1“Roam to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
And look now and take note.
And seek in her open squares,
If you can find a man,
If there is one who does justice, who seeks truth,
Then I will pardon her.
2And although they say, ‘As the Lord lives,’
Surely they swear falsely.”
3O Lord, do not Your eyes look for truth?
You have smitten them,
But they did not weaken;
You have consumed them,
But they refused to take correction.
They have made their faces harder than rock;
They have refused to repent.
4Then I said, “They are only the poor,
They are foolish;
For they do not know the way of the Lord
Or the ordinance of their God.
5I will go to the great
And will speak to them,
For they know the way of the Lord
And the ordinance of their God.”
But they too, with one accord, have broken the yoke
And burst the bonds.
6Therefore a lion from the forest will slay them,
A wolf of the deserts will destroy them,
A leopard is watching their cities.
Everyone who goes out of them will be torn in pieces,
Because their transgressions are many,
Their apostasies are numerous.
7“Why should I pardon you?
Your sons have forsaken Me
And sworn by those who are not gods.
When I had fed them to the full,
They committed adultery
And trooped to the harlot’s house.
8They were well-fed lusty horses,
Each one neighing after his neighbor’s wife.
9Shall I not punish these people,” declares the Lord,
“And on a nation such as this
Shall I not avenge Myself?
10“Go up through her vine rows and destroy,
But do not execute a complete destruction;
Strip away her branches,
For they are not the Lord’s.
11For the house of Israel and the house of Judah
Have dealt very treacherously with Me,” declares the Lord.
12They have lied about the Lord
And said, “Not He;
Misfortune will not come on us,
And we will not see sword or famine.
13The prophets are as wind,
And the word is not in them.
Thus it will be done to them!”
14Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of hosts,
“Because you have spoken this word,
Behold, I am making My words in your mouth fire
And this people wood, and it will consume them.
15Behold, I am bringing a nation against you from afar, O house of Israel,” declares the Lord.
“It is an enduring nation,
It is an ancient nation,
A nation whose language you do not know,
Nor can you understand what they say.
16Their quiver is like an open grave,
All of them are mighty men.
17They will devour your harvest and your food;
They will devour your sons and your daughters;
They will devour your flocks and your herds;
They will devour your vines and your fig trees;
They will demolish with the sword your fortified cities in which you trust.
18“Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not make you a complete destruction. 19It shall come about when they say, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?’ then you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken Me and served foreign 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 proclaim it in Judah, saying,
21‘Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people,
Who have eyes but do not see;
Who have ears but do not hear.
22Do you not fear Me?’ declares the Lord.
‘Do you not tremble in My presence?
For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
An eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it.
Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail;
Though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it.
23But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
They have turned aside and departed.
24They do not say in their heart,
“Let us now fear the Lord our God,
Who gives rain in its season,
Both the autumn rain and the spring rain,
Who keeps for us
The appointed weeks of the harvest.”
25Your iniquities have turned these away,
And your sins have withheld good from you.
26For wicked men are found among My people,
They watch like fowlers lying in wait;
They set a trap,
They catch men.
27Like a cage full of birds,
So their houses are full of deceit;
Therefore they have become great and rich.
28They are fat, they are sleek,
They also excel in deeds of wickedness;
They do not plead the cause,
The cause of the orphan, that they may prosper;
And they do not defend the rights of the poor.
29Shall I not punish these people?’ declares the Lord,
‘On a nation such as this
Shall I not avenge Myself?’
30“An appalling and horrible thing
Has happened in the land:
31The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule on their own authority;
And My people love it so!
But what will you do at the end of it?