4 “If you will return, O Israel,” declares Jehovah,
“If you will return to me
And if you will remove your disgusting idols from before me,
Then you will not be a fugitive.+
2 And if you swear,
‘As surely as Jehovah is alive!’ in truth, justice, and righteousness,
Then the nations will obtain a blessing for themselves by him,
And in him they will boast.”+
3 For this is what Jehovah says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem:
“Plow for yourselves arable land,
And do not keep sowing among thorns.+
4 Circumcise yourselves to Jehovah,
And remove the foreskins of your hearts,+
You men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
So that my wrath may not blaze up like a fire
And burn with no one to extinguish it,
Because of your evil deeds.”+
5 Declare it in Judah, and proclaim it in Jerusalem.
Shout and blow a horn throughout the land.+
Call out loudly and say: “Gather together,
And let us flee into the fortified cities.+
Seek shelter, and do not stand still,”
For I am bringing in calamity from the north,+ a great crash.
He has gone out from his place to make your land an object of horror.
Your cities will be reduced to ruins, without an inhabitant.+
Mourn* and wail,
Because the burning anger of Jehovah has not turned away from us.
Also the heart* of the princes;
The priests will be horrified, and the prophets will be amazed.”+
11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem:
“A scorching wind from the barren hills of the desert
Will sweep down on the daughter of* my people;
It is not coming to winnow or to cleanse.
12 The full wind comes from these places at my bidding.
Now I will pronounce judgments against them.
His horses are swifter than eagles.+
Woe to us, for we are ruined!
How long will you harbor wicked thoughts?
16 Report it, yes, to the nations;
Proclaim it against Jerusalem.”
“Sentinels* are coming from a distant land,
And they will raise their voices against the cities of Judah.
Because she has rebelled against me,”+ declares Jehovah.
How bitter is your disaster,
For it reaches clear to your heart!”
I feel great pain in my very heart.*
My heart pounds within me.
20 Disaster after disaster has been reported,
For the whole land has been destroyed.
Suddenly my own tents are destroyed,
In a moment my tent cloths.+
They are stupid sons, with no understanding.
They are clever* enough when it comes to doing bad,
But they do not know how to do good.”
I looked at the heavens, and their light was no more.+
It was because of Jehovah,
Because of his burning anger.
But I will not carry out a complete extermination.
It is because I have spoken, I have decided,
They enter into the thickets,
And they climb the rocks.+
Every city is abandoned,
And no man dwells in them.”
30 Now that you are devastated, what will you do?
You used to clothe yourself with scarlet,
To deck yourself with gold ornaments,
And to enlarge your eyes with black paint.*
But it is in vain that you beautified yourself,+
For those lusting after you have rejected you;
31 For I have heard the sound like that of a sick woman,
The distress like that of a woman giving birth to her first child,
The voice of the daughter of Zion who keeps gasping for breath.
She says as she spreads out her palms:+
“Woe to me, for I am* exhausted because of the killers!”