1 HEAR NOW what the Lord says: Arise, contend and plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice.
2 Hear, O mountains, the Lord's controversy, and you strong and enduring foundations of the earth, for the Lord has a controversy (a pleading contention) with His people, and He will [pleadingly] contend with Israel.
3 O My people, what have I done to you? And in what have I wearied you? Testify against Me [answer Me]!
4 For I brought you up out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house where you were bond servants, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
5 O My people, [earnestly] remember now what Balak king of Moab devised and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him; [remember what the Lord did for you] from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous and saving acts of the Lord. [Num. 23:7-24; 24:3-24; Josh. 3:1; 4:19.]
6 With what shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God? [Deut. 10:12, 13.]
9 The voice of the Lord calls to the city [Jerusalem]–and it is sound wisdom to hear and fear Your name–Hear (heed) the rod and Him Who has appointed it.
10 Are there not still treasures gained by wickedness in the house of the wicked, and a scant measure [a false measure for grain] that is abominable and accursed?
11 Can I be pure [Myself, and acquit the man] with wicked scales and with a bag of deceitful weights? [I Thess. 4:6.]
12 For [the city's] rich men are full of violence; her inhabitants have spoken lies and their tongues are deceitful in their mouths.
13 Therefore I have also smitten you with a deadly wound and made you sick, laying you desolate, waste, and deserted because of your sins.
14 You shall eat but not be satisfied, and your emptiness and hunger shall remain in you; you shall carry away [goods and those you love] but fail to save them, and those you do deliver I will give to the sword.
15 You shall sow but not reap; you shall tread olives but not anoint yourselves with oil, and [you shall extract juice from] the grapes but not drink the wine.
16 For the statutes of [idolatrous] Omri you have kept, and all the works of the house of [wicked] Ahab, and you walk in their counsels. Therefore I will make you a desolation and an astonishment and your [city's] inhabitants a hissing, and you shall bear the reproach and scorn of My people.