1 WOE TO those who are at ease in Zion and to those on the mountain of Samaria who are careless and feel secure, the notable men of the chief [because chosen by God] of the nations, to whom the house of Israel comes! [Luke 6:24, 25.]
2 Pass over to Calneh and see, and from there go to Hamath the great [city, north of Damascus]; then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are they better than these [your] kingdoms? Or are their boundaries greater than your boundaries,
3 O you who put far away the evil day [of punishment], yet cause the sitting of violence [upon you] to come near?
4 Woe to those who lie upon beds of ivory and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock and the calves out of the midst of the stall,
5 Who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp and invent for themselves instruments of music like David's, [I Chron. 23:5.]
6 Who drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved and sick at heart over the affliction and ruin of Joseph (Israel)! [Gen. 49:22, 23.]
7 Therefore now shall they go captive with the first who go into exile, and the revelry and banqueting of those who stretch themselves shall be ended.
8 The Lord God has sworn by Himself–the Lord, the God of hosts, says: I abhor, reject, and despise the pride and false, futile glory of Jacob (Israel), and I hate his palaces and strongholds; and I will deliver up the city [idol-worshiping Samaria] with all that is in it.
9 And it shall come to pass that if there remain ten men in one house, they shall die [by the pestilence that comes with war].
10 And then a man's uncle or kinsman, he who is to make a burning to cremate and dispose [of his pestilence-infected body], comes in to bring the bones out of the house, and he shall say to another still alive in the farthest parts of the house, Is there anyone else with you? and he shall say, No. Then shall the newcomer say, Hush! Hold your [cursing] tongue! We dare not so mention the name of the Lord [lest we invoke more punishment]. [I Sam. 31:12.]
11 For behold, the Lord commands and He will smite the great house into ruins and the little house into fragments.
12 Do horses run upon rocks? Do men plow the ocean with oxen? But you have turned justice into [the poison of] gall and the fruit of righteousness into [the bitterness of] wormwood–
13 You who rejoice in Lo-debar [a thing of nought], who say, Have we not by our own strength taken Karnaim or horns [of resistance] for ourselves?
14 For behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel, says the Lord, the God of hosts; and they shall afflict and oppress you [to the entire limits of Israel] from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of the Arabah.
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1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation