4 1 If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith Jehovah, return unto me; and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not be a wanderer; 2 —and thou shalt in truth, in justice, and in righteousness swear, [As] Jehovah liveth! and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.
3 For thus saith Jehovah to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: Break up for you a fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. 4 Circumcise yourselves for Jehovah, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest my fury come forth like fire and burn, and there be none to quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
Judah Threatened with Invasion
5 Declare ye in Judah, and cause it to be heard in Jerusalem, and say, ... and blow the trumpet in the land, cry aloud and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the fenced cities. 6 Set up a banner toward Zion; take to flight, stay not! For I am bringing evil from the north, and a great destruction. 7 The lion is come up from his thicket, the destroyer of the nations is on his way; he is gone forth from his place, to make thy land desolate; thy cities shall be laid waste, without inhabitant. 8 For this, gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl! for the fierce anger of Jehovah is not turned away from us. 9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith Jehovah, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall be amazed. 10 And I said, Alas, Lord Jehovah! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul. 11 At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A hot wind [cometh] from the heights in the wilderness, on the way of the daughter of my people, not for fanning, nor for cleansing. 12 A wind more vehement than that shall come from me: now will I also pronounce judgments against them. 13 Behold, he cometh up as clouds, and his chariots are as a whirlwind; his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are destroyed. 14 Wash thy heart, Jerusalem, from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee? 15 For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim. 16 Inform the nations; behold, make Jerusalem to hear: Besiegers come from a far country, and raise their voice against the cities of Judah. 17 As keepers of a field are they against her round about; for she hath been rebellious against me, saith Jehovah. 18 Thy way and thy doings have procured these [things] unto thee; this is thy wickedness, yea, it is bitter, yea, it reacheth unto thy heart.
19 My bowels! my bowels! I am in travail! [Oh,] the walls of my heart! My heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace: for thou hearest, my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the clamour of war. 20 Destruction upon destruction is proclaimed; for the whole land is wasted: suddenly are my tents laid waste, my curtains, in a moment. 21 How long shall I see the standard, [and] hear the sound of the trumpet? 22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have no intelligence; they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. 23 I beheld the earth, and lo, it was waste and empty; and the heavens, and they had no light. 24 I beheld the mountains, and lo, they trembled, and all the hills shook violently. 25 I beheld, and lo, man was not, and all the fowl of the heavens were fled. 26 I beheld, and lo, the fruitful land was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down, before Jehovah, before his fierce anger. 27 For thus saith Jehovah: The whole land shall be a desolation; but I will not make a full end. 28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black; because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back therefrom. 29 At the noise of the horsemen and bowmen, every city fleeth; they go into the thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city is forsaken and no man dwelleth therein. 30 —And thou, wasted one, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rendest thine eyes with paint, in vain dost thou make thyself fair: [thy] lovers despise thee, they seek thy life. 31 For I hear a voice, as of a woman in travail, anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion: she moaneth, she spreadeth forth her hands, [saying], Woe unto me! for my soul faileth because of murderers.
The Sins of Jerusalem and Judah
5 1 Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broadways thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be [any] that doeth justice, that seeketh fidelity; and I will pardon it. 2 And if they say, [As] Jehovah liveth! surely they swear falsely. 3 Jehovah, are not thine eyes upon fidelity? Thou hast smitten them, but they are not sore; thou hast consumed them, they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return. 4 And I said, Surely these are the wretched ones, they are foolish; for they know not the way of Jehovah, the judgment of their God. 5 I will go unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they know the way of Jehovah, the judgment of their God; but these have altogether broken the yoke, have burst the bonds. 6 Therefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, a wolf of the evenings shall waste them; the leopard lurketh against their cities, every one that goeth out thence is torn in pieces: for their transgressions are multiplied, their backslidings are increased. 7 Wherefore should I pardon thee? Thy children have forsaken me, and swear by them that are not God. I have satiated them, and they have committed adultery, and they troop to the harlots' house. 8 [As] well fed horses, they roam about, every one neigheth after his neighbour's wife. 9 Shall I not visit for these things? saith Jehovah, and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
10 Go up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end; take away her battlements, for they are not Jehovah's. 11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, saith Jehovah. 12 They have denied Jehovah, and say, He is not; and evil shall not come upon us, nor shall we see sword nor famine; 13 and the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done unto them. 14 Therefore thus saith Jehovah, the God of hosts: Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. 15 Behold, I bring a nation upon you from afar, house of Israel, saith Jehovah: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest thou what they say. 16 Their quiver is as an open sepulchre; they are all mighty men. 17 And they shall eat up thy harvest and thy bread, they shall eat up thy sons and thy daughters, they shall eat up thy flocks and thy herds, they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig-trees; they shall destroy with the sword thy strong cities, wherein thou trustedst. 18 Nevertheless in those days, saith Jehovah, I will not make a full end with you. 19 And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore hath Jehovah our God done all these things unto us? then shalt thou say to them, As ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours.
