And this is the message that I was given about Judah and Jerusalem when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were the kings of Judah:
A Guilty Nation
2 The Lord has said,
“Listen, heaven and earth!
The children I raised
have turned against me.
3 Oxen and donkeys know
who owns and feeds them,
but my people won't ever learn.”

4 Israel, you are a sinful nation
loaded down with guilt.
You are wicked and corrupt
and have turned from the Lord,
the holy God of Israel.
5 Why be punished more?
Why not give up your sin?
Your head is badly bruised,
and you are weak all over.
6 From your head to your toes
there isn't a healthy spot.
Bruises, cuts, and open sores
go without care
or oil to ease the pain.
A Country in Ruins
7 Your country lies in ruins;
your towns are in ashes.
Foreigners and strangers
take and destroy your land
while you watch.
8 Enemies surround Jerusalem,
alone like a hut
in a vineyard
or in a cucumber field.
9 Zion would have disappeared
like Sodom and Gomorrah,
if the Lord All-Powerful
had not let a few
of its people survive.
Justice, Not Sacrifices
10 You are no better
than the leaders and people
of Sodom and Gomorrah!
So listen to the Lord God:
11 “Your sacrifices
mean nothing to me.
I am sick of your offerings
of rams and choice cattle;
I don't like the blood
of bulls or lambs or goats.

12 “Who asked you to bring all this
when you come to worship me?
Stay out of my temple!
13 Your sacrifices are worthless,
and your incense disgusting.
I can't stand the evil you do
on your New Moon Festivals
or on your Sabbaths
and other times of worship.
14 I hate your New Moon Festivals
and all others as well.
They are a heavy burden
I am tired of carrying.

15 “No matter how much you pray,
I won't listen.
You are too violent.
16 Wash yourselves clean!
I hate your filthy deeds.
Stop doing wrong
17 and learn to live right.
See that justice is done.
Defend widows and orphans
and help the oppressed.”
An Invitation from the Lord
18 I, the Lord, invite you
to come and talk it over.
Your sins are scarlet red,
but they will be whiter
than snow or wool.
19 If you willingly obey me,
the best crops in the land
will be yours.
20 But if you turn against me,
your enemies will kill you.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
The Lord Condemns Jerusalem
21 Jerusalem, you are like
an unfaithful wife.
Once your judges were honest
and your people lived right;
now you are a city
full of murderers.
22 Your silver is fake,
and your wine
is watered down.
23 Your leaders have rejected me
to become friends of crooks;
your rulers are looking
for gifts and bribes.
Widows and orphans
never get a fair trial.

24 I am the Lord All-Powerful,
the mighty ruler of Israel,
and I make you a promise:
You are now my enemy,
and I will show my anger
by taking revenge on you.
25 I will punish you terribly
and burn away everything
that makes you unfit
to worship me.
26 Jerusalem, I will choose
judges and advisors
like those you had before.
Your new name will be
“Justice and Faithfulness.”
The Lord Will Save Jerusalem
27 Jerusalem, you will be saved
by showing justice;
Zion's people who turn to me
will be saved
by doing right.
28 But those rebellious sinners
who turn against me, the Lord,
will all disappear.

29 You will be made ashamed
of those groves of trees
where you worshiped idols.
30 You will be like a grove of trees
dying in a drought.
31 Your strongest leaders
will be like dry wood
set on fire by their idols.
No one will be able to help,
as they all go up in flames.