Hear this word, O house of Israel, this lament1 I take up concerning you:
"Fallen is Virgin2 Israel, never to rise again, deserted in her own land, with no one to lift her up.3"
This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "The city that marches out a thousand strong for Israel will have only a hundred left; the town that marches out a hundred strong will have only ten left.4"
This is what the LORD says to the house of Israel: "Seek5 me and live;6
do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal,7 do not journey to Beersheba.8 For Gilgal will surely go into exile, and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.9"
Seek10 the LORD and live,11 or he will sweep through the house of Joseph like a fire;12 it will devour, and Bethel13 will have no one to quench it.14
You who turn justice into bitterness15 and cast righteousness16 to the ground17
(he who made the Pleiades and Orion,18 who turns blackness into dawn19 and darkens day into night,20 who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land-- the LORD is his name21--
he flashes destruction on the stronghold and brings the fortified city to ruin),22
you hate the one who reproves in court23 and despise him who tells the truth.24
You trample on the poor25 and force him to give you grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions,26 you will not live in them;27 though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine.28
For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins.29 You oppress the righteous and take bribes30 and you deprive the poor31 of justice in the courts.32
Therefore the prudent man keeps quiet33 in such times, for the times are evil.34
Seek good, not evil, that you may live.35 Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.
Hate evil,36 love good;37 maintain justice in the courts.38 Perhaps39 the LORD God Almighty will have mercy40 on the remnant41 of Joseph.
Therefore this is what the Lord, the LORD God Almighty, says: "There will be wailing42 in all the streets43 and cries of anguish in every public square. The farmers44 will be summoned to weep and the mourners to wail.
There will be wailing45 in all the vineyards, for I will pass through46 your midst," says the LORD.47
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.
(New International Version Bible Online)