Therefore, listen to this message from the Lord ,
you scoffing rulers in Jerusalem.
15 You boast, “We have struck a bargain to cheat death
and have made a deal to dodge the grave. 1
The coming destruction can never touch us,
for we have built a strong refuge made of lies and deception.”
16 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, 2
a firm and tested stone.
It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on.
Whoever believes need never be shaken. 3
17 I will test you with the measuring line of justice
and the plumb line of righteousness.
Since your refuge is made of lies,
a hailstorm will knock it down.
Since it is made of deception,
a flood will sweep it away.
18 I will cancel the bargain you made to cheat death,
and I will overturn your deal to dodge the grave.
When the terrible enemy sweeps through,
you will be trampled into the ground.
19 Again and again that flood will come,
morning after morning,
day and night,
until you are carried away.”
This message will bring terror to your people.
20 The bed you have made is too short to lie on.
The blankets are too narrow to cover you.
21 The Lord will come as he did against the Philistines at Mount Perazim
and against the Amorites at Gibeon.
He will come to do a strange thing;
he will come to do an unusual deed:
22 For the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
has plainly said that he is determined to crush the whole land.
So scoff no more,
or your punishment will be even greater.
Listen to me;
listen, and pay close attention.
24 Does a farmer always plow and never sow?
Is he forever cultivating the soil and never planting?
25 Does he not finally plant his seeds -
black cumin, cumin, wheat, barley, and emmer wheat -
each in its proper way,
and each in its proper place?
26 The farmer knows just what to do,
for God has given him understanding.
A heavy sledge is never used to thresh black cumin;
rather, it is beaten with a light stick.
A threshing wheel is never rolled on cumin;
instead, it is beaten lightly with a flail.
28 Grain for bread is easily crushed,
so he doesn’t keep on pounding it.
He threshes it under the wheels of a cart,
but he doesn’t pulverize it.
29 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is a wonderful teacher,
and he gives the farmer great wisdom.