This is what the LORD says: “Look, an army is coming from the land of the north; a great nation is being stirred up from the ends of the earth.
They are armed with bow and spear; they are cruel and show no mercy. They sound like the roaring sea as they ride on their horses; they come like men in battle formation to attack you, Daughter Zion.”
We have heard reports about them, and our hands hang limp. Anguish has gripped us, pain like that of a woman in labor.
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.
Put on sackcloth, my people, and roll in ashes; mourn with bitter wailing as for an only son, for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us.
“I have made you a tester of metals and my people the ore, that you may observe and test their ways.
They are all hardened rebels, going about to slander. They are bronze and iron; they all act corruptly.
The bellows blow fiercely to burn away the lead with fire, but the refining goes on in vain; the wicked are not purged out.
They are called rejected silver, because the LORD has rejected them.”