4 “If you ·will [want to] return, Israel, then return to me,” says the Lord. “If you will ·throw away [turn from] your abominations [C the idols], then ·don’t wander away from me [no longer go astray]. 2 If you say when you ·make a promise [swear], ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ and you can say it in a truthful, ·honest [just], and ·right [righteous] way, then the nations will be blessed by him, and they will ·praise him for what he has done [boast in him].” 3 This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem:
“Plow your unplowed fields [C a metaphor for changing their spiritual condition], and don’t ·plant seeds [sow] among thorns. 4 ·Give yourselves to the service of [L Circumcise yourself to] the Lord[C a metaphor for obedience], and ·decide to obey him [L remove the foreskin of your heart; 9:25; Deut. 10:16], people of Judah and ·people [L inhabitants] of Jerusalem. If you don’t, my anger will ·spread among you [flare/blaze up] like a fire, and no one will be able to ·put it out [quench it], because of the evil you have done.
Trouble from the North
5 “·Announce this message [Declare; Shout; L Let it be heard] in Judah and ·say [proclaim] it in Jerusalem: ‘Blow the ·trumpet [ram’s horn] throughout the ·country [land]!’ Shout out loud and say, ‘·Come [L Gather] together! Let’s all ·escape [L go] to the ·strong, walled [fortified] cities!’ 6 Raise the ·signal flag [banner; C military insignia] toward ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple]! ·Run for your lives [Take refuge/shelter], and don’t ·wait [delay], because I am bringing ·disaster [trouble] from the north [C the Babylonians; 1:13–14] There will be terrible destruction.”
7 A lion has come out of his ·den [lair; thicket; 2:15]; a destroyer of nations has begun to march. He has left his ·home [L place] to ·destroy [L set destruction in] your land. Your towns will be ·destroyed [devastated] with no one left to live in them. 8 So put on ·rough cloth [sackcloth; burlap; C mourning clothes], ·show how sad you are [lament; mourn], and ·cry loudly [wail]. The ·terrible [fierce] anger of the Lord has not turned away from us.
9 “·When this happens [L In that day],” says the Lord, “the ·king and officers will lose their courage [L heart of king and officers/princes will fail]. The priests will be ·terribly afraid [desolate], and the prophets will be ·shocked [stunned; appalled]!”
10 Then I said, [“L Aha,] Lord God, you have ·tricked [deceived] ·the people of Judah [L this people] and Jerusalem. You said, ‘You will have peace,’ but now the sword ·is pointing at [L touches] our ·throats [or very lives]!”
11 At that time ·this message will be given [L it will be said] to Judah and Jerusalem: “A hot wind blows from the bare hilltops [3:2] of the ·desert [wilderness] toward the ·Lord’s [L daughter of my] people. ·It is not a gentle wind to separate grain from chaff [L …not for winnowing or for cleansing]. 12 I feel a stronger wind than that. Now even I will announce judgments against ·the people of Judah [L them].”
13 Look! ·The enemy [L He] rises up like a cloud, and his chariots come like a ·tornado [whirlwind]. His horses are faster than eagles. ·How terrible it will be for [Woe to] us! We are ·ruined [devastated]! 14 People of Jerusalem, ·clean [wash] the evil from your hearts so that you can be ·saved [rescued; 2:22; Ps. 51:7]. ·Don’t continue making [L How long will you lodge in your heart/mind] evil plans. 15 A voice from Dan makes an announcement and ·brings bad news [L proclaims disaster/trouble] from the mountains of Ephraim. 16 “Report this to the nations. ·Spread this news [L Make it heard] in Jerusalem: ‘Invaders are coming from a faraway country [C Babylon], shouting [C war cries] against the cities of Judah. 17 The enemy has surrounded Jerusalem as men guard a field, because Judah ·turned [rebelled; transgressed] against me,’” says the Lord. 18 “·The way you have lived and acted [L Your path/way and your deeds] has brought this trouble to you. This is your ·punishment [trouble; disaster]. How ·terrible [bitter] it is! ·The pain stabs [L It reaches] your heart!”
19 Oh, ·how I hurt [my pain/anguish/L innards]! ·How I hurt [My pain/anguish/L innards]! ·I am bent over in pain [L My heart writhes]. Oh, the ·torture in [L walls of] my heart! My heart is pounding inside me. I cannot keep quiet, because I have heard the sound of the ·trumpet [ram’s horn]. I have heard the shouts of war. 20 Disaster after disaster is reported; the whole country has been ·destroyed [devastated]. My tents are ·destroyed [devastated] ·in only a moment [suddenly]. My curtains are torn down quickly. 21 How long must I look at the war flag? How long must I listen to the ·war trumpet [L sound of the ram’s horn]?
22 The Lord says, “My people are ·foolish [stupid]. They do not know me. They are stupid children; they don’t understand. They are ·skillful [wise] at doing evil, but they don’t know how to do good.”
Disaster Is Coming
23 I looked at the earth, and it ·had no form and was empty [was a formless void; Gen. 1:2]. I looked at the ·sky [L heavens], and ·its light was gone [L there was no light]. 24 I looked at the mountains, and they were shaking. All the hills were ·trembling [rocking; reeling]. 25 I looked, and there were no people. Every bird in the ·sky [heavens] had ·flown away [L fled]. 26 I looked, and the good, ·rich land [fertile land; land of plenty; orchards] had become a ·desert [wilderness]. All its towns had been destroyed by the Lord and his great anger.
27 This is what the Lord says:
“All the land will be ruined, but I will not ·completely destroy it [L make a complete end]. 28 So the people in the land will ·cry loudly [mourn; wail], and the ·sky [L heavens above] will grow dark [Is. 13:10; 34:4; Zech. 14:6; Mark 13:24–25], because I have spoken and made a decision. I will not change my mind; I will not turn back.”
29 At the sound of the horsemen and the archers, all the people in the towns ·run away [flee]. They ·hide [L go] in the thick bushes and climb up into the rocks. All of the cities of Judah are ·empty [abandoned; forsaken]; no one lives in them. 30 You destroyed nation [C Judah], what are you doing? Why do you put on ·scarlet [purple; C an expensive dress] and decorate yourself with gold jewelry? Why do you ·put color around your eyes [L enlarge your eyes with black eye paint]? You make yourself beautiful, ·but it is all useless [in vain; without purpose]. Your lovers ·hate [despise; reject] you; they ·want to kill you [L seek your life].
31 I hear a cry like a woman ·having a baby [writhing in labor], ·distress [trouble] like a woman having her first child. It is the sound of ·Jerusalem [L the daughter of Zion; C the location of the Temple] gasping for breath. She ·lifts [L spreads] her hands in prayer and says, “·Oh! I am about to [Woe to me, for I am] faint before my murderers!”
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.
Want to get the most out of Bible Gateway? Find out why Bible Gateway Plus is the ultimate toolkit for anyone seeking to grow closer to the Word. For less than the cost of a latte, Plus membership gives you access to a complete digital Bible study library and reduced banner ads. Try it free for 30 days!