``Seek Me that You May Live"

1 Hear this word which I take up for you as a 1dirge, O house of Israel:
2 She has fallen, she will 2not rise again - The 3virgin Israel. She lies neglected on her land; There is 4none to raise her up.
3 For thus says the Lord GOD, "The city which goes forth a thousand strong Will have a 5hundred left, And the one which goes forth a hundred strong Will have 6ten left to the house of Israel."
4 For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel, "7Seek Me 8that you may live.
5 "But do not resort to 9Bethel And do not come to 10Gilgal, Nor cross over to 11Beersheba; For Gilgal will certainly go into captivity And Bethel will come to trouble.
6 "12Seek the LORD that you may live, Or He will break forth like a 13fire, O house of Joseph, And it will consume with none to quench it for Bethel,
7 For those who turn 14justice into wormwood And cast righteousness down to the earth."
8 He who made the 15Pleiades and Orion And 16changes deep darkness into morning, Who also 17darkens day into night, Who 18calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the surface of the earth, The 19LORD is His name.
9 It is He who 20flashes forth with destruction upon the strong, So that 21destruction comes upon the fortress.
10 They hate him who 22reproves in the gate, And they 23abhor him who speaks with integrity.
11 Therefore because you impose heavy rent on the poor And exact a tribute of grain from them, Though you have built 24houses of well-hewn stone, Yet you will not live in them; You have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will 25not drink their wine.
12 For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great, You who 26distress the righteous and accept bribes And turn aside the poor in the gate.
13 Therefore at such a time the prudent person 27keeps silent, for it is an evil time.
14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live; And thus may the LORD God of hosts be with you, 28Just as you have said!
15 29Hate evil, love good, And establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the LORD God of hosts 30May be gracious to the 31remnant of Joseph.
16 Therefore thus says the LORD God of hosts, the Lord, "There is 32wailing in all the plazas, And in all the streets they say, 'Alas! Alas!' They also call the 33farmer to mourning And 34professional mourners to lamentation.
17 "And in all the 35vineyards there is wailing, Because I will pass through the midst of you," says the LORD.
18 Alas, you who are longing for the 36day of the LORD, For what purpose will the day of the LORD be to you? It will be 37darkness and not light;
19 As when a man 38flees from a lion And a bear meets him, Or goes home, leans his hand against the wall And a snake bites him.
20 Will not the day of the LORD be 39darkness instead of light, Even gloom with no brightness in it?
21 "I hate, I 40reject your festivals, Nor do I 41delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 "Even though you 42offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the 43peace offerings of your fatlings.
23 "Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.
24 "But let 44justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
25 "45Did you present Me with sacrifices and grain offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel?
26 "46You also carried along Sikkuth your king and Kiyyun, your images, the star of your gods which you made for yourselves.
27 "Therefore, I will make you go into exile beyond * Damascus," says the LORD, whose name is the God of hosts.