4 “If you return, O Israel,
declares the Lord,
xto me you should return.
If you remove your detestable things from my presence,
yand do not waver,
2 zand if you swear, ‘As the Lord lives,’
in truth, in justice, and in righteousness,
then anations shall bless themselves in him,
band in him shall they glory.”
3 For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem:
c“Break up your fallow ground,
and dsow not among thorns.
4 eCircumcise yourselves to the Lord;
remove the foreskin of your hearts,
O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem;
flest my wrath go forth like fire,
and burn with none to quench it,
gbecause of the evil of your deeds.”
Disaster from the North
5 Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say,
h“Blow the trumpet through the land;
cry aloud and say,
i‘Assemble, and let us go
into the fortified cities!’
6 jRaise a standard toward Zion,
flee for safety, stay not,
for I bring disaster from kthe north,
land great destruction.
7 mA lion has gone up from his thicket,
a destroyer of nations has set out;
he has gone out from his place
to make your land a waste;
your cities will be ruins
8 For this oput on sackcloth,
lament and wail,
for pthe fierce anger of the Lord
has not turned back from us.”
9 “In that day, declares the Lord, qcourage shall fail both king and officials. The priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded.” 10 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God, rsurely you have utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘It shall be well with you,’ whereas the sword has reached their very life.”
11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, “A hot wind from sthe bare heights in the desert toward the daughter of my people, not to winnow or cleanse, 12 a wind too full for this comes for me. Now it is I who tspeak in judgment upon them.”
13 Behold, he comes up like clouds;
uhis chariots like the whirlwind;
his horses are vswifter than eagles—
woe to us, wfor we are ruined!
14 O Jerusalem, xwash your heart from evil,
that you may be saved.
How long shall your wicked thoughts
lodge within you?
15 For a voice ydeclares from Dan
and proclaims trouble from zMount Ephraim.
16 Warn the nations that he is coming;
announce to Jerusalem,
“Besiegers come afrom a distant land;
they shout against the cities of Judah.
17 Like keepers of a field bare they against her all around,
because she has rebelled against me,
declares the Lord.
18 Your ways and your deeds
have brought this upon you.
This is your doom, and cit is bitter;
it has reached your very heart.”
Anguish over Judah’s Desolation
19 dMy anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain!
Oh the walls of my heart!
My heart is beating wildly;
I cannot keep silent,
for I hear the sound of the trumpet,
the alarm of war.
20 eCrash follows hard on crash;
the whole land is laid waste.
fSuddenly my tents are laid waste,
my curtains in a moment.
21 How long must I see the standard
and hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 “For gmy people are foolish;
they know me not;
they are stupid children;
they have no understanding.
hThey are ‘wise’—in doing evil!
But how to do good they know not.”
23 I looked on the earth, and behold, it was iwithout form and void;
jand to the heavens, and they had no light.
24 I looked on kthe mountains, and behold, they were quaking,
and all the hills moved to and fro.
25 lI looked, and behold, there was no man,
and all the birds of the air had fled.
26 I looked, and behold, the mfruitful land was a desert,
and all its cities were laid in ruins
before the Lord, before nhis fierce anger.
27 For thus says the Lord, “The whole land shall be a desolation; oyet I will not make a full end.
28 p“For this the earth shall mourn,
qand the heavens above be dark;
for I have spoken; I have purposed;
rI have not relented, nor will I turn back.”
29 At the noise of horseman and archer
every city takes to flight;
they enter thickets; they climb among rocks;
all the cities are forsaken,
and sno man dwells in them.
30 And you, O desolate one,
what do you mean that you dress in scarlet,
tthat you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold,
uthat you enlarge your eyes with paint?
In vain you beautify yourself.
vYour lovers despise you;
they seek your life.
31 For I heard wa cry as of a woman in labor,
anguish as of one giving birth to her first child,
the cry of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath,
xstretching out her hands,
“Woe is me! I am fainting before murderers.”
Jerusalem Refused to Repent
5 yRun to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
look and take note!
Search her squares to see
zif you can find a man,
one who does justice
and seeks truth,
athat I may pardon her.
2 bThough they say, “As the Lord lives,”
cyet they swear falsely.
3 O Lord, do not your eyes look for truth?
dYou have struck them down,
but they felt no anguish;
you have consumed them,
but they refused to take correction.
eThey have made their faces harder than rock;
they have refused to repent.
4 Then I said, “These are only the poor;
they have no sense;
ffor they do not know the way of the Lord,
the justice of their God.
5 I will go to the great
and will speak to them,
for they know the way of the Lord,
the justice of their God.”
gBut they all alike had broken the yoke;
they had burst the bonds.
6 Therefore ha lion from the forest shall strike them down;
a iwolf from the desert shall devastate them.
jA leopard is watching their cities;
everyone who goes out of them shall be torn in pieces,
because their transgressions are many,
their kapostasies are great.
7 l“How can I pardon you?
Your children have forsaken me
mand have sworn by those who are no gods.
nWhen I fed them to the full,
othey committed adultery
pand trooped to the houses of whores.
8 They were well-fed, lusty stallions,
9 sShall I not punish them for these things?
declares the Lord;
and shall I not avenge myself
on a nation such as this?
10 t“Go up through her vine rows and destroy,
ubut make not a full end;
strip away her branches,
for they are not the Lord’s.
11 vFor the house of Israel and the house of Judah
have been utterly treacherous to me,
declares the Lord.
12 They have spoken falsely of the Lord
and have said, ‘He will do nothing;
wno disaster will come upon us,
xnor shall we see sword or famine.
13 The prophets will become wind;
the word is not in them.
Thus shall it be done to them!’”
The Lord Proclaims Judgment
14 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts:
“Because you have spoken this word,
and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them.
