1 "Flee for safety, you children 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, will I cut off. 3 Shepherds with their flocks shall come to her; they shall pitch their tents against her all around; they shall feed everyone in his place." 4 "Prepare 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 Yahweh of Armies said, "Cut down trees, and cast up a mound against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression 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; before me continually is sickness and wounds. 8 Be instructed, Jerusalem, lest my soul be alienated from you; lest I make you a desolation, a land not inhabited."
9 Thus says Yahweh of Armies, "They shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel like a vine. Turn again your 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 can't listen. Behold, the word of Yahweh has become a reproach to them. They have no delight in it. 11 Therefore I am full of the wrath of Yahweh. I am weary with holding in. "Pour it out on the children in the street, and on the assembly of young men together; for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him who is full of days. 12 Their houses shall be turned to others, their fields and their wives together; for I will stretch out my hand on the inhabitants of the land, says Yahweh."
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 healed also the hurt of my people superficially, saying, 'Peace, peace!' when there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I visit them, they shall be cast down," says Yahweh.
16 Thus says Yahweh, "Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, 'Where is the good way?' and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.' 17 I set watchmen over you, saying, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, 'We will not listen!'
18 Therefore hear, you nations, and know, congregation, what is among them. 19 Hear, earth! Behold, I will bring evil on this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not listened to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it. 20 To what purpose comes there 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 Yahweh, "Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people. The fathers and the sons together shall stumble against them. The neighbor and his friend shall perish."
22 Thus says Yahweh, "Behold, a people comes from the north country. A great nation shall be stirred up from the uttermost parts of the earth. 23 They take hold of bow and spear. They are cruel, and have no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea, and they ride on horses, everyone set in array, as a man to the battle, against you, daughter of Zion."
24 We have heard its report; our hands wax feeble: anguish has taken hold of us, [and] pangs as of a woman in travail. 25 Don't go forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy, [and] terror, are on every side. 26 Daughter of my people, clothe yourself with sackcloth, and wallow in ashes! Mourn, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; for the destroyer shall suddenly come on us.
27 "I have made you a tester of metals [and] a fortress among my people; that you may know and try their way. 28 They are all grievous rebels, 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 Men will call them rejected silver, because Yahweh has rejected them."