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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."
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1“Flee for safety, you children of Benjamin, out of the middle of Jerusalem! Blow the shofar in Tekoa and raise up a signal on Beth Haccherem, for evil looks out from the north with a great destruction. 2I will cut off the beautiful and delicate one, the daughter of Zion. 3Shepherds with their flocks will come to her. They will pitch their tents against her all around. They will feed everyone in his place.”
4“Prepare war against her! Arise! Let’s go up at noon. Woe to us! For the day declines, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out. 5Arise! Let’s go up by night, and let’s destroy her palaces.” 6For the Lord of Hosts said, “Cut down trees, and cast up a mound against Jerusalem. This is the city to be visited. She is wholly oppression within herself. 7As a well produces its waters, so she produces her wickedness. Violence and destruction is heard in her. Sickness and wounds are continually before me. 8Be instructed, Jerusalem, lest my soul be alienated from you; lest I make you a desolation, an uninhabited land.”
9The Lord of Hosts says, “They will thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel like a vine. Turn again your hand as a grape gatherer into the baskets.”
10To whom should I speak and testify, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they can’t listen. Behold, the Lord’s word has become a reproach to them. They have no delight in it. 11Therefore I am full of the Lord’s wrath. I am weary with holding it in.
“Pour it out on the children in the street,
and on the assembly of young men together;
for even the husband with the wife will be taken,
the aged with him who is full of days.
12Their houses will be turned to others,
their fields and their wives together;
for I will stretch out my hand on the inhabitants of the land, says the Lord.”
13“For from their least even to their greatest, everyone is given to covetousness.
From the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely.
14They have healed also the hurt of my people superficially,
saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace.
15Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?
No, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush.
Therefore they will fall amongst those who fall.
When I visit them, they will be cast down,” says the Lord.
16The Lord says, “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, ‘Where is the good way?’ and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ 17I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the shofar!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen!’ 18Therefore hear, you nations, and know, congregation, what is amongst them. 19Hear, earth! Behold, I will bring evil on this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not listened to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it. 20To what purpose does frankincense from Sheba come to me, and the sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, and your sacrifices are not pleasing to me.”
21Therefore The Lord says, “Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people. The fathers and the sons together will stumble against them. The neighbour and his friend will perish.” 22The Lord says, “Behold, a people comes from the north country. A great nation will be stirred up from the uttermost parts of the earth. 23They take hold of bow and spear. They are cruel, and have no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea, and they ride on horses, everyone set in array, as a man to the battle, against you, daughter of Zion.”
24We have heard its report. Our hands become feeble. Anguish has taken hold of us, and pains as of a woman in labour. 25Don’t go out into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and terror are on every side. 26Daughter of my people, clothe yourself with sackcloth, and wallow in ashes! Mourn, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation, for the destroyer will suddenly come on us.
27“I have made you a tester of metals and a fortress amongst my people, that you may know and try their way. 28They are all grievous rebels, going around to slander. They are bronze and iron. All of them deal corruptly. 29The bellows blow fiercely. The lead is consumed in the fire. In vain they go on refining, for the wicked are not plucked away. 30Men will call them rejected silver, because the Lord has rejected them.”