1 "Flee for safety, O sons of aBenjamin, From the midst of Jerusalem! Now blow a trumpet in Tekoa And raise a signal over bBeth-haccerem; For evil looks down from the cnorth, And a great destruction. 2 "The comely and adainty one, bthe daughter of Zion, I will cut off. 3 "aShepherds and their flocks will come to her, They will bpitch their tents around her, They will pasture each in his place. 4 "aPrepare war against her; Arise, and let us attack at bnoon. Woe to us, for the day declines, For the shadows of the evening lengthen! 5 "Arise, and let us attack by night And adestroy her palaces!" 6 For thus says the Lord of hosts, "aCut down her trees And cast up a bsiege against Jerusalem. This is the city to be punished, In whose midst there is only coppression. 7 "aAs a well keeps its waters fresh, So she keeps fresh her wickedness. bViolence and destruction are heard in her; cSickness and wounds are ever before Me. 8 "aBe warned, O Jerusalem, Or bI shall be alienated from you, And make you a desolation, A land not inhabited." 9 Thus says the Lord of hosts, "They will athoroughly glean as the vine the bremnant of Israel; Pass your hand again like a grape gatherer Over the branches." 10 To whom shall I speak and give warning That they may hear? Behold, their aears are closed And they cannot listen. Behold, bthe word of the Lord has become a reproach to them; They have no delight in it. 11 But I am afull of the wrath of the Lord; I am bweary with holding it in. "cPour it out on the children in the street And on the gathering of young men together; For both husband and wife shall be taken, The aged and the very old. 12 "Their ahouses shall be turned over to others, Their fields and their wives together; For I will bstretch out My hand Against the inhabitants of the land," declares the Lord. 13 "For afrom the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is bgreedy for gain, And from the prophet even to the priest Everyone deals falsely. 14 "They have ahealed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, 'Peace, peace,' But there is no peace. 15 "Were they aashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; They did not even know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; At the time that I punish them, They shall be cast down," says the Lord. 16 Thus says the Lord, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the aancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And byou will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.' 17 "And I set awatchmen over you, saying, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, 'We will not listen.' 18 "Therefore hear, O nations, And know, O congregation, what is among them. 19 "aHear, O earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people, The bfruit of their plans, Because they have not listened to My words, And as for My law, they have crejected it also. 20 "aFor what purpose does bfrankincense come to Me from Sheba And the csweet cane from a distant land? dYour burnt offerings are not acceptable And your sacrifices are not pleasing to Me." 21 Therefore, thus says the Lord, "Behold, aI am laying stumbling blocks before this people. And they will stumble against them, bFathers and sons together; Neighbor and friend will perish." 22 Thus says the Lord, "Behold, aa people is coming from the north land, And a great nation will be aroused from the bremote parts of the earth. 23 "They seize abow and spear; They are bcruel and have no mercy; Their voice croars like the sea, And they ride on horses, Arrayed as a man for the battle Against you, O daughter of Zion!" 24 We have aheard the report of it; Our hands are limp. bAnguish has seized us, Pain as of a woman in childbirth. 25 aDo not go out into the field And bdo not walk on the road, For the enemy has a sword, cTerror is on every side. 26 O daughter of my people, aput on sackcloth And broll in ashes; cMourn as for an only son, A lamentation most bitter. For suddenly the destroyer Will come upon us. 27 "I have amade you an assayer and a tester among My people, That you may know and assay their way." 28 All of them are stubbornly rebellious, aGoing about as a talebearer. They are bbronze and iron; They, all of them, are corrupt. 29 The bellows blow fiercely, The lead is consumed by the fire; In vain the refining goes on, But the awicked are not separated. 30 aThey call them rejected silver, Because the bLord has rejected them.