1 Flee for safety, ye sons of Benjamin, out of the midst of Jerusalem. And blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and raise up a signal on Beth-haccherem. For evil looks forth from the north, and a great destruction. 2 The comely and delicate one, the daughter of Zion, I will cut off. 3 Shepherds with their flocks shall come to her. They shall pitch their tents against her round about. They shall feed every one in his place. 4 Prepare ye war against her. Arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe to us! For the day declines; for the shadows of the evening are stretched out. 5 Arise, and let us go up by night, and let us destroy her palaces.
6 For thus has LORD of hosts said: Hew ye down trees, and cast up a mound against Jerusalem. This is the city to be visited. She has oppression completely in the midst of her. 7 As a well casts forth its waters, so she casts forth her wickedness. Violence and destruction is heard in her. Continually before me is sickness and wounds. 8 Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul be alienated from thee, lest I make thee a desolation, a land not inhabited.
9 Thus says LORD of hosts: They shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine. Turn again thy hand as a grape gatherer into the baskets.
10 To whom shall I speak and testify, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken. Behold, the word of LORD has become to them a reproach; they have no delight in it. 11 Therefore I am full of the wrath of LORD. I am weary with holding in. Pour it out upon the sons in the street, and upon the assembly of young men together. For even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him who is 12 And their houses shall be turned to others, their fields and their wives together. For I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, says LORD.
13 For from the least of them even to the greatest of them everyone is given to covetousness. And from the prophet even to the priest everyone deals falsely. 14 They have also lightly healed the hurt of my people, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed, nor could they blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall. At the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, says LORD.
16 Thus says LORD, Stand ye in the ways and see. And ask for the old paths where is the good way. And walk in it, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk. 17 And I set watchmen over you, [saying], Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. 19 Hear, O earth: Behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened to my words. And as for my law, they have rejected it. 20 To what purpose does there come to me frankincense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt-offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me. 21 Therefore thus says LORD: Behold, I will lay stumbling-blocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall stumble against them. The neighbor and his friend shall perish.
22 Thus says LORD, Behold, a people comes from the north country, and a great nation shall be stirred up from the outermost parts of the earth. 23 They lay hold on bow and spear. They are cruel, and have no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea, and they ride upon horses. Each one set in array, as a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Zion.
24 We have heard the report of it. Our hands grow feeble. Anguish has taken hold of us, [and] pangs as of a woman in travail. 25 Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way, for the sword of the enemy, [and] terror, are on every side. 26 O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes. Make thee mourning, as for an only son, a most bitter lamentation. For the destroyer shall suddenly come upon us.
27 I have made thee a prover [and] a fortress among my people, that thou may know and try their way. 28 They are all grievous revolters, going about with slanders. They are brass and iron. They all of them deal corruptly. 29 The bellows blow fiercely, the lead is consumed of the fire. In vain do they go on refining, for the wicked are not plucked away. 30 Waste silver, men shall call them, because LORD has rejected them.