Thus says the Lord: See, a people is coming from the land of the north, a great nation is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.
They grasp the bow and the javelin, they are cruel and have no mercy, their sound is like the roaring sea; they ride on horses, equipped like a warrior for battle, against you, O daughter Zion!
"We have heard news of them, our hands fall helpless; anguish has taken hold of us, pain as of a woman in labor.
Do not go out into the field, or walk on the road; for the enemy has a sword, terror is on every side."
O my poor people, put on sackcloth, and roll in ashes; make mourning as for an only child, most bitter lamentation: for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us.
I have made you a tester and a refiner a among my people so that you may know and test their ways.
They are all stubbornly rebellious, going about with slanders; they are bronze and iron, all of them act corruptly.
The bellows blow fiercely, the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed.
They are called "rejected silver," for the Lord has rejected them.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)