Jerusalem is besieged
1 People of Benjamin! Seek safety be yond Jerusalem.
1 Sound the trumpet in Tekoa,
1 raise a signal in Beth-hacherem,
1 for misfortune pours out from the north:
1 it will be a huge disaster.
2 Shall I not compare you, daughter of Zion, to a beautiful pasture? 3 Shepherds with their flocks are coming to her, they pitch their tents and feed their flocks all over her.
4 Declare a holy war against her,
4 attack her at noontime.
4 Woe to us! For the day declines;
4 the evening shadows lengthen!
5 Rise up! We shall attack by night
5 and destroy her palaces!
6 For Yahweh of hosts has spoken: “Cut down trees and build a siege-ramp against Jerusalem. This city must be pu nished for all in her is op pression. 7 Evil springs from her as water from a well. Violence and opression are heard in the city, suffering and cruelty are always before me.
8 Take warning, Jerusalem, lest I turn away from you and make you a desolation, a no-man’s land.”
9 Yahweh of hosts further said, “You shall glean thoroughly as a vine, what is left of Israel. You shall do what the grape-gatherer does when his hand goes over the branches again.”
10 To whom shall I speak, whom shall I warn? No one of them wants to listen, that they may understand. Their ears are stuffed and they pay no attention. They scorn what Yahweh says and refuse to listen.
11 The anger of Yahweh has filled me and I can bear it no longer!
11 “Then pour it out on the children in the street and on the gathering of young men; both husband and wife will be caught, both the elderly and those who are not of age. 12 Their houses will be passed to others, together with their fields and their wives, when I stretch out my hand and strike the people of the land – it is Yahweh who speaks.
13 All of them – from the least to the greatest – are greedy for gain; prophet and priest alike are deceitful. 14 They treat lightly the disaster of my people saying, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace.
15 They should be ashamed of their abominable deeds. But they have no shame and don’t even know how to blush. Surely they shall fall with those who will fall; when I ask them to account they will stumble – it is Yahweh who speaks.
16 This is what Yahweh says, “Stand in the roads and look. Ask for the ancient paths and know where the good way is. Walk on it and experience peace for yourselves.” But you said, “We will not take it.” 17 Then Yahweh set watchmen over you: “Pay attention to the sound of the horn!” But you said, “We will not listen.”
18 Listen nations; know what will befall them! 19 Listen earth! I am bringing disaster on this people! It is the fruit of their rebellion, be cause they ignored my words and despised my Law.
20 The incense from Sheba is useless for me, don’t bring me the fragrant cane from a distant land. Your burnt offerings are not acceptable to me nor do I find your sacrifices pleasing.”
21 This is what Yahweh says, “I will place stumbling blocks before this people to make them stum ble, parents and children, neighbors and friends together.”
22 It is Yahweh who speaks, “See, a people comes from the north, a powerful nation from the ends of the earth. 23 Armed with bow and spear they are cruel and merciless. Their voice roars like the roaring sea. Mounted on horses, in battle formation they come as a fire, against you, daughter of Zion.”
24 When we heard this our hands went limp, anguish seized us like the birthpangs of a woman. 25 “Let us not go to the fields or onto the roads, for the enemy’s sword brings terror on every side.”
26 O my people! Wrap yourself in sackcloth and roll in ashes; mourn with bitter lament as for an only child, for the de stroyer is coming against us.
27 “I have appointed you as an examiner among my people, that you may see and appreciate their ways.”
28 They are all rebels and slanderers. They are like bronze and iron and all are corrupt. 29 The bellows blow to burn away the lead with fire, but the smelter works in vain for the evil elements remain. 30 They will be called “worthless silver” for Yah weh has rejected them.