CLV(i) 1 Strengthen yourselves, sons of Benjamin, From the midst of Jerusalem, And in Tekoa blow you a trumpet, And over Beth-Haccerem lift you up a flame, For evil has been seen from the north, And great destruction." 2 The comely and the delicate one I have cut off, The daughter of Zion." 3 Unto her come do shepherds and their droves, They have stricken tents by her round about, They have fed each [in] his own station." 4 Sanctify you against her the battle, Rise, and we go up at noon. Woe to us, for turned has the day, For stretched out are the shades of evening, 5 `Rise, and we go up by night, And we destroy her palaces.'" 6 For thus said Yahweh of Hosts:Cut down her wood, And pour out against Jerusalem a mount, She [is] the city to be inspected, Wholly--she is oppression in her midst." 7 As the digging of a well, is [for] its waters, So she has digged [for] her wickedness, Violence and spoil is heard in her, Before My face continually [are] sickness and smiting." 8 Be instructed, O Jerusalem, Lest My soul be alienated from you, Lest I make you a desolation, a land not inhabited." 9 Thus said Yahweh of Hosts:They surely glean, as a vine, the remnant of Israel, Put back your hand, as a gatherer to the baskets." 10 To whom do I speak, and testify, and they hear? Lo, their ear [is] uncircumcised, And they are not able to attend. Lo, a word of Yahweh has been to them for a reproach, They delight not in it." 11 And with the fury of Yahweh I have been filled, (I have been weary of containing,) To pour [it] on the suckling in the street, And on the assembly of youths together, For even husband with wife are captured, An elder with one full of days, 12 And their houses have been turned to others, Fields and wives together, For I stretch out My hand against the inhabitants of the land, An affirmation of Yahweh." 13 For from their least unto their greatest, Every one is gaining dishonest gain, And from prophet even unto priest, Every one is dealing falsely, 14 And they heal the breach of the daughter of my people slightly, Saying, `Peace, peace!' and there is no peace." 15 They were ashamed when they did abomination! Yea, they are not at all ashamed, Yea, blushing they have not known, Therefore they do fall among those falling, In the time I have inspected them, They stumble, said Yahweh." 16 Thus said Yahweh:Stand you by the ways and see, and ask for paths of old, Where [is] this--the good way? and go you in it, And find rest for yourselves. And they say, `We do not go.'" 17 And I have raised up for you watchmen, Attend you to the voice of the trumpet. And they say, `We do not attend.'" 18 Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O company, That which [is] upon them." 19 Hear, O earth, lo, I am bringing evil on this people, The fruit of their devices, For to My words they gave no attention, And My law--they kick against it." 20 Why [is] this to Me? frankincense from Sheba comes, And the sweet cane from a land afar off, Your burnt-offerings [are] not for acceptance, And your sacrifices have not been sweet to Me." 21 Therefore thus said Yahweh:Lo, I do give to this people stumbling blocks, And stumbled against them have fathers and sons together, The neighbor and his friend do perish." 22 Thus said Yahweh:Lo, a people has come from a north country, And a great nation is stirred up from the sides of the earth." 23 Bow and javelin they take hold of, Fierce it [is], and they have no mercy, Their voice as a sea does sound, And on horses they ride, set in array as a man of war, Against you, O daughter of Zion." 24 `We have heard its sound, feeble have been our hands, Distress has seized us, pain as of a travailing woman." 25 Go not forth to the field, And in the way walk not, For a sword has the enemy, fear [is] round about." 26 O daughter of My people, Gird on sackcloth, and roll yourself in ashes, The mourning of an only one make for you, A lamentation most bitter, For suddenly come does the spoiler against us." 27 A watch-tower I have given you, Among My people a fortress, And you know, and have tried their way." 28 All of them are turned aside by apostates, Walking slanderously--brass and iron, All of them are corrupters." 29 The bellows have been burnt, By fire has the lead been consumed, In vain has a refiner refined, And the wicked have not been drawn away." 30 `Silver rejected,' they have called to them, For Yahweh has kicked against them!"