Impending Disaster for Jerusalem

1 Flee for safety, 1O people of Benjamin, from the midst of Jerusalem! Blow the trumpet in 2Tekoa, and raise a signal on 3Beth-haccherem, for disaster looms 4out of the north, and great destruction.

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      2 The lovely and delicately bred I will destroy, 5the daughter of Zion.a

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        • i 6:2 - Or I have likened the daughter of Zion to the loveliest pasture
          3 6Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her; 7they shall pitch their tents around her; they shall pasture, each in his place.

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          4 8"Prepare war against her; arise, and let us attack 9at noon! Woe to us, for the day declines, for the shadows of evening lengthen!

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          5 Arise, and let us attack by night and destroy her palaces!"
          6 For thus says the LORD of hosts: 10"Cut down her trees; 11cast up a siege mound against Jerusalem. This is the city that must be 12punished; there is nothing but oppression within her.

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          7 13As a well keeps its water fresh, so she keeps fresh her evil; 14violence and destruction are heard within her; sickness and wounds are ever before me.

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          8 Be warned, O Jerusalem, 15lest I turn from you in disgust, lest I make you 16a desolation, an uninhabited land."

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          9 Thus says the LORD of hosts: 17"They shall glean thoroughly as a vine the remnant of Israel; like a grape-gatherer pass your hand again over its branches."

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          10 18To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? 19Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, 20they cannot listen; behold, 21the word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it.

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          11 Therefore I am full of the wrath of the LORD; 22I am weary of holding it in. 23"Pour it out upon the children in the street, and upon the gatherings of young men, also; 24both husband and wife 25shall be taken, the elderly and the very aged.

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          12 26Their houses shall be turned over to others, their fields and wives together, for I will stretch out my hand against the inhabitants of the land," declares the LORD.

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              13 27"For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone 28is greedy for unjust gain; and from 29prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.

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              14 They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, 30'Peace, peace,' 31when there is no peace.

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              15 32Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; 33at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown," says the LORD.

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                  16 Thus says the LORD: "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for 34the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, 35and find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'

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                  17 36I set watchmen over you, saying, 'Pay attention to 37the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, 38'We will not pay attention.'

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                  18 Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.
                  19 Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people, 39the fruit of their devices, because they have not paid attention to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it.

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                  20 40What use to me is 41frankincense that comes from 42Sheba, or sweet cane from a distant land? 43Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.

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                  21 Therefore thus says the LORD: 44'Behold, I will lay before this people stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble; fathers and sons together, neighbor and friend shall perish.'"

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                  22 Thus says the LORD: 45"Behold, a people is coming 46from the north country, a great nation is stirring from 47the farthest parts of the earth.

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                      23 They lay hold on bow and javelin; they are 48cruel and have no mercy; 49the sound of them is like the roaring sea; they ride on horses, set in array as a man for battle, against you, O daughter of Zion!"

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                      24 We have heard the report of it; 50our hands fall helpless; anguish has taken hold of us, 51pain as of a woman in labor.

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                      25 Go not out into the field, nor walk on the road, for the enemy has a sword; 52terror is on every side.

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                      26 O daughter of my people, 53put on sackcloth, and 54roll in ashes; 55make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation, for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us.

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                      27 "I have made you 56a tester of metals among my people, that you may know and 57test their ways.

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                      28 58They are all stubbornly rebellious, 59going about with slanders; they are 60bronze and iron; all of them act corruptly.

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                      29 The 61bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed by the fire; 62in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed.

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                          30 63Rejected silver they are called, for the LORD has rejected them."

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