5 Listen to this ·funeral song [dirge; word of lamentation] that I ·sing about [or take up against] you, ·people [L house] of Israel.
2 “The ·young girl [virgin] Israel has fallen, and she will not rise up again. She was ·left alone [abandoned; forsaken] in her own land, and there is no one to ·help [raise; lift] her up.”
3 This is what the Lord God says:
“If a thousand soldiers leave a city, only a hundred will ·return [or remain]; if a hundred soldiers leave a city, only ten will ·return [or remain].”
4 This is what the Lord says to the ·nation [L house] of Israel:
“·Come to [Seek] me and live. 5 But do not ·look in [seek] Bethel [C ironic, since Bethel means “house of God”; 4:4] or go to Gilgal, and do not go down to Beersheba [C important centers of worship in Israel; 4:4]. The people of Gilgal will ·be taken away as captives [surely go into exile], and Bethel will become nothing.” 6 ·Come to [Seek] the Lord and live, or he will ·move [sweep through; L rush] like fire against the ·descendants [L house] of Joseph. The fire will ·burn [consume; devour] Bethel [4:4], and there will be no one to ·put it out [quench it]. 7 You turn justice ·upside down [L into bitterness/or wormwood; C a bitter plant; 6:12], and you throw on the ground ·what is right [rightousness; justice].
8 ·God is the one [L He] who made the constellations Pleiades and Orion; he changes darkness into the morning light, and the day into dark night. He calls for the waters of the sea to pour out on the ·earth [L surface/face of the earth]. The Lord is his name. 9 He ·destroys [brings ruin upon; flashes destruction on] the protected city; he ·ruins [destroys] the strong, walled city.
10 ·You [L They] hate those who ·speak in court against evil [L rebuke/reprove at the gate; C where court was held], and ·you [L they] ·can’t stand [despise; detest] those who tell the truth. 11 You ·walk [trample; or levy a tax] on poor people, ·forcing them to give you [imposing a tax on their] grain. You have built fancy houses of cut stone, but you will not live in them. You have planted ·beautiful [pleasant] vineyards, but you will not drink the wine from them [Deut. 28:30]. 12 I know your many ·crimes [trangressions], your ·terrible [numerous; great] sins. You ·hurt [oppress] ·people who do right [the righteous/innocent], you take ·money to do wrong [bribes], and you keep the poor from getting justice in ·court [L the gate; v. 10]. 13 In such times the wise person will keep quiet, because it is a ·bad [evil] time.
14 ·Try to do [Seek] good, not evil, so that you will live, and the Lord God ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] will be with you just as you ·say [claim] he is. 15 Hate evil and love good; ·be fair in the courts [L establish justice in the gate; v. 10]. Maybe the Lord God ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] will ·be kind to [have mercy on; be gracious to] the ·people of Joseph who are left alive [remnant of Joseph; C a reference to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh (Joseph’s sons), representing the northern kingdom]. 16 This is what the Lord, the Lord God ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], says: “People will be ·crying [wailing] in all the streets; they will be saying, ‘Oh, no!’ in the public places. They will call the farmers to ·come and weep [mourning] and ·will pay people [L those who know lamentation; C professional mourners paid to weep] to ·cry out loud [wail] for them. 17 People will be ·crying [wailing] in all the vineyards, because I will pass ·among you to punish you [L through your midst; C as the angel of death passed through Egypt (Ex. 12:12)],” says the Lord.
The Lord’s Day of Judging
18 ·How terrible it will be for [L Woe to] you who want the ·Lord’s day of judging [L day of the Lord] to come. Why do you want that day to come? It will bring darkness for you, not light. 19 It will be like someone who runs from a lion and meets a bear, or like someone who goes into his house and ·puts [leans] his hand on the wall, and then is bitten by a snake. 20 So the ·Lord’s day of judging [L day of the Lord] will bring darkness, not light; it will be ·very dark [deep gloom], not ·light at all [brightness].
21 The Lord says, “I ·hate and reject [despise] your ·feasts [religious festivals]; I ·cannot stand [take no delight in] your ·religious meetings [sacred assemblies]. 22 If you offer me burnt offerings [Lev. 1:1–17] and ·grain [L gift; tribute] offerings [Lev. 2:1], I won’t accept them. You bring your best ·fellowship [or peace; well-being] offerings [Lev. 3:1] of fattened cattle, but I will ·ignore [have no regard for] them [Is. 1:11]. 23 Take ·the noise of your songs [or your noisy songs] away from me! I won’t listen to the music of your ·harps [stringed instruments]. 24 But let justice ·flow [roll] like a river, and let ·goodness [righteousness; justice] flow like a ·never-ending [ever-flowing] stream.
25 “·People [L House] of Israel, you did not bring me sacrifices and offerings while you traveled in the desert for forty years. 26 You have ·carried with you [lifted up] ·your king, the god Sakkuth [or the shrine of your idol-king], ·and Kaiwan your idol [or the pedestal of your idols; C either names of Mesopotamian star gods, or general terms for idols], the star gods you have made for yourselves. 27 So I will send you ·away as captives [into exile] beyond Damascus,” says the Lord, whose name is the God ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts].
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Try Bible Gateway Plus, a brand-new service that lets you experience Bible Gateway free of banner ads! It also gives you instant access to over 40 Bible study and inspirational devotional books, including the NIV Study Bible. With Bible Gateway Plus, you can experience and understand God's Word in life-changing new ways, without the distraction of ads. Try it free for 30 days—you can cancel at any time. Following your 30-day free trial, Bible Gateway Plus is only $3.99/month.