Then they said to one another, 1 “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” 2 (They had brick instead of stone and tar 3 instead of mortar.) 4
They made their lives bitter 1 by 2 hard service with mortar and bricks and by all kinds of service 3 in the fields. Every kind of service the Israelites were required to give was rigorous. 4
If you should pound 1 the fool in the mortar among the grain 2 with the pestle, his foolishness would not depart from him. 3
And the people went about and gathered it, and ground it with mills or pounded it in mortars; they baked it in pans and made cakes of it. It tasted like fresh olive oil. 1
Draw yourselves water for a siege! 1 Strengthen your fortifications! Trample the mud 2 and tread the clay! Make mud bricks to strengthen your walls! 3
I have stirred up one out of the north 1 and he advances, one from the eastern horizon who prays in my name. 2 He steps on 3 rulers as if they were clay, like a potter treading the clay.
Wail, you who live in the market district, 1 for all the merchants 2 will disappear 3 and those who count money 4 will be removed. 5
“Take some large stones 1 and bury them in the mortar of the clay pavement 2 at the entrance of Pharaoh’s residence 3 here in Tahpanhes. Do it while the people of Judah present there are watching. 4
They are then to take other stones and replace those stones, 1 and he is to take other plaster and replaster the house.
“‘This is because they have led my people astray saying, “All is well,” 1 when things are not well. When anyone builds a wall without mortar, 2 they coat it with whitewash.
When the wall has collapsed, people will ask you, “Where is the whitewash you coated it with?”
Then he is to have the house scraped 1 all around on the inside, 2 and the plaster 3 which is scraped off 4 must be dumped outside the city 5 into an unclean place.
He must tear down the house, 1 its stones, its wood, and all the plaster of the house, and bring all of it 2 outside the city to an unclean place.
Tell the ones who coat it with whitewash that it will fall. When there is a deluge of rain, hailstones 1 will fall and a violent wind will break out. 2
I will vent my rage against the wall, and against those who coated it with whitewash. Then I will say to you, “The wall is no more and those who whitewashed it are no more –
I will break down the wall you coated with whitewash and knock it to the ground so that its foundation is exposed. When it falls you will be destroyed beneath it, 1 and you will know that I am the Lord.
Her prophets coat their messages with whitewash. 1 They see false visions and announce lying omens for them, saying, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says,’ when the Lord has not spoken.