The Ruler to Be Born in Bethlehem
5 1 Now muster your troops, O daughter2 of troops;
siege is laid against us;
with a rod pthey strike the judge of Israel
on the cheek.
2 3 qBut you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of rJudah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be sruler in Israel,
twhose coming forth is ufrom of old,
from ancient days.
3 Therefore he shall give them up vuntil the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then wthe rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
4 And he shall stand xand shepherd his flock yin the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now zhe shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
5 And he shall be atheir peace.
bWhen the Assyrian comes into our land
and treads in our palaces,
then we will raise against him seven cshepherds
and eight princes of men;
6 they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword,
and the land of dNimrod at its entrances;
and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian
bwhen he comes into our land
and treads within our border.
A Remnant Shall Be Delivered
7 Then wthe remnant of Jacob shall be
in the midst of many peoples
like dew from the Lord,
like showers on the grass,
which delay not for a man
nor wait for the children of man.
8 And wthe remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations,
in the midst of many peoples,
like a lion among the beasts of the forest,
like a young lion among the flocks of sheep,
ewhich, when it goes through, treads down
and tears in pieces, and there is none to deliver.
9 Your hand shall fbe lifted up over your adversaries,
and all your enemies shall be cut off.
10 And gin that day, declares the Lord,
hI will cut off your horses from among you
and will destroy your chariots;
11 iand I will cut off the cities of your land
and throw down all your strongholds;
12 and I will cut off jsorceries from your hand,
and kyou shall have no more tellers of fortunes;
13 and lI will cut off your carved images
and myour pillars from among you,
nand you shall bow down no more
to the work of your hands;
14 and I will root out your oAsherah images from among you
iand destroy your cities.
15 And in anger and wrath pI will execute vengeance
on the nations that did not obey.
The Indictment of the Lord
6 qHear what the Lord says:
Arise, plead your case before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your voice.
2 rHear, you mountains, sthe indictment of the Lord,
and you enduring foundations of the earth,
for the Lord has an indictment against his people,
and he will contend with Israel.
3 “O my people, twhat have I done to you?
uHow have I wearied you? Answer me!
4 For vI brought you up from the land of Egypt
and wredeemed you from the house of slavery,
and I sent before you Moses,
Aaron, and xMiriam.
5 O my people, remember ywhat Balak king of Moab devised,
and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him,
and what happened from zShittim to Gilgal,
that you may know athe righteous acts of the Lord.”
What Does the Lord Require?
6 b“With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before cGod on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 dWill the Lord be pleased with1 thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
eShall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
and fwhat does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,2
and to gwalk humbly with your God?
Destruction of the Wicked
9 The voice of the Lord cries to the city—
and it is sound wisdom to fear hyour name:
“Hear of ithe rod and of him who appointed it!3
10 Can I forget any longer the treasures4 of wickedness in the house of the wicked,
and the scant measure that is accursed?
11 Shall I acquit the man jwith wicked scales
and with a bag of deceitful weights?
12 Your5 rich men are kfull of violence;
your inhabitants lspeak lies,
and mtheir tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
13 Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow,
nmaking you desolate because of your sins.
14 oYou shall eat, but not be satisfied,
and there shall be hunger within you;
you shall put away, but not preserve,
and what you preserve I will give to the sword.
15 pYou shall sow, but not reap;
you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil;
you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine.
16 For you have kept the statutes of qOmri,6
and all the works of the house of rAhab;
and you have walked in their counsels,
that I may make you sa desolation, and your7 inhabitants sa hissing;
so you shall bear tthe scorn of my people.”
Wait for the God of Salvation
7 Woe is me! For I have become
uas when the summer fruit has been gathered,
as when the grapes have been gleaned:
there is no cluster to eat,
no vfirst-ripe fig that my soul desires.
2 wThe godly has perished from the earth,
and xthere is no one upright among mankind;
ythey all lie in wait for blood,
and zeach hunts the other with a net.
3 aTheir hands are on what is evil, to do it well;
bthe prince and cthe judge ask for a bribe,
and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul;
thus they weave it together.
4 The best of them is dlike a brier,
the most upright of them a thorn hedge.
The day of eyour watchmen, of your punishment, has come;
fnow their confusion is at hand.
5 gPut no trust in a neighbor;
have no confidence in a friend;
guard hthe doors of your mouth
from her who lies in your arms;1
6 for ithe son treats the father with contempt,
the daughter rises up against her mother,
the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
ja man’s enemies are the men of his own house.
7 But as for me, I will look to the Lord;
kI will wait for the God of my salvation;
my God will hear me.
8 lRejoice not over me, O mmy enemy;
nwhen I fall, I shall rise;
owhen I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be a light to me.
9 pI will bear the indignation of the Lord
because I have sinned against him,
until qhe pleads my cause
and executes judgment for me.
rHe will bring me out to the light;
I shall look upon his vindication.
