1Hear ye this word of the Lord, even a lamentation, which I take up against you. The house of Israel is fallen; it shall no more rise.
2The virgin of Israel has fallen upon his land; there is none that shall raise her up.
3Therefore thus saith the Lord God; The city out of which there went forth a thousand, in it there shall be left a hundred, and in that out of which there went forth a hundred, there shall be left ten to the house of Israel.
4Wherefore thus saith the Lord to the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live.
5But seek not Bethel, and go not in to Gilgal, and cross not over to the Well of the Oath: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall be as that which is not.
6Seek ye the Lord, and ye shall live; lest the house of Joseph blaze as fire, and it devour him, and there shall be none to quench it for the house of Israel.
7It is he that executes judgment in the height above, and he has established justice on the earth:
8who makes all things, and changes them, and turns darkness into the morning, and darkens the day into night: who calls for the water of the sea, and pours it out on the face of the earth: the Lord is his name:
9who dispenses ruin to strength, and brings distress upon the fortress.
10They hated him that reproved in the gates, and abhorred holy speech.
11Therefore because they have smitten the poor with their fists, and ye have received of them choice gifts; ye have built polished houses, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted desirable vineyards, but ye shall not drink the wine of them.
12For I know your many transgressions, and your sins are great, trampling on the just, taking bribes, and turning aside the judgment of the poor in the gates.
13Therefore the prudent shall be silent at that time; for it is a time of evils.
14Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the Lord God Almighty shall be with you, as ye have said,
15We have hated evil, and loved good: and restore ye judgment in the gates; that the Lord God Almighty may have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.
16Therefore thus saith the Lord God Almighty; In all the streets shall be lamentations; and in all the ways shall it be said, Woe, woe! the husbandman shall be called to mourning and lamentation, and to them that are skilled in complaining.
17And there shall be lamentation in all the ways; because I will pass through the midst of thee, saith the Lord.
18Woe to you that desire the day of the Lord! what is this day of the Lord to you? whereas it is darkness, and not light.
19As if a man should flee from the face of a lion, and a bear should meet him; and he should spring into his house, and lean his hands upon the wall, and a serpent should bite him.
20Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light? and is not this day gloom without brightness?
21I hate, I reject your feasts, and I will not smell your meat offerings in your general assemblies.
22Wherefore if ye should bring me your whole burnt sacrifices and meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I have respect to your grand peace offerings.
23Remove from me the sound of thy songs, and I will not hear the music of thine instruments.
24But let judgment roll down as water, and righteousness as an impassable torrent.
25Have ye offered to me victims and sacrifices, O house of Israel, forty years in the wilderness?
26Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Molech, and the star of your god Rephan, the images of them which ye made for yourselves.
27And I will carry you away beyond Damascus, saith the Lord, the Almighty God is his name.