19 “I myself said,

“‘How gladly would I treat you like my children
    and give you a pleasant land,(A)
    the most beautiful inheritance(B) of any nation.’
I thought you would call me ‘Father’(C)
    and not turn away from following me.
20 But like a woman unfaithful to her husband,
    so you, Israel, have been unfaithful(D) to me,”
declares the Lord.

21 A cry is heard on the barren heights,(E)
    the weeping(F) and pleading of the people of Israel,
because they have perverted their ways
    and have forgotten(G) the Lord their God.

22 “Return,(H) faithless people;
    I will cure(I) you of backsliding.”(J)

“Yes, we will come to you,
    for you are the Lord our God.
23 Surely the idolatrous commotion on the hills(K)
    and mountains is a deception;
surely in the Lord our God
    is the salvation(L) of Israel.
24 From our youth shameful(M) gods have consumed
    the fruits of our ancestors’ labor—
their flocks and herds,
    their sons and daughters.
25 Let us lie down in our shame,(N)
    and let our disgrace cover us.
We have sinned(O) against the Lord our God,
    both we and our ancestors;(P)
from our youth(Q) till this day
    we have not obeyed(R) the Lord our God.”

“If you, Israel, will return,(S)
    then return to me,”
declares the Lord.
“If you put your detestable idols(T) out of my sight
    and no longer go astray,
and if in a truthful, just and righteous way
    you swear,(U) ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’(V)
then the nations will invoke blessings(W) by him
    and in him they will boast.(X)

This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem:

“Break up your unplowed ground(Y)
    and do not sow among thorns.(Z)
Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,
    circumcise your hearts,(AA)
    you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
or my wrath(AB) will flare up and burn like fire(AC)
    because of the evil(AD) you have done—
    burn with no one to quench(AE) it.

Disaster From the North

“Announce in Judah and proclaim(AF) in Jerusalem and say:
    ‘Sound the trumpet(AG) throughout the land!’
Cry aloud and say:
    ‘Gather together!
    Let us flee to the fortified cities!’(AH)
Raise the signal(AI) to go to Zion!
    Flee for safety without delay!
For I am bringing disaster(AJ) from the north,(AK)
    even terrible destruction.”

A lion(AL) has come out of his lair;(AM)
    a destroyer(AN) of nations has set out.
He has left his place
    to lay waste(AO) your land.
Your towns will lie in ruins(AP)
    without inhabitant.
So put on sackcloth,(AQ)
    lament(AR) and wail,
for the fierce anger(AS) of the Lord
    has not turned away from us.

“In that day,” declares the Lord,
    “the king and the officials will lose heart,(AT)
the priests will be horrified,
    and the prophets will be appalled.”(AU)

10 Then I said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! How completely you have deceived(AV) this people and Jerusalem by saying, ‘You will have peace,’(AW) when the sword is at our throats!”

11 At that time this people and Jerusalem will be told, “A scorching wind(AX) from the barren heights in the desert blows toward my people, but not to winnow or cleanse; 12 a wind(AY) too strong for that comes from me. Now I pronounce my judgments(AZ) against them.”

13 Look! He advances like the clouds,(BA)
    his chariots(BB) come like a whirlwind,(BC)
his horses(BD) are swifter than eagles.(BE)
    Woe to us! We are ruined!(BF)
14 Jerusalem, wash(BG) the evil from your heart and be saved.(BH)
    How long(BI) will you harbor wicked thoughts?
15 A voice is announcing from Dan,(BJ)
    proclaiming disaster from the hills of Ephraim.(BK)
16 “Tell this to the nations,
    proclaim concerning Jerusalem:
‘A besieging army is coming from a distant land,(BL)
    raising a war cry(BM) against the cities of Judah.(BN)
17 They surround(BO) her like men guarding a field,
    because she has rebelled(BP) against me,’”
declares the Lord.
18 “Your own conduct and actions(BQ)
    have brought this on you.(BR)
This is your punishment.
    How bitter(BS) it is!
    How it pierces to the heart!”

19 Oh, my anguish, my anguish!(BT)
    I writhe in pain.(BU)
Oh, the agony of my heart!
    My heart pounds(BV) within me,
    I cannot keep silent.(BW)
For I have heard the sound of the trumpet;(BX)
    I have heard the battle cry.(BY)
20 Disaster follows disaster;(BZ)
    the whole land lies in ruins.(CA)
In an instant my tents(CB) are destroyed,
    my shelter in a moment.
21 How long must I see the battle standard(CC)
    and hear the sound of the trumpet?(CD)

22 “My people are fools;(CE)
    they do not know me.(CF)
They are senseless children;
    they have no understanding.(CG)
They are skilled in doing evil;(CH)
    they know not how to do good.”(CI)

23 I looked at the earth,
    and it was formless and empty;(CJ)
and at the heavens,
    and their light(CK) was gone.
24 I looked at the mountains,
    and they were quaking;(CL)
    all the hills were swaying.
25 I looked, and there were no people;
    every bird in the sky had flown away.(CM)
26 I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert;(CN)
    all its towns lay in ruins(CO)
    before the Lord, before his fierce anger.(CP)

27 This is what the Lord says:

“The whole land will be ruined,(CQ)
    though I will not destroy(CR) it completely.
28 Therefore the earth will mourn(CS)
    and the heavens above grow dark,(CT)
because I have spoken and will not relent,(CU)
    I have decided and will not turn back.(CV)

29 At the sound of horsemen and archers(CW)
    every town takes to flight.(CX)
Some go into the thickets;
    some climb up among the rocks.(CY)
All the towns are deserted;(CZ)
    no one lives in them.

30 What are you doing,(DA) you devastated one?
    Why dress yourself in scarlet
    and put on jewels(DB) of gold?
Why highlight your eyes with makeup?(DC)
    You adorn yourself in vain.
Your lovers(DD) despise you;
    they want to kill you.(DE)

31 I hear a cry as of a woman in labor,(DF)
    a groan as of one bearing her first child—
the cry of Daughter Zion(DG) gasping for breath,(DH)
    stretching out her hands(DI) and saying,
“Alas! I am fainting;
    my life is given over to murderers.”(DJ)

Not One Is Upright

“Go up and down(DK) the streets of Jerusalem,
    look around and consider,(DL)
    search through her squares.
If you can find but one person(DM)
    who deals honestly(DN) and seeks the truth,
    I will forgive(DO) this city.
Although they say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’(DP)
    still they are swearing falsely.(DQ)

Lord, do not your eyes(DR) look for truth?
    You struck(DS) them, but they felt no pain;
    you crushed them, but they refused correction.(DT)
They made their faces harder than stone(DU)
    and refused to repent.(DV)
I thought, “These are only the poor;
    they are foolish,(DW)
for they do not know(DX) the way of the Lord,
    the requirements of their God.
So I will go to the leaders(DY)
    and speak to them;
surely they know the way of the Lord,
    the requirements of their God.”
But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke
    and torn off the bonds.(DZ)
Therefore a lion from the forest(EA) will attack them,
    a wolf from the desert will ravage(EB) them,
a leopard(EC) will lie in wait near their towns
    to tear to pieces any who venture out,
for their rebellion is great
    and their backslidings many.(ED)

“Why should I forgive you?
    Your children have forsaken me
    and sworn(EE) by gods that are not gods.(EF)
I supplied all their needs,
    yet they committed adultery(EG)
    and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.(EH)
They are well-fed, lusty stallions,
    each neighing for another man’s wife.(EI)
Should I not punish them for this?”(EJ)
    declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge(EK) myself
    on such a nation as this?

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