15 aBehold, I am bringing against you
a nation from afar, O house of Israel,
declares the Lord.
It is an enduring nation;
it is an ancient nation,
a nation whose language you do not know,
bnor can you understand what they say.
they are all mighty warriors.
17 eThey shall eat up your harvest and your food;
they shall eat up your sons and your daughters;
they shall eat up your flocks and your herds;
they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees;
your ffortified cities in which you trust
they shall beat down with the sword.”
18 “But even in those days, declares the Lord, uI will not make a full end of you. 19 And when your people say, g‘Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?’ you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, hso you shall serve foreigners in a land that is not yours.’”
20 Declare this in the house of Jacob;
proclaim it in Judah:
21 “Hear this, iO foolish and senseless people,
jwho have eyes, but see not,
who have ears, but hear not.
22 kDo you not fear me? declares the Lord.
Do you not tremble before me?
I placed the sand las the boundary for the sea,
a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass;
though the waves toss, they cannot prevail;
though mthey roar, they cannot pass over it.
23 nBut this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
they have turned aside and gone away.
24 They do not say in their hearts,
‘Let us fear the Lord our God,
owho gives the rain in its season,
the autumn rain and the spring rain,
and keeps for us
pthe weeks appointed for the harvest.’
25 qYour iniquities have turned these away,
and your sins have kept good from you.
26 For wicked men are found among my people;
sThey set a trap;
they catch men.
27 Like a cage full of birds,
their houses are full of deceit;
therefore they have become great and rich;
28 tthey have grown fat and sleek.
They know no bounds in deeds of evil;
uthey judge not with justice
the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper,
and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
29 vShall I not punish them for these things?
declares the Lord,
and shall I not avenge myself
on a nation such as this?”
30 An appalling and whorrible thing
has happened in the land:
31 xthe prophets prophesy falsely,
and the priests rule at their direction;
ymy people love to have it so,
but what will you do when the end comes?
Impending Disaster for Jerusalem
6 Flee for safety, zO people of Benjamin,
from the midst of Jerusalem!
Blow the trumpet in aTekoa,
and raise a signal on bBeth-haccherem,
for disaster looms cout of the north,
and great destruction.
2 The lovely and delicately bred I will destroy,
3 eShepherds with their flocks shall come against her;
fthey shall pitch their tents around her;
they shall pasture, each in his place.
4 g“Prepare war against her;
arise, and let us attack hat noon!
Woe to us, for the day declines,
for the shadows of evening lengthen!
5 Arise, and let us attack by night
and destroy her palaces!”
6 For thus says the Lord of hosts:
i“Cut down her trees;
jcast up a siege mound against Jerusalem.
This is the city that must be kpunished;
there is nothing but oppression within her.
7 lAs a well keeps its water fresh,
so she keeps fresh her evil;
mviolence and destruction are heard within her;
sickness and wounds are ever before me.
8 Be warned, O Jerusalem,
nlest I turn from you in disgust,
lest I make you oa desolation,
an uninhabited land.”
9 Thus says the Lord of hosts:
p“They shall glean thoroughly as a vine
the remnant of Israel;
like a grape gatherer pass your hand again
over its branches.”
10 qTo whom shall I speak and give warning,
that they may hear?
rBehold, their ears are uncircumcised,
sthey cannot listen;
behold, tthe word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn;
they take no pleasure in it.
11 Therefore I am full of the wrath of the Lord;
uI am weary of holding it in.
v“Pour it out upon the children in the street,
and upon the gatherings of young men, also;
the elderly and the very aged.
12 yTheir houses shall be turned over to others,
their fields and wives together,
for I will stretch out my hand
against the inhabitants of the land,”
declares the Lord.
13 z“For from the least to the greatest of them,
everyone ais greedy for unjust gain;
and from bprophet to priest,
everyone deals falsely.
14 They have healed the wound of my people lightly,
saying, c‘Peace, peace,’
dwhen there is no peace.
15 eWere they ashamed when they committed abomination?
No, they were not at all ashamed;
they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
fat the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,”
says the Lord.
16 Thus says the Lord:
“Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for gthe ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
hand find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 iI set watchmen over you, saying,
‘Pay attention to jthe sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, k‘We will not pay attention.’
18 Therefore hear, O nations,
and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.
19 Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people,
lthe fruit of their devices,
because they have not paid attention to my words;
and as for my law, they have rejected it.
or sweet cane from a distant land?
pYour burnt offerings are not acceptable,
nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.
21 Therefore thus says the Lord:
q‘Behold, I will lay before this people
stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble;
fathers and sons together,
neighbor and friend shall perish.’”
22 Thus says the Lord:
a great nation is stirring from tthe farthest parts of the earth.
23 They lay hold on bow and javelin;
they are ucruel and have no mercy;
vthe sound of them is like the roaring sea;
they ride on horses,
set in array as a man for battle,
against you, O daughter of Zion!”
24 We have heard the report of it;
wour hands fall helpless;
anguish has taken hold of us,
xpain as of a woman in labor.
25 Go not out into the field,
nor walk on the road,
for the enemy has a sword;
yterror is on every side.
26 O daughter of my people, zput on sackcloth,
and aroll in ashes;
bmake mourning as for an only son,
most bitter lamentation,
for suddenly the destroyer
will come upon us.
27 “I have made you ca tester of metals among my people,
that you may know and dtest their ways.
28 eThey are all stubbornly rebellious,
fgoing about with slanders;
they are gbronze and iron;
all of them act corruptly.
29 The gbellows blow fiercely;
the lead is consumed by the fire;
hin vain the refining goes on,
for the wicked are not removed.
30 iRejected silver they are called,
for the Lord has rejected them.”