A message about Jerusalem
1 This is a message about the city that is called ‘Vision Valley’.
22:1Verses 1 to 14 are about the city of Jerusalem.
What are you doing? You have all climbed up on the roofs of your houses!
22:1The houses had flat roofs.
2 Your city is full of the noise of parties, and people are shouting. It was not war that killed the people who are lying in your streets. They did not die in a battle.
3 When the enemy came, all your leaders ran far away. The enemy caught all your people. They caught them all and they did not need to shoot any arrows!
4 So I say, ‘Leave me alone! Let me weep with bitter tears. The enemy has killed many of my people, so do not try to comfort me.’
5 The Lord God, the Lord Almighty, has decided to bring great trouble to Vision Valley. It is a day of fear. People run here and there because they do not know what to do. The enemy knocks down the city's walls. People shout to the hills for help. 6 Elam's soldiers came with bows and arrows. They came with chariots and riders on horses. Kir's soldiers prepared their shields to fight. 7 So your beautiful valleys were full of chariots. Soldiers on horses prepared to attack your city's gates.
8 The enemy destroyed Judah's strong places where people could be safe. In that day, you looked for weapons in the House of the Forest. 9 You saw that there were many holes in the walls of the City of David. You stored water in the Lower Pool. 10 You counted the houses in Jerusalem and you knocked down some of them. You used the stones to make the city's wall stronger.
22:8The House of the Forest was a special building in Jerusalem where they stored their weapons.
11 You built a place between the city's walls to store water from the Old Pool. But you did not trust the One who made the city. You did not think about the One who decided to build it a long time ago.
12 At that time, the Lord God, the Lord Almighty, told you to be very sad and weep. He told you to cut all the hair off your heads and to wear rough clothes.
13 But instead, you are happy and you dance! You kill cows and sheep for a feast! You eat lots of meat and you drink lots of wine. You say, ‘We will have a big feast today, because tomorrow we will be dead!’
14 But the Lord Almighty has told me this: ‘I will never forgive this sin of my people for as long as they live.’
That is what the Lord God, the Lord Almighty has said.
15 This is what the Lord God, the Lord Almighty says: ‘Now go and speak to Shebna, the officer with authority in the king's palace. 16 Say to him, “You should not be here in the palace. You have cut a grave in the rock here for yourself, but you do not have the authority to do that! You have made a beautiful grave high up on the hill, as if you belong with the kings.
22:15Verses 15 to 24 are about royal officers called Shebna and Eliakim.
17 But look! The Lord will catch you and he will throw you out! You are just a man. He will take hold of you with all his strength. 18 He will hold you in his hand like a ball and he will throw you far away. You will die in that large, open country. Your great chariots will be useless there with you. You have brought shame to your master's family.”
19 I will remove you from your job. You will no longer be an important officer in the palace.
20 At that time, I will call my servant Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, to come. 21 I will put on him your special clothes. I will tie your belt round him. I will give your authority to him. Then Eliakim will become like a father to the people in Jerusalem and the people in Judah. 22 I will give the key of David's royal family to him. He will have complete authority. Any door that he opens, nobody may close it. Any door that he closes, nobody may open it.
23 I will fix him strongly in his place, like a peg in a strong wall. Because of him, people will respect and praise his father's family. 24 His children and his family will become more important because of him. They will be like bowls, cups and jars that hang on him as the strong peg.’
25 The Lord Almighty says, ‘When the time comes, the strong peg will fall out of the wall. I will cut it down and it will fall. Then all the things that hang on it will fall down as well.’
That is what the Lord has said.