Rulers and Prophets Denounced
3 And I said:
lHear, you heads of Jacob
and rulers of the house of Israel!
mIs it not for you to know justice?—
2 you nwho hate the good and love the evil,
owho tear the skin from off my people1
and their flesh from off their bones,
3 pwho eat the flesh of my people,
and flay their skin from off them,
and break their bones in pieces
and chop them up like meat in a pot,
like flesh in a cauldron.
4 qThen they will cry to the Lord,
but he will not answer them;
rhe will hide his face from them at that time,
because they have made their deeds evil.
5 Thus says the Lord concerning sthe prophets
who lead my people astray,
twho cry “Peace”
when they have something to eat,
but declare war against him
who puts nothing into their mouths.
6 Therefore uit shall be night to you, without vision,
and darkness to you, without divination.
vThe sun shall go down on the prophets,
and the day shall be black over them;
7 wthe seers shall be disgraced,
and the diviners put to shame;
xthey shall all cover their lips,
for ythere is no answer from God.
8 But as for me, zI am filled with power,
with the Spirit of the Lord,
and with justice and might,
to declare to Jacob ahis transgression
and to Israel his sin.
9 bHear this, you heads of the house of Jacob
and rulers of the house of Israel,
cwho detest justice
and make crooked all that is straight,
10 dwho build Zion with blood
and Jerusalem with iniquity.
11 eIts heads give judgment for a bribe;
fits priests teach for a price;
gits prophets practice divination for money;
hyet they lean on the Lord and isay,
“Is not the Lord in the midst of us?
jNo disaster shall come upon us.”
12 Therefore because of you
kZion shall be plowed as a field;
Jerusalem lshall become a heap of ruins,
The Mountain of the Lord
4 It shall come to pass oin the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and it shall be lifted up above the hills;
and peoples shall flow to it,
2 and many nations shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,1
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
3 He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall decide disputes for strong nations far away;
and they shall pbeat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore;
4 qbut they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree,
rand no one shall make them afraid,
sfor the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
5 For tall the peoples walk
each in the name of its god,
but uwe will walk in the name of the Lord our God
forever and ever.
The Lord Shall Rescue Zion
6 vIn that day, declares the Lord,
and gather those who have been driven away
and those whom I have afflicted;
7 and the lame I will make ythe remnant,
and those who were cast off, a strong nation;
and zthe Lord will reign over them ain Mount Zion
from this time forth and forevermore.
8 And you, O tower of the flock,
hill of the daughter of Zion,
to you shall it come,
the former dominion shall come,
kingship for the daughter of Jerusalem.
9 Now why do you cry aloud?
bIs there no king in you?
cHas your counselor perished,
that dpain seized you like a woman in labor?
10 eWrithe and groan,2 O daughter of Zion,
like a woman in labor,
for fnow you shall go out from the city
and dwell in the open country;
you gshall go to Babylon.
There you shall be rescued;
hthere the Lord will redeem you
from the hand of your enemies.
11 Now imany nations
are assembled against you,
saying, “Let her be defiled,
and jlet our eyes gaze upon Zion.”
12 But kthey do not know
the thoughts of the Lord;
they do not understand his plan,
that lhe has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor.
13 Arise and thresh,
O daughter of Zion,
for I will make your horn iron,
and I will make your hoofs bronze;
you shall beat in pieces many peoples;
and mshall devote3 ntheir gain to the Lord,
their wealth to othe Lord of the whole earth.
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.