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6 “Flee for safety, people of Benjamin!
Flee from Jerusalem!
Raise the signal over Beth Hakkerem!u
For disaster looms out of the north,v
even terrible destruction.
2 I will destroy Daughter Zion,w
so beautiful and delicate.x
3 Shepherdsy with their flocks will come against her;
they will pitch their tents aroundz her,
each tending his own portion.”
Arise, let us attack at noon!a
But, alas, the daylight is fading,
and the shadows of evening grow long.
and destroy her fortresses!”
“Cut down the treesb
and build siege rampsc against Jerusalem.
This city must be punished;
it is filled with oppression.d
so she pours out her wickedness.
her sickness and wounds are ever before me.
or I will turn awayg from you
and make your land desolate
so no one can live in it.”
“Let them glean the remnanth of Israel
as thoroughly as a vine;
pass your hand over the branches again,
like one gathering grapes.”
Who will listeni to me?
so they cannot hear.k
The wordl of the Lord is offensive to them;
they find no pleasure in it.
11 But I am full of the wrathm of the Lord,
and I cannot hold it in.n
“Pour it out on the children in the street
and on the young meno gathered together;
both husband and wife will be caught in it,
and the old, those weighed down with years.p
12 Their houses will be turned over to others,q
together with their fields and their wives,r
when I stretch out my hands
against those who live in the land,”
declares the Lord.
prophets and priests alike,
all practice deceit.v
as though it were not serious.
‘Peace, peace,’ they say,
when there is no peace.w
No, they have no shame at all;
they do not even know how to blush.x
So they will fall among the fallen;
they will be brought down when I punishy them,”
says the Lord.
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,z
ask where the good waya is, and walk in it,
and you will find restb for your souls.
But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 I appointed watchmenc over you and said,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’d
But you said, ‘We will not listen.’e
you who are witnesses,
observe what will happen to them.
19 Hear, you earth:f
I am bringing disasterg on this people,
the fruit of their schemes,h
because they have not listened to my wordsi
and have rejected my law.j
20 What do I care about incense from Shebak
or sweet calamusl from a distant land?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable;m
“I will put obstacles before this people.
Parents and children alike will stumblep over them;
neighbors and friends will perish.”
“Look, an army is coming
from the land of the north;q
a great nation is being stirred up
from the ends of the earth.r
they are cruel and show no mercy.s
They sound like the roaring seat
as they ride on their horses;u
they come like men in battle formation
to attack you, Daughter Zion.v”
and our hands hang limp.w
Anguishx has gripped us,
pain like that of a woman in labor.y
or walk on the roads,
for the enemy has a sword,
and there is terror on every side.z
26 Put on sackcloth,a my people,
and roll in ashes;b
mourn with bitter wailingc
as for an only son,d
for suddenly the destroyere
will come upon us.
27 “I have made you a testerf of metals
and my people the ore,
that you may observe
and test their ways.
28 They are all hardened rebels,g
going about to slander.h
They are bronze and iron;i
they all act corruptly.
to burn away the lead with fire,
but the refiningj goes on in vain;
the wicked are not purged out.
30 They are called rejected silver,k
because the Lord has rejected them.”l
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