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6
Impending Destruction from the North
1“O you children of Benjamin,
Gather yourselves to flee from the midst of Jerusalem!
Blow the trumpet in Tekoa,
And set up a signal-fire in #Neh. 3:14Beth Haccerem;
#Jer. 4:6For disaster appears out of the north,
And great destruction.
2I have likened the daughter of Zion
To a lovely and delicate woman.
3The #2 Kin. 25:1–4; Jer. 4:17; 12:10shepherds with their flocks shall come to her.
They shall pitch their tents against her all around.
Each one shall pasture in his own place.”
4“Prepare#Jer. 51:27; Joel 3:9 war against her;
Arise, and let us go up #Jer. 15:8; Zeph. 2:4at noon.
Woe to us, for the day goes away,
For the shadows of the evening are lengthening.
5Arise, and let us go by night,
And let us destroy her palaces.”
6For thus has the Lord of hosts said:
“Cut down trees,
And build a mound against Jerusalem.
This is the city to be punished.
She is full of oppression in her midst.
7#Is. 57:20As a fountain wells up with water,
So she wells up with her wickedness.
#Ps. 55:9Violence and plundering are heard in her.
Before Me continually are grief and wounds.
8Be instructed, O Jerusalem,
Lest #Ezek. 23:18; Hos. 9:12My soul depart from you;
Lest I make you desolate,
A land not inhabited.”
9Thus says the Lord of hosts:
“They shall thoroughly glean as a vine the remnant of Israel;
As a grape-gatherer, put your hand back into the branches.”
10To whom shall I speak and give warning,
That they may hear?
Indeed their #Ex. 6:12; Jer. 5:21; 7:26; (Acts 7:51)ear is uncircumcised,
And they cannot give heed.
Behold, #Jer. 8:9; 20:8the word of the Lord is a reproach to them;
They have no delight in it.
11Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord.
#Jer. 20:9I am weary of holding it in.
“I will pour it out #Jer. 9:21on the children outside,
And on the assembly of young men together;
For even the husband shall be taken with the wife,
The aged with him who is full of days.
12And #Deut. 28:30; Jer. 8:10; 38:22their houses shall be turned over to others,
Fields and wives together;
For I will stretch out My hand
Against the inhabitants of the land,” says the Lord.
13“Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
Everyone is given to #Is. 56:11; Jer. 8:10; 22:17covetousness;
And from the prophet even to the #Jer. 5:31; 23:11; Mic. 3:5, 11priest,
Everyone deals falsely.
14They have also #Jer. 8:11–15; Ezek. 13:10healed the hurt of My people slightly,
#Jer. 4:10; 23:17Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’
When there is no peace.
15Were they #Jer. 3:3; 8:12ashamed when they had committed abomination?
No! They were not at all ashamed;
Nor did they know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
At the time I punish them,
They shall be cast down,” says the Lord.
16Thus says the Lord:
“Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the #Is. 8:20; Jer. 18:15; Mal. 4:4; Luke 16:29old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find #Matt. 11:29rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.
17Also, I set #Is. 21:11; 58:1; Jer. 25:4; Ezek. 3:17; Hab. 2:1watchmen over you, saying,
#Deut. 4:1‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
18Therefore hear, you nations,
And know, O congregation, what is among them.
19#Is. 1:2Hear, O earth!
Behold, I will certainly bring #Jer. 19:3, 15calamity on this people—
#Prov. 1:31The fruit of their thoughts,
Because they have not heeded My words
Nor My law, but rejected it.
20#Ps. 40:6; 50:7–9; Is. 1:11; 66:3; Amos 5:21; Mic. 6:6, 7For what purpose to Me
Comes frankincense #Is. 60:6from Sheba,
And #Is. 43:24sweet cane from a far country?
#Jer. 7:21–23Your burnt offerings are not acceptable,
Nor your sacrifices sweet to Me.”
21Therefore thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people,
And the fathers and the sons together shall fall on them.
The neighbor and his friend shall perish.”
22Thus says the Lord:
“Behold, a people comes from the #Jer. 1:15; 10:22; 50:41–43north country,
And a great nation will be raised from the farthest parts of the earth.
23They will lay hold on bow and spear;
They are cruel and have no mercy;
Their voice #Is. 5:30roars like the sea;
And they ride on horses,
As men of war set in array against you, O daughter of Zion.”
24We have heard the report of it;
Our hands grow feeble.
#Jer. 4:31; 13:21; 49:24Anguish has taken hold of us,
Pain as of a woman in labor.
25Do not go out into the field,
Nor walk by the way.
Because of the sword of the enemy,
Fear is on every side.
26O daughter of my people,
#Jer. 4:8Dress in sackcloth
#Jer. 25:34; Mic. 1:10And roll about in ashes!
