New English Translation
A Coming Leadership Crisis
1 Look, the sovereign LORD who commands armies is about to remove from Jerusalem and Judah every source of security, including all the food and water,
2 the mighty men and warriors, judges and prophets, omen readers and leaders,
3 captains of groups of fifty, the respected citizens, advisers and those skilled in magical arts, and those who know incantations.
4 The LORD says, "I will make youths their officials; malicious young men will rule over them.
5 The people will treat each other harshly; men will oppose each other; neighbors will fight. Youths will proudly defy the elderly and riffraff will challenge those who were once respected.
6 Indeed, a man will grab his brother right in his father's house and say, 'You own a coat - you be our leader! This heap of ruins will be under your control.'
7 At that time the brother will shout, 'I am no doctor, I have no food or coat in my house; don't make me a leader of the people!'"
8 Jerusalem certainly stumbles, Judah falls, for their words and their actions offend the LORD; they rebel against his royal authority.
9 The look on their faces testifies to their guilt; like the people of Sodom they openly boast of their sin. Too bad for them! For they bring disaster on themselves.
10 Tell the innocent it will go well with them, for they will be rewarded for what they have done.
11 Too bad for the wicked sinners! For they will get exactly what they deserve.
12 Oppressors treat my people cruelly; creditors rule over them. My people's leaders mislead them; they give you confusing directions.
13 The LORD takes his position to judge; he stands up to pass sentence on his people.
14 The LORD comes to pronounce judgment on the leaders of his people and their officials. He says, "It is you who have ruined the vineyard! You have stashed in your houses what you have stolen from the poor.
15 Why do you crush my people and grind the faces of the poor?" The sovereign LORD who commands armies has spoken.
Washing Away Impurity
16 The LORD says, "The women of Zion are proud. They walk with their heads high and flirt with their eyes. They skip along and the jewelry on their ankles jingles.
17 So the sovereign master will afflict the foreheads of Zion's women with skin diseases, the LORD will make the front of their heads bald."
18 At that time the sovereign master will remove their beautiful ankle jewelry, neck ornaments, crescent shaped ornaments, 19 earrings, bracelets, veils, 20 headdresses, ankle ornaments, sashes, sachets, amulets, 21 rings, nose rings, 22 festive dresses, robes, shawls, purses, 23 garments, vests, head coverings, and gowns.
24 A putrid stench will replace the smell of spices, a rope will replace a belt, baldness will replace braided locks of hair, a sackcloth garment will replace a fine robe, and a prisoner's brand will replace beauty.
25 Your men will fall by the sword, your strong men will die in battle.
26 Her gates will mourn and lament; deprived of her people, she will sit on the ground.
King James Version
1 For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,
2 The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient,
3 The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.
4 And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.
5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.
6 When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand:
7 In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people.
8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory.
9 ¶ The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.
10 Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.
12 ¶ As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.
13 The LORD standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.
14 The LORD will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
15 What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
16 ¶ Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:
17 Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts.
18 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,
19 The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,
20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings,
21 The rings, and nose jewels,
22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,
23 The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails.
24 And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.
25 Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.
26 And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.