The Necessity of God's Judgment; Testimony against Israel
Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt, saying:
"I have only chosen you of all the families of the earth.Therefore I will punish you for all of your sins."
Do two walk together,unless they have agreed?
Will a lion roar in the thicket,when he has no prey?Does a young lion cry out of his den,if he has caught nothing?
Can a bird fall in a trap on the earth,where no snare is set for him?Does a snare spring up from the ground,when there is nothing to catch?
Does the trumpet alarm sound in a city,without the people being afraid?Does evil happen to a city,and the LORD hasn't done it?
Surely the Lord the LORD will do nothing,unless he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets.
The lion has roared.Who will not fear?The Lord the LORD has spoken.Who can but prophesy?
Proclaim in the palaces at Ashdod,and in the palaces in the land of Egypt,and say, "Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria,and see what unrest is in her,and what oppression is among them."
"Indeed they don't know to do right," says The LORD,"Who hoard plunder and loot in their palaces."
Therefore thus says the Lord God:"An adversary will overrun the land;and he will pull down your strongholds,and your fortresses will be plundered."
The LORD says:"As the shepherd rescues out of the mouth of the lion two legs,or a piece of an ear,so shall the children of Israel be rescued who sit in Samaria on the corner of a couch,and on the silken cushions of a bed."
"Listen, and testify against the house of Jacob," says the Lord God, the God of Armies.
"For in the day that I visit the transgressions of Israel on him,I will also visit the altars of Bethel;and the horns of the altar will be cut off,and fall to the ground.
I will strike the winter house with the summer house;and the houses of ivory will perish,and the great houses will have an end,"says The LORD.
Israel Has Not Returned to Me
Listen to this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who tell their husbands, "Bring us drinks!"
The Lord the LORD has sworn by his holiness that behold,"The days shall come on you that they will take you away with hooks,and the last of you with fish hooks.
You will go out at the breaks in the wall,everyone straight before her;and you will cast yourselves into Harmon," says The LORD.
"Go to Bethel, and sin;to Gilgal, and sin more.Bring your sacrifices every morning,your tithes every three days,
offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened,and proclaim free will offerings and brag about them:for this pleases you, you children of Israel," says the Lord God.
"I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities,and lack of bread in every town;yet you haven't returned to me," says The LORD.
"I also have withheld the rain from you,when there were yet three months to the harvest;and I caused it to rain on one city,and caused it not to rain on another city.One place was rained on,and the piece where it didn't rain withered.
So two or three cities staggered to one city to drink water,and were not satisfied:yet you haven't returned to me," says The LORD.
"I struck you with blight and mildew many times in your gardens and your vineyards;and your fig trees and your olive trees have the swarming locust devoured:yet you haven't returned to me," says The LORD.
"I sent plagues among you like I did Egypt.I have slain your young men with the sword,and have carried away your horses;and I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camp,yet you haven't returned to me," says The LORD.
"I have overthrown some of you,as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,and you were like a burning stick plucked out of the fire;yet you haven't returned to me," says The LORD.
"Therefore thus will I do to you, Israel;because I will do this to you,prepare to meet your God, Israel.
For, behold, he who forms the mountains,and creates the wind,and declares to man what is his thought;who makes the morning darkness,and treads on the high places of the earth:The LORD, the God of Armies, is his name."
Seek Me that You May Live
Listen to this word which I take up for a lamentation over you, O house of Israel.
"The virgin of Israel has fallen;She shall rise no more.She is cast down on her land;there is no one to raise her up."
For thus says the Lord God:"The city that went out a thousand shall have a hundred left,and that which went out one hundred shall have ten left to the house of Israel."
For the LORD says to the house of Israel:"Seek me, and you will live;
but don't seek Bethel,nor enter into Gilgal,and don't pass to Beersheba:for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity,and Bethel shall come to nothing.
Seek The LORD, and you will live;lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph,and it devour, and there be no one to quench it in Bethel.
You who turn justice to wormwood,and cast down righteousness to the earth:
seek him who made the Pleiades and Orion,and turns the shadow of death into the morning,and makes the day dark with night;who calls for the waters of the sea,and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the LORD is his name,
who brings sudden destruction on the strong,so that destruction comes on the fortress.
They hate him who reproves in the gate,and they abhor him who speaks blamelessly.
Therefore, because you trample on the poor,and take taxes from him of wheat:You have built houses of cut stone,but you will not dwell in them.You have planted pleasant vineyards,but you shall not drink their wine.
For I know how many your offenses,and how great are your sins-you who afflict the just,who take a bribe,and who turn aside the needy in the courts.
Therefore a prudent person keeps silent in such a time,for it is an evil time.
Seek good, and not evil,that you may live;and so The LORD, the God of Armies, will be with you,as you say.
Hate evil, love good,and establish justice in the courts.It may be that The LORD, the God of Armies, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph."
Therefore The LORD, the God of Armies, the Lord, says:"Wailing will be in all the wide ways;and they will say in all the streets, 'Alas! Alas!'and they will call the farmer to mourning,and those who are skillful in lamentation to wailing.
In all vineyards there will be wailing;for I will pass through the middle of you," says The LORD.
"Woe to you who desire the day of The LORD!Why do you long for the day of The LORD?It is darkness,and not light.
As if a man fled from a lion,and a bear met him;Or he went into the house and leaned his hand on the wall,and a snake bit him.
Won't the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light?Even very dark, and no brightness in it?
I hate, I despise your feasts,and I can't stand your solemn assemblies.
Yes, though you offer me your burnt offerings and meal offerings,I will not accept them;neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat animals.
Take away from me the noise of your songs!I will not listen to the music of your harps.
But let justice roll on like rivers,and righteousness like a mighty stream.
"Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, house of Israel?
You also carried the tent of your king and the shrine of your images, the star of your god, which you made for yourselves.
Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus," says The LORD, whose name is the God of Armies.
Woe to those at ease in Zion; Abhorrence of Israel's Pride
Woe to those who are at ease in Zion,and to those who are secure on the mountain of Samaria,the notable men of the chief of the nations,to whom the house of Israel come!
Go to Calneh, and see;and from there go to Hamath the great;then go down to Gath of the Philistines.are they better than these kingdoms?or is their border greater than your border?
Those who put far away the evil day,and cause the seat of violence to come near;
Who lie on beds of ivory,and stretch themselves on their couches,and eat the lambs out of the flock,and the calves out of the middle of the stall;
who strum on the strings of a harp;who invent for themselves instruments of music, like David;
who drink wine in bowls,and anoint themselves with the best oils;but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.
Therefore they will now go captive with the first who go captive;and the feasting and lounging will end.
"The Lord the LORD has sworn by himself," says The LORD, the God of Armies:"I abhor the pride of Jacob,and detest his fortresses.Therefore I will deliver up the city with all that is in it.
It will happen, if there remain ten men in one house,that they shall die.
"When a man's relative carries him, even he who burns him, to bring bodies out of the house, and asks him who is in the innermost parts of the house, 'Is there yet any with you?' And he says, 'No;' then he will say, 'Hush! Indeed we must not mention The LORD's name.'
"For, behold, the LORD commands, and the great house will be smashed to pieces,and the little house into bits.
Do horses run on the rocky crags?Does one plow there with oxen?But you have turned justice into poison,and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness;
you who rejoice in a thing of nothing, who say,'Haven't we taken for ourselves horns by our own strength?'
For, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, house of Israel,"says The LORD, the God of Armies;"and they will afflict you from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of the Arabah."