 16 At that time, strong, brave soldiers will run away without their clothes.’ That is what the Lord says.