Second reply: the upright will live by his faithfulness
1 I will stand in my watchtower and take up position on my battlements; I will see what he replies, if there is an answer to my question.
2 Then Yahweh answered me and said,
2 “Write down the vision, inscribe it on tables so it can be easily read, 3 since this is a vision for an appointed time; it will not fail but will be fulfilled in due time. If it delays, wait for it, for it will come and will not be deferred. Look:
4 I don’t look with favor on the one who gives way; the upright, on the other hand, will live by his faithfulness.”
5 The grasping conqueror is always ready to devour, he enlarges his mouth like the netherworld; he is as insatiable as death, he seizes on all the nations and monopolizes all the peoples for himself. 6 But will not all the people mock him, as with one voice? Will they not write fierce satires to show him up? They will say,
Against the oppressor
6 Woe to him who amasses what is not his and fills himself with extorted pledges. 7 Your creditors will come suddenly, your money collectors will wa k en and take away all your goods.
8 Since you have plundered so many nations, shedding blood, stripping the land, their cities and homes, all the remaining nations will turn on you.
9 Woe to him who raises his house on unjust profits and fixes his nest so high that he thinks he can thereby escape misfortune!
10 You have willed the disgrace of your house; you draw evil on your own head. 11 The very stones of your walls cry out against you and the rafters reply from the roof.
12 Woe to the one who builds a city on bloody foundations and sets up a town by means of evil. 13 Has Yah weh of hosts not willed that the work of the nations go to the fire and the peoples toil for nothing?
13 ( 14 ) 15 Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors and drugs them to make them drunk so that everyone looks at their nakedness. 16 This will bring you more shame than glory. You will also drink and uncover your foreskin. The cup turns over in Yahweh’s hand and pours out onto you: disgrace will swallow your glory.
17 The violence you did in Lebanon will be fall you and the animals will devour you, since you slaughtered human beings, destroyed the coun try with its cities and put an end to all who lived there.
18 What use is a statue? Why do the sculptors make them? Why these images and deceiving answers? Why do their makers trust them and produce mute idols? 19 Woe to the one who says to a piece of wood, “Wake up,” and to a dumb stone, “Get up.” Can it give any answer? For, even though it is plated with gold and silver, there is not a single breath of life in it.
20 But Yahweh lives in his holy Temple: let the whole earth be silent before him!