The Lord Calls for Witnesses Against Israel
1People of Israel, listen to the Lord’s message. He has spoken his message against you. He has spoken it against the whole family he brought up out of Egypt. He says,
2“Out of all the families on earth
I have chosen only you.
So I will punish you
because you have committed so many sins.”
3Do two people walk together
unless they’ve agreed to do so?
4Does a lion roar in the bushes
when it doesn’t have any food?
Does it growl in its den
when it hasn’t caught anything?
5Does a bird fly down to a trap on the ground
when no bait is there?
Does a net spring up from the ground
when it has not caught anything?
6When someone blows a trumpet in a city,
don’t the people tremble with fear?
When trouble comes to a city,
hasn’t the Lord caused it?
7The Lord and King never does anything
without telling his servants the prophets about it.
8A lion has roared.
Who isn’t afraid?
The Lord and King has spoken.
Who can do anything but prophesy?
9Speak to the people in the forts of Ashdod and Egypt.
Tell them, “Gather together
on the mountains of Samaria.
Look at the great trouble in that city.
Its people are committing many crimes.”
10“They do not know how to do what is right,”
announces the Lord.
“They store up stolen goods in their forts.”
11So the Lord and King says,
“Enemies will take over your land.
They will pull down your places of safety.
They will rob your forts.”
12The Lord says,
“Suppose a shepherd saves only two leg bones
from a lion’s mouth.
Or he might save only a piece of an ear.
That is how the Israelites living in Samaria will be saved.
They will only have a board
from a bed
and a piece of cloth
from a couch.”
13“Listen to me,” announces the Lord. “Be a witness against the people of Jacob,” says the Lord God who rules over all.
14“I will punish Israel for their sins.
When I do, I will destroy their altars at Bethel.
The horns that stick out from the upper corners
of their main altar will be cut off.
They will fall to the ground.
15I will tear down their winter houses.
I will also pull down their summer houses.
The houses they have decorated with ivory will be destroyed.
And their princely houses will be torn down,”
announces the Lord.