20 Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying, 21 Hear now this, O foolish and heartless people, who have eyes and see not; who have ears, and hear not. 22 Will ye not fear me? saith Jehovah. Will ye not tremble at my presence, who have set the sand a bound for the sea by a perpetual decree, and it shall not pass it? and its waves toss themselves, but they do not prevail; and they roar, yet can they not pass over it? 23 But this people hath a stubborn and a rebellious heart; they have turned aside and are gone. 24 And they say not in their heart, Let us now fear Jehovah our God, that giveth rain, both the early and the latter, in its season; who preserveth unto us the appointed weeks of harvest.
25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden from you what is good. 26 For among my people are found wicked [men]: they lay wait, as fowlers stoop down; they set a trap, they catch men. 27 As a cage full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and have enriched themselves. 28 They are become fat, they shine, yea, they surpass in deeds of wickedness; they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, and they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not adjudge. 29 Shall I not visit for these things? saith Jehovah; shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? 30 An appalling and horrible thing is committed in the land: 31 the prophets prophesy falsehood, and the priests rule by their means; and my people love [to have it] so. But what will ye do in the end thereof?
The Doom of Jerusalem and Judah
6 1 Flee for safety, ye children of Benjamin, out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a signal in Beth-haccerem; for evil appeareth out of the north, and a great destruction. 2 The comely and delicate one do I cut off, the daughter of Zion. 3 Shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch [their] tents against her round about; they shall feed every one in his place. 4 Prepare war against her. Arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day hath declined, for the shadows of the evening are lengthening. 5 Arise, and let us go up by night, and let us destroy her palaces. 6 For thus hath Jehovah of hosts said: Hew ye down trees, and cast a mound against Jerusalem. She is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her. 7 As a well poureth forth her waters, so she poureth forth her wickedness: violence and destruction are heard in her; before me continually are grief and wounds. 8 Be thou instructed, Jerusalem, lest my soul be alienated from thee; lest I make thee a desolation, a land not inhabited.
9 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: They shall thoroughly glean like a vine the remnant of Israel: turn back thy hand, as a grape-gatherer unto 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 Jehovah is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. 11 And I am full of the fury of Jehovah, I am weary with holding in. Pour it out upon the children 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 [that is] full of days. 12 And their houses shall be turned unto others, [their] fields and wives together; for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith Jehovah. 13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them, every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest, every one dealeth falsely. 14 And they have healed the breach of the daughter of my people lightly, saying, Peace, peace! when there is no peace. 15 Are they ashamed that they have committed abomination? Nay, they are not at all ashamed, neither know they what it is to blush. Therefore they shall fall among them that fall; at the time that I visit them they shall stumble, saith Jehovah. 16 Thus saith Jehovah: Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the ancient paths, which is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk [therein]. 17 Also I have set watchmen over you:—Hearken ye to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O assembly, what is among them. 19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, the fruit of their thoughts; for they have not hearkened unto my words, and as to my law, they have rejected it. 20 To what purpose should there come to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt-offerings are not acceptable, nor are your sacrifices pleasing unto me. 21 Therefore thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I will lay stumbling-blocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall over them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish. 22 Thus saith Jehovah: Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation is stirred up from the uttermost parts of the earth. 23 They lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as a man for the battle, against thee, daughter of Zion. 24 We have heard the report thereof: our hands are grown feeble; anguish hath taken hold of us, pain as of a woman that travaileth. 25 Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for [there is] the sword of the enemy, terror is on every side. 26 Daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and roll thyself in ashes: make mourning, [as] for an only son—bitter lamentation; for the spoiler cometh suddenly upon us. 27 I have set thee among my people as an assayer, a fortress, that thou mayest know and try their way. 28 They are all the most rebellious of rebels, going about with slander: they are bronze and iron; they are all corrupters. 29 The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed by the fire; they have melted, and melted in vain; and the bad are not plucked away. 30 Reprobate silver shall they call them, for Jehovah hath rejected them.