4 Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, Who oppress the poor, Who crush the needy, Who say to your husbands,[a] “Bring wine, let us drink!” 2 The Lord God has sworn by His holiness: “Behold, the days shall come upon you When He will take you away with fishhooks, And your posterity with fishhooks. 3 You will go out through broken walls, Each one straight ahead of her, And you will be cast into Harmon,” Says the Lord.
4 “Come to Bethel and transgress, At Gilgal multiply transgression; Bring your sacrifices every morning, Your tithes every three days.[b] 5 Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, Proclaim and announce the freewill offerings; For this you love, You children of Israel!” Says the Lord God.
Israel Did Not Accept Correction
6 “Also I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, And lack of bread in all your places; Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the Lord.
7 “I also withheld rain from you, When there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, And where it did not rain the part withered. 8 So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water, But they were not satisfied; Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the Lord.
9 “I blasted you with blight and mildew. When your gardens increased, Your vineyards, Your fig trees, And your olive trees, The locust devoured them; Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the Lord.
10 “I sent among you a plague after the manner of Egypt; Your young men I killed with a sword, Along with your captive horses; I made the stench of your camps come up into your nostrils; Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the Lord.
11 “I overthrew some of you, As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, And you were like a firebrand plucked from the burning; Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the Lord.
12 “Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; Because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”
13 For behold, He who forms mountains, And creates the wind, Who declares to man what his[c] thought is, And makes the morning darkness, Who treads the high places of the earth— The Lord God of hosts is His name.
A Lament for Israel
5 Hear this word which I take up against you, a lamentation, O house of Israel:
2 The virgin of Israel has fallen; She will rise no more. She lies forsaken on her land; There is no one to raise her up.
3 For thus says the Lord God:
“The city that goes out by a thousand Shall have a hundred left, And that which goes out by a hundred Shall have ten left to the house of Israel.”
A Call to Repentance
4 For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel:
“Seek Me and live; 5 But do not seek Bethel, Nor enter Gilgal, Nor pass over to Beersheba; For Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, And Bethel shall come to nothing. 6 Seek the Lord and live, Lest He break out like fire in the house of Joseph, And devour it, With no one to quench it in Bethel— 7 You who turn justice to wormwood, And lay righteousness to rest in the earth!”
8 He made the Pleiades and Orion; He turns the shadow of death into morning And makes the day dark as night; He calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the face of the earth; The Lordis His name. 9 He rains ruin upon the strong, So that fury comes upon the fortress.
10 They hate the one who rebukes in the gate, And they abhor the one who speaks uprightly. 11 Therefore, because you tread down the poor And take grain taxes from him, Though you have built houses of hewn stone, Yet you shall not dwell in them; You have planted pleasant vineyards, But you shall not drink wine from them. 12 For I know your manifold transgressions And your mighty sins: Afflicting the just and taking bribes; Diverting the poor from justice at the gate. 13 Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time, For it is an evil time.
14 Seek good and not evil, That you may live; So the Lord God of hosts will be with you, As you have spoken. 15 Hate evil, love good; Establish justice in the gate. It may be that the Lord God of hosts Will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
The Day of the Lord
16 Therefore the Lord God of hosts, the Lord, says this:
“There shall be wailing in all streets, And they shall say in all the highways, ‘Alas! Alas!’ They shall call the farmer to mourning, And skillful lamenters to wailing. 17 In all vineyards there shall be wailing, For I will pass through you,” Says the Lord.
18 Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! For what good is the day of the Lord to you? It will be darkness, and not light. 19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion, And a bear met him! Or as though he went into the house, Leaned his hand on the wall, And a serpent bit him! 20 Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?
21 “I hate, I despise your feast days, And I do not savor your sacred assemblies. 22 Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. 23 Take away from Me the noise of your songs, For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments. 24 But let justice run down like water, And righteousness like a mighty stream.
25 “Did you offer Me sacrifices and offerings In the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? 26 You also carried Sikkuth[d] your king[e] And Chiun,[f] your idols, The star of your gods, Which you made for yourselves. 27 Therefore I will send you into captivity beyond Damascus,” Says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.
Warnings to Zion and Samaria
6 Woe to you who are at ease in Zion, And trust in Mount Samaria, Notable persons in the chief nation, To whom the house of Israel comes! 2 Go over to Calneh and see; And from there go to Hamath the great; Then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? Or is their territory greater than your territory?
3 Woe to you who put far off the day of doom, Who cause the seat of violence to come near; 4 Who lie on beds of ivory, Stretch out on your couches, Eat lambs from the flock And calves from the midst of the stall; 5 Who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments, And invent for yourselves musical instruments like David; 6 Who drink wine from bowls, And anoint yourselves with the best ointments, But are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. 7 Therefore they shall now go captive as the first of the captives, And those who recline at banquets shall be removed.
8 The Lord God has sworn by Himself, The Lord God of hosts says: “I abhor the pride of Jacob, And hate his palaces; Therefore I will deliver up the city And all that is in it.”
9 Then it shall come to pass, that if ten men remain in one house, they shall die. 10 And when a relative of the dead, with one who will burn the bodies, picks up the bodies[g] to take them out of the house, he will say to one inside the house, “Are there any more with you?”
Then someone will say, “None.”
And he will say, “Hold your tongue! For we dare not mention the name of the Lord.”
11 For behold, the Lord gives a command: He will break the great house into bits, And the little house into pieces.
12 Do horses run on rocks? Does one plow there with oxen? Yet you have turned justice into gall, And the fruit of righteousness into wormwood, 13 You who rejoice over Lo Debar,[h] Who say, “Have we not taken Karnaim[i] for ourselves By our own strength?”
14 “But, behold, I will raise up a nation against you, O house of Israel,” Says the Lord God of hosts; “And they will afflict you from the entrance of Hamath To the Valley of the Arabah.”
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