Roam through the streets of Jerusalem. Look and take note; search in her squares. If you find a single person, anyone who acts justly, who seeks to be faithful, then I will forgive her.a2
When they say, "As the Lord lives,"b they are swearing falsely.
Lord, don't Your eyes [look for] faithfulness? You have struck them, but they felt no pain. You finished them off, but they refused to accept discipline. They made their faces harder than rock, and they refused to return.
Then I thought: They are just the poor; they have played the fool. For they don't understand the way of the Lord, the justice of their God.c5
I will go to the powerful and speak to them. Surely they know the way of the Lord, the justice of their God. However, these also had broken the yoke and torn off the fetters.d6
Therefore, a lion from the forest will strike them down.e A wolf from an arid plain will ravage them. A leopard keeps watch over their cities. Anyone who leaves them will be torn to pieces because their rebellious acts are many, their unfaithful deeds numerous.
Why should I forgive you? Your children have abandoned Me and sworn by those who are not gods. I satisfied their needs, yet they committed adultery; they gashed themselvesf at the prostitute's house.
They are well-fed,g eagerh stallions,i each neighing after someone else's wife.
Should I not punish them for these things? [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. Should I not avenge Myselfj on such a nation as this?
Go up among her vineyard terraces and destroy them, but do not finish them off.k Prune away her shoots, for they do not belong to the Lord.
They, the house of Israel and the house of Judah, have dealt very treacherously with Me. [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration.
They have contradicted the Lord and insisted, "It won't happen.l Harm won't come to us; we won't see sword or famine."
The prophets become [only] wind, for the [Lord's] word is not in them. This will in fact happen to them.
Therefore, this is what the Lord God of Hosts says: Because you have spoken this word, I am going to make My words become fire in your mouth. These people are the wood, and the fire will consume them.
I am about to bring a nation from far away against you, house of Israel. [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. It is an established nation, an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know and whose speech you do not understand.m16
Their quiver is like an open grave; they are all mighty warriors.
They will consume your harvest and your food. They will consume your sons and your daughters. They will consume your flocks and your herds. They will consume your vines and your fig trees. They will destroy with the sword your fortified cities in which you trust.
"But even in those days"-[this is] the Lord's declaration-"I will not finish you off.n19
When people ask: For what offense has the Lord our God done all these things to us? You will respond to them: Just as you abandoned Me and served foreign gods in your land, so will you serve strangers in a land that is not yours.
"Declare this in the house of Jacob; proclaim it in Judah, saying:
Hear this, you foolish and senselesso people. They have eyes, but they don't see. They have ears, but they don't hear.p22
Do you not fear Me? [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. Do you not tremble before Me, the One who set the sand as the boundary of the sea, an enduring barrier that it cannot cross?q The waves surge, but they cannot prevail. They roar but cannot pass over it.
But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts.r They have turned aside and have gone away.
They have not said to themselves: Let's fear the Lord our God, who gives the rain, both early and late, in its season,s who guarantees to us the fixed weeks of the harvest.
Your guilty acts have diverted these things [from you]. Your sins have withheld [My] bounty from you,
for wicked men live among My people. They watch like fowlers lying in wait.t They set a trap; they catch men.
Like a cage full of birds, so their houses are full of deceit. Therefore they have grown powerful and rich.
They have become fat and sleek. They have also excelled in evil matters. They have not taken up cases, such as the case of orphans, so they might prosper, and they have not defended the rights of the needy.
Should I not punish them for these things? [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. Should I not avenge Myselfu on such a nation as this?
A horrible, terrible thing has taken place in the land.
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own authority. My people love it like this. But what will you do at the end of it?