Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign Lord ,
for the awesome day of the Lord ’s judgment is near.
The Lord has prepared his people for a great slaughter
and has chosen their executioners. 1
8 “On that day of judgment,”
says the Lord ,
“I will punish the leaders and princes of Judah
and all those following pagan customs.
9 Yes, I will punish those who participate in pagan worship ceremonies,
and those who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.
“On that day,” says the Lord ,
“a cry of alarm will come from the Fish Gate
and echo throughout the New Quarter of the city. 2
And a great crash will sound from the hills.
11 Wail in sorrow, all you who live in the market area,
for all the merchants and traders will be destroyed.
12 “I will search with lanterns in Jerusalem’s darkest corners
to punish those who sit complacent in their sins.
They think the Lord will do nothing to them,
either good or bad.
13 So their property will be plundered,
their homes will be ransacked.
They will build new homes
but never live in them.
They will plant vineyards
but never drink wine from them.
“That terrible day of the Lord is near.
Swiftly it comes -
a day of bitter tears,
a day when even strong men will cry out.
15 It will be a day when the Lord ’s anger is poured out -
a day of terrible distress and anguish,
a day of ruin and desolation,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness,
16 a day of trumpet calls and battle cries.
Down go the walled cities
and the strongest battlements!
“Because you have sinned against the Lord ,
I will make you grope around like the blind.
Your blood will be poured into the dust,
and your bodies will lie rotting on the ground.”
18 Your silver and gold will not save you
on that day of the Lord ’s anger.
For the whole land will be devoured
by the fire of his jealousy.
He will make a terrifying end
of all the people on earth. 3