New English Translation
The LORD Demands Justice, not Ritual
1 Listen to what the LORD says: "Get up! Defend yourself before the mountains! Present your case before the hills!"
2 Hear the LORD's accusation, you mountains, you enduring foundations of the earth! For the LORD has a case against his people; he has a dispute with Israel!
3 "My people, how have I wronged you? How have I wearied you? Answer me!
4 In fact, I brought you up from the land of Egypt, I delivered you from that place of slavery. I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to lead you.
5 My people, recall how King Balak of Moab planned to harm you, how Balaam son of Beor responded to him. Recall how you journeyed from Shittim to Gilgal, so you might acknowledge that the LORD has treated you fairly."
6 With what should I enter the LORD's presence? With what should I bow before the sovereign God? Should I enter his presence with burnt offerings, with year-old calves?
7 Will the LORD accept a thousand rams, or ten thousand streams of olive oil? Should I give him my firstborn child as payment for my rebellion, my offspring - my own flesh and blood - for my sin?
8 He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the LORD really wants from you: He wants you to promote justice, to be faithful, and to live obediently before your God.
9 Listen! The LORD is calling to the city! It is wise to respect your authority, O LORD! Listen, O nation, and those assembled in the city!
10 "I will not overlook, O sinful house, the dishonest gain you have hoarded away, or the smaller-than-standard measure I hate so much.
11 I do not condone the use of rigged scales, or a bag of deceptive weights.
12 The city's rich men think nothing of resorting to violence; her inhabitants lie, their tongues speak deceptive words.
13 I will strike you brutally and destroy you because of your sin.
14 You will eat, but not be satisfied. Even if you have the strength to overtake some prey, you will not be able to carry it away; if you do happen to carry away something, I will deliver it over to the sword.
15 You will plant crops, but will not harvest them; you will squeeze oil from the olives, but you will have no oil to rub on your bodies; you will squeeze juice from the grapes, but you will have no wine to drink.
16 You implement the regulations of Omri, and all the practices of Ahab's dynasty; you follow their policies. Therefore I will make you an appalling sight, the city's inhabitants will be taunted derisively, and nations will mock all of you."
King James Version
1 Hear ye now what the LORD saith; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice.
2 Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD'S controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel.
3 O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me.
4 For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
5 O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD.
6 ¶ Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
9 The LORD'S voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.
10 ¶ Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is abominable?
11 Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?
12 For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
13 Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins.
14 Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied; and thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and that which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword.
15 Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine.
16 ¶ For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people.