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A Lament and Call to Repentance

5 Hear this word, Israel, this lamenth I take up concerning you:

“Fallen is Virgini Israel,

never to rise again,

deserted in her own land,

with no one to lift her up.j

This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Israel:

“Your city that marches out a thousand strong

will have only a hundred left;

your town that marches out a hundred strong

will have only ten left.k

This is what the Lord says to Israel:

“Seekl me and live;m

5 do not seek Bethel,

do not go to Gilgal,n

do not journey to Beersheba.o

For Gilgal will surely go into exile,

and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.a p

Seekq the Lord and live,r

or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire;s

it will devour them,

and Bethelt will have no one to quench it.u

There are those who turn justice into bitternessv

and cast righteousnessw to the ground.x

He who made the Pleiades and Orion,y

who turns midnight into dawnz

and darkens day into night,a

who calls for the waters of the sea

and pours them out over the face of the land—

the Lord is his name.b

With a blinding flash he destroys the stronghold

and brings the fortified city to ruin.c

10 There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in courtd

and detest the one who tells the truth.e

11 You levy a straw tax on the poorf

and impose a tax on their grain.

Therefore, though you have built stone mansions,g

you will not live in them;h

though you have planted lush vineyards,

you will not drink their wine.i

12 For I know how many are your offenses

and how great your sins.j

There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribesk

and deprive the poorl of justice in the courts.m

13 Therefore the prudent keep quietn in such times,

for the times are evil.o

14 Seek good, not evil,

that you may live.p

Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you,

just as you say he is.

15 Hate evil,q love good;r

maintain justice in the courts.s

Perhapst the Lord God Almighty will have mercyu

on the remnantv of Joseph.

16 Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord God Almighty, says:

“There will be wailingw in all the streetsx

and cries of anguish in every public square.

The farmersy will be summoned to weep

and the mourners to wail.

17 There will be wailingz in all the vineyards,

for I will pass througha your midst,”

says the Lord.b

The Day of the Lord

18 Woe to you who long

for the day of the Lord!c

Why do you long for the day of the Lord?d

That day will be darkness,e not light.f

19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion

only to meet a bear,g

as though he entered his house

and rested his hand on the wall

only to have a snake bite him.h

20 Will not the day of the Lord be darkness,i not light—

pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?j

21 “I hate,k I despise your religious festivals;l

your assembliesm are a stench to me.

22 Even though you bring me burnt offeringsn and grain offerings,

I will not accept them.o

Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,

I will have no regard for them.p

23 Away with the noise of your songs!

I will not listen to the music of your harps.q

24 But let justicer roll on like a river,

righteousnesss like a never-failing stream!t

25 “Did you bring me sacrificesu and offerings

forty yearsv in the wilderness, people of Israel?

26 You have lifted up the shrine of your king,

the pedestal of your idols,w

the star of your godb

which you made for yourselves.

27 Therefore I will send you into exilex beyond Damascus,”

says the Lord, whose name is God Almighty.y


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