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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

Chapter 4

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1if you return, O Israel If you return to Me, if you remove your abominations from My presence And do not waver, 2And c‐ I.e., profess the worship of the LORD . swear, “As the LORD lives,” ‐c I.e., profess the worship of the LORD . In sincerity, justice,and righteousness— Nations shall bless themselves by you d Heb. “him.” And praise themselves by you. d Heb. “him.”

3For thus said the LORD to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem:

Break up the untilled ground, And do not sow among thorns. 4Open e Lit. “circumcise”; cf. Deut. 10.16 and 30.6 . your hearts to the LORD, Remove the thickening about your hearts— O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem— Lest My wrath break forth like fire, And burn, with none to quench it, Because of your wicked acts. 5Proclaim in Judah, Announce in Jerusalem, And say: “Blow the horn in the land!” Shout aloud and say: “Assemble, and let us go Into the fortified cities!” 6Set up a signpost: To Zion. Take refuge, do not delay! for I bring evil from the north, And great disaster. 7The lion has come up from his thicket: The destroyer of nations has set out, Has departed from his place, To make your land a desolation; Your cities shall be ruined, Without inhabitants. 8For this, put on sackcloth, Mourn and wail; for the blazing anger of the LORD Has not turned away from us.

—declares the LORD—

9And in that day The mind of the king And the mind of the nobles shall fail, The priests shall be appalled, And the prophets shall stand aghast.

10 a‐ Septuagint reads “And they shall say.” And I said: ‐a Septuagint reads “And they shall say.” Ah, Lord GOD! Surely You have deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying:

It shall be well with you— Yet the sword threatens the very life!

11At that time, it shall be said concerning this people and Jerusalem:

The conduct of b‐ Lit. “the daughter that is My people”; so, frequently, in poetry. My poor people ‐b Lit. “the daughter that is My people”; so, frequently, in poetry. is like searing wind From the bare heights of the desert— It will not serve to winnow or to fan. 12A full blast from them comes against Me: Now I in turn will bring charges against them. 13Lo, he c I.e., the invader of v. 7 . ascends like clouds, His chariots are like a whirlwind, His horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, we are ruined! 14Wash your heart clean of wickedness, O Jerusalem, that you may be rescued. How long will you harbor within you Your evil designs? 15Hark, one proclaims from Dan And announces calamity from Mount Ephraim! 16Tell the nations: Here they are! Announce concerning Jerusalem: Watchers a I.e., the invader of v. 7 . are coming from a distant land, They raise their voices against the towns of Judah. 17Like guards of fields, they surround her on every side. for she has rebelled against Me

—declares the LORD

18Your conduct and your acts Have brought this upon you; This is your bitter punishment; It pierces your very heart. 19Oh, my suffering, b Lit. “entrails.” my suffering! How I writhe! Oh, the walls of my heart! My heart moans within me, I cannot be silent; for c‐ Lit. “you, O my being, hear.” Change of vocalization yields “I hear the blare of horns, ? My inner being, alarms of war.” I hear ‐c Lit. “you, O my being, hear.” Change of vocalization yields “I hear the blare of horns, ? My inner being, alarms of war.” the blare of horns, Alarms of war. 20Disaster overtakes disaster, for all the land has been ravaged. Suddenly my tents have been ravaged, In a moment, my tent cloths. 21How long must I see standards And hear the blare of horns? 22For My people are stupid, They give Me no heed; They are foolish children, They are not intelligent. They are clever at doing wrong, But unable to do right. 23I look at the earth, It is unformed and void; At the skies, And their light is gone. 24I look at the mountains, They are quaking; And all the hills are rocking. 25I look: no man is left, And all the birds of the sky have fled. 26I look: the farm land is desert, And all its towns are in ruin— Because of the LORD, Because of His blazing anger. 27(For thus said the LORD: The whole land shall be desolate, But I will not make an end of it.) 28For this the earth mourns, And skies are dark above— Because I have spoken, I have planned, And I will not relent or turn back from it. 29At the shout of horseman and bowman The whole city flees. They enter the thickets, They clamber up the rocks. The whole city is deserted, Not a man remains there. 30And you, who are doomed to ruin, What do you accomplish by wearing crimson, By decking yourself in jewels of gold, By enlarging your eyes with kohl? You beautify yourself in vain: Lovers despise you, They seek your life! 31I hear a voice as of one in travail, Anguish as of a woman bearing her first child, The voice of Fair Zion Panting, stretching out her hands: “Alas for me! I faint Before the killers!”

Notes:

c‐c I.e., profess the worship of the LORD .

d Heb. “him.”

e Lit. “circumcise”; cf. Deut. 10.16 and 30.6 .

a‐a Septuagint reads “And they shall say.”

b‐b Lit. “the daughter that is My people”; so, frequently, in poetry.

c I.e., the invader of v. 7 .

a I.e., the invader of v. 7 .

b Lit. “entrails.”

c‐c Lit. “you, O my being, hear.” Change of vocalization yields “I hear the blare of horns, ? My inner being, alarms of war.”

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