5 “[a]Now muster yourselves in troops, daughter of troops; [b]They have laid siege against us; With a rod they will smite the judge of Israel on the cheek. 2 “[c]But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. [d]His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” 3 Therefore He will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren Will return to the sons of Israel. 4 And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the Lord, In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God. And they will [e]remain, Because [f]at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth. 5 This One will be our peace. When the Assyrian invades our land, When he tramples on our [g]citadels, Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight leaders of men. 6 They will shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, The land of Nimrod at its entrances; And He will deliver us from the Assyrian When he attacks our land And when he tramples our territory.
7 Then the remnant of Jacob Will be among many peoples Like dew from the Lord, Like showers on vegetation Which do not wait for man Or delay for the sons of men. 8 The remnant of Jacob Will be among the nations, Among many peoples Like a lion among the beasts of the forest, Like a young lion among flocks of sheep, Which, if he passes through, Tramples down and tears, And there is none to rescue. 9 Your hand will be lifted up against your adversaries, And all your enemies will be cut off.
10 “It will be in that day,” declares the Lord, “That I will cut off your horses from among you And destroy your chariots. 11 “I will also cut off the cities of your land And tear down all your fortifications. 12 “I will cut off sorceries from your hand, And you will have fortune-tellers no more. 13 “I will cut off your carved images And your sacred pillars from among you, So that you will no longer bow down To the work of your hands. 14 “I will root out your [h]Asherim from among you And destroy your cities. 15 “And I will execute vengeance in anger and wrath On the nations which have not obeyed.”
God’s Indictment of His People
6 Hear now what the Lord is saying, “Arise, plead your case [i]before the mountains, And let the hills hear your voice. 2 “Listen, you mountains, to the indictment of the Lord, And you enduring foundations of the earth, Because the Lord has a case against His people; Even with Israel He will dispute. 3 “My people, what have I done to you, And how have I wearied you? Answer Me. 4 “Indeed, I brought you up from the land of Egypt And ransomed you from the house of slavery, And I sent before you Moses, Aaron and Miriam. 5 “My people, remember now What Balak king of Moab counseled And what Balaam son of Beor answered him, And from Shittim to Gilgal, So [j]that you might know the righteous acts of the Lord.”
What God Requires of Man
6 With what shall I come to the Lord And bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, With yearling calves? 7 Does the Lord take delight in thousands of rams, In ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love [k]kindness, And to walk [l]humbly with your God?
9 The voice of the Lord will call to the city— And it is sound wisdom to fear Your name: “Hear, O tribe. Who has appointed [m]its time? 10 “Is there yet a man in the wicked house, Along with treasures of wickedness And a [n]short measure that is cursed? 11 “Can I justify wicked scales And a bag of deceptive weights? 12 “For the rich men of the[o]city are full of violence, Her residents speak lies, And their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. 13 “So also I will make yousick, striking you down, Desolating you because of your sins. 14 “You will eat, but you will not be satisfied, And your [p]vileness will be in your midst. You will try to remove for safekeeping, But you will not preserve anything, And what you do preserve I will give to the sword. 15 “You will sow but you will not reap. You will tread the olive but will not anoint yourself with oil; And the grapes, but you will not drink wine. 16 “The statutes of Omri And all the works of the house of Ahab are observed; And in their devices you walk. Therefore I will give you up for destruction And [q]your inhabitants for derision, And you will bear the reproach of My people.”
The Prophet Acknowledges
7 Woe is me! For I am Like the fruit pickers, like the grape gatherers. There is not a cluster of grapes to eat, Or a first-ripe fig which[r]I crave. 2 The [s]godly person has perished from the land, And there is no upright person among men. All of them lie in wait for bloodshed; Each of them hunts the other with a net. 3 Concerning evil, both hands do it well. The prince asks, also the judge, for a bribe, And a great man speaks the desire of his soul; So they weave it together. 4 The best of them is like a briar, The most upright like a thorn hedge. The day when you post your watchmen, Your punishment will come. Then their confusion will occur. 5 Do not trust in a neighbor; Do not have confidence in a friend. From her who lies in your bosom Guard [t]your lips. 6 For son treats father contemptuously, Daughter rises up against her mother, Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; A man’s enemies are the men of his own household.
God Is the Source of Salvation and Light
7 But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. 8 Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; Though I dwell in darkness, the Lord is a light for me.
9 I will bear the indignation of the Lord Because I have sinned against Him, Until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me out to the light, And I will see His [u]righteousness. 10 Then my enemy will see, And shame will cover her who said to me, “Where is the Lord your God?” My eyes will look on her; [v]At that time she will [w]be trampled down Like mire of the streets. 11 It will be a day for building your walls. On that day will your boundary be extended. 12 It will be a day when [x]they will come to you From Assyria and the cities of Egypt, From Egypt even to the [y]Euphrates, Even from sea to sea and mountain to mountain. 13 And the earth will become desolate because of her inhabitants, On account of the fruit of their deeds.
14 Shepherd Your people with Your scepter, The flock of Your [z]possession Which dwells by itself in the woodland, In the midst of [aa]a fruitful field. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead As in the days of old. 15 “As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt, I will show [ab]you miracles.” 16 Nations will see and be ashamed Of all their might. They will put their hand on their mouth, Their ears will be deaf. 17 They will lick the dust like a serpent, Like reptiles of the earth. They will come trembling out of their [ac]fortresses; To the Lord our God they will come in dread And they will be afraid before You. 18 Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His [ad]possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in [ae]unchanging love. 19 He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all [af]their sins Into the depths of the sea. 20 You will give [ag]truth to Jacob And[ah]unchanging love to Abraham, Which You swore to our forefathers From the days of old.
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