Israel and Judah Will Be Judged
The Lord said:
1Listen, you priests!
Pay attention, Israel!#5.1 Israel: Probably meaning the tribal leaders of Israel.
Listen, you members
of the royal family.
Justice was your duty.
But#5.1 Justice … duty. But: Or “You are doomed, because.” at Mizpah and Mount Tabor
you trapped the people.
2At the place of worship
you were a treacherous pit,#5.2 At … pit: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
and I will punish you.
3Israel, I know all about you,
and because of your unfaithfulness,
I find you unacceptable.
4Your evil deeds are the reason
you won't return to me,
your Lord God.
And your constant craving for sex
keeps you from knowing me.
5Israel, your pride
testifies to your guilt;
it makes you stumble,
and Judah stumbles too.
6You offer sheep and cattle
as sacrifices to me,
but I have turned away
and refuse to be found.
7You have been unfaithful
to me, your Lord;
you have had children
by prostitutes.#5.7 prostitutes: See 4.14, and the note at 1.2.
So at the New Moon Festival,
you and your crops
will be destroyed.#5.7 So … destroyed: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
The Lord Warns Israel and Judah
8Give a warning on the trumpet!
Let it be heard in Gibeah,
Ramah, and sinful Bethel.#5.8 sinful Bethel: See the note at 4.15. Gibeah is 5 kilometers north of Jerusalem, Ramah is 8 kilometers north, and Bethel is 17.5 kilometers north. The attack comes from the south, and all the land of Benjamin (belonging to Israel) is in danger.
Benjamin, watch out!#5.8 watch out: Or “lead the way.”
9I, the Lord, will punish
and wipe out Israel.
This is my solemn promise
to every tribe of Israel.
10Judah's leaders are like crooks
who move boundary markers;
that's why I will flood them
with my anger.
11Israel was brutally crushed.
They got what they deserved
for worshiping useless idols.#5.11 for … idols: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
12Now I, the Lord,
will fill Israel with maggots
and make Judah rot.
13When Israel and Judah saw
their sickness and wounds,
Israel asked help from Assyria
and its mighty king.#5.13 and … king: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
But the king cannot cure them
or heal their wounds.
14So I'll become a fierce lion
attacking Israel and Judah.
I'll snatch and carry off
what I want,
and no one can stop me.
15Then I'll return to my temple
until they confess their guilt
and worship me,
until they are desperate
and beg for my help.