1. “O children of Benjamin, flee for safety out of the midst of Jerusalem. And blow the ram’s horn in Tekoa, and set up a signal-fire over Beth Haccerem; for evil appears out of the north, and great destruction comes.
2. I will destroy the daughter of Zion, the beautiful and tender one.
3. The shepherds with their flocks shall come to her; they shall pitch tents against her all around; they shall graze each one his portion.”
4. “Prepare war against her; arise and let us go up at noon. Woe to us! For the day goes away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out.
5. Arise, and let us go by night, and let us destroy her palaces.”
6. For thus has the LORD of hosts said, “Cut down trees and cast a mound against Jerusalem! She is the city to be punished; there is nothing but oppression in her midst.
7. As a fountain keeps fresh her waters, so she keeps fresh her evil; violence and spoil is heard in her; continually before Me are grief and wounds.
8. O Jerusalem, take warning, lest My soul depart from you; lest I make you desolate, a land without people.”
9. Thus says the LORD of hosts, “They shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel like a vine; pass your hand again as a grape gatherer over the branches.”
10. “To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are not circumcised, and they cannot hearken. Behold, the Word of the LORD is to them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
11. Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; 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 as well as the aged with fullness of days.
12. And their houses shall be turned over to others, together with their fields and wives; for I will stretch out My hand on the inhabitants of the land,” says the LORD.
13. “For everyone from the least of them even to the greatest of them is greedy for gain; and from the prophet even unto the priest everyone deals falsely.
14. They have also healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, 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 punish them, they shall be cast down,” says the LORD.
16. Thus says the LORD, “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths where the good way is and walk in it, and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17. Also I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Hearken to the sound of the ram’s horn.’ But they said, ‘We will not hearken.’
18. Therefore hear, you nations, and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.
19. Hear, O earth; behold, I will bring evil on this people, even the fruit of their thoughts because they have not hearkened to My words, nor to My law, but have rejected it.
20. To what purpose does frankincense come to Me from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet to Me.”
21. Therefore thus says the LORD, “Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbor and his friend shall perish.”
22. Thus says the LORD, “Behold, a people comes from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the ends of the earth.
23. They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel and have no mercy; their voice roars like the sea; and they ride on horses, arrayed in battle order like men for war against you, O daughter of Zion.”
24. We have heard the report of it; our hands become feeble; anguish has taken hold of us, and pain, like a woman in labor.
25. Do not go out into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and fear are on every side.
26. O daughter of my people put on sackcloth, and wallow in ashes; make mourning for yourself, as for an only son, a most bitter lament; for the destroyer shall suddenly come on us.
27. “I have made you like an assayer, and an examiner among My people, that you may know and try their way.
28. They are all grievous revolters, walking in slanders; they are bronze and iron; they are all corrupters.
29. The bellows blow fiercely, the lead is melted by the fire; the refiner melts in vain; for the wicked are not plucked away.
30. Rejected silver men call them because the LORD has rejected them.”
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