This is what the LORD says: "Look, an army is coming from the land of the north;1 a great nation is being stirred up from the ends of the earth.223
They are armed with bow and spear; they are cruel and show no mercy.3 They sound like the roaring sea4 as they ride on their horses;5 they come like men in battle formation to attack you, O Daughter of Zion.6"
We have heard reports about them, and our hands hang limp.7 Anguish8 has gripped us, pain like that of a woman in labor.925
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.1026
O my people, put on sackcloth11 and roll in ashes;12 mourn with bitter wailing13 as for an only son,14 for suddenly the destroyer15 will come upon us.
"I have made you a tester16 of metals and my people the ore, that you may observe and test their ways.
They are all hardened rebels,17 going about to slander.18 They are bronze and iron;19 they all act corruptly.
The bellows blow fiercely to burn away the lead with fire, but the refining20 goes on in vain; the wicked are not purged out.
They are called rejected silver,21 because the LORD has rejected them."22