Jerusalem's Final Warning
1O 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 Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction.
2I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate [woman].
3The 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.
4Prepare 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.
5Arise, and let us go by night, and let us destroy her palaces.
6For thus hath the LORD of hosts said, Hew ye down trees, and cast a mount against Jerusalem: this [is] the city to be visited; she [is] wholly oppression in the midst of her.
7As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out her wickedness: violence and spoil is heard in her; before me continually [is] grief and wounds.
8Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.
9Thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall throughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as a grapegatherer into the baskets.
Israel's Rebellion and God's Wrath
(Jeremiah 25:15-33; Jonah 1:4-10; Acts 27:13-26; Romans 1:18-32)
10To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear [is] uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
11Therefore 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.
12And 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.
13For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one [is] given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.
14They have healed also the hurt [of the daughter ] of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when [there is] no peace.
15Were 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 visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.
16Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where [is] the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk [therein].
17Also I set watchmen over you, [saying], Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
18Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what [is] among them.
19Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, [even] the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.
20To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings [are] not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.
21Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish.
An Invasion from the North
22Thus saith the LORD, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth.
23They 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.
24We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, [and] pain, as of a woman in travail.
25Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy [and] fear [is] on every side.
26O daughter of my people, gird [thee] with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning, [as for] an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us.
27I have set thee [for] a tower [and] a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way.
28They [are] all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: [they are] brass and iron; they [are] all corrupters.
29The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away.
30Reprobate silver shall [men] call them, because the LORD hath rejected them.