1Strengthen yourselves, sons of Benjamin, From the midst of Jerusalem, And in Tekoa blow ye a trumpet, And over Beth-Haccerem lift ye up a flame, For evil hath been seen from the north, And great destruction.
2The comely and the delicate one I have cut off, The daughter of Zion.
3Unto her come do shepherds and their droves, They have stricken tents by her round about, They have fed each [in] his own station.
4Sanctify ye against her the battle, Rise, and we go up at noon. Woe to us, for turned hath the day, For stretched out are the shades of evening,
5`Rise, and we go up by night, And we destroy her palaces.'
6For thus said Jehovah of Hosts: Cut down her wood, And pour out against Jerusalem a mount, She [is] the city to be inspected, Wholly--she is oppression in her midst.
7As the digging of a well, is [for] its waters, So she hath digged [for] her wickedness, Violence and spoil is heard in her, Before My face continually [are] sickness and smiting.
8Be instructed, O Jerusalem, Lest My soul be alienated from thee, Lest I make thee a desolation, a land not inhabited.
9Thus said Jehovah of Hosts: They surely glean, as a vine, the remnant of Israel, Put back thy hand, as a gatherer to the baskets.
10To whom do I speak, and testify, and they hear? Lo, their ear [is] uncircumcised, And they are not able to attend. Lo, a word of Jehovah hath been to them for a reproach, They delight not in it.
11And with the fury of Jehovah I have been filled, (I have been weary of containing,) To pour [it] on the suckling in the street, And on the assembly of youths together, For even husband with wife are captured, An elder with one full of days,
12And their houses have been turned to others, Fields and wives together, For I stretch out My hand against the inhabitants of the land, An affirmation of Jehovah.
13For from their least unto their greatest, Every one is gaining dishonest gain, And from prophet even unto priest, Every one is dealing falsely,
14And they heal the breach of the daughter of my people slightly, Saying, `Peace, peace!' and there is no peace.
15They were ashamed when they did abomination! Yea, they are not at all ashamed, Yea, blushing they have not known, Therefore they do fall among those falling, In the time I have inspected them, They stumble, said Jehovah.
16Thus said Jehovah: Stand ye by the ways and see, and ask for paths of old, Where [is] this--the good way? and go ye in it, And find rest for yourselves. And they say, `We do not go.'
17And I have raised up for you watchmen, Attend ye to the voice of the trumpet. And they say, `We do not attend.'
18Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O company, That which [is] upon them.
19Hear, O earth, lo, I am bringing evil on this people, The fruit of their devices, For to My words they gave no attention, And My law--they kick against it.
20Why [is] this to Me? frankincense from Sheba cometh, And the sweet cane from a land afar off, Your burnt-offerings [are] not for acceptance, And your sacrifices have not been sweet to Me.
21Therefore thus said Jehovah: Lo, I do give to this people stumbling blocks, And stumbled against them have fathers and sons together, The neighbour and his friend do perish.
22Thus said Jehovah: Lo, a people hath come from a north country, And a great nation is stirred up from the sides of the earth.
23Bow and javelin they take hold of, Fierce it [is], and they have no mercy, Their voice as a sea doth sound, And on horses they ride, set in array as a man of war, Against thee, O daughter of Zion.
24`We have heard its sound, feeble have been our hands, Distress hath seized us, pain as of a travailing woman.
25Go not forth to the field, And in the way walk not, For a sword hath the enemy, fear [is] round about.
26O daughter of My people, Gird on sackcloth, and roll thyself in ashes, The mourning of an only one make for thee, A lamentation most bitter, For suddenly come doth the spoiler against us.
27A watch-tower I have given thee, Among My people a fortress, And thou knowest, and hast tried their way.
28All of them are turned aside by apostates, Walking slanderously--brass and iron, All of them are corrupters.
29The bellows have been burnt, By fire hath the lead been consumed, In vain hath a refiner refined, And the wicked have not been drawn away.
30`Silver rejected,' they have called to them, For Jehovah hath kicked against them!