1Strengthen yourselves, ye children of Benjamin, to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and sound an alarm with the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a signal over Beth-haccherem: for evil threatens from the north, and a great destruction is coming.
2And thy pride, O daughter of Zion, shall be taken away.
3The shepherds and their flocks shall come to her; and they shall pitch their tents against her round about, and shall feed their flocks each with his hand.
4Prepare yourselves for war against her; rise up, and let us go up against her at noon. Woe to us! for the day has gone down, for the shadows of the day fail.
5Rise, and let us go up against her by night, and destroy her foundations.
6For thus saith the Lord, Hew down her trees, array a numerous force against Jerusalem. O false city; there is all oppression in her.
7As a cistern cools water, so her wickedness cools her, ungodliness and misery shall be heard in her, as continually before her.
8Thou shalt be chastened, O Jerusalem, with pain and the scourge, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee a desert land, which shall not be inhabited.
9For thus saith the Lord, Glean, glean thoroughly as a vine the remnant of Israel: turn back your hands as a grape-gatherer to his basket.
10To whom shall I speak, and testify, that he may hearken? behold, thine ears are uncircumcised, and they shall not be able to hear: behold, the word of the Lord is become to them a reproach, they will not at all desire it.
11And I allowed my wrath to come to the full, yet I kept it in, and did not utterly destroy them: I will pour it out on the children without, and on the assembly of young men together: for man and woman shall be taken together, the old man with him that is full of days.
12And their houses shall be turned to others, with their fields and their wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of this land, saith the Lord.
13For from the least of them even to the greatest they have all committed iniquity; from the priest even to the false prophet they have all wrought falsely.
14And they healed the breach of my people imperfectly, making light of it, and saying, Peace, peace: and where is peace?
15They were ashamed because they failed; yet they were not ashamed as those who are truly ashamed, and they knew not their own disgrace: therefore shall they utterly fall when they do fall, and in the time of visitation shall they perish, said the Lord.
16Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths of the Lord; and see what is the good way, and walk in it, and ye shall find purification for your souls. But they said, We will not walk in them.
17I have set watchmen over you, saying, Hear ye the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hear it.
18Therefore have the nations heard, and they that feed their flocks.
19Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evils upon this people, even the fruit of their rebellions; for they have not heeded my words, and they have rejected my law.
20Wherefore do ye bring me frankincense from Sheba, and cinnamon from a land afar off? your whole burnt offerings are not acceptable, and your sacrifices have not been pleasant to me.
21Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring weakness upon this people, and the fathers and sons shall be weak together; the neighbor and his friend shall perish.
22Thus saith the Lord, Behold, a people comes from the north, and nations shall be stirred up from the end of the earth.
23They shall lay hold on bow and spear; the people is fierce, and will have no mercy; their voice is as the roaring sea; they shall array themselves for war against thee as fire on horses and chariots, O daughter of Zion.
24We have heard the report of them: our hands are weakened: anguish has seized us, the pangs as of a woman in travail.
25Go not forth into the field, and walk not in the ways; for the sword of the enemy lingers round about.
26O daughter of my people, gird thyself with sackcloth: sprinkle thyself with ashes; make for thyself pitiable lamentation, as the mourning for a beloved son: for misery will come suddenly upon you.
27I have caused thee to be tried among tried nations, and thou shalt know me when I have tried their way.
28They are all disobedient, walking perversely: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupted.
29The bellows have failed from the fire, the lead has failed: the silversmith works at his trade in vain; their wickedness is not consumed.
30Call ye them reprobate silver, because the Lord has rejected them.