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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 2

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1I shall stand at my post, I shall take up my position on the watch-tower, keeping a look-out to learn what he says to me, how he responds a 2:1 he responds: prob. rdg; Heb. I respond. to my complaint. 2The LORD gives me this answer: Write down a vision, inscribe it clearly on tablets, so that it may be read at a glance b 2:2 so that…glance: or ready for a messenger to carry it with speed. . 3There is still a vision for the appointed time; it will testify to the destined hour and will not prove false. Though it delays, wait for it, for it will surely come before too long. 4The reckless will lack an assured future, while the righteous will live by being faithful. 5As for one who is conceited c 2:5 conceited: cp. Gk; Heb. wine. , treacherous, and arrogant, still less will he reach his goal; his throat gapes as wide as Sheol d Sheol: or the underworld. and he is insatiable as Death, rounding up every nation, gathering in all peoples to himself. 6Surely with veiled taunts and insults they will all turn on him and say, ‘Woe betide the person who amasses wealth that is not his e 2:6 his: prob. rdg; Heb. adds till when. and enriches himself with goods taken in pledge!’

7Will not your debtors suddenly start up? Will not those be roused who will shake you till you are empty? Will you not fall a victim to them? 8Because you yourself have plundered many nations, because of the bloodshed and violence you inflicted on cities and all their inhabitants over the earth, now the rest of the world will plunder you.

9Woe betide the person who seeks unjust gain for his house, building his nest on a height to save himself from the onset of disaster! 10Your schemes to overthrow many nations will bring dishonour to your house and put your own life in jeopardy. 11The stones will cry out from the wall, and from the timbers a beam will answer them.

12Woe betide the person who has built a city with bloodshed and founded a town on injustice, 13so that nations toil for a pittance, peoples weary themselves for a mere nothing! Is not all this the doing of the LORD of Hosts? 14The earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD's glory as the waters fill the sea.

15Woe betide the person who makes his companions drink the outpouring of God's wrath, making them drunk to watch their naked orgies! 16You will drink deep draughts, not of glory but of shame, drinking in your turn until you stagger f 2:16 until you stagger: so Scroll; Heb. obscure. . The cup in the LORD's right hand is passed to you, and your shame will exceed your glory. 17The violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, the havoc wrought on its beasts will shatter you, because of the bloodshed and violence you inflicted on cities and all their inhabitants over the earth.

18What use is an idol after its maker has shaped it? It is only an image, a source of lies! What use is it when the maker trusts what he has made? He is only making dumb idols!

19Woe betide the person who says to a block of wood, ‘Wake up,’ to a lifeless stone, ‘Bestir yourself g 2:19 Bestir yourself: prob. rdg; Heb. adds he will teach. ’! Overlaid with gold and silver it may be, but there is no breath in it. 20The LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent in his presence.

Notes:

a 2:1 he responds: prob. rdg; Heb. I respond.

b 2:2 so that…glance: or ready for a messenger to carry it with speed.

c 2:5 conceited: cp. Gk; Heb. wine.

d Sheol: or the underworld.

e 2:6 his: prob. rdg; Heb. adds till when.

f 2:16 until you stagger: so Scroll; Heb. obscure.

g 2:19 Bestir yourself: prob. rdg; Heb. adds he will teach.

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