“Seek Me that You May Live”1 Hear this word which I take up for you as a a dirge, O house of Israel:
2 She has fallen, she will b not rise again—
The c virgin Israel.
She lies neglected on her land;
There is d none to raise her up.
3 For thus says the Lord ▼
▼ Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord , and so throughout the chGod, “The city which goes forth a thousand strong
Will have a f hundred left,
And the one which goes forth a hundred strong
Will have g ten left to the house of Israel.”
4 For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel, h “Seek Me i that you may live.
5 “But do not ▼
▼ Lit seekresort to k Bethel
And do not come to l Gilgal,
Nor cross over to m Beersheba;
For Gilgal will certainly go into captivity
And Bethel will ▼
▼ Or become iniquitycome to trouble.
6 o “Seek the Lord that you may live,
Or He will break forth like a p fire ▼
▼ Or in the houseO house of Joseph,
And it will consume with none to quench it for Bethel,
7 For those who turn r justice into wormwood
▼ Lit they have put downcast righteousness down to the earth.”
8 He who made the t Pleiades and Orion
And u changes deep darkness into morning,
▼ Lit And He darkenedWho also w darkens day into night,
Who x calls for the waters of the sea
And pours them out on the surface of the earth,
The y Lord is His name.
9 It is He who z flashes forth with destruction upon the strong,
So that aa destruction comes upon the fortress.
10 They hate him who ab reproves in the ▼ gate,
And they ad abhor him who speaks with integrity.
11 Therefore because you ▼
▼ Another reading is trample uponimpose heavy rent on the poor
And exact a tribute of grain from them,
Though you have built af houses of well-hewn stone,
Yet you will not live in them;
You have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will ag not drink their wine.
12 For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great,
You who ah distress the righteous and accept bribes
▼ Lit they turnturn aside the poor in the ▼ gate.
13 Therefore at ▼
▼ Lit that timesuch a time the prudent person al keeps silent, for it is an evil time.
14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live;
And thus may the Lord God of hosts be with you,
am Just as you have said!
15 an Hate evil, love good,
And establish justice in the ▼ gate!
Perhaps the Lord God of hosts
ap May be gracious to the aq remnant of Joseph.
16 Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts, the Lord, “There is ar wailing in all the plazas,
And in all the streets they say, ‘Alas! Alas!’
They also call the as farmer to mourning
▼ Lit those who know lamentation, au professional mourners to lamentation.
17 “And in all the av vineyards there is wailing,
Because I will pass through the midst of you,” says the Lord.
18 Alas, you who are longing for the aw day of the Lord,
For what purpose will the day of the Lord be to you?
It will be ax darkness and not light;
19 As when a man ay flees from a lion
And a bear meets him,
▼ Or ThenOr goes home, leans his hand against the wall
And a snake bites him.
20 Will not the day of the Lord be ba darkness instead of light,
Even gloom with no brightness in it?
21 “I hate, I bb reject your festivals,
Nor do I ▼
▼ Lit like to smell, bd delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 “Even though you be offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
And I will not even look at the bf peace offerings of your fatlings.
23 “Take away from Me the noise of your songs;
I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.
24 “But let bg justice roll down like waters
And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
▼ Or You presented Me with the sacrifices and a grain offering, bi “Did you present Me with sacrifices and grain offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel? 26 bj “You also carried along ▼
▼ Or Sakkuth (Saturn) or shrine of your MolochSikkuth your king and ▼
▼ Or Kaiwan (Saturn) or stands ofKiyyun, your images ▼
▼ Or your star godsthe star of your gods which you made for yourselves. 27 “Therefore, I will make you go into exile beyond Damascus,” says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.
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