New American Bible


Chapter 6

6:1 Flee, sons of Benjamin, out of Jerusalem! Blow the trumpet in Tekoa, raise a signal over Beth-haccherem; For evil threatens from the north, and mighty destruction.

6:2 O lovely and delicate daughter Zion, you are ruined!

6:3 Against her, shepherds come with their flocks; all around, they pitch their tents, each one grazes his portion.

6:4 "Prepare for war against her, Up! let us rush upon her at midday! Alas! the day is waning, evening shadows lengthen;

6:5 Up! let us rush upon her by night, destroy her palaces!"

6:6 For thus says the LORD of hosts: Hew down her trees, throw up a siege mound against Jerusalem. Woe to the city marked for punishment; nought but oppression within her!

6:7 As the well gushes out its waters, so she gushes out her wickedness. Violence and destruction resound in her; ever before me are wounds and blows.

6:8 Be warned, O Jerusalem, lest I be estranged from you; Lest I turn you into a desert, a land where no man dwells.

6:9 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Glean, glean like a vine the remnant of Israel; Pass your hand, like a vintager, repeatedly over the tendrils.

6:10 To whom shall I speak? whom shall I warn, and be heard? See! their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot give heed; See, the word of the LORD has become for them an object of scorn, which they will not have.

6:11 Therefore my wrath brims up within me, I am weary of holding it in; I will pour it out upon the child in the street, upon the young men gathered together. Yes, all will be taken, husband and wife, graybeard with ancient.

6:12 Their houses will fall to strangers, their fields and their wives as well; For I will stretch forth my hand against those who dwell in this land, says the LORD.

6:13 Small and great alike, all are greedy for gain; prophet and priest, all practice fraud.

6:14 They would repair, as though it were nought, the injury to my people: "Peace, peace!" they say, though there is no peace.

6:15 They are odious; they have done abominable things, yet they are not at all ashamed, they know not how to blush. Hence they shall be among those who fall; in their time of punishment they shall go down, says the LORD.

6:16 Thus says the LORD: Stand beside the earliest roads, ask the pathways of old Which is the way to good, and walk it; thus you will find rest for your souls. But they said, "We will not walk it."

6:17 When I raised up watchmen for them: "Hearken to the sound of the trumpet!" they said, "We will not hearken."

6:18 Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O earth, what I will do with them:

6:19 See, I bring evil upon this people, the fruit of their own schemes, Because they heeded not my words, because they despised my law.

6:20 Of what use to me incense that comes from Sheba, or sweet cane from far-off lands? Your holocausts find no favor with me, your sacrifices please me not.

6:21 Therefore, thus says the LORD: See, I will place before this people obstacles to bring them down; Fathers and sons alike, neighbors and friends shall perish.

6:22 Thus says the LORD: See, a people comes from the land of the north, a great nation, roused from the ends of the earth.

6:23 Bow and javelin they wield; cruel and pitiless are they. They sound like the roaring sea as they ride forth on steeds, Each in his place, for battle against you, daughter Zion.

6:24 We hear the report of them; helpless fall our hands, Anguish takes hold of us, throes like a mother’s in childbirth.

6:25 Go not forth into the field, step not into the street, Beware of the enemy’s sword; terror on every side!

6:26 O daughter of my people, gird on sackcloth, roll in the ashes. Mourn as for an only child with bitter wailing, For sudden upon us comes the destroyer.

6:27 A tester among my people I have appointed you, to search and test their way.

6:28 Arch-rebels are they all, dealers in slander, all of them corrupt.

6:29 The bellows roars, the lead is consumed by the fire; In vain has the smelter refined, the wicked are not drawn off.

6:30 "Silver rejected" they shall be called, for the LORD has rejected them.