God has promised to send enemies
1You people in Jerusalem and on the hill in Samaria, you think that you are safe. And you think that everything is good and easy. But it will be bad for you. You leaders think that you are important people. And you think that you live in an important country. People come to you to get help. But bad things will happen to you people in the south and in the north. #6:1 In this verse, the word that we have translated ‘Jerusalem’ is really Zion. Zion was the name of the hill on which Jerusalem is.
2Go and look at the city called Calneh. And go and look at the big city called Hamath. Those cities are in the north and their people are your enemies. Look at Gath city, where the Philistines live. It is in the south and its people too are your enemies. The people in those places are not stronger than you are. And their lands are not larger than your lands. 3But you are not thinking that God might send trouble to you soon. Instead, you never stop doing wrong things. And so you cause trouble to come to you sooner. 4You lie on beautiful, expensive beds and you do not work. You are resting all the time. You eat lots of young sheep and fat young cows. 5Like King David, you play music on your harps and you make songs. 6You happily drink lots of alcohol. You put the best smelling oils on your bodies. But you are not sad that Israel is destroying itself. #6:6 In verse 6, the word that we have translated ‘Israel’ is really Joseph. Joseph was the name of the most important big family in Israel. Israel was the north part of God's people's country.
7You will be the first people that your enemies will take away from there. You will be slaves for them. You will stop having parties and you will stop resting.
8The Lord God Almighty has promised this. He has spoken this strong message. ‘The Israelites think that they are so good. But I do not like that. I do not like their strong buildings. So I will let their enemies have the Israelites' big city. The enemies can take away everything from it.’ #6:8 The Israelites' big city was Samaria.
9At that time, ten people might still be in one house. But they will all die. 10Then someone from a person's family will come to the house. And he will carry the person's dead body outside to burn it. Then he will ask anyone who is still inside, ‘Is there anyone with you?’ The person will answer, ‘No.’ Then the person from the family will say, ‘Be quiet now. We must not speak the name of the LORD.’ 11When the LORD speaks to enemies, they destroy big and little houses. They will break those houses into pieces. #6:11 They did not want to speak the LORD's name because he might send more trouble.
12Horses cannot run on rocks. People do not try to plough the sea. But you have changed what is good to something bad. Some people are fair and honest. But you have made that seem like poison. 13You are so happy. You think to yourselves, ‘We are very strong. We fought against the people in Lo-Debar and Karnaim. And we won.’ 14But the Lord God Almighty says to you people in Israel, ‘I am sending enemies to your country, from the way into Hamath to the river in Arabah. They will fight against you. And they will cause trouble in all your country.’