#Amos 8:10; (Zech. 12:10)Make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation;
For the plunderer will suddenly come upon us.
27“I have set you as an assayer and #Jer. 1:18a fortress among My people,
That you may know and test their way.
28#Jer. 5:23They are all stubborn rebels, #Jer. 9:4walking as slanderers.
They are #Ezek. 22:18bronze and iron,
They are all corrupters;
29The bellows blow fiercely,
The lead is consumed by the fire;
The smelter refines in vain,
For the wicked are not drawn off.
30People will call them #Is. 1:22; Jer. 7:29rejected silver,
Because the Lord has rejected them.”
6
1 "O sons of Benjamin, be strengthened in the midst of Jerusalem, and sound the trumpet in Tekoa, and lift up a banner over the house of Haccherem. For an evil has been seen from the north, with great destruction.
2 I have compared the daughter of Zion to a beautiful and delicate woman.
3 The pastors will come to her with their flocks. They have pitched their tents against her all around. Each one will feed those who are under his hand.
4 'Sanctify a war against her! Rise up together, and let us ascend at midday.' 'Woe to us! For the day has declined; for the shadows of the evening have grown longer.'
5 'Rise up, and let us ascend in the night, and let us destroy her houses.' "
6 For thus says the Lord of hosts: "Cut down her trees, and build a rampart around Jerusalem. This is the city of visitation! Every kind of false claim is in her midst.
7 Just as a cistern makes its water cold, so has she made her wickedness cold. Iniquity and devastation will be heard in her; sickness and wounds will be ever before me.
8 O Jerusalem, accept instruction, lest perhaps my soul may withdraw from you; lest perhaps I may set you in a desert, in an uninhabitable land."
9 Thus says the Lord of hosts: "They will gather the remnant of Israel, even as a single cluster of grapes is gathered from a vine. Direct your hand, as a grape-gatherer directs his hand to the basket.
10 To whom should I speak, and to whom should I testify, so as to be heard? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, and so they are unable to hear. Behold, for them, the word of the Lord has become a disgrace. And so they will not accept it.
11 For this reason, I have been filled with the fury of the Lord. I labor to bear it. Let it be poured out upon the child outside, or upon a group of young men meeting together. For a man will be taken captive with a woman, an elder will be taken captive with one who is full of days.
12 And their houses will be given over to others, with both their lands and their wives. For I will extend my hand over the inhabitants of the earth, says the Lord.
13 Certainly, from the least of them even to the greatest, all of them practice greed. And from the prophet even to the priest, all of them act with deceit.
14 And they healed the destruction of the daughter of my people with disgrace, by saying: 'Peace, peace.' And there was no peace.
15 They were confounded, because they committed an abomination. Or rather, they were not confounded with shame, because they did not know how to blush. For this reason, they will fall among those who are being destroyed. In the time of their visitation, they will fall, says the Lord."
16 Thus says the Lord: "Stand above the ways, and see and ask, about the ancient paths, as to which is the good way, and then walk in it. And you will find refreshment for your souls. But they said: 'We will not walk.'
17 And I appointed watchers over you, saying: 'Listen for the sound of the trumpet.' And they said: 'We will not listen.'
18 For this reason, hear, O Gentiles, and know, O congregation, how much I will do to them.
19 Hear, O earth! Behold, I will lead evils over this people, as the fruits of their own thoughts. For they have not listened to my words, and they have cast aside my law.
20 For what reason are you bringing me frankincense from Sheba, and sweet smelling reeds from a far away land? Your holocausts are not acceptable, and your sacrifices are not pleasing to me."
21 Therefore, thus says the Lord: "Behold I will bring this people to utter ruin, and they will fall, with their fathers and sons; neighbor and relative will perish together."
22 Thus says the Lord: "Behold, a people is coming from the land of the north, and a great nation will rise up from the ends of the earth.
23 They will take hold of arrow and shield. They are cruel, and they will not take pity. Their voice will roar like the ocean. And they will climb upon horses, for they have been prepared like men for battle, against you, O daughter of Zion.
24 'We have heard of their fame. Our hands have become weakened. Tribulation has overtaken us, like the pains of a woman giving birth.'
25 Do not choose to go out into the fields, and you should not walk along the roadway. For the sword and the terror of the enemy is on every side.
26 Wrap yourself in haircloth, O daughter of my people. And sprinkle yourself with ashes. Make a mourning for yourself, as for an only son, a bitter lamentation: 'for the destroyer will overwhelm us suddenly.'
27 I have presented you as a strong tester among my people. And you will test and know their way.
28 All these leaders who are turning away and walking deceitfully, they are brass and iron; they have all been corrupted.
29 The bellows has failed; the lead has been consumed by fire; the molten metal was melted to no purpose. For their wickedness has not been consumed.
30 Call them: 'Rejected silver.' For the Lord has cast them aside."