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 [a]your husbands, “Bring now, that we may drink!” 2 The Lord [b]God has sworn by His holiness, “Behold, the days are coming upon you When [c]they will take you away with meat hooks, And the last of you with fish hooks. 3 “You will go out through breaches in the walls, Each one straight before her, And you [d]will be cast to Harmon,” declares the Lord.
4 “Enter Bethel and transgress; In Gilgal multiply transgression! Bring your sacrifices every morning, Your tithes every three days. 5 “[e]Offer a thank offering also from that which is leavened, And proclaim freewill offerings, make them known. For so you love to do, you sons of Israel,” Declares the Lord God.
6 “But I gave you also cleanness of teeth in all your cities And lack of bread in all your places, Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord. 7 “Furthermore, I withheld the rain from you While there were still three months until harvest. Then I would send rain on one city And on another city I would not send rain; One part would be rained on, While the part not rained on would dry up. 8 “So two or three cities would stagger to another city to drink water, But would not be satisfied; Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord. 9 “I smote you with scorching wind and mildew; And the caterpillar was devouring Your many gardens and vineyards, fig trees and olive trees; Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord. 10 “I sent a plague among you after the manner of Egypt; I slew your young men by the sword along with your captured horses, And I made the stench of your camp rise up in your nostrils; Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord. 11 “I overthrew you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, And you were like a firebrand snatched from a blaze; Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord. 12 “Therefore thus I will 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 And declares to man what are His thoughts, He who makes dawn into darkness And treads on the high places of the earth, The Lord God of hosts is His name.
“Seek Me that You May Live”
5 Hear this word which I take up for you as a dirge, O house of Israel: 2 She has fallen, she will not rise again— The virgin Israel. She lies neglected on her land; There is none to raise her up.
“The city which goes forth a thousand strong Will have a hundred left, And the one which goes forth a hundred strong Will have ten left to the house of Israel.”
4 For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel,
“Seek Me that you may live. 5 “But do not [g]resort to Bethel And do not come to Gilgal, Nor cross over to Beersheba; For Gilgal will certainly go into captivity And Bethel will [h]come to trouble. 6 “Seek the Lord that you may live, Or He will break forth like a fire, [i]O house of Joseph, And it will consume with none to quench it for Bethel, 7 For those who turn justice into wormwood And [j]cast righteousness down to the earth.”
8 He who made the Pleiades and Orion And changes deep darkness into morning, [k]Who also darkens day into night, Who calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the surface of the earth, The Lord is His name. 9 It is He who flashes forth with destruction upon the strong, So that destruction comes upon the fortress.
10 They hate him who reproves in the [l]gate, And they abhor him who speaks with integrity. 11 Therefore because you [m]impose heavy rent on the poor And exact a tribute of grain from them, Though you have built houses of well-hewn stone, Yet you will not live in them; You have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink their wine. 12 For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great, You who distress the righteous and accept bribes And [n]turn aside the poor in the [o]gate. 13 Therefore at [p]such a time the prudent person keeps silent, for it is an evil time.
14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live; And thus may the Lord God of hosts be with you, Just as you have said! 15 Hate evil, love good, And establish justice in the [q]gate! Perhaps the Lord God of hosts May be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
16 Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts, the Lord,
“There is wailing in all the plazas, And in all the streets they say, ‘Alas! Alas!’ They also call the farmer to mourning And [r]professional mourners to lamentation. 17 “And in all the vineyards there is wailing, Because I will pass through the midst of you,” says the Lord.
18 Alas, you who are longing for the day of the Lord, For what purpose will the day of the Lordbe to you? It will bedarkness and not light; 19 As when a man flees from a lion And a bear meets him, [s]Or goes home, leans his hand against the wall And a snake bites him. 20 Will not the day of the Lordbedarkness instead of light, Even gloom with no brightness in it?
21 “I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I [t]delight in your solemn assemblies. 22 “Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. 23 “Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. 24 “But let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
25 “[u]Did you present Me with sacrifices and grain offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel?26 You also carried along [v]Sikkuth your king and [w]Kiyyun, your images, [x]the star of your gods which you made for yourselves.27 Therefore, I will make you go into exile beyond Damascus,” says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.
“Those at Ease in Zion”
6 Woe to those who are at ease in Zion And to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria, The distinguished men of the foremost of nations, To whom the house of Israel comes. 2 Go over to Calneh and look, And go from there to Hamath the great, Then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are [y]they better than these kingdoms, Or is their territory greater than yours? 3 Do you put off the day of calamity, And would you bring near the seat of violence?
4 Those who recline on beds of ivory And sprawl on their couches, And eat lambs from the flock And calves from the midst of the stall, 5 Who improvise to the sound of the harp, And like David have [z]composed songs for themselves, 6 Who drink wine from [aa]sacrificial bowls While they anoint themselves with the finest of oils, Yet they have not grieved over the ruin of Joseph. 7 Therefore, they will now go into exile at the head of the exiles, And the sprawlers’ [ab]banqueting will [ac]pass away.
8 The Lord [ad]God has sworn by Himself, the Lord God of hosts has declared: “I loathe the arrogance of Jacob, And [ae]detest his citadels; Therefore I will deliver up the city and [af]all it contains.”
9 And it will be, if ten men are left in one house, they will die.10 Then one’s [ag]uncle, or his [ah]undertaker, will lift him up to carry out his bones from the house, and he will say to the one who is in the innermost part of the house, “Is anyone else with you?” And that one will say, “No one.” Then he will [ai]answer, “Keep quiet. For [aj]the name of the Lord is not to be mentioned.”11 For behold, the Lord is going to command that the great house be smashed to pieces and the small house to fragments.
12 Do horses run on rocks? Or does one plow [ak]them with oxen? Yet you have turned justice into poison And the fruit of righteousness into [al]wormwood, 13 You who rejoice in [am]Lodebar, [an]And say, “Have we not by our own strength taken [ao]Karnaim for ourselves?” 14 “For behold, I am going to raise up a nation against you, O house of Israel,” declares the Lord God of hosts, “And they will afflict you from the entrance of Hamath To the brook of the Arabah.”
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