Flee for safety, 1O people of Benjamin, from the midst of Jerusalem! Blow the trumpet in 2Tekoa, and raise a signal on 3Beth-haccherem, for disaster looms 4out of the north, and great destruction.
The lovely and delicately bred I will destroy, 5the daughter of Zion.
6Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her; 7they shall pitch their tents around her; they shall pasture, each in his place.
8"Prepare war against her; arise, and let us attack 9at noon! Woe to us, for the day declines, for the shadows of evening lengthen!
Arise, and let us attack by night and destroy her palaces!"
For thus says the LORD of hosts: 10"Cut down her trees; 11cast up a siege mound against Jerusalem. This is the city that must be 12punished; there is nothing but oppression within her.
13As a well keeps its water fresh, so she keeps fresh her evil; 14violence and destruction are heard within her; sickness and wounds are ever before me.
Be warned, O Jerusalem, 15lest I turn from you in disgust, lest I make you 16a desolation, an uninhabited land."
Thus says the LORD of hosts: 17"They shall glean thoroughly as a vine the remnant of Israel; like a grape-gatherer pass your hand again over its branches."
18To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? 19Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, 20they cannot listen; behold, 21the word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it.
Therefore I am full of the wrath of the LORD; 22I am weary of holding it in. 23"Pour it out upon the children in the street, and upon the gatherings of young men, also; 24both husband and wife 25shall be taken, the elderly and the very aged.
26Their houses shall be turned over to others, their fields and wives together, for I will stretch out my hand against the inhabitants of the land," declares the LORD.
27"For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone 28is greedy for unjust gain; and from 29prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.
They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, 30'Peace, peace,' 31when there is no peace.
32Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; 33at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown," says the LORD.
Thus says the LORD: "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for 34the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, 35and find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'
36I set watchmen over you, saying, 'Pay attention to 37the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, 38'We will not pay attention.'
Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.
Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people, 39the fruit of their devices, because they have not paid attention to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it.
40What use to me is 41frankincense that comes from 42Sheba, or sweet cane from a distant land? 43Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.
Therefore thus says the LORD: 44'Behold, I will lay before this people stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble; fathers and sons together, neighbor and friend shall perish.'"
Thus says the LORD: 45"Behold, a people is coming 46from the north country, a great nation is stirring from 47the farthest parts of the earth.
They lay hold on bow and javelin; they are 48cruel and have no mercy; 49the sound of them is like the roaring sea; they ride on horses, set in array as a man for battle, against you, O daughter of Zion!"
We have heard the report of it; 50our hands fall helpless; anguish has taken hold of us, 51pain as of a woman in labor.
Go not out into the field, nor walk on the road, for the enemy has a sword; 52terror is on every side.
O daughter of my people, 53put on sackcloth, and 54roll in ashes; 55make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation, for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us.
"I have made you 56a tester of metals among my people, that you may know and 57test their ways.
58They are all stubbornly rebellious, 59going about with slanders; they are 60bronze and iron; all of them act corruptly.
The 61bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed by the fire; 62in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed.
63Rejected silver they are called, for the LORD has rejected them."