1 “If you return to me, O Israel – it is Yahweh who speaks – if you convert to me and remove your dirty idols from my sight you will have no need to hide from me; 2 if you truthfully, justly and honestly swear by Yahweh’s life, then you will be a blessing for all nations, and you will be their glory.”
3 For thus says Yahweh to the people of Judah and Jerusalem, “Break up deeply your fallow land and do not sow among the thorns. 4 O men of Judah and Jerusalem! circumcise yourselves for Yahweh and purify your hearts, lest my wrath spread like a fire that cannot be quenched because of your evil deeds.”
5 Announce this in Judah,
5 proclaim it in Jerusalem.
5 Sound the trumpet through the land;
5 shout aloud and say:
5 “Assemble and go to the fortified cities!
6 Raise a banner towards Zion!
6 Run for your lives, do not tarry,
6 for I will bring evil and great destruction from the north.
7 The lion has come out of his den; the destroyer of nations has set out to devastate your country and make your cities ruins with out inhabitants!
8 Because of this, wrap yourselves in sackcloth; lament and groan, for the fury of Yah weh’s anger has not turned away from us.
9 On that day – it is Yahweh who speaks – the king and the leaders will be discouraged, the priests will be terrified and the prophets will be astounded. 10 People will say, “Ah! Lord Yahweh, you have truly deceived this people and Jeru salem, saying: ‘You will have peace’ even as the sword is at our throat.”
11 When the time comes it will be said to the people of Jerusalem:
11 “Wearing wind from the desert heights is coming to the daughter of my people, neither to winnow nor to cleanse!
12 A strong wind comes from there.
12 Now I will declare my judgments against them.”
13 See! Someone comes like the clouds,
13 his chariots are like a whirlwind,
13 his horses swifter than eagles!
13 Woe to us for we are ruined!
14 Cleanse your heart of every evil, Jerusalem, that you may be saved! How long will you harbor evil plans within you?
15 A voice from Dan declares of a coming disaster from Mount Ephraim! “Warn the nations. 16 Let everyone know in Jerusalem and Judah that enemies are coming from a distant land.” 17 They en circle Jerusalem like watchers guarding a field, because she has rebelled against me – it is Yahweh who speaks.
17 “ 18 Your own conduct and actions have brought this upon you. How bitter is your punishment and how it deeply penetrates your heart because you have rebelled against me!”
19 I am in anguish! I tremble in the depths of my being; my heart beats wildly. I cannot remain silent for I hear the sound of the trumpet and the clamor of war!
20 Disaster after disaster; all the land is laid waste; my tents are suddenly destroyed and in an instant all that shelters me is wiped out. 21 For how long must I see the banner raised and hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 “This happens because my people are foolish and do not know me. They are senseless and have no understanding, – wise in doing evil but stupid in doing good!”
23 I looked at the earth and I found it formless and void; I looked at the sky but darkness engulfed it.
24 I looked at the mountains and they were quaking, and all the hills were swaying to and fro.
25 I looked and saw there was no one at all; even the birds deserted the skies.
26 I looked and saw that the fruitful land was a desert and that all the cities were in ruins because of Yahweh and his fierce anger.
27 Yahweh says, “The whole land may be desolate but I will not totally destroy it! 28 Because of this the earth shall mourn and the skies be darkened: I have declared my purpose and will not relent; I have made up my mind and will not change it.”
29 At the sound of the horsemen and
29 archers every town takes flight;
29 some go to the thickets
29 and climb among the rocks.
29 All the towns are deserted
29 and no one is left.
30 And you, desolate one,
30 what will you do?
30 Even if you are garbed in scarlet
30 and wear jewels of gold
30 and put make-up on your eyes,
30 in vain do you beautify yourself,
30 for your lovers despise you
30 and are ready to take your life.
31 I hear a cry as of a woman in labor, anguish as of one giving birth the first time. It is the cry of the daughter of Zion, gasping for breath with hands outstretched: “Woe is me! I am fainting amidst a band of murderers!”