1 Hear ye this word which I take up for a lamentation over you, O house of Israel.
2 The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise. She is cast down upon her land; there is none to raise her up.
3 For thus says lord LORD: The city that went forth a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which went forth a hundred shall have ten left, to the house of Israel.
4 For thus says LORD to the house of Israel: Seek ye me, and ye shall live. 5 But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba. For Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to naught. 6 Seek LORD, and ye shall live, lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and it devour, and there be none to quench it in Bethel. 7 Ye who turn justice to wormwood, and cast down righteousness to the earth,
8 [seek him] who makes the Pleiades and Orion, and turns the shadow of death into the morning, and makes the day dark with night, who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out upon the face of the earth (LORD is his name), 9 who brings sudden destruction upon the strong, so that destruction comes upon the fortress.
10 They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks uprightly. 11 Inasmuch therefore as ye trample upon the poor, and take exactions of wheat from him. Ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them. Ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink the wine thereof. 12 For I know how manifold are your transgressions, and how mighty are your sins--ye who afflict the just man, who take a bribe, and who turn aside the needy in the gate [from their right]. 13 Therefore he who is prudent shall keep silence in such a time, for it is an evil time.
14 Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live, and so LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you, as ye say. 15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish justice in the gate. It may be that LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
16 Therefore thus says LORD, the God of hosts, LORD: Wailing shall be in all the broad ways. And they shall say in all the streets, Alas! Alas! And they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful in lamentation to 17 And in all vineyards shall be wailing, for I will pass through the midst of thee, says LORD.
18 Woe to you who desire the day of LORD! Why would ye have the day of LORD? It is darkness, and not light. 19 As if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. 20 Shall not the day of LORD be darkness, and not light, even very dark, and no brightness in it? 21 I hate, I despise your feasts, and I will take no delight in your solemn assemblies. 22 Yea, though ye offer me your burnt-offerings and meal-offerings, I will not accept them, nor will I regard the peace-offerings of your fat beasts. 23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs, for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. 24 But let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
25 Did ye bring sacrifices and offerings to me in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? 26 Yea, ye have borne the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god {Remphan (LXX/NT)}, your images which ye made to yourselves. 27 Therefore I will cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, says LORD, whose name is the God of hosts.