1 Seek refuge, O children of Benjamin, From the midst of Jerusalem; And blow the trumpet in Tekoa And raise up a signal on Beth-haccerem; For evil looks down from the north, And great destruction.
2 The comely and delicate one, The daughter of Zion, I will cut off.
3 Shepherds will come to her With their flocks; They will pitch tents against her all around; They will feed each one in his place.
4 Prepare war against her; Rise up, and let us go up at noon. Woe to us, for the day has declined, For the shadows of evening are lengthening.
5 Rise up, and let us go up at night And destroy her palaces.
6 For thus says Jehovah of hosts, Cut down her trees and build up A mound against Jerusalem. This is the city to be punished; In her midst there is only oppression.
7 As a cistern keeps its waters fresh, So she has kept her wickedness fresh. Violence and destruction are heard in her; Sickness and wounds are always before Me.
8 Be admonished, O Jerusalem, Lest My desire for you depart, Lest I make you a desolation, An uninhabited land.
9 Thus says Jehovah of hosts, They will thoroughly glean like a vine The remnant of Israel; Pass your hand again over the branches Like a grape gatherer.
10 To whom shall I speak and testify, That they may hear? Indeed, their ear is uncircumcised, And they are unable to listen. See, the word of Jehovah has become a reproach to them; They have no delight in it.
11 Yet I am full of the wrath of Jehovah; I am weary of holding it in. Pour it out upon the children in the street And upon the assembly of the young men together; For even the husband with the wife will be taken; The old man, with the one who is full of days.
12 And their houses will be turned over to others, Fields and wives together; For I will stretch out My hand Over the inhabitants of the land, Declares Jehovah.
13 For from the least of them to the greatest of them, Everyone is wresting unjust gain; And from the prophet to the priest, Everyone is dealing falsely.
14 And they have healed The brokenness of My people slightly, Saying, Peace, peace; Although there is no peace.
15 Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? They were not at all ashamed; They did not even know to blush. Therefore they will fall with those who fall; At the time I punish them, they will stumble, Says Jehovah.
16 Thus says Jehovah, Stand by the ways and see, And ask for the ancient paths; Ask where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk in it.
17 So I set watchmen over you, saying, Listen to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not listen.
18 Therefore hear, O nations, And understand, O assembly, What I will do to them.
19 Listen, O earth; I am now bringing evil On this people, The fruit of their thoughts; Because they have not listened to My words, And they have also rejected My law.
20 For what purpose does frankincense come to Me from Sheba, And sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, And your sacrifices are not pleasing to Me.
21 Therefore thus says Jehovah, I am now laying before this people stumbling blocks, And fathers and sons together Will stumble against them; A neighbor and his friend will perish.
22 Thus says Jehovah, See, a people is coming from the land of the north, And a great nation is stirring from the uttermost parts of the earth.
23 They grasp bow and spear; They are cruel and have no mercy; Their voice roars like the sea; And they ride upon horses, Set in array as a man for battle Against you, O daughter of Zion.
24 We have heard its report; Our hands are feeble; Distress has seized us, Pain like a woman in childbirth.
25 Do not go out into the field, And do not walk on the road; For the enemy has a sword; Terror is on every side.
26 O daughter of my people, gird yourself in sackcloth And roll in ashes; Mourn as for an only son, A most bitter wailing; For suddenly the destroyer Will come upon us.
27 I have set you as a trier among My people, as a fortress, That you may know and try their way.
28 All of them are most rebellious, Going about as slanderers; They are brass and iron; All of them act corruptly.
29 The bellows are burned; The lead is consumed by the fire; The refining continues in vain, For the wicked are not removed.
30 Men will call them rejected silver, Because Jehovah has rejected them.