1Hear this word, a lamentation, which I take up against you, O house of Israel.
2The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more arise: she is cast down upon her land; there is none to raise her up.
3For thus saith the Lord Jehovah: The city that went forth a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which went forth a hundred shall have ten left, for the house of Israel.
4For thus saith Jehovah unto the house of Israel: Seek ye me, and ye shall live.
5And seek not Bethel, neither go to Gilgal, and pass not to Beer-sheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.
6Seek Jehovah, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.
7Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and cast down righteousness to the earth,
8seek him that made the Pleiades and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night; that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: Jehovah is his name.
9He causeth destruction to break forth suddenly upon the strong, and bringeth destruction upon the fortress.
10They hate him that reproveth in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.
11Forasmuch, therefore, as ye trample upon the poor, and take from him presents of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, and ye shall not drink the wine of them.
12For I know how manifold are your transgressions and your sins mighty: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the right of the needy in the gate.
13Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in this time; for it is an evil time.
14Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live; and so Jehovah, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye say.
15Hate evil, and love good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that Jehovah, the God of hosts, will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.
16Therefore thus saith Jehovah, the God of hosts, the Lord: Wailing shall be in all broadways; and they shall say in all the streets, Alas! alas! And they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing.
17And in all vineyards shall be wailing; for I will pass through the midst of thee, saith Jehovah.
18Woe unto you that desire the day of Jehovah! To what end is the day of Jehovah for you? It shall be darkness and not light:
19as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.
20Shall not the day of Jehovah be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?
21I hate, I despise your feasts, and I will not smell a sweet odour in your solemn assemblies.
22For if ye offer up unto me burnt-offerings and your oblations, I will not accept them; neither will I regard the peace-offerings of your fatted beasts.
23Take away from me the noise of thy songs, and I will not hear the melody of thy lutes;
24but let judgment roll down as waters, and righteousness as an ever-flowing stream.
25Did ye bring unto me sacrifices and oblations in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
26Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of your Moloch, and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye had made to yourselves;
27and I will cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith Jehovah, whose name is the God of hosts.