1I will climb my watchtower; I will take my place on the city wall. I will keep watch and see what he will say to me, how he will answer my grievances.
2Then the Lord told me, Write down the vision, inscribe it on tablets, so it can be easily read.
3For the vision is for a future time, it is about the end and it does not lie. If it seems slow in being fulfilled, wait for it, for it will definitely come—it will not be delayed!
4Look at those who are proud! They do not live right. But those who live right do so through their trust in God.
5In addition wealth provides no security. Those who are arrogant never have any peace; their greedy mouths are as wide open as the grave, and like death they are never satisfied. They gather nations like possessions, swallowing up many peoples.
6Won't all these peoples taunt them? They will ridicule them, saying, “What disaster is coming to you who pile up things that don't belong to you! You make yourselves rich by forcing debtors to pay! How long can you go on doing this?”
7Won't your debtors suddenly act? Won't they wake up to the situation and make you tremble? You will be plunder for them!
8Because you have plundered many nations, those who are left will plunder you—for the human blood you have shed and the destruction you brought on lands and cities, and those who lived there.
9What disaster is coming to you who build houses through dishonest gain! You think you can place your “nest” so high it will be safe from disaster.
10Your evil schemes have brought shame upon your families, by destroying many nations you have forfeited your own lives.
11Even the stones in the wall cry out in condemnation, and the wooden rafters join in too.
12What disaster is coming to you who build cities with bloodshed, who found cities built on wickedness!
13Hasn't the Lord Almighty decided that all such nations work for will be destroyed by fire, that they wear themselves out for nothing?
14For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord's glory as the waters fill the sea.
15What disaster is coming to you who make your neighbors drunk! You force your cup of anger on them and make them drink so you may see them naked.
16In turn you will be filled with shame instead of glory. Drink yourself and expose your nakedness! The cup the Lord holds in his right hand will be passed round to you and your glory will turn to shame.
17As you destroyed the forests of Lebanon you will also be destroyed; you hunted the animals there, and now they will hunt you. For you shed human blood and you destroyed lands and cities, along with those who lived there.
18What use is a wooden idol carved by human hands, or a metal image that teaches lies? What is the point of their makers trusting in their own handiwork, creating idols that can't speak?
19What disaster is coming to you who say to something made of wood, “Wake up!” or to lifeless stone, “Get up!” Can it teach you anything? Look at it! It's covered with gold and silver, but there is no life inside it.
20But the Lord is in his holy Temple; let all the earth be silent in his presence.