Don’t tell it in Gath [C sounds like Hebrew for “tell”; Gath and the cities in this list were in Assyria’s path of destruction in 701 bc]. Don’t cry ·in Acco [or at all; C the Hebrew for “cry” sounds like Acco]. Roll in the dust at Beth Ophrah [C “house of dust”].
Don’t gossip about this in Telltown. Don’t waste your tears. In Dustville, roll in the dust. In Alarmtown, the alarm is sounded. The citizens of Exitburgh will never get out alive. Lament, Last-Stand City: There’s nothing in you left standing. The villagers of Bittertown wait in vain for sweet peace. Harsh judgment has come from God and entered Peace City. All you who live in Chariotville, get in your chariots for flight. You led the daughter of Zion into trusting not God but chariots. Similar sins in Israel also got their start in you. Go ahead and give your good-bye gifts to Good-byeville. Miragetown beckoned but disappointed Israel’s kings. Inheritance City has lost its inheritance. Glorytown has seen its last of glory. Shave your heads in mourning over the loss of your precious towns. Go bald as a goose egg—they’ve gone into exile and aren’t coming back.
In Gath do not ye tell (it), by tears weep ye not; in the house of dust with dust (al)together sprinkle you. (Do not ye tell it out in Gath, weep ye not with tears; in Beth-aphrah sprinkle yourselves all over with dust.)
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