1Hear this word, Israel, this lament I take up concerning you:2‘Fallen is Virgin Israel, never to rise again, deserted in her own land, with no-one to lift her up.’3This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Israel: ‘Your city that marches out a thousand strong will have only a hundred left; your town that marches out a hundred strong will have only ten left.’4This is what the Lord says to Israel: ‘Seek me and live;5do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey to Beersheba. For Gilgal will surely go into exile, and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.’ (Ho 4:15)6Seek the Lord and live, or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire; it will devour them, and Bethel will have no-one to quench it.7There are those who turn justice into bitterness and cast righteousness to the ground.8He who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns midnight into dawn and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land – the Lord is his name.9With a blinding flash he destroys the stronghold and brings the fortified city to ruin.10There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court and detest the one who tells the truth.11You levy a straw tax on the poor and impose a tax on their grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine.12For I know how many are your offences and how great your sins. There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.13Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times, for the times are evil.14Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.15Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.16Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord God Almighty, says: ‘There will be wailing in all the streets and cries of anguish in every public square. The farmers will be summoned to weep and the mourners to wail.17There will be wailing in all the vineyards, for I will pass through your midst,’ says the Lord.
The day of the Lord
18Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord! Why do you long for the day of the Lord? That day will be darkness, not light.19It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him.20Will not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light – pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?21‘I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me.22Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them.23Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.24But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!25‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings for forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?26You have lifted up the shrine of your king, the pedestal of your idols, the star of your god – which you made for yourselves.27Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,’ says the Lord, whose name is God Almighty.
English Standard Version
Seek the Lord and Live
1Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel: (Eze 19:1)2“Fallen, no more to rise, is the virgin Israel; forsaken on her land, with none to raise her up.” (Isa 47:1; La 2:1)3For thus says the Lord God: “The city that went out a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which went out a hundred shall have ten left to the house of Israel.”4For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: “Seek me and live; (2Ch 15:2; Isa 55:6; Zep 2:3)5but do not seek Bethel, and do not enter into Gilgal or cross over to Beersheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into exile, and Bethel shall come to nothing.” (Am 4:4; Am 8:14)6Seek the Lord and live, lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel, (Isa 9:18; Am 5:4; Am 5:5)7O you who turn justice to wormwood and cast down righteousness to the earth! (Am 6:12)8He who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the Lord is his name; (Ge 6:17; Job 9:9; Job 38:31; Ps 104:6; Ps 104:20; Am 4:13; Am 8:9; Am 9:6)9who makes destruction flash forth against the strong, so that destruction comes upon the fortress. (Jer 50:32)10They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks the truth. (Ru 4:1; 1Ki 22:8; Pr 15:5; Pr 15:10; Isa 29:21)11Therefore because you trample on the poor and you exact taxes of grain from him, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not dwell in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine. (De 28:30; De 28:39; Mic 6:15; Zep 1:13; Jas 2:6)12For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins— you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate. (1Sa 8:3; 1Sa 12:3; Ps 26:10; Isa 29:21; Am 2:7; Am 5:10)13Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time, for it is an evil time. (Ec 3:7; Mic 2:3)14Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. (De 30:15; De 30:19; Am 3:13; Zep 2:3)15Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. (Ex 32:30; Ps 97:10; Joe 2:14; Am 5:10; Ro 12:9)16Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord: “In all the squares there shall be wailing, and in all the streets they shall say, ‘Alas! Alas!’ They shall call the farmers to mourning and to wailing those who are skilled in lamentation, (Jer 9:17; Am 5:14)17and in all vineyards there shall be wailing, for I will pass through your midst,” says the Lord. (Ex 12:12)
Let Justice Roll Down
18Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! Why would you have the day of the Lord? It is darkness, and not light, (Joe 1:15; Joe 2:1)19as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall, and a serpent bit him. (Isa 24:18; Jer 48:44)20Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it? (Am 5:18)21“I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. (Isa 1:14; Jer 6:20)22Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. (Ps 51:16; Isa 1:11)23Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. (Isa 5:12; Am 6:5; Am 8:3)24But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.25“Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? (Ac 7:42)26You shall take up Sikkuth your king, and Kiyyun your star-god—your images that you made for yourselves, (De 32:17; Isa 46:7; Eze 20:16; Eze 20:24)27and I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,” says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts. (2Ki 17:6; Am 5:14)