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The Justice of God’s Judgment

Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
    see now and know;
    seek in the open places
if you can find a man,
    if there is any who executes justice, who seeks the truth,
    that I may pardon her.
Though they say, “The Lord lives,”
    surely they swear falsely.

O Lord, are not Your eyes upon the truth?
    You have stricken them, but they have not grieved.
    You have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction.
They have made their faces harder than a rock;
    they have refused to return.
Therefore I said, “Surely these are the poor.
    They are foolish;
for they know not the way of the Lord
    or the judgment of their God.
I will go to the great men
    and will speak to them,
for they have known the way of the Lord
    and the judgment of their God.”
But these have altogether broken the yoke
    and burst the bonds.
Therefore a lion out of the forest will slay them,
    and a wolf from the deserts will destroy them;
a leopard will watch over their cities.
    Everyone who goes out from there will be torn in pieces,
because their transgressions are many
    and their backslidings have increased.

How shall I pardon you for this?
    Your children have forsaken Me
    and sworn by those who are not gods.
When I had fed them to the full,
    then they committed adultery
    and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.
They were as fed horses in the morning;
    everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife.
Shall I not punish for these things? says the Lord,
    and shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

10 Go up upon her walls and destroy,
    but make not a full end.
Take away her battlements.
    For they are not the Lord’s.
11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah
    have dealt very treacherously against Me,
    says the Lord.

12 They have lied about the Lord,
    and said, “Not He.
Neither shall evil come upon us,
    nor shall we see sword or famine.”
13 And the prophets shall become wind,
    and the word is not in them.
    Thus it shall be done to them!

14 Therefore thus says the Lord God of Hosts:

Because you speak this word,
    indeed I will make My words in your mouth fire
    and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
15 Truly, I will bring a nation upon you from far,
    O house of Israel, says the Lord.
It is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation,
    a nation whose language you do not know,
    nor do you understand what they say.
16 Their quiver is as an open sepulcher,
    they all are mighty men.
17 They will eat up your harvest and your bread
    which your sons and your daughters should eat.
They will eat up your flocks and your herds;
    they will eat up your vines and your fig trees;
they will impoverish your fenced cities,
    in which you trusted, with the sword.

18 Nevertheless in those days, says the Lord, I will not make a full end of you. 19 It shall come to pass when they say, “Why does the Lord our God do all these things to us?” then you shall answer them, “As you have forsaken Me and served strange gods in your land, so you will serve strangers in a land that is not yours.”

20 Declare this in the house of Jacob
    and publish it in Judah, saying:
21 Hear this now, O foolish people and without understanding,
    who have eyes but do not see,
    who have ears but do not hear.
22 Do you not fear Me? says the Lord.
    Will you not tremble at My presence?
For I have placed the sand for the boundary of the sea
    by a perpetual decree so that it cannot pass over it.
And though the waves toss themselves, yet they cannot prevail;
    though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.
23 But this people has a revolting and a rebellious heart;
    they have revolted and gone aside.
24 They do not say in their heart,
    “Let us now fear the Lord our God,
who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season.
    He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.”
25 Your iniquities have turned away these things,
    and your sins have withheld good things from you.

26 For among My people are found wicked men.
    They lie in wait, as he who sets snares;
    they set a trap, they catch men.
27 As a cage is full of birds,
    so are their houses full of deceit.
Therefore they have become great and rich.
28     They are fat, they are sleek.
Indeed, they excel in deeds of wickedness.
    They do not judge the cause of the fatherless,
so that they may prosper;
    and the right of the needy they do not defend.
29 Shall I not punish them for these things?
    says the Lord.
Shall not My soul be avenged
    on such a nation as this?

30 An appalling and horrible thing
    has been committed in the land.
31 The prophets prophesy falsely,
    and the priests rule by their own authority;
and My people love to have it so.
    Yet what will you do in the end?