Thus says the LORD: "Behold, a people is coming from the north country, a great nation is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.
They lay hold on bow and spear, they are cruel and have no mercy, the sound of them is like the roaring sea; they ride upon horses, set in array as a man for battle, against you, O daughter of Zion!"
We have heard the report of it, our hands fall helpless; anguish has taken hold of us, pain as of a woman in travail.
Go not forth into the field, nor walk on the road; for the enemy has a sword, terror is on every side.
O daughter of my people, gird on sackcloth, and roll in ashes; make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us.
"I have made you an assayer and tester among my people, that you may know and assay 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.
Refuse silver they are called, for the LORD has rejected them."
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the 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. (Revised Standard Version - Holy Bible)