Jerusalem is guilty
21 Oh! Jerusalem! Once you loved the Lord, as a wife loves her husband. But now you have become like a prostitute! At one time, the city was full of justice and honest people lived there. But now you are full of murderers!
22 Your pure silver has become dirt. You have mixed water with your best wine.
23 Your rulers have turned against God. They are friends of robbers. They all accept bribes and they love to receive gifts. But they do not help widows or children who have no family. They do not make sure that they receive justice.
24 So the Lord says this. He is the Lord Almighty, Israel's powerful God. He says, ‘Oh! I will punish my enemies as they deserve. I will pay them back!
25 I will turn against you, Jerusalem. I will make you pure again. But you will be like metal that burns in a very hot fire to remove all the dirt.
26 Then I will again give you honest judges, as you had a long time ago. I will also give you wise officers, as you had before. After that, you will be called “The Righteous City” and “The Faithful City”.’
27 God will use justice to make Zion free. He will do what is right for those who return to serve him.
28 But he will destroy people who turn against him, and those who continue to do wrong things. People who no longer trust the Lord will live no more.
29 You will become ashamed because you trusted special oak trees to help you. You worshipped idols in your special gardens, and you will be ashamed because of that.
30 You will be like an oak tree with leaves that have become dry. You will be like a garden that has no water.
31 Even your most powerful men will disappear. They will be like a piece of string that burns in a fire. Their sins will be the fire that destroys them. They and their sins will burn together, and nobody will put out the fire.