1Hear this word that I take up against you
in lament, house of Isra’el:
2The virgin of Isra’el has fallen;
she will not rise again.
She lies abandoned on her own soil
with no one to lift her up.
3For thus says Adonai Elohim:
“The city from which a thousand marched
will be left with a hundred,
and the one from which a hundred marched
will be left with ten
from the house of Isra’el.”
4For here is what Adonai says
to the house of Isra’el:
“If you seek me, you will survive;
5but don’t seek Beit-El, or enter Gilgal
or pass on into Be’er-Sheva;
for Gilgal will certainly go into exile,
and Beit-El will come to nothing.”
6If you seek Adonai, you will survive.
Otherwise, he will break out against
the house of Yosef like fire,
with no one to quench the flames.
7You who turn justice to bitter wormwood
and throw righteousness to the ground!
8He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
who brings deathlike shadows over the morning,
who darkens the day into night,
who calls for the water in the sea
and with it floods the earth —
Adonai is his name —
9he flashes destruction on the strong,
so that destruction overcomes the fortress.
10They hate anyone promoting justice
at the city gate,
they detest anyone who speaks the truth.
11Therefore, because you trample on the poor
and extort from them levies of grain;
although you have built houses of cut stone,
you will not live in them;
and though you have planted pleasant vineyards,
you will not drink their wine.
12For I know how numerous are your crimes
and how outrageous your sins —
bullying the innocent, extorting ransoms
pushing the poor aside at the gate.
13At times like these a prudent person stays silent,
for it is an evil time.
14Seek good and not evil, so that you will survive.
Then Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot will be with you,
as you say he is.
15Hate evil, love good, and uphold justice at the gate.
Maybe Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot
will take pity on the survivors of Yosef.
16Therefore thus says Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot, Adonai:
“In all public squares there will be lamentation,
in all the streets they will cry, ‘Oh, no!’
They will summon farmers to mourn
and professional mourners to wail.
17There will be wailing in every vineyard,
for I will pass through among you,” says Adonai.
18Woe to you who want the Day of Adonai!
Why do you want it, this Day of Adonai?
It is darkness, not light;
19as if someone were to run from a lion,
just to be met by a bear;
as if he entered a house, put his hand on the wall,
just to be bitten by a snake.
20Won’t the Day of Adonai be darkness, not light,
completely dark, with no brightness at all?
21“I hate, I utterly loathe your festivals;
I take no pleasure in your solemn assemblies.
22If you offer me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
nor will I consider the peace offerings
of your stall-fed cattle.
23Spare me the noise of your songs!
I don’t want to hear the strumming of your lutes!
24Instead, let justice well up like water,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
25Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings
in the desert forty years, house of Isra’el?
26No, but now you will bear Sikkut as your king
and Kiyun, your images,
the star of your god, which you made for yourselves;
27as I exile you beyond Dammesek,”
says Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot —
that is his name.