Jerusalem's Final Warning1 Run for cover, O sons of Benjamin, [flee from] Jerusalem! Sound the trumpet in Tekoa; send up a signal over Beth-haccherem, for disaster looms from the north, even great destruction. 2 Though she is beautiful and delicate, I will destroy the Daughter of Zion. ▼
▼ Or to a lovely and delicate woman I have likened the daughter of Zion3 Shepherds and their flocks will come against her; they will pitch their tents all around her, each tending his own portion: 4 “Prepare for battle against her; rise up, let us attack at noon. Woe to us, for the daylight is fading; the evening shadows grow long. 5 Rise up, let us attack by night and destroy her fortresses!” 6 For this is what the LORD of Hosts says: “Cut down the trees and raise a siege ramp against Jerusalem. This city must be punished; there is nothing but oppression in her midst. 7 As a well gushes its water, so she pours out her evil. Violence and destruction resound in her; sickness and wounds are ever before Me. 8 Be warned, O Jerusalem, or I will turn away from you; I will make you a desolation, a land without inhabitants.” 9 This is what the LORD of Hosts says: “Glean the remnant of Israel as thoroughly as a vine. Pass your hand once more like a grape gatherer over the branches.” 10 To whom can I give this warning? Who will listen [to me] ? Look, their ears are closed, ▼
▼ Hebrew uncircumcisedso they cannot hear. See, the word of the LORD has become offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it. 11 But I am full of the LORD’s wrath; I am tired of holding it back. Pour it out on the children in the street, and on the young men gathered together. For both husband and wife will be captured, the old and the very old. 12 Their houses will be turned over to others, their fields and wives as well, for I will stretch out My hand against the inhabitants of the land,” declares the LORD. 13 “For from the least of them to the greatest, all are greedy for gain. From prophet to priest, all practice deceit. 14 They have dressed the wound of My people with very little care, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace [at all] . 15 Were they ashamed of the abomination they committed? No, they were not at all ashamed. They did not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; when I punish them, they will collapse,” says the LORD. 16 This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths: Where [is] the good way? Then walk in it and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it!’ 17 I appointed watchmen over you [and said] , ‘Listen for the sound of the ram’s horn.’ But they answered, ‘We will not listen!’ 18 Therefore hear, O nations, and learn, O congregations, what will happen to them. 19 Hear, O earth! I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their own schemes, for they have paid no attention to My word and have rejected My instruction. 20 What use to Me is frankincense from Sheba or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please Me.” 21 Therefore, this is what the LORD says: “I will lay stumbling blocks before this people; fathers and sons alike will be staggered; friends and neighbors will perish.”
An Invasion from the North22 This is what the LORD says: “Behold, an army is coming from the land of the north; a great nation is stirred from the ends of the earth. 23 They grasp the bow and spear. They are cruel and show no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea, and they ride upon horses, lined up like men in formation against you, O Daughter of Zion.” 24 “We have heard the reports; our hands are limp. Anguish has gripped us, pain like a woman in labor. 25 Do not go out to the fields; do not walk the road. For the enemy has a sword; terror is on every side.” 26 “O daughter of My people, dress yourselves in sackcloth and roll in ashes. Mourn with bitter wailing, as you would for an only son, for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us.” 27 I have appointed you a tester of metals among My people, so you may know and try their ways. 28 All are hardened rebels, walking around as slanderers. They are bronze and iron; all of them are corrupt. 29 The bellows blow fiercely, blasting away the lead [with fire] . The refining [proceeds] in vain, for the wicked are not purged. 30 They are called rejected silver, for the LORD has rejected them.
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