10 Then smy enemy will see,
and shame will cover her who tsaid to me,
“Where is the Lord your God?”
uMy eyes will look upon her;
now she will be trampled down
vlike the mire of the streets.
11 wA day for the building of your walls!
In that day the boundary shall be far extended.
12 In that day they2 will come to you,
yfrom Assyria and the cities of Egypt,
and from Egypt to zthe River,3
afrom sea to sea and from mountain to mountain.
13 But bthe earth will be desolate
because of its inhabitants,
for the fruit of their deeds.
14 cShepherd your people dwith your staff,
the flock of your inheritance,
who dwell alone in a forest
ein the midst of fa garden land;4
let them graze in Bashan and Gilead
as in the days of old.
15 gAs in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt,
I will show them5 marvelous things.
16 hThe nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might;
ithey shall lay their hands on their mouths;
their ears shall be deaf;
17 jthey shall lick the dust like a serpent,
like the crawling things of the earth;
kthey shall come trembling out of their strongholds;
lthey shall turn in dread to the Lord our God,
and they shall be in fear of you.
God’s Steadfast Love and Compassion
18 mWho is a God like you, npardoning iniquity
and passing over transgression
nfor the remnant of his inheritance?
oHe does not retain his anger forever,
because he delights in steadfast love.
19 He will pagain have compassion on us;
qhe will tread our iniquities underfoot.
into the depths of the sea.
20 sYou will show faithfulness to Jacob
and steadfast love to Abraham,
tas you have sworn to our fathers
from the days of old.
1 aAn oracle concerning bNineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.
God’s Wrath Against Nineveh
2 cThe Lord is a jealous and avenging God;
the Lord is avenging and wrathful;
dthe Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries
and ekeeps wrath for his enemies.
3 fThe Lord is slow to anger and ggreat in power,
and hthe Lord will by no means clear the guilty.
iHis way is in whirlwind and storm,
and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
4 jHe rebukes the sea and makes it dry;
he dries up all the rivers;
the bloom of kLebanon withers.
5 mThe mountains quake before him;
nthe hills melt;
the earth heaves before him,
othe world and all who dwell in it.
6 pWho can stand before his indignation?
Who can endure the heat of his anger?
His wrath qis poured out like fire,
and rthe rocks are broken into pieces by him.
7 sThe Lord is good,
ta stronghold in the day of trouble;
uhe knows those who take refuge in him.
8 But vwith an overflowing flood
he will make a complete end of the adversaries,1
and wwill pursue his enemies into darkness.
9 What xdo you plot against the Lord?
yHe will make a complete end;
trouble will not rise up a second time.
10 For they are zlike entangled thorns,
like drunkards as they drink;
athey are consumed like stubble fully dried.
11 From you came one
bwho plotted evil against the Lord,
a worthless counselor.
12 Thus says the Lord,
“Though they are at full strength and many,
cthey will be cut down and pass away.
dThough I have afflicted you,
I will afflict you no more.
13 And now eI will break his yoke from off you
and will burst your bonds apart.”
14 The Lord has given commandment about you:
f“No more shall your name be perpetuated;
from gthe house of your gods I will cut off
the carved image and the metal image.
15 2 jBehold, upon the mountains, kthe feet of him
who brings good news,
who publishes peace!
lKeep your feasts, O Judah;
mfulfill your vows,
nfor never again shall the worthless pass through you;
he is utterly cut off.
The Destruction of Nineveh
2 oThe scatterer has come up against you.
pMan the ramparts;
watch the road;
dress for battle;1
collect all your strength.
2 For qthe Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob
as the majesty of Israel,
for plunderers have plundered them
and rruined their branches.
3 The shield of his mighty men is red;
shis soldiers are clothed in scarlet.
The chariots come with flashing metal
on the day he musters them;
the cypress spears are brandished.
4 tThe chariots race madly through the streets;
they rush to and fro through the squares;
they gleam like torches;
they dart like lightning.
5 He remembers uhis officers;
vthey stumble as they go,
they hasten to the wall;
the siege tower2 is set up.
6 wThe river gates are opened;
the palace xmelts away;
7 its mistress3 is ystripped;4 she is carried off,
her slave girls zlamenting,
moaning like doves
and beating their breasts.
8 bNineveh is like a pool
whose waters run away.5
“Halt! Halt!” they cry,
but cnone turns back.
9 Plunder the silver,
plunder the gold!
There is no end of the treasure
or of the wealth of all precious things.
10 dDesolate! Desolation and ruin!
eHearts melt and fknees tremble;
ganguish is in all loins;
hall faces grow pale!
11 Where is the lions’ den,
the feeding place of ithe young lions,
where the lion and lioness went,
where his cubs were, with jnone to disturb?
12 kThe lion tore enough for his cubs
and lstrangled prey for his lionesses;
he filled his caves with prey
and his dens with torn flesh.
13 mBehold, I am against you, declares the Lord of hosts, and nI will burn your6 chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions. I will cut off your prey from the earth, and othe voice of your messengers shall no longer be heard.