1 Hear this word which I a take up against you, a lamentation, O house of Israel:
The virgin of Israel has fallen;
She will rise no more.
She lies forsaken on her land;
There is no one to raise her up.
For thus says the Lord GOD:
"The city that goes out by a thousand
Shall have a hundred left,
And that which goes out by a hundred
Shall have ten left to the house of Israel."
For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel:
b "Seek Me c and live; 5 But do not seek d Bethel,
Nor enter Gilgal,
Nor pass over to e Beersheba;
For Gilgal shall surely go into captivity,
And f Bethel shall come to nothing.
g Seek the LORD and live,
Lest He break out like fire in the house of Joseph,
And devour it,
With no one to quench it in Bethel - 7 You who h turn justice to wormwood,
And lay righteousness to rest in the earth!"
He made the i Pleiades and Orion;
He turns the shadow of death into morning
j And makes the day dark as night;
He k calls for the waters of the sea
And pours them out on the face of the earth;
l The LORD is His name. 9 He 1 rains ruin upon the strong,
So that fury comes upon the fortress.
m They hate the one who rebukes in the gate,
And they n abhor the one who speaks uprightly. 11 o Therefore, because you 2 tread down the poor
And take grain 3 taxes from him,
Though p you have built houses of hewn stone,
Yet you shall not dwell in them;
You have planted 4 pleasant vineyards,
But you shall not drink wine from them. 12 For I q know your manifold transgressions
And your mighty sins:
r Afflicting the just and taking bribes;
s Diverting the poor from justice at the gate. 13 Therefore t the prudent keep silent at that time,
For it is an evil time.
Seek good and not evil,
That you may live;
So the LORD God of hosts will be with you,
u As you have spoken. 15 v Hate evil, love good;
Establish justice in the gate.
w It may be that the LORD God of hosts
Will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
Therefore the LORD God of hosts, the Lord, says this:
"There shall be wailing in all streets,
And they shall say in all the highways,
They shall call the farmer to mourning,
x And skillful lamenters to wailing. 17 In all vineyards there shall be wailing,
For y I will pass through you,"
Says the LORD.