Seek the Lord and Live1Hear this word that I atake up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel:
2 “Fallen, no more to rise,
is bthe virgin Israel;
forsaken on her land,
with none to raise her up.”
3For thus says the Lord God:
“The city that went out a thousand
shall have a hundred left,
and that which went out a hundred
shall have ten left
to the house of Israel.”
4For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel:
c“Seek me and live;
5but do not seek dBethel,
and do not enter into eGilgal
or cross over to fBeersheba;
for gGilgal shall surely go into exile,
and hBethel shall come to nothing.”
6 iSeek the Lord and live,
jlest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph,
and it devour, with none to quench it for kBethel,
7O lyou who turn justice to wormwood ▼
▼Or to bitter fruit
and cast down righteousness to the earth!
8 He who made the nPleiades and Orion,
and turns deep darkness into the morning
and odarkens the day into night,
who pcalls for the waters of the sea
qand pours them out on the surface of the earth,
rthe Lord is his name;
9 swho makes destruction flash forth against the strong,
so that destruction comes upon the fortress.
10 tThey hate him who reproves uin the gate,
and they vabhor him who speaks the truth.
11Therefore because you wtrample on ▼
▼Or you taxthe poor
and you exact taxes of grain from him,
yyou have built houses of hewn stone,
but you shall not dwell in them;
zyou have planted pleasant vineyards,
but you shall not drink their wine.
12For I know how many are your transgressions
and how great are your sins—
you who afflict the righteous, who aatake a bribe,
and abturn aside the needy acin the gate.
13Therefore he who is prudent will adkeep silent in such a time,
aefor it is an evil time.
14 afSeek good, and not evil,
that you may live;
and so the Lord, agthe God of hosts, will be with you,
as you have said.
15 ahHate evil, and love good,
and establish justice aiin the gate;
ajit may be that the Lord, the God of hosts,
will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
16Therefore thus says the Lord, akthe God of hosts, the Lord:
“In all the squares althere shall be wailing,
and in all the streets they shall say, ‘Alas! Alas!’
They shall call the farmers to mourning
and amto wailing those who are skilled in lamentation,
17and in all vineyards there shall be wailing,
for anI will pass through your midst,”
says the Lord.
Let Justice Roll Down18 Woe to you who desire aothe day of the Lord!
Why would you have the day of the Lord?
apIt is darkness, and not light,
19 aqas if a man fled from a lion,
and a bear met him,
or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall,
and a serpent bit him.
20 arIs not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light,
and gloom with no brightness in it?
21 as“I hate, I despise your feasts,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 atEven though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the peace offerings of your fattened animals,
I will not look upon them.
23Take away from me the noise of your songs;
to authe melody of your harps I will not listen.
24But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
25 av“Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? 26 awYou axshall take up Sikkuth your king, and Kiyyun your star-god—your images that you made for yourselves, 27 ayand I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,” says the Lord, whose name is azthe God of hosts.
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