1 "If you return, O Israel, declares the LORD, 1to me you should return. If you remove your detestable things from my presence, 2and do not waver,
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2 3and if you swear, 'As the LORD lives,' in truth, in justice, and in righteousness, then 4nations shall bless themselves in him, 5and in him shall they glory."
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3 For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: 6"Break up your fallow ground, and 7sow not among thorns.
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4 8Circumcise yourselves to the LORD; remove the foreskin of your hearts, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; 9lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn with none to quench it, 10because of the evil of your deeds."

Disaster from the North

5 Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say, 11"Blow the trumpet through the land; cry aloud and say, 12'Assemble, and let us go into the fortified cities!'
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6 13Raise a standard toward Zion, flee for safety, stay not, for I bring disaster from 14the north, 15and great destruction.
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7 16A lion has gone up from his thicket, a destroyer of nations has set out; he has gone out from his place to make your land a waste; your cities will be ruins 17without inhabitant.
8 For this 18put on sackcloth, lament and wail, for 19the fierce anger of the LORD has not turned back from us."
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9 "In that day, declares the LORD, 20courage shall fail both king and officials. The priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded."
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10 Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD, 21surely you have utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, 'It shall be well with you,' whereas the sword has reached their very life."
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11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, "A hot wind from 22the bare heights in the desert toward the daughter of my people, not to winnow or cleanse,
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12 a wind too full for this comes for me. Now it is I who 23speak in judgment upon them."
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13 Behold, he comes up like clouds; 24his chariots like the whirlwind; his horses are 25swifter than eagles-- woe to us, 26for we are ruined!
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14 O Jerusalem, 27wash your heart from evil, that you may be saved. How long shall your wicked thoughts lodge within you?
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15 For a voice 28declares from Dan and proclaims trouble from 29Mount Ephraim.
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16 Warn the nations that he is coming; announce to Jerusalem, "Besiegers come 30from a distant land; they shout against the cities of Judah.
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17 Like keepers of a field 31are they against her all around, because she has rebelled against me, declares the LORD.
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18 Your ways and your deeds have brought this upon you. This is your doom, and 32it is bitter; it has reached your very heart."
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Anguish over Judah's Desolation

19 33My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain! Oh the walls of my heart! My heart is beating wildly; I cannot keep silent, for I hear the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
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20 34Crash follows hard on crash; the whole land is laid waste. 35Suddenly my tents are laid waste, my curtains in a moment.
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21 How long must I see the standard and hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 "For 36my people are foolish; they know me not; they are stupid children; they have no understanding. 37They are 'wise'--in doing evil! But how to do good they know not."
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23 I looked on the earth, and behold, it was 38without form and void; 39and to the heavens, and they had no light.
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24 I looked on 40the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro.
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25 41I looked, and behold, there was no man, and all the birds of the air had fled.
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26 I looked, and behold, the 42fruitful land was a desert, and all its cities were laid in ruins before the LORD, before 43his fierce anger.
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      27 For thus says the LORD, "The whole land shall be a desolation; 44yet I will not make a full end.
      28 45"For this the earth shall mourn, 46and the heavens above be dark; for I have spoken; I have purposed; 47I have not relented, nor will I turn back."
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      29 At the noise of horseman and archer every city takes to flight; they enter thickets; they climb among rocks; all the cities are forsaken, and 48no man dwells in them.
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        • 208 4:29 - See ver. 7
          30 And you, O desolate one, what do you mean that you dress in scarlet, 49that you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold, 50that you enlarge your eyes with paint? In vain you beautify yourself. 51Your lovers despise you; they seek your life.
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          31 For I heard 52a cry as of a woman in labor, anguish as of one giving birth to her first child, the cry of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath, 53stretching out her hands, "Woe is me! I am fainting before murderers."
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