1“Flee for safety, you children of Benjamin, out of the middle of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and raise up a signal on Beth Haccherem; for evil looks out from the north, and a great destruction. 2I will cut off the comely and delicate one, the daughter of Zion. 3Shepherds with their flocks shall come to her; they shall pitch their tents against her all around; they shall feed everyone in his place.”
4“Prepare war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe to us! For the day declines, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out. 5Arise, and let us go up by night, and let us destroy her palaces.” 6For Yahweh of Armies said, “Cut down trees, and cast up a mound against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression within her. 7As a well produces its waters, so she produces her wickedness: violence and destruction is heard in her; before me continually is sickness and wounds. 8Be instructed, Jerusalem, lest my soul be alienated from you; lest I make you a desolation, a land not inhabited.”
9Yahweh of Armies says, “They shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel like a vine. Turn again your hand as a grape gatherer into the baskets.”
10To whom shall I speak and testify, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they can’t listen. Behold, Yahweh’s word has become a reproach to them. They have no delight in it. 11Therefore I am full of Yahweh’s wrath. I am weary with holding 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 shall be taken,
the aged with him who is full of days.
12Their houses shall be turned to others,
their fields and their wives together;
for I will stretch out my hand on the inhabitants of the land, says Yahweh.”
13“For from their least even to their greatest, everyone is given to covetousness;
and 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 shall fall among those who fall;
at the time that I visit them, they shall be cast down,” says Yahweh.
16Yahweh 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 trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen!’ 18Therefore hear, you nations, and know, congregation, what is among 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 comes there to me frankincense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.”
21Therefore Yahweh says, “Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people. The fathers and the sons together shall stumble against them. The neighbor and his friend shall perish.” 22Yahweh says, “Behold, a people comes from the north country. A great nation shall 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 labor. 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 shall suddenly come on us.
27“I have made you a tester of metals and a fortress among my people; that you may know and try their way. 28They are all grievous rebels, going about with slanders; they are brass and iron: they all of them deal corruptly. 29The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed of the fire: in vain do they go on refining; for the wicked are not plucked away. 30Men will call them rejected silver, because Yahweh has rejected them.”