"Go up and down1 the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider,2 search through her squares. If you can find but one person3 who deals honestly4 and seeks the truth, I will forgive5 this city.
Although they say, 'As surely as the LORD lives,'6 still they are swearing falsely.7"
LORD, do not your eyes8 look for truth? You struck9 them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction.10 They made their faces harder than stone11 and refused to repent.124
I thought, "These are only the poor; they are foolish,13 for they do not know14 the way of the LORD, the requirements of their God.
So I will go to the leaders15 and speak to them; surely they know the way of the LORD, the requirements of their God." But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke and torn off the bonds.166
Therefore a lion from the forest17 will attack them, a wolf from the desert will ravage18 them, a leopard19 will lie in wait near their towns to tear to pieces any who venture out, for their rebellion is great and their backslidings many.207
"Why should I forgive you? Your children have forsaken me and sworn21 by gods that are not gods.22 I supplied all their needs, yet they committed adultery23 and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.248
They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for another man's wife.259
Should I not punish them for this?"26 declares the LORD. "Should I not avenge27 myself on such a nation as this?
"Go through her vineyards and ravage them, but do not destroy them completely.28 Strip off her branches, for these people do not belong to the LORD.
The house of Israel and the house of Judah have been utterly unfaithful29 to me," declares the LORD.
They have lied30 about the LORD; they said, "He will do nothing! No harm will come to us;31 we will never see sword or famine.3213
The prophets33 are but wind34 and the word is not in them; so let what they say be done to them."
Therefore this is what the LORD God Almighty says: "Because the people have spoken these words, I will make my words in your mouth35 a fire36 and these people the wood it consumes.3715
House of Israel," declares the LORD, "I am bringing a distant nation38 against you-- an ancient and enduring nation, a people whose language39 you do not know, whose speech you do not understand.
Their quivers40 are like an open grave; all of them are mighty warriors.
They will devour4142 your harvests and food, devour4344 your sons and daughters; they will devour45 your flocks and herds, devour your vines and fig trees.46 With the sword47 they will destroy the fortified cities48 in which you trust.4918
"Yet even in those days," declares the LORD, "I will not destroy50 you completely.
And when the people ask,51 'Why has the LORD our God done all this to us?' you will tell them, 'As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods52 in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners53 in a land not your own.'
"Announce this to the house of Jacob and proclaim54 it in Judah:
Hear this, you foolish and senseless people,55 who have eyes56 but do not see, who have ears but do not hear:5722
Should you not fear58 me?" declares the LORD. "Should you not tremble59 in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea,60 an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar,61 but they cannot cross it.
But these people have stubborn and rebellious62 hearts; they have turned aside63 and gone away.
They do not say to themselves, 'Let us fear64 the LORD our God, who gives autumn and spring rains65 in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.'6625
Your wrongdoings have kept these away; your sins have deprived you of good.6726
"Among my people are the wicked68 who lie in wait69 like those who snare birds and like those who set traps70 to catch people.
Like cages full of birds, their houses are full of deceit;71 they have become rich72 and powerful
and have grown fat73 and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not seek justice. They do not promote the case of the fatherless;74 they do not defend the just cause of the poor.7529
Should I not punish them for this?" declares the LORD. "Should I not avenge76 myself on such a nation as this?
"A horrible77 and shocking thing has happened in the land:
The prophets prophesy lies,78 the priests79 rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?80