5 Listen, you priests! Pay attention, Israel![a] Listen, you members of the royal family. Justice was your duty. But[b] at Mizpah and Mount Tabor you trapped the people. 2 At the place of worship you were a treacherous pit,[c] and I will punish you.
3 Israel, I know all about you, and because of your unfaithfulness, I find you unacceptable. 4 Your evil deeds are the reason you won’t return to me, your Lord God. And your constant craving for sex keeps you from knowing me.
5 Israel, your pride testifies to your guilt; it makes you stumble, and Judah stumbles too. 6 You offer sheep and cattle as sacrifices to me, but I have turned away and refuse to be found. 7 You have been unfaithful to me, your Lord; you have had children by prostitutes.[d] So at the New Moon Festival, you and your crops will be destroyed.[e]
The Lord Warns Israel and Judah
8 Give a warning on the trumpet! Let it be heard in Gibeah, Ramah, and sinful Bethel.[f] Benjamin, watch out![g] 9 I, the Lord, will punish and wipe out Israel. This is my solemn promise to every tribe of Israel. 10 Judah’s leaders are like crooks who move boundary markers; that’s why I will flood them with my anger.
11 Israel was brutally crushed. They got what they deserved for worshiping useless idols.[h] 12 Now I, the Lord, will fill Israel with maggots and make Judah rot. 13 When Israel and Judah saw their sickness and wounds, Israel asked help from Assyria and its mighty king.[i]
But the king cannot cure them or heal their wounds. 14 So I’ll become a fierce lion attacking Israel and Judah. I’ll snatch and carry off what I want, and no one can stop me. 15 Then I’ll return to my temple until they confess their guilt and worship me, until they are desperate and beg for my help.
5.1Israel: Probably meaning the tribal leaders of Israel.
5.1Justice. . . duty. But: Or “You are doomed, because.”
5.2At. . . pit: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
5.7So. . . destroyed: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
5.8sinful Bethel: See the note at 4.15. Gibeah is three miles north of Jerusalem, Ramah is five miles north, and Bethel is eleven miles north. The attack comes from the south, and all the land of Benjamin (belonging to Israel) is in danger.
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