1 "O children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Beth-haccerem, for evil appears out of the north, and great destruction.
2 I have compared the daughter of Zion to a beautiful and delicate woman.
3 The shepherds with their flocks shall come to her. They shall pitch their tents against her on every side. They shall each feed in his place.
4 Prepare war against her. Arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe to us! For the day departs, and the shadows of the evening are lengthened.
5 Arise, and let us go by night and destroy her palaces."
6 For thus the LORD of hosts has said: "Hew down trees and cast a siege-mound against Jerusalem. This is the city to be visited. She is wholly oppression in the midst of her.
7 As a fountain casts out her waters, so she casts out her wickedness. Violence and devastation is heard in her. Continually before me are grief and wounds.
8 Be instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from you, lest I make you desolate, a land not inhabited."
9 Thus says the LORD of hosts: "They shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine. Turn back your hand as a grape-gatherer into the baskets."
10 To whom shall I speak and give warning so that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised and they cannot listen. Behold, the word of the LORD is to 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 who is full of days.
12 And their houses shall be turned to others, with their fields and wives together, for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land," says the LORD.
13 "For from their least even to their greatest, everyone is given to covetousness. And from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely.
14 They have also healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, 'Peace, peace,' when there is no peace.
15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No. They were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush. Therefore, they shall fall among those who fall. At the time that I visit them they shall be cast down," says the LORD.
16 Thus says the LORD: "Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'
17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet.' But they said, 'We will not listen.'
18 Therefore, hear, you nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.
19 Hear, O earth. Behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not listened to my words, nor to my law, but have rejected it.
20 For what purpose does incense come to me from Sheba and the sweet cane from a distant country? Your burnt-offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet to me."
21 Therefore, thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will lay stumbling-blocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them. The neighbor and his friend shall perish."
22 Thus says the LORD: "Behold, a people comes from the north 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 roars like the sea. And they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against you, O daughter of Zion."
24 We have heard its fame. Our hands become feeble. Anguish has taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail.
25 Do not go 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 yourself with sackcloth and wallow yourself in ashes. Make for yourself a mourning, as for an only son, a most bitter lamentation, for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us.
27 "I have set you for a tower and a fortress among my people so that you may know and try their way."
28 They are all grievous revolters, walking slanderously. They are brass and iron. They are all corrupters.
29 The bellows is burned. The lead is consumed by the fire. The founder melts in vain, for the wicked are not plucked away.
30 Men shall call them reprobate silver because the LORD has rejected them.