Therefore this is what the LORD says: "I will put obstacles before this people. Fathers and sons alike will stumble1 over them; neighbors and friends will perish."
This is what the LORD says: "Look, an army is coming from the land of the north;2 a great nation is being stirred up from the ends of the earth.323
They are armed with bow and spear; they are cruel and show no mercy.4 They sound like the roaring sea5 as they ride on their horses;6 they come like men in battle formation to attack you, O Daughter of Zion.7"
We have heard reports about them, and our hands hang limp.8 Anguish9 has gripped us, pain like that of a woman in labor.1025
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.1126
O my people, put on sackcloth12 and roll in ashes;13 mourn with bitter wailing14 as for an only son,15 for suddenly the destroyer16 will come upon us.
"I have made you a tester17 of metals and my people the ore, that you may observe and test their ways.
They are all hardened rebels,18 going about to slander.19 They are bronze and iron;20 they all act corruptly.
The bellows blow fiercely to burn away the lead with fire, but the refining21 goes on in vain; the wicked are not purged out.
They are called rejected silver,22 because the LORD has rejected them."23