1Hear ye this word which I take up for a lamentation over you, O house of Israel:
2The virgin of Israel is fallen,
She shall no more rise; She is cast down upon her land, There is none to raise her up.
3For thus saith the Lord God: The city that went forth a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which went forth a hundred shall have ten left, of the house of Israel.
4For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel:
Seek ye Me, and live;
5But seek not Beth-el,
Nor enter into Gilgal, And pass not to Beer-sheba; For Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, And Beth-el shall come to nought.
6Seek the Lord, and live—
Lest He break out like fire in the house of Joseph, And it devour, and there be none to quench it in Bethel—
7Ye who turn judgment to wormwood,
And cast righteousness to the ground;
8Him that maketh the Pleiades and Orion,
And bringeth on the shadow of death in the morning, And darkeneth the day into night; That calleth for the waters of the sea, And poureth them out upon the face of the earth; The Lord is His name;
9That causeth destruction to flash upon the strong,
So that destruction cometh upon the fortress.
10They hate him that reproveth in the gate,
And they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.
11Therefore, because ye trample upon the poor,
And take from him exactions of wheat; Ye have built houses of hewn stone, But ye shall not dwell in them, Ye have planted pleasant vineyards, But ye shall not drink wine thereof.
12For I know how manifold are your transgressions,
And how mighty are your sins; Ye that afflict the just, that take a ransom, And that turn aside the needy in the gate.
13Therefore the prudent doth keep silence in such a time;
For it is an evil time.
14Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live;
And so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as ye say.
15Hate the evil, and love the good,
And establish justice in the gate; It may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, Will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.
16Therefore thus saith the Lord,
The God of hosts, the Lord: Lamentation shall be in all the broad places, And they shall say in all the streets: ‘Alas! alas!’ And they shall call the husbandman to mourning, And proclaim lamentation to such as are skilful of wailing.
17And in all vineyards shall be lamentation;
For I will pass through the midst of thee, Saith the Lord.
18Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord!
Wherefore would ye have the day of the Lord? It is darkness, and not light.
19As if a man did flee from a lion,
And a bear met him; And went into the house and leaned his hand on the wall, And a serpent bit him.
20Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light?
Even very dark, and no brightness in it?
21I hate, I despise your feasts,
And I will take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22Yea, though ye offer me burnt-offerings and your meal-offerings,
I will not accept them; Neither will I regard the peace-offerings of your fat beasts.
23Take thou away from Me the noise of thy songs;
And let Me not hear the melody of thy psalteries.
24But let justice well up as waters,
And righteousness as a mighty stream.
25Did ye bring unto Me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
26So shall ye take up Siccuth your king and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.
27Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith He, whose name is the Lord God of hosts.