Judah Threatened with Invasion
1 “If you will areturn, O Israel,” declares the Lord,
“Then you should return to Me.
And bif you will put away your detested things from My presence,
And will not waver,
2 And you will aswear, ‘As the Lord lives,’
bIn truth, in justice and in righteousness;
Then the cnations will bless themselves in Him,
And din Him they will glory.”
3 For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem,
“1aBreak up your fallow ground,
And bdo not sow among thorns.
4 “aCircumcise yourselves to the Lord
And remove the foreskins of your heart,
Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
Or else My bwrath will go forth like fire
And burn with cnone to quench it,
Because of the evil of your deeds.”
5 Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say,
“aBlow the trumpet in the land;
Cry aloud and say,
‘bAssemble yourselves, and let us go
Into the fortified cities.’
6 “Lift up a astandard toward Zion!
Seek refuge, do not stand still,
For I am bringing bevil from the north,
And great destruction.
7 “A alion has gone up from his thicket,
And a bdestroyer of nations has set out;
He has gone out from his place
To cmake your land a waste.
Your cities will be ruins
8 “For this, aput on sackcloth,
Lament and wail;
For the bfierce anger of the Lord
Has not turned back from us.”
9 “It shall come about in that day,” declares the Lord, “that the aheart of the king and the heart of the princes will fail; and the priests will be appalled and the bprophets will be astounded.”
10 Then I said, “Ah, Lord 1God! Surely You have utterly adeceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘bYou will have peace’; whereas a sword touches the 2throat.”
11 In that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, “A ascorching wind from the bare heights in the wilderness in the direction of the daughter of My people—not to winnow and not to cleanse,
12 a wind too strong for 1this—will come 2at My command; now I will also pronounce judgments against them.
13 “Behold, he agoes up like clouds,
And his bchariots like the whirlwind;
His horses are cswifter than eagles.
Woe to us, for dwe are ruined!”
14 Wash your heart from evil, O Jerusalem,
That you may be saved.
How long will your awicked thoughts
Lodge within you?
15 For a voice declares from aDan,
And proclaims wickedness from Mount Ephraim.
16 “Report it to the nations, now!
Proclaim over Jerusalem,
‘Besiegers come from a afar country,
And blift their voices against the cities of Judah.
17 ‘Like watchmen of a field they are aagainst her round about,
Because she has brebelled against Me,’ declares the Lord.
18 “Your aways and your deeds
Have 1brought these things to you.
This is your evil. How bbitter!
How it has touched your heart!”
Lament over Judah’s Devastation
19 aMy 1soul, my 1soul! I am in anguish! 2Oh, my heart!
My bheart is pounding in me;
I cannot be silent,
Because 3you have heard, O my soul,
The csound of the trumpet,
The alarm of war.
20 aDisaster on disaster is proclaimed,
For the bwhole land is devastated;
Suddenly my ctents are devastated,
My curtains in an instant.
21 How long must I see the standard
And hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 “aFor My people are foolish,
They know Me not;
They are stupid children
And have no understanding.
They are shrewd to bdo evil,
But to do good they do not know.”
23 I looked on the earth, and behold, it was 1a formless and void;
And to the heavens, and they had no light.
24 I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were aquaking,
And all the hills 1moved to and fro.
25 I looked, and behold, there was no man,
And all the abirds of the heavens had fled.
26 I looked, and behold, 1the afruitful land was a wilderness,
And all its cities were pulled down
Before the Lord, before His fierce anger.
“The awhole land shall be a desolation,
Yet I will bnot execute a complete destruction.
28 “For this the aearth shall mourn
And the bheavens above be dark,
Because I have cspoken, I have purposed,
And I will not 1change My mind, nor will I turn from it.”
29 At the sound of the horseman and bowman aevery city flees;
They bgo into the thickets and climb among the rocks;
cEvery city is forsaken,
And no man dwells in them.
30 And you, O desolate one, awhat will you do?
Although you dress in scarlet,
Although you decorate yourself with ornaments of gold,
Although you benlarge your eyes with paint,
In vain you make yourself beautiful.
They seek your life.
31 For I heard a 1cry as of a woman in labor,
The anguish as of one giving birth to her first child,
The 1cry of the daughter of Zion agasping for breath,
bStretching out her 2hands, saying,
“Ah, woe is me, for 3I faint before murderers.”
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