A Lament for Israel's Sin
1Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel:2Fallen, no more to rise,
is maiden Israel;
forsaken on her land,
with no one to raise her up.
3For thus says the Lord GOD:
The city that marched out a thousand
shall have a hundred left,
and that which marched out a hundred
shall have ten left.
4For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel:
Seek me and live;5but do not seek Bethel,
and do not enter into Gilgal
or cross over to Beer-sheba;
for Gilgal shall surely go into exile,
and Bethel shall come to nothing.
6Seek the Lord and live,
or he will break out against the house of Joseph like fire,
and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it.7Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood,
and bring righteousness to the ground!
8The one who made the Pleiades and Orion,
and turns deep darkness into the morning,
and darkens the day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea,
and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
the Lord is his name,9who makes destruction flash out against the strong,
so that destruction comes upon the fortress.
10They hate the one who reproves in the gate,
and they abhor the one who speaks the truth.11Therefore because you trample on the poor
and take from them levies of grain,
you have built houses of hewn stone,
but you shall not live in them;
you have planted pleasant vineyards,
but you shall not drink their wine.12For I know how many are your transgressions,
and how great are your sins—
you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe,
and push aside the needy in the gate.13Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time;
for it is an evil time.
14Seek good and not evil,
that you may live;
and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you,
just as you have said.15Hate evil and love good,
and establish justice in the gate;
it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts,
will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
16Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord:
In all the squares there shall be wailing;
and in all the streets they shall say, “Alas! alas!”
They shall call the farmers to mourning,
and those skilled in lamentation, to wailing;17in all the vineyards there shall be wailing,
for I will pass through the midst of you,
says the Lord.
The Day of the Lord a Dark Day
18Alas for you who desire the day of the Lord!
Why do you want the day of the Lord?
It is darkness, not light;19as if someone fled from a lion,
and was met by a bear;
or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall,
and was bitten by a snake.20Is not the day of the Lord darkness, not light,
and gloom with no brightness in it?
21I hate, I despise your festivals,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.22Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
I will not look upon.23Take away from me the noise of your songs;
I will not listen to the melody of your harps.24But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
25Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?26You shall take up Sakkuth your king, and Kaiwan your star-god, your images, which you made for yourselves;27therefore I will take you into exile beyond Damascus, says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.
Chapter 6Complacent Self-Indulgence Will Be Punished
1Alas for those who are at ease in Zion,
and for those who feel secure on Mount Samaria,
the notables of the first of the nations,
to whom the house of Israel resorts!2Cross over to Calneh, and see;
from there go to Hamath the great;
then go down to Gath of the Philistines.
Are you better than these kingdoms?
Or is your territory greater than their territory,3O you that put far away the evil day,
and bring near a reign of violence?
4Alas for those who lie on beds of ivory,
and lounge on their couches,
and eat lambs from the flock,
and calves from the stall;5who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp,
and like David improvise on instruments of music;6who drink wine from bowls,
and anoint themselves with the finest oils,
but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!7Therefore they shall now be the first to go into exile,
and the revelry of the loungers shall pass away.
8The Lord GOD has sworn by himself
(says the Lord, the God of hosts):
I abhor the pride of Jacob
and hate his strongholds;
and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.
9If ten people remain in one house, they shall die.10And if a relative, one who burns the dead, shall take up the body to bring it out of the house, and shall say to someone in the innermost parts of the house, “Is anyone else with you?” the answer will come, “No.” Then the relative shall say, “Hush! We must not mention the name of the Lord.”
11See, the Lord commands,
and the great house shall be shattered to bits,
and the little house to pieces.12Do horses run on rocks?
Does one plow the sea with oxen?
But you have turned justice into poison
and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood—13you who rejoice in Lo-debar,
who say, “Have we not by our own strength
taken Karnaim for ourselves?”14Indeed, I am raising up against you a nation,
O house of Israel, says the Lord, the God of hosts,
and they shall oppress you from Lebo-hamath
to the Wadi Arabah.