6 Get under cover, sons of Benjamin, out of Jerusalem, and blow a ram-horn at Tekoaʽ and raise a signal at Beth-hak-Kerem, because misfortune looms from the north and a great disaster. 2* To the dainty meadow, the heights of the daughter of Sion, 3 will come shepherds and their flocks; they plant their tents by it all round, they graze each one his side. 4* They launch an attack against it: “Up, let us scale it in broad daylight!—Alack, the day has begun to sink, the evening shadows are spreading!— 5 Up, let us scale it by night and ravage its palaces!”
6 For Jehovah of Hosts says “Cut its trees and throw up a ramp against Jerusalem.”
Woe to the fast city with bad debts all through it! 7** As a cistern keeps its water cool, so does she her wickedness; outrage and rapine are heard of in her, sores and wounds confront me all the time. 8 Take your lesson to heart, Jerusalem, for fear my mind should be estranged from you, for fear I should make you into a desolation, an uninhabited country.
9** Says Jehovah of Armies, Look for last grapes, look for last grapes, in the remnant of Israel as if on a grapevine; pass your hand over its canes again like a grape-gatherer. 10* To whom shall I speak and warn, and have them listen? here their ears are coated over, they cannot sharpen them; here has Jehovah’s word become for them a farce for which they have no fancy. 11 But I am full of Jehovah’s ire, overtaxed with holding in; pour it out on child at play in the street and on coterie of young men together; for man and woman as well shall be caught, old man and oldest, 12** and their houses shall pass to others, lands and wives and all, because I will stretch out my hand over the inhabitants of the country, quoth Jehovah. 13 For from the least to the greatest they are all moneymaking; from prophet to priest they are all playing false; 14 and they have doctored my people’s broken bones triflingly, saying “All right, all right,” when nothing is all right. 15* They have brought shame on themselves because they have done detestable things, but they have no sense of shame, neither do they know enough to be humiliated. So they shall fall among the rest that fall, at their time of punishment they shall stumble, says Jehovah.
16 Said Jehovah, “Stand over roads and see them, and ask about old-time paths, which one is the good road, and go by it, and find ease for your souls”—and they said “We will not”; 17 “and I will set up watchmen over you; listen for the sound of a ram-horn”—and they said “We will not.” 18* So listen, nations, and know, congregation of the sky; 19 listen, earth: here I am bringing ills upon this people, the fruit of their policies, because they paid no attention to my words and rejected my instructions. 20 What do I want of this, frankincense coming from Sheba and sweet flag from a distant country? your burnt-offerings are not acceptable and your sacrifices are flavorless for me. 21* So Jehovah says “Here I am putting stumbling-blocks in this people’s way, on which they shall stumble, fathers and sons together; neighbors and fellow-townsmen shall perish.”
22 Says Jehovah, Here comes a people from northern parts, and a great nation is roused from earth’s recesses, 23** wielding bow and javelin; it is cruel and unfeeling, and the sound of it roars like the sea; on ponies and chariots it is in line like a fire for battle against you, daughter of Sion. 24 We have heard the report of it and lost heart; distress has seized upon us, pangs like those of a woman in childbirth. 25 Do not go out to the fields, do not walk on the road, for there is an enemy with a sword, a terror on every side. 26 Daughter of my people, tie on a sackcloth and daub yourself with ashes; make an only son’s mourning, a bitter wailing; for the ravager is coming upon us suddenly.
27* I have made you an assayer in my people, a fortress, and you are to know and assay their courses. 28* They are all gone off in stubbornness, scandalmongers, copper and iron; they are all vicious. 29* Bellows grow hot with fire, all the lead is used up—its smelter has smelted in vain, bad parts do not break away; 30 they are called waste silver, for Jehovah has discarded them as worthless.