Listen to this message that the Lord has spoken against you, O people of Israel and Judah - against the entire family I rescued from Egypt:
“From among all the families on the earth,
I have been intimate with you alone.
That is why I must punish you
for all your sins.”
Can two people walk together
without agreeing on the direction?
4 Does a lion ever roar in a thicket
without first finding a victim?
Does a young lion growl in its den
without first catching its prey?
5 Does a bird ever get caught in a trap
that has no bait?
Does a trap spring shut
when there’s nothing to catch?
6 When the ram’s horn blows a warning,
shouldn’t the people be alarmed?
Does disaster come to a city
unless the Lord has planned it?
Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything
until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets.
8 The lion has roared -
so who isn’t frightened?
The Sovereign Lord has spoken -
so who can refuse to proclaim his message?
Announce this to the leaders of Philistia 1
and to the great ones of Egypt:
“Take your seats now on the hills around Samaria,
and witness the chaos and oppression in Israel.”
10 “My people have forgotten how to do right,”
says the Lord .
“Their fortresses are filled with wealth
taken by theft and violence.
Therefore,” says the Sovereign Lord ,
“an enemy is coming!
He will surround them and shatter their defenses.
Then he will plunder all their fortresses.”
This is what the Lord says:
“A shepherd who tries to rescue a sheep from a lion’s mouth
will recover only two legs or a piece of an ear.
So it will be for the Israelites in Samaria lying on luxurious beds,
and for the people of Damascus reclining on couches. 2
“Now listen to this, and announce it throughout all Israel, 3 ” says the Lord, the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.
14 “On the very day I punish Israel for its sins,
I will destroy the pagan altars at Bethel.
The horns of the altar will be cut off
and fall to the ground.
15 And I will destroy the beautiful homes of the wealthy -
their winter mansions and their summer houses, too -
all their palaces filled with ivory,”
says the Lord .