1 Flee for safety people of Benjamin. Run from the midst of Jerusalem! Blow a rams horn in Tekoa and raise a signal over Beth-haccerem. Evil looks down from the north. There is great destruction.
2 I will destroy the beautiful and luxurious one, the daughter of Zion.
3 Shepherds and their flocks will come to her. They will pitch their tents around her. They will pasture each in his place.
4 Prepare for war against her. »Arise, and let us attack at noon.« »Woe to us, for the day declines is nearly over, for the shadows of the evening lengthen!«
5 »Arise, and let us attack at night and destroy her palaces!«
6 Jehovah of Hosts says: »Cut down trees and build up a siege against Jerusalem. This city should be punished, for there is only oppression in her.
7 »As a well pours out its water, so Jerusalem pours out her wickedness. Violence and destruction are heard in her. Sickness and wounds are ever before me.
8 »Be warned, O Jerusalem, I will be alienated from you. I will make you desolation, a land not inhabited.«
9 Jehovah of Hosts says: »They will thoroughly glean as the vine the remnant of Israel. Pass your hand again like a grape gatherer over the baskets.«
10 »To whom can I speak and give warning that they may hear? Their ears are closed and they cannot listen. Behold, the word of Jehovah has become a reproach to them. They have no delight in it.
11 I am full of the wrath of Jehovah. I am weary with holding it in. Pour it out on the children in the street and on the gathering of young men together. For both husband and wife will be taken, the aged and the very old.
12 »Their houses, their fields and their wives will be turned over to others. I will stretch out my hand extend my power against the inhabitants of the land,« declares Jehovah.
13 »From the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for gain! From the prophet even to the priest everyone deals falsely!
14 »Superficially they have healed the brokenness of my people. They declare: Peace! Peace! »But there is no peace.«
15 »Are they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They are not even ashamed! Not at all! They do not even know how to blush. Therefore they will fall among those who fall. When I punish them, they will be cast down,« says Jehovah.
16 Jehovah says: »Stand by the way of life and see and ask for the ancient paths. Walk in the good way and you will find rest.« But you said: »We will not walk in it!«
17 »I set watchmen over you. I said: Listen to the sound of the trumpet! But they said: We will not listen!«
18 »Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.
19 »Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people as the fruit of their plans. This is because they have not listened to my words, and have rejected my law.
20 »What purpose does frankincense come to me from Sheba and the sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable and your sacrifices are not pleasing to me.«
21 Therefore, Jehovah says: »I am laying stumbling blocks before this people. They will stumble against them, Fathers and sons together; Neighbors and friends will perish.«
22 Jehovah says: »Behold, a people is coming from the northland! A great nation will be aroused from the remote parts of the earth.
23 »They seize bow and spear. They are cruel and have no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea, and they ride on horses. They are arrayed as a man for the battle against you, O daughter of Zion!«
24 We have heard the report! Our hands are limp. Anguish has seized us! We have pain like a woman in childbirth.
25 Do not go out into the field. Do not walk on the road. The enemy has a sword and terror is on every side.
26 O my people put on sackcloth and roll in ashes. Mourn as for an only son, a lamentation most bitter. For suddenly the destroyer will come upon us.
27 »I have made you an assayer and a tester among my people. You will know and assay their course of life.«
28 All of them are stubborn rebels. They go about telling false stories. They are copper and iron. They are all corrupt, all of them!
29 The bellows blow fiercely and the fire consumes the lead. The refining goes on in vain, but the wicked are not separated.
30 They call them rejected silver, for Jehovah has rejected them.