1“If you do return, O Yisra’ĕl,” declares יהוה, “return to Me. And if you remove your abominations from My presence, and cease straying,
2and shall swear, ‘As יהוה lives,’ in truth, in right-ruling, and in righteousness – then nations shall bless themselves in Him, and they shall boast in Him!”
3For this is what יהוה said to the men of Yehuḏah and Yerushalayim, “Break up your tillable ground, and do not sow among thorns.
4“Circumcise yourselves unto יהוה, and take away the foreskins of your hearts, you men of Yehuḏah and inhabitants of Yerushalayim, lest My wrath come forth like fire and burn, with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds.”
5Declare in Yehuḏah and let it be heard in Yerushalayim, and say, “Blow a shophar in the land. Cry aloud and say, ‘Gather yourselves, and let us go into the walled city.’
6“Lift up the banner toward Tsiyon. Be strong, do not stand still! For I am bringing evil from the north, and great destruction.”
7“A lion has come up from his bush, and the destroyer of nations is on his way. He has set out from his place to make your land a ruin. Your cities are laid waste, without inhabitant.
8“For this, gird yourself with sackcloth, lament and wail. For the burning displeasure of יהוה has not turned back from us.
9“And in that day it shall be,” declares יהוה, “that the heart of the sovereign shall perish, and the heart of the heads. And the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets wonder.”
10Then I said, “Ah, Master יהוה! Truly, You have greatly deceived this people and Yerushalayim, saying, ‘Peace is for you,’ whereas the sword reaches to the heart.”
11At that time it shall be said to this people and to Yerushalayim, “A scorching wind of the bare heights blows in the wilderness toward the daughter of My people, not to fan or to cleanse.
12“A wind too strong for this shall come for Me. Now it is I who speak judgments against them.
13“See, he comes up like clouds, and his chariots like a whirlwind. His horses shall be swifter than eagles. Woe to us, for we shall be ravaged!”
14O Yerushalayim, wash your heart from evil, and be saved. Till when would your wicked thoughts remain within you?
15For a voice is declaring from Dan, and is proclaiming trouble from Mount Ephrayim:
16“Announce to the nations, look, proclaim against Yerushalayim, that besiegers are coming from a distant land and raise their voice against the cities of Yehuḏah.
17“Like keepers of a field they are against her all around, because she has rebelled against Me,” declares יהוה.
18“Your ways and your deeds have brought this upon you. This is your evil, because it is bitter, because it has reached into your heart.”
19O my inward parts, my inward parts! I am in pain! O the walls of my heart! My heart pounds in me, I am not silent. For you have heard, O my being, a voice of a shophar, a shout of battle!
20Destruction upon destruction is cried, for all the land is ravaged. Suddenly my tents are ravaged – my curtains in a moment.
21How long shall I see a banner, and hear a voice of a shophar?
22“For My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are stupid children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.”
23I looked at the earth, and saw it was formless and empty. And the heavens, they had no light.
24I looked at the mountains, and saw they shook, and all the hills were swaying.
25I looked, and saw there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens had fled.
26I looked, and saw the garden land was a wilderness, and all its cities were broken down at the presence of יהוה, by His burning displeasure.
27For thus said יהוה, “All the earth shall be a ruin, but I shall not make a complete end.
28“On account of this, let the earth mourn and the heavens above be dark, because I have spoken, because I have purposed and shall not relent, nor do I turn back from it.”
29All the city is fleeing from the noise of the horsemen and bowmen. They shall go into bushes and climb up on the rocks. All the city is forsaken, and no one is dwelling in it.
30And when you are ravaged, what would you do? Though you put on crimson, though you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold, though you enlarge your eyes with paint, you beautify yourself in vain. Your lovers despise you, they seek your life.
31For I have heard a voice as of a woman in labour, the distress as of her who brings forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Tsiyon! She bewails herself, she spreads out her hands, saying, “Woe to me, for my being faints because of killers!”