1Hear this word which I utter over you, a lament, O house of Israel: 2She is fallen, to rise no more, the virgin Israel; She lies abandoned upon her land, with no one to raise her up.
3For thus says the Lord GOD:
The city that marched out with a thousand shall be left with a hundred, Another that marched out with a hundred shall be left with ten, of the house of Israel.
4For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel: Seek me, that you may live, 5but do not seek Bethel; Do not come to Gilgal, and do not cross to Beer-sheba. For Gilgal shall be led into exile, and Bethel shall become nought. 6Seek the Lord, that you may live, lest he come upon the house of Joseph* like a fire That shall consume, with none to quench it for the house of Israel: 8He who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns darkness into dawn, and darkens day into night; Who summons the waters of the sea, and pours them out upon the surface of the earth; g Am 9, 6 . 9Who flashes destruction upon the strong, and brings ruin upon the fortress; whose name is LORD.
7Woe to those who turn judgment to wormwood and cast justice to the ground! 10They hate him who reproves at the gate* and abhor him who speaks the truth. 11Therefore, because you have trampled upon the weak and exacted of them levies of grain, Though you have built houses of hewn stone, you shall not live in them! Though you have planted choice vineyards, you shall not drink their wine! h Zep 1, 13 .
12Yes, I know how many are your crimes, how grievous your sins: Oppressing the just, accepting bribes, repelling the needy at the gate! 13Therefore the prudent man is silent at this time, for it is an evil time. 14Seek good and not evil, that you may live; Then truly will the LORD, the God of hosts, be with you as you claim! 15Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate; Then it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will have pity on the remnant of Joseph. i Ps 97, 10; Rom 12, 9 .
16Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord: In every square there shall be lamentation, and in every street they shall cry, Alas! Alas! They shall summon the farmers to wail and professional mourners to lament, 17And in every vineyard there shall be lamentation when I pass through your midst, says the LORD.
18Woe to those who yearn for the day of the LORD!* What will this day of the LORD mean for you? Darkness and not light! j Jer 30, 7; Jl 2, 11; Zep 1, 15 . 19As if a man were to flee from a lion, and a bear should meet him; Or as if on entering his house he were to rest his hand against the wall, and a snake should bite him. 20Will not the day of the LORD be darkness and not light, gloom without any brightness?
21 *I hate, I spurn your feasts, I take no pleasure in your solemnities; k Is 1, 11; Jer 6, 20; Mal 1, 12 . 22Your cereal offerings I will not accept, nor consider your stall-fed peace offerings. 23Away with your noisy songs! I will not listen to the melodies of your harps. But if you would offer me holocausts, 24then let justice surge like water, and goodness like an unfailing stream. 25Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings l Acts 7, 42 . for forty years in the desert, O house of Israel?* 26You will carry away Sakkuth, your king, and Kaiwan, your star god,* the images that you have made for yourselves; 27For I will exile you beyond Damascus, say I, the LORD, the God of hosts by name.