Destruction of Jerusalem Impending
1"Flee for safety, O sons of Benjamin, From the midst of Jerusalem! Now blow a trumpet in Tekoa And raise a signal over Beth-haccerem; For evil looks down from the north, And a great destruction.
2"The comely and dainty one, the daughter of Zion, I will cut off.
3"Shepherds and their flocks will come to her, They will pitch [their] tents around her, They will pasture each in his place.
4"Prepare war against her; Arise, and let us attack at noon. Woe to us, for the day declines, For the shadows of the evening lengthen!
5"Arise, and let us attack by night And destroy her palaces!"
6For thus says the LORD of hosts, "Cut down her trees And cast up a siege against Jerusalem. This is the city to be punished, In whose midst there is only oppression.
7"As a well keeps its waters fresh, So she keeps fresh her wickedness. Violence and destruction are heard in her; Sickness and wounds are ever before Me.
8"Be warned, O Jerusalem, Or I shall be alienated from you, And make you a desolation, A land not inhabited."
9Thus says the LORD of hosts, "They will thoroughly glean as the vine the remnant of Israel; Pass your hand again like a grape gatherer Over the branches."
10To whom shall I speak and give warning That they may hear? Behold, their ears are closed And they cannot listen. Behold, the word of the LORD has become a reproach to them; They have no delight in it.
11But I am full of the wrath of the LORD; I am weary with holding [it] in. "Pour [it] out on the children in the street And on the gathering of young men together; For both husband and wife shall be taken, The aged and the very old.
12"Their houses shall be turned over to others, Their fields and their wives together; For I will stretch out My hand Against the inhabitants of the land," declares the LORD.
13"For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is greedy for gain, And from the prophet even to the priest Everyone deals falsely.
14"They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, 'Peace, peace,' But there is no peace.
15"Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; They did not even know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; At the time that I punish them, They shall be cast down," says the LORD.
16Thus says the LORD, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk [in it].'
17"And I set watchmen over you, [saying], 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, 'We will not listen.'
18"Therefore hear, O nations, And know, O congregation, what is among them.
19"Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people, The fruit of their plans, Because they have not listened to My words, And as for My law, they have rejected it also.
20"For what purpose does frankincense come to Me from Sheba And the sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable And your sacrifices are not pleasing to Me."
21Therefore, thus says the LORD, "Behold, I am laying stumbling blocks before this people. And they will stumble against them, Fathers and sons together; Neighbor and friend will perish."
The Enemy from the North
22Thus says the LORD, "Behold, a people is coming from the north land, And a great nation will be aroused from the remote parts of the earth.
23"They seize bow and spear; They are cruel and have no mercy; Their voice roars like the sea, And they ride on horses, Arrayed as a man for the battle Against you, O daughter of Zion!"
24We have heard the report of it; Our hands are limp. Anguish has seized us, Pain as of a woman in childbirth.
25Do not go out into the field And do not walk on the road, For the enemy has a sword, Terror is on every side.
26O daughter of my people, put on sackcloth And roll in ashes; Mourn as for an only son, A lamentation most bitter. For suddenly the destroyer Will come upon us.
27"I have made you an assayer [and] a tester among My people, That you may know and assay their way."
28All of them are stubbornly rebellious, Going about as a talebearer. [They are] bronze and iron; They, all of them, are corrupt.
29The bellows blow fiercely, The lead is consumed by the fire; In vain the refining goes on, But the wicked are not separated.
30They call them rejected silver, Because the LORD has rejected them.