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1 The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.
2 Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.
3 ‘But you–come here, you sons of a sorceress, you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!
4 Whom are you mocking? At whom do you sneer and stick out your tongue? Are you not a brood of rebels, the offspring of liars?
5 You burn with lust among the oaks and under every spreading tree; you sacrifice your children in the ravines and under the overhanging crags.
6 The idols among the smooth stones of the ravines are your portion; they, they are your lot. Yes, to them you have poured out drink offerings and offered grain offerings. In the light of these things, should I relent?
7 You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill; there you went up to offer your sacrifices.
8 Behind your doors and your doorposts you have put your pagan symbols. Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide; you made a pact with those whose beds you love, and you looked on their nakedness.
9 You went to Molech with olive oil and increased your perfumes. You sent your ambassadors far away; you descended to the grave itself!
10 You were wearied by all your ways, but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint.
11 ‘Whom have you so dreaded and feared that you have been false to me, and have neither remembered me nor pondered this in your hearts? Is it not because I have long been silent that you do not fear me?
12 I will expose your righteousness and your works, and they will not benefit you.
13 When you cry out for help, let your collection of idols save you! The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow them away. But the man who makes me his refuge will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain.’
14 And it will be said: ‘Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.’
15 For this is what the high and lofty One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.
16 I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry, for then the spirit of man would grow faint before me– the breath of man that I have created.
17 I was enraged by his sinful greed; I punished him, and hid my face in anger, yet he kept on in his willful ways.
18 I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him,
19 creating praise on the lips of the mourners in Israel. Peace, peace, to those far and near,’ says the LORD. ‘And I will heal them.’
20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud.
21 ‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’