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Siege of Jerusalem

O sons of Benjamin, gather yourselves
    to flee from the midst of Jerusalem,
and blow the trumpet in Tekoa,
    and set up a sign of fire in Beth Hakkerem;
for disaster appears out of the north,
    and great destruction.
I have likened the daughter of Zion
    to a comely and delicate woman.
The shepherds with their flocks will come to her.
    They will pitch their tents against her all around.
    They will pasture each in his place.

“Prepare war against her;
    arise, and let us go up at noon.”
“Woe to us, for the day declines,
    for the shadows of the evening are stretched out.”
“Arise, and let us go by night
    and let us destroy her palaces.”

For thus says the Lord of Hosts:

Hew down trees
    and build a mound against Jerusalem.
This is the city to be punished.
    She is full of oppression in her midst.
As a fountain casts out her waters,
    so she casts out her wickedness.
Violence and devastation are heard in her;
    before Me continually are grief and wounds.
Be instructed, O Jerusalem,
    lest My soul depart from you;
lest I make you desolate,
    a land not inhabited.

Thus says the Lord of Hosts:

They will thoroughly glean
    the remnant of Israel as a vine.
Turn back your hand
    as a grape gatherer into the baskets.

10 To whom shall I speak and give warning
    that they may hear?
See, their ears are closed,
    and they cannot listen.
Indeed, the word of the Lord is a reproach to them;
    they have no delight in it.
11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord;
    I am weary with holding in.

I will pour it out upon the children in the street
    and upon the assembly of young men together;
for even the husband with the wife shall be taken,
    the aged with him who is full of days.
12 Their houses shall be turned to others,
    with their fields and wives together;
for I will stretch out My hand
    upon the inhabitants of the land,
    says the Lord.
13 For from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
    everyone is given to covetousness.
And from the prophet even to the priest,
    everyone deals falsely.
14 They have healed also the brokenness
    of the daughter of My people superficially,
saying, “Peace, peace,”
    when there is no peace.
15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?
    They were not at all ashamed,
    nor could they blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
    at the time that I punish them they shall be cast down,
    says the Lord.

16 Thus says the Lord

Stand in the ways and see,
    and ask for the old paths
where the good way is and walk in it,
    and you shall find rest for your souls.
    But they said, “We will not walk in it.”
17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying,
    “Listen to the sound of the trumpet.”
    But they said, “We will not listen.”
18 Therefore hear, O nations,
    and know, O congregation,
    what is among them.
19 Hear, O earth.
    I will bring calamity on this people,
    even the fruit of their thoughts,
because they have not listened to My words,
    nor to My law, but rejected it.
20 To what purpose does incense from Sheba come to Me,
    and the sweet cane from a far country?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable,
    nor are your sacrifices sweet to Me.

21 Therefore thus says the Lord:

See, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people,
    and the fathers and the sons together will fall upon them.
    The neighbor and his friend will perish.

22 Thus says the Lord:

See, a people comes
    from the north country,
and a great nation will be raised
    from the remote parts of the earth.
23 They will lay hold on bow and spear;
    they are cruel and have no mercy.
Their voice roars like the sea,
    and they ride upon horses,
set in array as men for war
    against you, O daughter of Zion.

24 “We have heard the report of it;
    our hands grow feeble.
Anguish has taken hold of us,
    and pain as of a woman in labor.
25 Do not go out into the field,
    nor walk on the road.
For the sword of the enemy
    and terror is on every side.”
26 O daughter of my people, gird yourself with sackcloth
    and wallow in ashes.
Mourn as for an only son,
    a most bitter lamentation;
for the destroyer
    shall suddenly come upon us.

27 I have set you as an assayer
    and fortress among My people
that you may know
    and try their way.
28 They all are stubborn rebels
    walking about practicing slander.
They are bronze and iron;
    they all are corrupters.
29 The bellows blow fiercely,
    the lead is consumed by the fire;
the founder melts in vain,
    for the wicked are not plucked away.
30 Men will call them rejected silver,
    because the Lord has rejected them.