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6
1 Flee for safety, O children of Benjamin,
from the midst of Jerusalem.
And in Tekoa blow a horn,
and on Beth-haccherem lift up a signal,
for evil looks down from the north,
and a great destruction.
2The lovely and the delicate,
the daughter of Jerusalem, I will destroy.
3Shepherds and their flocks will come against her,
they will pitch their tents against her all around,
they will pasture, each his portion.#Literally “hand”
4Sanctify#Or “Consecrate” war against her.
Arise, and let us attack at noon.
Woe to us, for the day turns,
for the shadows of evening are lengthened.
5Arise, and let us attack by night,
and let us destroy her citadel fortresses.”
6For thus says Yahweh of hosts,
“Cut down trees and heap up a siege ramp against Jerusalem.
This is the city that must be punished,
its oppression is in its midst.
7As a water well keeps its water cool,
so she keeps cool her wickedness.
Violence and destruction are heard within her,
sickness and wounds#Hebrew “wound” are continually before me.#Literally “at the face of me”
8Be warned, O Jerusalem,
lest I turn away from you in disgust,
lest I make you a desolation,
a land that is not inhabited.”
9Thus says Yahweh of hosts:
“They will thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine,
turn back your hand over the branches like a grape-gatherer.
10To whom shall I speak and admonish,
that they may hear?
Look, their ears are closed,#Literally “uncircumcised”
and they are not able to listen attentively.
Look, the word of Yahweh is to them an object of scorn,
they do not delight in it.
11But I am full with the wrath of Yahweh,
I struggle to hold it#Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation in.
Pour it out on the children#Hebrew “child” in the street,
and on the assemblies#Hebrew “assembly” of young men at the same time.
For even husband with wife will get trapped,
the old with him who is full of days.
12And their houses will be turned over to others,
their fields and their wives together.
For I will stretch out my hand
against the inhabitants of the land,” declares#Literally “a declaration of” Yahweh.
13“For from the smallest of them to the greatest of them,
everyone#Literally “all of him” makes profit for unlawful gain.
And from the prophet to the priest,
everyone#Literally “all of him” practices deceit.
14And they have treated the wound of my people lightly,
saying,#Literally “to say” ‘Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace.
15Have they acted ashamed, for they have committed a detestable thing?
Not at all, nor were they ashamed; they did not know to feel humiliated.
Therefore#Literally “To thus” they will fall among those who fall at the time I punish them,
they will stumble,” says Yahweh.
16Thus says Yahweh: “Stand at the roads and look,
and ask for the ancient paths, where the way of the good is,
and walk in it, and find rest for your inner selves.#Hebrew “inner self”
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’#Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation
17And I raised up watchmen over you:
‘Listen attentively to the sound of a horn.’
But they said, ‘We will not listen attentively.’
18Therefore#Literally “To thus” hear, O nations, and know, O community,
what will happen to them.#Literally “what among them”
19Hear, O earth,
look, I am about to bring disaster to this people,
the fruit of their plans,
because they have not listened attentively to my words,
and my teaching, they have rejected it also.
20What is this to me?
Frankincense comes from Sheba,
and the precious spice reed from a distant land.
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable,#Literally “for acceptance”
your sacrifices are not pleasing to me.”
21Therefore#Literally “To thus” thus says Yahweh:
“Look, I am about to put before this people stumbling blocks,
and they will stumble against them,
fathers and children together,
neighbor and his friend will perish.”
22Thus says Yahweh:
“Look, a people is coming from the land of the north,
a great nation is woken up from the farthest part of the earth.
23The bow and the short sword they grasp are cruel,
and they show no mercy.
Their sound roars like the sea, and on horses they ride,
drawn up like a man for battle against you, O daughter of Zion.”
24We have heard news of it,
our hands grow slack,
anxiety has grasped us,
pain as a woman who gives birth.
25You must not go out into the field,
and you must not walk on the road,
for the enemy has a sword,#Literally “a sword for enemy”
terror is all around.
26O daughter of my people,
gird yourself with sackcloth,
and roll about in the ashes in mourning,
a mourning ceremony as for an only child.
Make for yourself wailing of bitterness,
for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us.
27“I have made you an assayer among my people, a fortification,
so that you may know and put to the test their ways.#Hebrew “way”
28All of them are stubborn rebels,
going about talking slander.
They are bronze and iron,
they are all behaving corruptly.
29The bellows#Hebrew “bellow” are burned up,
lead is consumed by fire.
In vain#Literally “To the vanity” he keeps on refining,#Literally “he refines refining”
but the wicked are not torn apart.
30They are called#Literally “They call to them” rejected silver,
For Yahweh has rejected them.”
6
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."