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Jerusalem Under Siege

6 “Flee for safety, people of Benjamin!

Flee from Jerusalem!

Sound the trumpets in Tekoa!t

Raise the signal over Beth Hakkerem!u

For disaster looms out of the north,v

even terrible destruction.

I will destroy Daughter Zion,w

so beautiful and delicate.x

Shepherdsy with their flocks will come against her;

they will pitch their tents aroundz her,

each tending his own portion.”

“Prepare for battle against her!

Arise, let us attack at noon!a

But, alas, the daylight is fading,

and the shadows of evening grow long.

So arise, let us attack at night

and destroy her fortresses!”

This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Cut down the treesb

and build siege rampsc against Jerusalem.

This city must be punished;

it is filled with oppression.d

As a well pours out its water,

so she pours out her wickedness.

Violencee and destructionf resound in her;

her sickness and wounds are ever before me.

Take warning, Jerusalem,

or I will turn awayg from you

and make your land desolate

so no one can live in it.”

This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Let them glean the remnanth of Israel

as thoroughly as a vine;

pass your hand over the branches again,

like one gathering grapes.”

10 To whom can I speak and give warning?

Who will listeni to me?

Their ears are closeda j

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.

13 “From the least to the greatest,

allt are greedy for gain;u

prophets and priests alike,

all practice deceit.v

14 They dress the wound of my people

as though it were not serious.

‘Peace, peace,’ they say,

when there is no peace.w

15 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct?

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.

16 This is what the Lord says:

“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

18 Therefore hear, you nations;

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

your sacrificesn do not please me.”o

21 Therefore this is what the Lord says:

“I will put obstacles before this people.

Parents and children alike will stumblep over them;

neighbors and friends will perish.”

22 This is what the Lord says:

“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

23 They are armed with bow and spear;

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

24 We have heard reports about them,

and our hands hang limp.w

Anguishx has gripped us,

pain like that of a woman in labor.y

25 Do not go out to the fields

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.

29 The bellows blow fiercely

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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