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.”