New English Translation
Death is Imminent
1 Listen to this funeral song I am ready to sing about you, family of Israel:
2 "The virgin Israel has fallen down and will not get up again. She is abandoned on her own land with no one to help her get up."
3 The sovereign LORD says this:"The city that marches out with a thousand soldiers will have only a hundred left; the town that marches out with a hundred soldiers will have only ten left for the family of Israel."
4 The LORD says this to the family of Israel: "Seek me so you can live!
5 Do not seek Bethel! Do not visit Gilgal! Do not journey down to Beer Sheba! For the people of Gilgal will certainly be carried into exile; and Bethel will become a place where disaster abounds."
6 Seek the LORD so you can live! Otherwise he will break out like fire against Joseph's family; the fire will consume and no one will be able to quench it and save Bethel.
7 The Israelites turn justice into bitterness; they throw what is fair and right to the ground.
8 (But there is one who made the constellations Pleiades and Orion; he can turn the darkness into morning and daylight into night. He summons the water of the seas and pours it out on the earth's surface. The LORD is his name!
9 He flashes destruction down upon the strong so that destruction overwhelms the fortified places. )
10 The Israelites hate anyone who arbitrates at the city gate; they despise anyone who speaks honestly.
11 Therefore, because you make the poor pay taxes on their crops and exact a grain tax from them, you will not live in the houses you built with chiseled stone, nor will you drink the wine from the fine vineyards you planted.
12 Certainly I am aware of your many rebellious acts and your numerous sins. You torment the innocent, you take bribes, and you deny justice to the needy at the city gate.
13 For this reason whoever is smart keeps quiet in such a time, for it is an evil time.
14 Seek good and not evil so you can live! Then the LORD, the God who commands armies, just might be with you, as you claim he is.
15 Hate what is wrong, love what is right! Promote justice at the city gate! Maybe the LORD, the God who commands armies, will have mercy on those who are left from Joseph.
16 Because of Israel's sins this is what the LORD, the God who commands armies, the sovereign One, says: "In all the squares there will be wailing, in all the streets they will mourn the dead. They will tell the field workers to lament and the professional mourners to wail.
17 In all the vineyards there will be wailing, for I will pass through your midst," says the LORD.
The LORD Demands Justice
18 Woe to those who wish for the day of the LORD! Why do you want the LORD's day of judgment to come? It will bring darkness, not light.
19 Disaster will be inescapable, as if a man ran from a lion only to meet a bear, then escaped into a house, leaned his hand against the wall, and was bitten by a poisonous snake.
20 Don't you realize the LORD's day of judgment will bring darkness, not light - gloomy blackness, not bright light?
21 "I absolutely despise your festivals! I get no pleasure from your religious assemblies!
22 Even if you offer me burnt and grain offerings, I will not be satisfied; I will not look with favor on your peace offerings of fattened calves.
23 Take away from me your noisy songs; I don't want to hear the music of your stringed instruments.
24 Justice must flow like torrents of water, righteous actions like a stream that never dries up.
25 You did not bring me sacrifices and grain offerings during the forty years you spent in the wilderness, family of Israel.
26 You will pick up your images of Sikkuth, your king, and Kiyyun, your star god, which you made for yourselves,
27 and I will drive you into exile beyond Damascus," says the LORD. He is called the God who commands armies!
King James Version
1 Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel.
2 The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up.
3 For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel.
4 ¶ For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:
5 But 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.
6 Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Beth-el.
7 Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,
8 Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:
9 That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress.
10 They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.
11 Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens 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 of them.
12 For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.
13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.
14 Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.
15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.
16 Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord, saith thus; Wailing shall be in all streets; and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing.
17 And in all vineyards shall be wailing: for I will pass through thee, saith the LORD.
18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.
19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.
20 Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?
21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.
22 Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.
23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.
24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
25 Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
26 But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.
27 Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.