"Flee for safety, people of Benjamin! Flee from Jerusalem! Sound the trumpet1 in Tekoa!2 Raise the signal over Beth Hakkerem!3 For disaster looms out of the north,4 even terrible destruction.
I will destroy the Daughter of Zion,5 so beautiful and delicate.63
Shepherds7 with their flocks will come against her; they will pitch their tents around8 her, each tending his own portion."
"Prepare for battle against her! Arise, let us attack at noon!9 But, alas, the daylight is fading, and the shadows of evening grow long.
So arise, let us attack at night and destroy her fortresses!"
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Cut down the trees10 and build siege ramps11 against Jerusalem. This city must be punished; it is filled with oppression.127
As a well pours out its water, so she pours out her wickedness. Violence13 and destruction14 resound in her; her sickness and wounds are ever before me.
Take warning, O Jerusalem, or I will turn away15 from you and make your land desolate so no one can live in it."
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Let them glean the remnant16 of Israel as thoroughly as a vine; pass your hand over the branches again, like one gathering grapes."
To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen17 to me? Their ears are closeda18 so they cannot hear.19 The word20 of the LORD is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.
But I am full of the wrath21 of the LORD, and I cannot hold it in.22 "Pour it out on the children in the street and on the young men23 gathered together; both husband and wife will be caught in it, and the old, those weighed down with years.2412
Their houses will be turned over to others,25 together with their fields and their wives,26 when I stretch out my hand27 against those who live in the land," declares the LORD.
"From the least to the greatest, all28 are greedy for gain;29 prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit.3014
They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace.3115
Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.32 So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish33 them," says the LORD.
This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths,34 ask where the good way35 is, and walk in it, and you will find rest36 for your souls. But you said, 'We will not walk in it.'
I appointed watchmen37 over you and said, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!'38 But you said, 'We will not listen.'3918
Therefore hear, O nations; observe, O witnesses, what will happen to them.
Hear, O earth:40 I am bringing disaster41 on this people, the fruit of their schemes,42 because they have not listened to my words43 and have rejected my law.4420
What do I care about incense from Sheba45 or sweet calamus46 from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable;47 your sacrifices48 do not please me."4921
Therefore this is what the LORD says: "I will put obstacles before this people. Fathers and sons alike will stumble50 over them; neighbors and friends will perish."
This is what the LORD says: "Look, an army is coming from the land of the north;51 a great nation is being stirred up from the ends of the earth.5223
They are armed with bow and spear; they are cruel and show no mercy.53 They sound like the roaring sea54 as they ride on their horses;55 they come like men in battle formation to attack you, O Daughter of Zion.56"
We have heard reports about them, and our hands hang limp.57 Anguish58 has gripped us, pain like that of a woman in labor.5925
Do not go out to the fields or walk on the roads, for the enemy has a sword, and there is terror on every side.6026
O my people, put on sackcloth61 and roll in ashes;62 mourn with bitter wailing63 as for an only son,64 for suddenly the destroyer65 will come upon us.
"I have made you a tester66 of metals and my people the ore, that you may observe and test their ways.
They are all hardened rebels,67 going about to slander.68 They are bronze and iron;69 they all act corruptly.
The bellows blow fiercely to burn away the lead with fire, but the refining70 goes on in vain; the wicked are not purged out.
They are called rejected silver,71 because the LORD has rejected them."72