Jerusalem will be destroyed because of her iniquity—She will be overrun by a great and cruel nation.
1 O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Beth-haccerem: for evil appeareth out of the anorth, and great destruction.
2 I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.
3 The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch their tents against her round about; they shall feed every one in his place.
4 Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out.
5 Arise, and let us go by night, and let us destroy her palaces.
6 ¶ For thus hath the Lord of hosts said, Hew ye down trees, and cast a amount against Jerusalem: this is the city to be bvisited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her.
7 As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out her awickedness: bviolence and spoil is heard in her; before me continually is grief and wounds.
8 Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.
9 ¶ Thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall athroughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as a grapegatherer binto the baskets.
10 To whom shall I speak, and give awarning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is buncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days.
12 And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the Lord.
13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to acovetousness; and from the prophet even unto the bpriest every one dealeth falsely.
14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, aPeace, peace; when there is no peace.
15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I avisit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.
16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old apaths, where is the good way, and bwalk therein, and ye shall find crest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
17 Also I set awatchmen over you, saying, bHearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
18 ¶ Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.
19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring aevil upon this people, even the bfruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.
20 To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not aacceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.
21 Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will lay astumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish.
22 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, a people cometh from the anorth country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth.
23 They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion.
24 We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail.
25 Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side.
26 ¶ O daughter of my people, gird thee with asackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning, as for an bonly son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us.
27 I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way.
28 They are all grievous revolters, walking with aslanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters.
29 The bellows aare burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; bthe founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away.
30 Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them.